Author Topic: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending  (Read 11956 times)

jrhampt

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Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« on: January 29, 2013, 01:50:57 PM »
http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/01/help-a-reader-withdraw-401k-to-pay-off-debts.html#comments

Wow.  Sounds like the commenters are delivering the face punches, though.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 02:48:22 PM »
Like it is implied in your title - I am not against raiding the 401k to pay off high rate debt - such as a 16% credit card and even then only if the amount CAN'T be repaid in a year or so. 

But without spending cuts - WTF, clearly there are many areas for trimming in that dudes spending....and why is it that the tithe is always off the table.

destron

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 03:07:03 PM »
Like it is implied in your title - I am not against raiding the 401k to pay off high rate debt - such as a 16% credit card and even then only if the amount CAN'T be repaid in a year or so. 

But without spending cuts - WTF, clearly there are many areas for trimming in that dudes spending....and why is it that the tithe is always off the table.

Especially when you look at how much money they have -- over $6000/month and they can't make ends meet! $235/month for clothes? $260 for home supplies? $440 for shopping/Target? $680 for food? It seems like a lot of these categories are overlapping.

It is sad to see that someone can't knuckle down and decrease their spending on simple things even when they see themselves slipping under the surface and drowning in their debt.

Jack

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 05:11:53 PM »
This heathen thinks that tithing $1000/month when you can't pay your bills is fucking stupid now matter how pious you are!

Besides, in the long run you could tithe more by building your wealth and then establishing a trust fund.

JamesAt15

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 05:24:06 PM »
Dunno why, but my first thought at seeing $1000 for tithing was, "What is this guy, a Scientologist?"

tooqk4u22

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 07:28:59 AM »
Dunno why, but my first thought at seeing $1000 for tithing was, "What is this guy, a Scientologist?"

Religions that require tithing do it at 10% of gross income - they said they clear $6k per month or $72k per year.  So add back taxes and other deductions it seems right. 

To each his/her own on religious beliefs and tithing - but I just think it is irresponsible to do it if you are not on firm financial ground.  Like Jack said you could do more later - but even if you want to pay as you go then defer the tithe and keep a record and treat it like a loan, which would be 0%, and pay off all the other debt and then start paying back the tithe loan. 

Doesn't go that god helps those who help themselves.

GuitarStv

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 07:42:59 AM »
Dunno why, but my first thought at seeing $1000 for tithing was, "What is this guy, a Scientologist?"

Religions that require tithing do it at 10% of gross income - they said they clear $6k per month or $72k per year.  So add back taxes and other deductions it seems right. 

To each his/her own on religious beliefs and tithing - but I just think it is irresponsible to do it if you are not on firm financial ground.  Like Jack said you could do more later - but even if you want to pay as you go then defer the tithe and keep a record and treat it like a loan, which would be 0%, and pay off all the other debt and then start paying back the tithe loan. 

Doesn't go that god helps those who help themselves.

Reminds me of the old joke about three religious friends who find 1000$ and are trying to decide what to do with it:

Friend 1 - We'll draw a circle on the ground, throw the money up in the air, and whatever falls in the circle will be given to God via the church.
Friend 2 - No, no, no . . . we'll draw a circle on the ground, throw the money up in the air, and whatever falls outside of the circle will be given to God via the church.
Friend 3 - Why not draw a circle on the ground, throw the money up in the air, and whatever God wants - he keeps!

sherr

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2013, 08:12:33 AM »
This heathen thinks that tithing $1000/month when you can't pay your bills is fucking stupid now matter how pious you are!

Besides, in the long run you could tithe more by building your wealth and then establishing a trust fund.

I don't necessarily disagree, but as a tither myself I can hopefully shed some light on *why* it is so essential to some people. I think the stupid thing is spending more than you make, period. Tithing itself is not the problem, it just exacerbates it.

Some Christians (the only group I can really speak for) consider tithing to be a form of gratitude to God for the blessings he has given you. Furthermore, there is significant Biblical precedent that giving back to God should be the first thing you do, not the last. It's a matter of priority and psychology. Giving first to God, no matter what else is going on, shows through actions how important God and your gratitude to him are. If you give only if you have some leftover scraps after you've bought everything else that you want, well then you must not be very grateful right?

