Author Topic: Tithing with a 'Stache  (Read 28713 times)

wallabyjoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Tithing with a 'Stache
« on: December 07, 2014, 09:38:32 PM »
So some of you might disagree with the whole concept of tithing, which is fine. I think some arguments regarding hastening FI so you can start doing more good have some validity, but I'd rather discuss another issue with those of you who do tithe, or donate to charity in some fashion.

My wife and I have been tithing for a while now. While my wife was in grad school and we were paying for that on one salary, tithing was difficult or at least felt a little sacrificial. Now she's done with school. No more tuition, no more book fees, oh and she now makes more than I do. So while our income more than doubled, our expenses have gone down a notable amount. This has made tithing so easy as to be basically non-noticeable. We are pretty clearly giving "out of our surplus," which makes me just a little uneasy. I'm not chomping at the bit to give till we are in poverty, but I did wonder if any of you who have nice 'staches have wrestled with a similar dilemma? How to balancing striving for FI, while knowing one could give much more?

I hope this didn't come off like a "woe is me, I have too much money" whinyface post. I really am interested in what you all think. Thanks.

Kwill

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1483
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2014, 09:59:24 PM »
For myself, I think it helps to decide on a percentage and on where to send the tithe. Then I just carry through with it. With a plan, I don't feel so guilty turning down the other million organizations that send me letters asking for money.

I know that my level of giving is slowing me down in terms of saving and investments. On the other hand, being intentional about spending in relation to income in one part of life has probably helped to keep me out of trouble with debt or overspending in the rest of life.

It sounds like maybe you are at a point where you could rethink your percentages and determine if there are any charities you want to add to your budget. What good would you want to be doing that you aren't doing yet? Are you maxing out your IRAs and 401k or 403b or whatever the local equivalents are? Maybe you're just seeing too much of your money rather than having too much of it.

libertarian4321

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1372
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2014, 01:10:51 AM »
Another great reason not to have an imaginary friend, er, God.

I give a lot of money to charity, but I analyze each charity carefully to ensure that my money is used effectively.

IMHO, it's a better approach than "tithing" a church so that the Pope (or whomever) can buy (yet another) gold plated toilet seat.

But to each his own, if you feel that the hierarchy of the Catholic church, the disciples of Zeus, or Reverend Cleophus (or whatever late night evangelical "send me money now so I can praise Jesus from the back of my new Lear Jet) can spend the money better, by all means send your hard earned money to them.

Praise God (or Gods), or whatever.

Or you can follow me and join the ONE TRUE CHURCH and obey the ONE TRUE RELIGION.  All Hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), the ONE TRUE GOD.  Pray that you, too, are touched by his noodly appendage!

BTW, aside from being the ONE TRUE GOD, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (we are Christians, btw, we realize that the FSM gave his only begotten son yada, yada, yada) does not expect a tithe.

Yeah, that's right, the Church of the FSM is Mustachian.

Pastararianism.  It's just as realistic as any other religion, without the BS.  Plus, the beer and strippers:

http://www.venganza.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/Collander_sm.jpg


All Hail the FSM!  Ramen.

sarah8001

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2014, 01:38:31 AM »
I don't currently tithe, but I was raised in the Mormon church where tithing is important, and have often considered going back to that church, in which case I would start tithing again. Now, it's been a loooong time, but my understanding was that God wants you to give 1/10th of your harvest, and after that, the rest is his blessing for you, for you and your family to enjoy. Obviously you could give more, if you wanted to, but you have done what God asked after you give 1/10th. It seems like many people in the Bible/Book of Mormon were wealthy, because God had blessed them with wealth, because they followed his teachings. I don't know what church you belong to, if they have similar teachings, but I think it's ok to build your own wealth as long as you stay humble and give something. I think it's more about having a generous attituded and remembering gratitude and humility than giving a certain percentage or giving until you "feel it". Just my opinion.

libertarian4321

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1372
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2014, 01:44:02 AM »
I don't currently tithe, but I was raised in the Mormon church where tithing is important, and have often considered going back to that church, in which case I would start tithing again. Now, it's been a loooong time, but my understanding was that God wants you to give 1/10th of your harvest,

Nice.  As an engineer, I have no harvest, so "God" would not expect me to fund him (and why would he, really?  He's God, for God's sake.  If he needed the money, he'd have it rain down in a plague of locusts or some such BS, right?)?