That's also why people don't defer tithing until after they've built up a persistent trust fund for tithing. Yes the trust fund would end up resulting in more money in the long run, but doing so would violate the give-first principle. It could also be (mis)construed as telling God how to manage his money, which presumes you know something he doesn't.

I don't necessarily agree or disagree with either of those thoughts, but hopefully that sheds some light on why it's not a simple "well I just won't donate money to charity until I can afford it" type of situation for some people. The problem here in my opinion is their spending habits in general, not necessarily their tithing.

It's also interesting to note that there's not really an explicit "you must give X% of your income to God" statement anywhere in the Bible. 10% has kinda become the default for many people, but it's not a hard-and-fast rule. It looks like this guy is giving more like 15% which is higher than normal, but he still doesn't want to make any cuts. Maybe he's calculating 10% of his pre-tax income. It's just interesting is all.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2013, 10:50:33 AM »
Funny as it ties into the tithing.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/pastor-tip-receipt-155914258.html

I don't necessarily disagree, but as a tither myself I can hopefully shed some light on *why* it is so essential to some people. I think the stupid thing is spending more than you make, period. Tithing itself is not the problem, it just exacerbates it.

Furthermore, there is significant Biblical precedent that giving back to God should be the first thing you do, not the last. It's a matter of priority and psychology. Giving first to God, no matter what else is going on, shows through actions how important God and your gratitude to him are. If you give only if you have some leftover scraps after you've bought everything else that you want, well then you must not be very grateful right?

Interesting perspective - agreed tithing is bad, root cause is spending and really if it is important to you then that should be factored first and treated as a monthly expense and then live within those means. There may be some grey area to my view on tithing though such when it comes to someone truly living minimally and working to get ahead but barely getting by. But then again those tithes I suppose support social services (shelters/food/health care) for its followers.

the fixer

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2013, 07:02:06 PM »
Why does giving to God have to be in the form of money? If someone is in serious debt and needs to pay it off, why not give to God by volunteering time through church activities?

I agree that if a tithe is a percentage of gross income then it does not make a huge impact on financial stability by itself. But if someone is in debt so much that their fixed monthly payments are a significant portion of their income, that percentage is proportionally a larger burden. I think this guy should volunteer through his church (usher, choir, community projects, etc.) and "pay" himself a wage for his time that he deducts from his tithe.

Jamesqf

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2013, 08:32:44 PM »
Dunno why, but my first thought at seeing $1000 for tithing was, "What is this guy, a Scientologist?"

Yeah, my thought exactly.  Maybe I should think seriously about starting my own religion.  I mean, if a 3rd-rate SF hack could do it, how hard can it be?

the fixer

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2013, 01:07:45 PM »
Dunno why, but my first thought at seeing $1000 for tithing was, "What is this guy, a Scientologist?"

Yeah, my thought exactly.  Maybe I should think seriously about starting my own religion.  I mean, if a 3rd-rate SF hack could do it, how hard can it be?

Add that to the unethical ways to save money thread: "start your own cult/religion"

GuitarStv

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2013, 08:39:35 AM »
Dunno why, but my first thought at seeing $1000 for tithing was, "What is this guy, a Scientologist?"

Yeah, my thought exactly.  Maybe I should think seriously about starting my own religion.  I mean, if a 3rd-rate SF hack could do it, how hard can it be?

Add that to the unethical ways to save money thread: "start your own cult/religion"

Why is starting a cult/religion any more unethical that belonging to an established one?

Khao

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2013, 08:45:13 AM »
Why is starting a cult/religion any more unethical that belonging to an established one?

Normally people who belong to cults are manipulated into it and are cut out from the external world (their family/friends who are not part of the cult) so you're more a victim than an actual asshole cult leader who steals money from these poor people.

gecko10x

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2013, 08:49:49 AM »
So, if your chosen religion has lots of followers, then it's not a cult and it's OK to give them lots of money?

<ducks>

Ben

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2013, 09:05:58 AM »
Dunno why, but my first thought at seeing $1000 for tithing was, "What is this guy, a Scientologist?"

Yeah, my thought exactly.  Maybe I should think seriously about starting my own religion.  I mean, if a 3rd-rate SF hack could do it, how hard can it be?

Add that to the unethical ways to save money thread: "start your own cult/religion"

Why is starting a cult/religion any more unethical that belonging to an established one?

It depends on your perspective on absolute truth, relativism, and whether God has actually communicated with his people throughout history. If there is a true God that can be known, it makes all the difference in the world.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2013, 09:17:34 AM »
It depends on your perspective on absolute truth, relativism, and whether God has actually communicated with his people throughout history. If there is a true God that can be known, it makes all the difference in the world.


Well that is an impossibility and would render all religions as cults - its just that some of them may be very large and well established.

One persons cult is another persons religion, and vice versa.

Jamesqf

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2013, 11:31:40 AM »
It depends on your perspective on absolute truth, relativism, and whether God has actually communicated with his people throughout history. If there is a true God that can be known, it makes all the difference in the world.

No.  You have two distinct questions there.  1) Is there in fact a true God (or many true ones) that can be known and communicated with?  1) Has any founder of, or prominent spokesperson for, any particular religion ever actually held such communication with their deity?  I don't know about #1, but I suggest that the evidence is overwhelming that the answer to #2 is no.

GuitarStv

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2013, 12:19:39 PM »
The difference between a cult and a religion really comes down to interpretation:

Cult:
1. A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
2. A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.

Religion:
1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
2. Details of belief as taught or discussed.



If you believe that a set of beliefs is strange or sinister . . . cult.  If you don't, religion.  Either way, I don't see how starting one is more or less unethical that belonging to an existing one.  Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of weird/craziness attached to Scientology . . . but show me the religion that doesn't have it's fair share of weird/craziness.

Ben

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2013, 12:25:41 PM »
It depends on your perspective on absolute truth, relativism, and whether God has actually communicated with his people throughout history. If there is a true God that can be known, it makes all the difference in the world.


Well that is an impossibility and would render all religions as cults - its just that some of them may be very large and well established.

One persons cult is another persons religion, and vice versa.

If you presuppose that none of them are correct (or that an all-of-the-above view of God is appropriate), then they are indeed interchangeable.

If God actually came and lived among us, wouldn't that be a pretty big deal, and different from any religions or cults created by man? Believing in that would turn out to be much more important- but if it was not actually true, it would be equally irrelevent.

Ben

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2013, 12:33:30 PM »
Sure- I think it's helpful to distinguish between those two. We probably should break it down further:

1. Is there a God with absolute characteristics and qualities?
2. If yes, can he be known by humans?
3. If yes, how has he made himself known?

IF there is a God and IF he can be known, it is very important to understand how he has made himself known and why. In this situation, there can be right and wrong answers about where this information comes from, what it tells us about God, and how we are supposed to respond.

It depends on your perspective on absolute truth, relativism, and whether God has actually communicated with his people throughout history. If there is a true God that can be known, it makes all the difference in the world.

No.  You have two distinct questions there.  1) Is there in fact a true God (or many true ones) that can be known and communicated with?  1) Has any founder of, or prominent spokesperson for, any particular religion ever actually held such communication with their deity?  I don't know about #1, but I suggest that the evidence is overwhelming that the answer to #2 is no.

GuitarStv

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2013, 12:58:10 PM »
If God actually came and lived among us, wouldn't that be a pretty big deal, and different from any religions or cults created by man? Believing in that would turn out to be much more important- but if it was not actually true, it would be equally irrelevent.

Well sure, if any of the stories in any religion/cult were true, that would make that particular belief system much more important than other belief systems.

As it stands right now though, there's no more data to support the Christian claims of Jesus walking among us than there is to support the claims of Scientology that we're all immortal beings who have forgotten what we knew.  Or to support Rastafarian claims that Haile Selassie was the Son of God.  Or to support Buddhist claims that Gautama Buddha was the first enlightened person of our era.

When you start extrapolating as far out of the realm of the real as you are doing here, I'm not sure that the questions you start to ask are of value any more.

momo

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2013, 01:40:19 PM »
This story echoes the same results reported in the first post of this thread: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/401k-would-you-raid-yours/msg51786/#msg51786
check out the first thread post and the two articles. This family is a perfect example of why you should not raid it. These are poorly planned lifestyle choices not emergencies. Not even sure of these qualify as "hardships".