This Mormonism thing sounds pretty sweet, except for that no caffeine thing.  Is there any flexibility on that?

Annie-Blake

  • Guest
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2014, 02:27:26 AM »
I think 10% of income to tithing is pretty standard?

I want to live my life with arms open wide. Willingly and gladly giving of my best for others. Holding nothing back. And at the end of my life, I want to have used up everything I was given — for others.


sarah8001

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2014, 02:33:47 AM »
This Mormonism thing sounds pretty sweet, except for that no caffeine thing.  Is there any flexibility on that?

Lol, not sure if joking or not . . . depends on who you ask. I've had missionaries ask for a Diet Coke before. I guess it's really only hot beverages with caffeine.

frugalecon

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 547
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2014, 02:54:15 AM »
I don't currently tithe, but I was raised in the Mormon church where tithing is important, and have often considered going back to that church, in which case I would start tithing again. Now, it's been a loooong time, but my understanding was that God wants you to give 1/10th of your harvest,

Nice.  As an engineer, I have no harvest, so "God" would not expect me to fund him (and why would he, really?  He's God, for God's sake.  If he needed the money, he'd have it rain down in a plague of locusts or some such BS, right?)?

This Mormonism thing sounds pretty sweet, except for that no caffeine thing.  Is there any flexibility on that?

Personally, I don't think it is necessary to be scornful and dismissive about other people's beliefs, particularly if you don't know what they are. I personally do not tithe, but I know people who choose to give 10% of their income to charitable causes, including their organized religion, in an effort to improve the lot of humanity. Not everyone who practices the tithe gives to someone to purchase a "gold plated toilet seat."

I have a problem with organized religions (or disorganized ones!) when they advocate harming jon-adherents, but otherwise I think people are free to believe what they want.

midweststache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 471
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2014, 05:44:07 AM »
As someone raised in the church, who still spends time with very religious family members, my understanding is that tithing is a set amount that never falters.

For example, you and your wife make $100,000 NET. You donate $10,000 (10%) to the church over the course of the year. Because you live off of $80,000, including investments, 401Ks, etc. this does not hurt.

However, then one of you loses your job. Your annual income is now $80,000. So when you tithe $8,000 (10%) to the church, you have to live off of $72,000. Maybe this means less entertainment. Maybe this means cheaper grocery trips. Maybe this means other things have to give.

The idea is that you're giving the same amount/% when its easy AND when its hard.

*I do not tithe, as I do not go to church, but my parents have tithed the same % for as long as I can remember (30+ years).

vhalros

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 309
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2014, 05:48:39 AM »
It seems like if you reach FI sooner, you will be able to give a lot more to charity then (especially your time).

robotclown

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2014, 05:51:40 AM »
Churches are already tax-exempt.  I consider that gift enough.

Neustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2014, 06:06:38 AM »
We are not currently tithing to a church, but to Christian charities, and that's been really a neat experience.  We give somewhere around 10%.  It's probably more like 8%, so it's not a 'tithe' but giving.

It's tricky, because NT giving should be sacrificial, and at our income level the 8% doesn't really feel like it's a sacrifice at all.  So I know what you mean about that.  I am going to volunteer soon at our public school to help struggling readers - I consider that giving as well and it will stretch me much more than a tithe does.

Not really helping here, just chiming into say I get what you are asking, and I don't have good answer.  Helpful, huh?  LOL. 

Neustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2014, 06:09:57 AM »
On a side note, I've been giving on a credit card to get rewards bonuses and points.  Feels a little squishy on the ethics of that, but I figure if I'm going to give I might as well let the credit card companies pay me money for it.  LOL. 