Looking at their numbers I am surprised. Wow that family has a lot of debt inducing habits. And as others have commented already there is some serious overlapping expenses. Wish the dad was here for MMM could give him a complimentary punch in the face and shaking of the mom too boot. They certainly make ample income but their chosen lifestyle is highly dubious!

Cutting out or better eliminating the religious donations would help. Why give money when you can give your time to these causes? Include the daughter and make it a learning experience instead of just giving money out the nose? And the shopping looks terribly inefficient too. Looks like the family doesn't cook much at home or maximize the time the wife does spend watching the daughter and plus one kid. Why not cook during that time more? Teaching the daughter some basics? And even though she works part-time there must be a better way for this family to cut expenses without raiding their 401k.

I suppose to each their own. Reading the comments on the site makes is painfully obvious most people feel this family needs to make some serious lifestyle adjustments and to avoid touching their 401k.

venkol

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2013, 01:58:09 PM »
Whenever you call something off the table that isn't essential to survival (Food, Shelter, Clothing, Transportation) or is toward the goal of maintaining your credit score, don't bother asking for help on personal finance blogs/websites.  Tithing is not essential, I don't care what you believe, if you are broke, you are broke. 

Now my personal opinion:  Tithing doesn't come from god, what the hell does an omnipotent being that created the universe need 10% of your worthless green paper for?  Tithing is an invention of the church to guilt the poor into giving their money to the organization.  He is dedicating $1000/month to the church and only $50/month to his daughters college?!?!!??!?!!?!?  He reverses those two items and his kids pretty much have their college paid for on day one.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 02:01:06 PM by venkol »

Ben

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2013, 03:33:03 PM »

Quote
Well sure, if any of the stories in any religion/cult were true, that would make that particular belief system much more important than other belief systems.

As it stands right now though, there's no more data to support the Christian claims of Jesus walking among us than there is to support the claims of Scientology that we're all immortal beings who have forgotten what we knew.  Or to support Rastafarian claims that Haile Selassie was the Son of God.  Or to support Buddhist claims that Gautama Buddha was the first enlightened person of our era.

When you start extrapolating as far out of the realm of the real as you are doing here, I'm not sure that the questions you start to ask are of value any more.

This. You're starting with the presupposition that all religions are equally false, thereby saving yourself the time and effort of investigation. If you are right, then it is indeed a moot point, but if you are wrong then you've missed the most important thing ever. Based on my understanding of the Bible, of history, my personal experiences, my study of human behavior, and my conversations with others, Christianity is the most rational explanation for the world and the way that it works.

But I degress. Tithing. Genorosity and giving to God is commanded throughout the Bible, although exact implementation is a matter of debate/conscience (10% gross? 10% net? Other interpretations?). Across history, the Church has had dark periods and scandals where the greed of leaders interfered with good stewardship of money, which is tragic. However, by and large it has generally been used to spread the gospel and take care of the needy.

This family can certainly afford to give 10% gross while paying off their debt at a reasonable rate if they are willing to sacrifice elsewhere. If they decide to give less (either as a matter of conscience or temporary adjustment to get out of debt) it will likely occur faster.


Ben

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2013, 03:36:20 PM »
Whenever you call something off the table that isn't essential to survival (Food, Shelter, Clothing, Transportation) or is toward the goal of maintaining your credit score, don't bother asking for help on personal finance blogs/websites.  Tithing is not essential, I don't care what you believe, if you are broke, you are broke. 

Is 'no tithing' really a prerequisite for helping people to embrace a more frugal lifestyle? I've seen other people insist that their cats eat more expensive food than I feed myself, or put their dog on dialysis or chemotherapy. I've spoken to parents that believe that private school is an inalienable right for their children. Regardless of their stance in some areas which I find ridiculous, there are broader principles (spend much less than you make) and specific tips (maybe try biking and buy fewer groceries?) that can benefit anyone. As other posters have pointed out, there are some concrete, actionable options in the 'within limits' budget categories that would result in tangible gain for this fmaily.

Jamesqf

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2013, 04:13:23 PM »
Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of weird/craziness attached to Scientology . . . but show me the religion that doesn't have it's fair share of weird/craziness.

The difference between Scientology and most of the rest (at least the fairly well-known ones) is that we know beyond any possibility of reasonable doubt that it's a deliberate fraud.  The founder, L. Ron Hubbard, was a 3rd-rate SF writer in the '30s & '40s, who hung out with better-known writers like Asimov & Heinlein, and talked about starting a religion as a way to wealth.  And in the '50s, he did it.

Jamesqf

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2013, 04:18:06 PM »
...what the hell does an omnipotent being that created the universe need 10% of your worthless green paper for?

Exactly!

GuitarStv

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2013, 07:38:59 AM »
You're starting with the presupposition that all religions are equally false, thereby saving yourself the time and effort of investigation. If you are right, then it is indeed a moot point, but if you are wrong then you've missed the most important thing ever. Based on my understanding of the Bible, of history, my personal experiences, my study of human behavior, and my conversations with others, Christianity is the most rational explanation for the world and the way that it works.

You don't know anything about me or my beliefs, but are telling me what I presuppose?  I have studied religion for years, and believe that spiritual growth is very important to any person.  I don't claim to know the one true path to God though, nor do I proselytize on internet forums.

I can't prove that my beliefs are more valid than yours.  You can't prove that your beliefs are more valid than mine.  That's why the hypothetical questions you were asking above lack much value.



Quote from: Jamesqf
The difference between Scientology and most of the rest (at least the fairly well-known ones) is that we know beyond any possibility of reasonable doubt that it's a deliberate fraud.  The founder, L. Ron Hubbard, was a 3rd-rate SF writer in the '30s & '40s, who hung out with better-known writers like Asimov & Heinlein, and talked about starting a religion as a way to wealth.  And in the '50s, he did it.

Yep, I'm well aware of that.

We also know that many Catholic priests under oaths of celibacy molested little children, that popes of the Catholic church had orgies and sired illegitimate offspring, and that the Catholics committed routine torture in the Spanish inquisition.  As far as wealth goes, the church used relics to squeeze money from the poor, and once controlled much of the wealth in Europe through careful political machinations.   Catholicism is not considered a fraud by it's millions of adherents though.

Although I'm not a huge fan of their teachings, I still don't see how Scientology is less of a valid religion than any other.

Ben

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2013, 09:09:24 AM »

You don't know anything about me or my beliefs, but are telling me what I presuppose?  I have studied religion for years, and believe that spiritual growth is very important to any person.  I don't claim to know the one true path to God though, nor do I proselytize on internet forums.

I can't prove that my beliefs are more valid than yours.  You can't prove that your beliefs are more valid than mine.  That's why the hypothetical questions you were asking above lack much value.

They are tremendously important, even before tackling the topic of evidence/validity, because they can't both be true. If you are right (all religions are equally false, but we still have souls that are affected by individual 'spiritual growth'), then my beliefs are not just different, but empirically wrong.

Likewise, if there are any absolute characteristics of a supernatural being, then the statement 'all religions are equally false' can't hold up. Some beliefs must be closer than others, and it's possible that there is a specific way that God interacts with us and we can interact with him. If so, it would be really important to tackle this in earnest.

The Bible warns against 'wolves' in the Church from the very beginning, people that will twist the gospel for personal gain.  Judas was the disciples' treasurer and stole money that was intended to care for the poor. It's pretty clear that this is an issue that churches will always battle. Hopefully, churches are getting better at protecting people and money (e.g. background checks, audits, etc.), even as the rest of our society becomes more aware as well.

I didn't mean to track so far down this path, just frustrated by the casual intolerance of some of the posts.

GuitarStv

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2013, 09:21:07 AM »



If you are right (all religions are equally false, but we still have souls that are affected by individual 'spiritual growth'), then my beliefs are not just different, but empirically wrong.

I didn't say that, nor do I believe it.



I didn't mean to track so far down this path, just frustrated by the casual intolerance of some of the posts.

Perhaps the intolerance you're seeing is as real as the straw men you are creating to argue against.