Raay

  • Guest
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2014, 06:23:39 AM »
On a side note, I've been giving on a credit card to get rewards bonuses and points.  Feels a little squishy on the ethics of that, but I figure if I'm going to give I might as well let the credit card companies pay me money for it.  LOL.

Hey, why not go step further and get into government and tithe entirely from other people's pockets.

Neustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2014, 06:35:27 AM »
As I plan to work in our school district someday, I will be doing EXACTLY that!

tstache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 19
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2014, 11:10:15 AM »
Another great reason not to have an imaginary friend, er, God.

I give a lot of money to charity, but I analyze each charity carefully to ensure that my money is used effectively.

IMHO, it's a better approach than "tithing" a church so that the Pope (or whomever) can buy (yet another) gold plated toilet seat.

But to each his own, if you feel that the hierarchy of the Catholic church, the disciples of Zeus, or Reverend Cleophus (or whatever late night evangelical "send me money now so I can praise Jesus from the back of my new Lear Jet) can spend the money better, by all means send your hard earned money to them.

Praise God (or Gods), or whatever.

Or you can follow me and join the ONE TRUE CHURCH and obey the ONE TRUE RELIGION.  All Hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), the ONE TRUE GOD.  Pray that you, too, are touched by his noodly appendage!

BTW, aside from being the ONE TRUE GOD, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (we are Christians, btw, we realize that the FSM gave his only begotten son yada, yada, yada) does not expect a tithe.

Yeah, that's right, the Church of the FSM is Mustachian.

Pastararianism.  It's just as realistic as any other religion, without the BS.  Plus, the beer and strippers:

http://www.venganza.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/Collander_sm.jpg


All Hail the FSM!  Ramen.

Wow, you're like, mature and stuff. 

We tithe.  It is very important to us.  It helps fund a lot of things.  Our money helps pay for our fantastic pastors, maybe a new fence around the playground, to a mission trip that help dig a well in a village.  We could tithe more, but then I would be worried about giving more than I'm really comfortable with which I think defeats the purpose. 

I think giving your time is just as important.  Helping others is HUGE! 

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3398
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2014, 11:34:11 AM »
LDS folks interpret Joseph Smith literally on that one - you just can't have caffeinated tea or coffee. "Hot drink" is verboten. Monster energy drink, no problem. I've wondered if you could intoxicate yourself with, say, ecstasy or peyote or something, too, since Smith didn't forbid those explicitly. I'll have to ask someone about that.

It's kind of a hash in general. You have to be "modest", which means no revealing (not even shoulders for women!) clothing, but you can wear as much makeup as a stripper, or short skirts if you're a BYU cheerleader. Black dudes can be priests, once God reveals it to us, coincidentally right about when we're about to lose our tax exempt status. Etc. Etc.

I gave up trying to really understand it as a religion long ago and now just look at the LDS temple downtown in SLC that is DWARFED by the LDS office building one one side and the LDS-owned mega-mall on the other and figure it's pretty much a business/social club.

-W

I don't currently tithe, but I was raised in the Mormon church where tithing is important, and have often considered going back to that church, in which case I would start tithing again. Now, it's been a loooong time, but my understanding was that God wants you to give 1/10th of your harvest,

Nice.  As an engineer, I have no harvest, so "God" would not expect me to fund him (and why would he, really?  He's God, for God's sake.  If he needed the money, he'd have it rain down in a plague of locusts or some such BS, right?)?

This Mormonism thing sounds pretty sweet, except for that no caffeine thing.  Is there any flexibility on that?

UnleashHell

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6740
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Florida
  • Chapter IV - A New ... er.. something
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2014, 11:53:32 AM »
Or you can follow me and join the ONE TRUE CHURCH and obey the ONE TRUE RELIGION.  All Hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), the ONE TRUE GOD.  Pray that you, too, are touched by his noodly appendage!