Tyler

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2013, 09:32:43 AM »
From a religious perspective, tithing is supposed to be a sacrifice.  The problem here is that they're giving (a good thing that I admire) without the requisite sacrifice of material things.  There's clearly enough secular spending going on here that there's no need to make 10% charitable giving the deal breaker for financial stability.  I'd prefer we avoid wading into religious intolerance and stick to what we know best - consumerist face punching. 

« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 09:36:51 AM by Tyler »

tooqk4u22

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2013, 10:05:07 AM »

You don't know anything about me or my beliefs, but are telling me what I presuppose?  I have studied religion for years, and believe that spiritual growth is very important to any person.  I don't claim to know the one true path to God though, nor do I proselytize on internet forums.

I can't prove that my beliefs are more valid than yours.  You can't prove that your beliefs are more valid than mine.  That's why the hypothetical questions you were asking above lack much value.

They are tremendously important, even before tackling the topic of evidence/validity, because they can't both be true. If you are right (all religions are equally false, but we still have souls that are affected by individual 'spiritual growth'), then my beliefs are not just different, but empirically wrong.

Likewise, if there are any absolute characteristics of a supernatural being, then the statement 'all religions are equally false' can't hold up. Some beliefs must be closer than others, and it's possible that there is a specific way that God interacts with us and we can interact with him. If so, it would be really important to tackle this in earnest.

The Bible warns against 'wolves' in the Church from the very beginning, people that will twist the gospel for personal gain.  Judas was the disciples' treasurer and stole money that was intended to care for the poor. It's pretty clear that this is an issue that churches will always battle. Hopefully, churches are getting better at protecting people and money (e.g. background checks, audits, etc.), even as the rest of our society becomes more aware as well.

I didn't mean to track so far down this path, just frustrated by the casual intolerance of some of the posts.

These arguments are akin to a roullette table, which has 36 numbers (so many different religions to choose from) that could be landed on - each person makes their bet and maybe one number is chosen and they win (x religion) or bets could be made on the corners (4x religions win - all the large religions are fairly similar) or you could land on black or red (18x religions/agnostics win) or you could land on 0 or 00 (aethesits win or the general belief of being a good person and good to others wins).


tooqk4u22

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2013, 10:25:22 AM »
From a religious perspective, tithing is supposed to be a sacrifice.  The problem here is that they're giving (a good thing that I admire) without the requisite sacrifice of material things.  There's clearly enough secular spending going on here that there's no need to make 10% charitable giving the deal breaker for financial stability.  I'd prefer we avoid wading into religious intolerance and stick to what we know best - consumerist face punching.

Tithing literally means 1/10th so taht is where the amount comes from.  Tithing is not meant to be a sacrifice, it is meant to be an offering and by making an offering and sharing with others only then did you receive his blessing - but God gave first.  There is nothing in the bible that requires tithing or an amount, but it in some regards it is required if in fact you want god's blessing and again the amount isn't fixed - could be food, services, finances, etc.

The belief that tithing is required is essentially giving to get whereas tithing is meant to give because you have received. 

Unfortunately tithing throughout history was a means to fund the church and its expansion, and was more of tax then anything else (remember that there was no separtion of church and state).

Ben

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2013, 12:32:45 PM »
If you are right (all religions are equally false, but we still have souls that are affected by individual 'spiritual growth'), then my beliefs are not just different, but empirically wrong.

I didn't say that, nor do I believe it.

Perhaps the intolerance you're seeing is as real as the straw men you are creating to argue against.

I apologize. As you mentioned, it's tough to summarize someone else's religious beliefs based on a couple of internet posts. I was working from your dual statements that all religions are equally unethical, yet 'spiritual growth' is still a) a thing, and b) important. Feel free to correct my misrepresentation.

Ben

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2013, 12:39:48 PM »
These arguments are akin to a roullette table, which has 36 numbers (so many different religions to choose from) that could be landed on - each person makes their bet and maybe one number is chosen and they win (x religion) or bets could be made on the corners (4x religions win - all the large religions are fairly similar) or you could land on black or red (18x religions/agnostics win) or you could land on 0 or 00 (aethesits win or the general belief of being a good person and good to others wins).

Sure. That's a good metaphor, in that some 'bets' are mutually exclusive from each other, and people should be free to 'choose' whichever bet they would like. The outcome is predetermined, so the 'likelihood' of a particular bet is not the same as in a roulette wheel.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #36 on: February 05, 2013, 12:46:59 PM »
These arguments are akin to a roullette table, which has 36 numbers (so many different religions to choose from) that could be landed on - each person makes their bet and maybe one number is chosen and they win (x religion) or bets could be made on the corners (4x religions win - all the large religions are fairly similar) or you could land on black or red (18x religions/agnostics win) or you could land on 0 or 00 (aethesits win or the general belief of being a good person and good to others wins).

Sure. That's a good metaphor, in that some 'bets' are mutually exclusive from each other, and people should be free to 'choose' whichever bet they would like. The outcome is predetermined, so the 'likelihood' of a particular bet is not the same as in a roulette wheel.

It may be predermined but you don't which it is, if any - the point is that each person's individual belief is as relevant and viable as any other.   That is why it is called faith.  You have the faith to be right, he has the faith to be right, I have no faith - the only certainty is that it is not certain who is right.

Bank

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2013, 02:00:16 PM »
My view is that almost all the cash people spend is on discretionary "luxuries."  After the basics of food, clothing and shelter are met, the rest is indulgence --- note, not your ACTUAL spending on these items, but the minimum I could spend and still be warm, safe, and fed.

So I don't find this person's tithing habit any more ridiculous than his Target or grocery bills.  Sure, I spend a similar amount on food for my family, but I'm not drowning in debt either.

venkol

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2013, 03:06:40 PM »
Whenever you call something off the table that isn't essential to survival (Food, Shelter, Clothing, Transportation) or is toward the goal of maintaining your credit score, don't bother asking for help on personal finance blogs/websites.  Tithing is not essential, I don't care what you believe, if you are broke, you are broke. 

Is 'no tithing' really a prerequisite for helping people to embrace a more frugal lifestyle? I've seen other people insist that their cats eat more expensive food than I feed myself, or put their dog on dialysis or chemotherapy. I've spoken to parents that believe that private school is an inalienable right for their children. Regardless of their stance in some areas which I find ridiculous, there are broader principles (spend much less than you make) and specific tips (maybe try biking and buy fewer groceries?) that can benefit anyone. As other posters have pointed out, there are some concrete, actionable options in the 'within limits' budget categories that would result in tangible gain for this fmaily.

It is when it is chewing up 17% of their monthly after tax income.  If there is one thing I have learned on this blog more than anything else is that we all have to give up our sacred cows. We need to see the fancy cat food and expensive private schools as what they are, a marketing gimmick (I will make exceptions for private schools in areas with ridiculously bad public schools such as my hometown of Detroit). 

This guy needs to cut his tithing, if that means volunteering at his church to make up the difference, so be it, but that $1000 line has to be drastically reduced.

Ben

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Re: Borrow from 401k to pay down debt without cutting overspending
« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2013, 03:50:55 PM »
These arguments are akin to a roullette table, which has 36 numbers (so many different religions to choose from) that could be landed on - each person makes their bet and maybe one number is chosen and they win (x religion) or bets could be made on the corners (4x religions win - all the large religions are fairly similar) or you could land on black or red (18x religions/agnostics win) or you could land on 0 or 00 (aethesits win or the general belief of being a good person and good to others wins).

Sure. That's a good metaphor, in that some 'bets' are mutually exclusive from each other, and people should be free to 'choose' whichever bet they would like. The outcome is predetermined, so the 'likelihood' of a particular bet is not the same as in a roulette wheel.

It may be predermined but you don't which it is, if any - the point is that each person's individual belief is as relevant and viable as any other.   That is why it is called faith.  You have the faith to be right, he has the faith to be right, I have no faith - the only certainty is that it is not certain who is right.

From a relativistic viewpoint, sure, all beliefs can be equally valid. Personally, I believe that God can be known and has revealed himself in some very specific ways, but not in others. Like most people, I believe that people should be free to practice most religious activities and beliefs without infringement (but not all).