I named my wifi at home "Noodly Appendage" because in order to connect you will have to be touched by it.

smilla

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 145
  • Location: Canada
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2014, 12:36:35 PM »
My wife and I have been tithing for a while now. While my wife was in grad school and we were paying for that on one salary, tithing was difficult or at least felt a little sacrificial. Now she's done with school. No more tuition, no more book fees, oh and she now makes more than I do. So while our income more than doubled, our expenses have gone down a notable amount. This has made tithing so easy as to be basically non-noticeable. We are pretty clearly giving "out of our surplus," which makes me just a little uneasy. I'm not chomping at the bit to give till we are in poverty, but I did wonder if any of you who have nice 'staches have wrestled with a similar dilemma? How to balancing striving for FI, while knowing one could give much more?

I have a similar problem in that I feel deeply uncomfortable putting away more in my stash than I am tithing, but I try to keep in mind that I am tithing 10% gross now and as I use my stash I will tithe on withdrawals and if something is leftover when I die, a considerable amount of any remaining stash will also be given.  (Still, I wonder if this is rationalizing to get out of giving until it hurts now.)

I very much like the suggestion others have made, that you could consider donating (maybe even tithing) time over and above your regular tithe.  I am currently very selfish with my time so this is exactly where I should start.  In fact, the guilt about stashing more than I give may be more about my self-involved life than the actual $$.

NoraLenderbee

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1255
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2014, 12:43:04 PM »

My wife and I have been tithing for a while now. While my wife was in grad school and we were paying for that on one salary, tithing was difficult or at least felt a little sacrificial. Now she's done with school. No more tuition, no more book fees, oh and she now makes more than I do. So while our income more than doubled, our expenses have gone down a notable amount. This has made tithing so easy as to be basically non-noticeable. We are pretty clearly giving "out of our surplus," which makes me just a little uneasy. I'm not chomping at the bit to give till we are in poverty, but I did wonder if any of you who have nice 'staches have wrestled with a similar dilemma? How to balancing striving for FI, while knowing one could give much more?


(I'm not religious and I don't tithe, although I do donate to charities, so my comments may not be meaningful to you.)

You're asking whether you should always give until it hurts, or is it OK to give "enough" even if you don't feel it. Most religions that prescribe tithing have a set amount (10%). Not many  prescribe that you should give until you feel pain, or live like monks.  Personally, I feel that it's OK to enjoy your comforts as well as taking care of your fellow man--to give from a surplus, rather than to mortify yourself by giving until you suffer.

What does your religion or belief system say?

TerriM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 507
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2014, 12:47:53 PM »
Tithing started because Abraham gave 1/10th of the spoils of a battle to the high priest Melchizedek in thankfulness to God for his victory. What's interesting to me is it's not clear he ever tithed before or again, and that he had clearly been blessed and was very wealthy, yet he only donated from the spoils of the battle.


My parents did a strict 10% tithe.  My mom was bitter about it when i was young (actually still is) because things were very tight. She said "It felt a bit like paying off the mafia" which I think means she was a bit annoyed at a particular church for pressuring them, my father for doing it, and didn't feel like God was asking for that kind of a sacrifice.   Now, currently they have a great 'stache, so giving 10% is very easy for them, but I don't think that they ever exceed that amount because they are very conscious of the fact that they must live off whatever they have.  At the end of the year, my mom adds things up, writes a lot of checks to make sure they've met 10%.   She's not bitter about doing it now, because things are good, but she certainly isn't going to "give until it hurts."  What would that mean?  Jeopardizing their retirement? 

I'm in a church where there's no rule, and most people just toss some change in the basket.  I think that annoys the priests a little bit.  In fact, one once said, "Catholics are tightwads.  People will drop $4/day on a latte', and then they put a couple of dollars in the basket."   I got a laugh out of that, because sometimes he's right.  (He was at the time trying to fundraise for repairing an aging Church and having trouble getting enough to just keep the bricks from falling.)  But what it's done is pushed some people a bit the other way--I know a deacon who says "You should give until it hurts."  I just don't agree with that either.  I doubt Abraham was the least bit put out by donating 10% of his winnings.   In the middle is the idea of stewardship--that you support your church (and charities) with a well-thought out portion of your earnings.  They'll make suggestions but it's generally been around 3% of people's earnings.

I've decided to take the stewardship approach of "somewhere between 5-10% if I can do that."   My husband is trying to save for a house, so I'm trying to be sensitive to his hard work by not "giving the house away."     I don't advocate the "making it hurt" approach, but making it meaningful to you.  "God loves a cheerful giver," and on the flip side, having worked at a non-profit, I think it's important to make larger donations to a smaller numbers of charities, because spreading it out $5 here, $10 there doesn't do a lot of good because there's a cost to having someone on your mailing list and a cost to the manpower of recording, receipting, and depositing donations.   There's a benefit to having regular "large" donors who you can count on when you make a yearly budget.  I think if you're really excited about a cause, you'll be happy to give generously.  I think "making it hurt," takes the excitement out of that.  Sure we needed money, but we didn't want bitter or grumpy donors.   

The other thing you can do is, of course, to write a 10% or larger donation into your will (as smilla said).  Thus anything you didn't spend in retirement and end-of-life care can be given as a tithe.  I kind of like that approach as a good "Paying off the mafia approach"   "You want the money, God?  Quick and easy death please." :)
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 06:58:26 PM by TerriM »

choppingwood

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 531
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2014, 01:04:05 PM »
I don't practise tithing, but I do make a similar commitment to particular charities. I like to set a fixed amount each year, and give that regardless of whether it is easy to do that year or not. I pay most of it through a monthly payment plan, and then some lump sums to address current issues.

The decision for me is that I am not willing to meet any of my goals on the backs of the truly poor. It is an essential to me and makes the time saving for retirement more meaningful.


Señora Savings

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 179
  • Age: 31
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2014, 01:18:31 PM »
I struggle with the same this as you, wallabyjoe.  I am no longer a member of any religion, but I believe that I have a duty to help those who are less fortunate.  Logic tells me that I should keep only enough to live on for as long as there are people in the world without enough to eat, but I don't do that.  I save most of my money for FI and give some to charity.  I typically alleviate my guilt by planning to leave my money to charity when I die.  But it basically boils down to the fact that I value FI more than I value other people's lives. 

It is interesting to read the number of people who mention what the church and priests want, but no mentions of the big guy himself.  Sunday school was a while ago, but I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't say "keep 90% of your income and follow me".

Franklin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 204
  • Location: Rochester, NY
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2014, 01:36:13 PM »
Another great reason not to have an imaginary friend, er, God.

I give a lot of money to charity, but I analyze each charity carefully to ensure that my money is used effectively.

IMHO, it's a better approach than "tithing" a church so that the Pope (or whomever) can buy (yet another) gold plated toilet seat.

But to each his own, if you feel that the hierarchy of the Catholic church, the disciples of Zeus, or Reverend Cleophus (or whatever late night evangelical "send me money now so I can praise Jesus from the back of my new Lear Jet) can spend the money better, by all means send your hard earned money to them.

Praise God (or Gods), or whatever.

Or you can follow me and join the ONE TRUE CHURCH and obey the ONE TRUE RELIGION.  All Hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), the ONE TRUE GOD.  Pray that you, too, are touched by his noodly appendage!

BTW, aside from being the ONE TRUE GOD, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (we are Christians, btw, we realize that the FSM gave his only begotten son yada, yada, yada) does not expect a tithe.

Yeah, that's right, the Church of the FSM is Mustachian.

Pastararianism.  It's just as realistic as any other religion, without the BS.  Plus, the beer and strippers:

http://www.venganza.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/Collander_sm.jpg


All Hail the FSM!  Ramen.


Thanks for the great banter.  I'm sure you saw the topic title and the OPs disclaimer, but decided to share your incredible sense of humor anyway.  I'm going to do what most Christians do when observing this type of humor, intellect, and maturity ---yawn.

GardenFun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 459
  • Location: Packers Hell - they're everywhere!
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2014, 01:41:00 PM »
Tithing doesn't have to hurt.  If you can give 10% and it doesn't impact your lifestyle, consider yourself lucky/blessed. 

What that luck/blessing does is give you the opportunity to do things that you want to do.  If you want to retire early, good.  If you want to spend more time volunteering, great.  If you have extra funds to form a scholarship or help nieces/nephews with college, go for it.  The opportunities are endless.

I have been involved with church my entire life, attending many congregation finance meetings.  Finance directors/money handlers of churches can sometimes be frivolous because it isn't their personal money.  If you are happy with how your church handles their finances, give freely to them.  If you feel that they can be a bit spendy, cut back on the amount given directly to the church and give the money to another charity - or even to a family or individual in need.   

shelivesthedream

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4889
  • Location: London, UK
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2014, 01:50:24 PM »
I'm not religious but do give to charity because I think we have a duty to help those less fortunate than ourselves. I recently considered stopping my small monthly donation because things are pretty tight financially but I thought about what really matters more: being able to buy a couple more things each month or supporting someone who has none of the things that I take for granted like plumbing or supermarkets. Things may be rough but I am hardly starving. They are.

I think the OP's problem is this: Do you think that the actual giving is important, or the FEELING that you are giving?

If the former, then I would tithe 10% (I disagree with this personally but kind of get it) and leave a massive chunk of your stache to church/charity in your will. They're not goin to have run out of probls to solve in the world by the time you die, and as someone else has said, large donations are a huge boon for charities.

If the latter, then you need to decide what percentage would make you feel like you were giving. But also ask yourself if it is then about you and your feelings more than the giving, and whether handing over more cash will help alleviate the guilt. I would suggest it won't, and that volunteering will make you feel like you're giving more. (I plan to volunteer more after FI but it's a struggle for me because I am so chronically introverted.) If you do end up giving more money to church (rather than 10% to church and the rest to other charities) I would urge you to give your time as well to make sure the money is going to where you think is best.

And to those naysayers, tithing is not stupid - it is a helpful guideline and 'giving' does not always mean 'to church'. Imagine if everyone gave 10% away - the world would be better. And there's no need to be a jerk about it even if you do disagree.

Neustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2014, 02:02:13 PM »
Just a thought - the only reason tithing doesn't feel sacrificial is because you don't waste all your income on silly spending. 

TerriM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 507
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2014, 02:24:49 PM »
It is interesting to read the number of people who mention what the church and priests want, but no mentions of the big guy himself.  Sunday school was a while ago, but I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't say "keep 90% of your income and follow me".

Indeed.  It's hard to argue for FI from a scriptural point of view.  Many passages ranging from "Store up your wealth in heaven" to the story of the man who planned to build bigger buildings to store his great harvest, but who was going to die the next day.   Yet as Jesus travelled, he stayed with people who had homes and were able to provide him and his disciples dinner.  Some people were called to give up everything and follow him, others were called to stay with their families and serve those around them.

On the other hand, back then, children took care of their parents when they were old.  We have not only moved away from that in our society, but to it being the other way around--parents take care of their kids and grandkids now.  The government takes care of the parents. 

Ultimately, whether you believe in God or not, you have to answer to your conscience.  It sounds like a lot of people here are trying to find a balance in what they give and what they save.  At least by being frugal, you can be honest about the balance--your frugality is a sacrifice, for some easier than others, and with that you have more to give.  I think though, I'd much rather have the phrase "Give until you're happy" than "Give until it hurts."  I think when you see what you're accomplishing in terms of how you're changing people's lives, it's easier to see the right balance that makes everyone happy.

mak1277

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 788
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2014, 02:26:56 PM »
Just a thought - the only reason tithing doesn't feel sacrificial is because you don't waste all your income on silly spending.

+1 on this.

One thing to consider is an offering above and beyond your tithe.  That way you're giving to your church as you feel is appropriate and then you can choose other causes to give to in addition.  We tithe, which supports the operations of the church.  In addition, we give separately to support missionaries that our church sponsors.  We also give to other charities throughout the year as we are moved to do so.

JJsfr

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 243
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2014, 02:29:10 PM »
We tithe about 10% of our income and much of our time to the church, but living fairly frugal and putting another 50% toward financial goals, we don't notice it really 'hurting' like you have said. I don't think we set out to give 10%; we just found a number we were both comfortable and uncomfortable with at this time (as we are still paying off student loans) and went with it. You just have to figure out what feels right for you two because the 10% rule doesn't really feel right to you. Our donation will probably change as other life/financial milestones are reached.

Franklin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 204
  • Location: Rochester, NY
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2014, 02:44:59 PM »
It is interesting to read the number of people who mention what the church and priests want, but no mentions of the big guy himself.  Sunday school was a while ago, but I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't say "keep 90% of your income and follow me".

In my Bible he says this:    Away with you, you pettifogging Pharisee lawyers! You give to God a tenth of herbs, like mint, dill, and cumin, but the important duties of the Law — judgement, mercy, honesty — you have neglected. Yet these you ought to have performed, without neglecting the others.

It started as a Jewish tradition, seems like he endorses it.

cheapdad

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2014, 03:45:13 PM »
My wife and I had similar questions about tithing as you do.  We ended up decided that we want to give now and also give after FI.  We choose to give 10% of what we live on away and ignore the money put into savings.  Then after FI, we will continue to tithe the same amount as we do now.  We could save more now and plan to just give it away when we die or when we are rich, but that doesn't really seem like the point when we read the bible.  We also usually give larger gifts if we find a cause we like or if I make more money than expected with overtime and we would like to share the good fortune.

Hopefully this helps you decide.  I don't believe that the law of it is the important thing.  It is more about what is happening in your heart when you do it.  If you aren't a cheerful giver, or if you are reluctant to give, then there is no reward in that.

Runge

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 219
  • Location: TX
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2014, 04:02:07 PM »
It is interesting to read the number of people who mention what the church and priests want, but no mentions of the big guy himself.  Sunday school was a while ago, but I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't say "keep 90% of your income and follow me".

In my Bible he says this:    Away with you, you pettifogging Pharisee lawyers! You give to God a tenth of herbs, like mint, dill, and cumin, but the important duties of the Law — judgement, mercy, honesty — you have neglected. Yet these you ought to have performed, without neglecting the others.

It started as a Jewish tradition, seems like he endorses it.

Yep. It started out as a way to provide a source of income for the Levites who had religious duties for the Israelites. These duties did not produce monetary gain like raising sheep, growing crops, selling of goods. Because of this the other tribes of Israel were expected to tithe to the Levites for their religious duties.

The same can be said for today's churches. The pastors and lay people who are employed by the church should be compensated by their work just like any other place of employment. Money is also needed for activities and building funds. That's an integral part of tithing. Plus, attending church and participating in the activities that it may provide for free without tithing seem kind of selfish to me. Logically it should make sense to tithe while attending a church, even if you don't believe in the biblical teachings.

tracylayton

  • Guest
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2014, 04:16:21 PM »
I do give $100 per month to the church I attend, but I donate a lot more to charitable organizations that I feel are helping the needy. My parents both tithe 10%. My total giving/charitable donations are not close to that level. I hope to increase in the future.

avp1234

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2014, 04:22:07 PM »
Another great reason not to have an imaginary friend, er, God.

I give a lot of money to charity, but I analyze each charity carefully to ensure that my money is used effectively.

IMHO, it's a better approach than "tithing" a church so that the Pope (or whomever) can buy (yet another) gold plated toilet seat.

But to each his own, if you feel that the hierarchy of the Catholic church, the disciples of Zeus, or Reverend Cleophus (or whatever late night evangelical "send me money now so I can praise Jesus from the back of my new Lear Jet) can spend the money better, by all means send your hard earned money to them.

Praise God (or Gods), or whatever.

Or you can follow me and join the ONE TRUE CHURCH and obey the ONE TRUE RELIGION.  All Hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), the ONE TRUE GOD.  Pray that you, too, are touched by his noodly appendage!

BTW, aside from being the ONE TRUE GOD, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (we are Christians, btw, we realize that the FSM gave his only begotten son yada, yada, yada) does not expect a tithe.

Yeah, that's right, the Church of the FSM is Mustachian.

Pastararianism.  It's just as realistic as any other religion, without the BS.  Plus, the beer and strippers:

http://www.venganza.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/Collander_sm.jpg


All Hail the FSM!  Ramen.

I love MMM and read it probably way too much.  And, I never post.  But this was just rude. You're not even funny.  The OP didn't ask for this, so why show such disrespect and hate?  Not to mention it's of no value.

Turkey Leg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 202
  • Location: US
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2014, 04:27:16 PM »
All we have is God's. It's nice He lets us keep so much.

TerriM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 507
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2014, 06:55:25 PM »
All we have is God's. It's nice He lets us keep so much.

+1 :)

Of course, you can't take it with you when you go....

DK

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 199
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2014, 07:25:43 PM »
I think the big thing is being a 'cheerful giver', with the aim of giving 10%. I don't necessarily restrict it to church, but other charities as well. Most to church though. I do usually calculate it based on more of a 'net' amount. So if I put in 18K in my 401k, I do not take 10% of that, but when i withdraw it down the road, then I'll take 10% out.

fartface

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Wisconsin
    • money apple
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2014, 07:41:51 PM »

I love MMM and read it probably way too much.  And, I never post.  But this was just rude. You're not even funny.  The OP didn't ask for this, so why show such disrespect and hate?  Not to mention it's of no value.

+1

I give about 1%/year to church and charity.  I AM a government employee who teaches full-time, so contributing my time and talent to eliminating illiteracy is MY biggest contribution to society -- thank you very much.

hodedofome

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1218
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Texas
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2014, 08:13:54 PM »
In my interpretation of the Bible, 10% was the rule in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament it was 'everything belongs to God.' So IMO, 10% is the bare minimum and we should be asking God what He wants us to give. My wife and I tithe 10% of our gross and give to missionaries and other stuff on top of that.

Has it set us back on savings? That depends on your perspective. In the natural, it sure appears that mathematically I'm not saving as much. But in the supernatural, I believe God gave us our wonderful jobs and my ability to trade stocks and be an intelligent investor. So how do I not know that God isn't blessing our faithfulness many times in return? What if I give $15k this year and God gives us back $150k?

When I get some more time I'll post some verses supporting what I just said. It's too late tonight and I'd rather spend the time hanging out with my amazing wife.

southern granny

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 534
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2014, 08:23:40 PM »
We give a 10% tithe to the church.  We also give gifts to the church (donations above the 10%) for various special programs.  We volunteer there one night a week to work the soup kitchen.  We also give to several charities.  I have a united way donation deducted from my paycheck and we have several charities that we send at least one donation a year to.  These aren't large amounts, usually $50.   I never pass a salvation army kettle without putting in a dollar.   We are middle class, but I still feel very blessed and want to help where I can.  We also do non monetary things such as donating blood and being on the bone marrow registry.   Giving to others gives me a really good feeling.  We give more money to charity now that we can afford it, but even when times were not so good we did our tithe and it never felt like a sacrifice.   

Allie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1829
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2014, 09:36:08 PM »
If you are struggling with the fact that your tithe isn't a struggle, then take an extra step.  It would seem the mustachian thing to do would be to put the wallet down and get busy.  If you are putting your sweat and hard work into other tasks (home repair, transportation, outdoor exercise) it would make sense to use the same principle for your charitable giving.  Instead of spending a Sunday watching a football game or on a hike or reading a book, use your time to help others.  I work for non-profits and we always love the work groups who helped rebuild our buildings, prep the garden, paint, deliver meals, provide chore services or company to seniors.  It's not always "fun" but it is rewarding and challenging.  Which seems to be exactly what you are looking for.

Beric01

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1156
  • Age: 29
  • Location: SF Bay Area
  • Law-abiding cyclist
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2014, 09:48:49 PM »
I love MMM and read it probably way too much.  And, I never post.  But this was just rude. You're not even funny.  The OP didn't ask for this, so why show such disrespect and hate?  Not to mention it's of no value.

+2, and I'm not religious.

One question is whether there is any flexibility on what "tithing" consists of? I really value helping others, but choose to do that mainly with things other than money. For example, I volunteer time to various local organizations. I think this is a good way to give back to your community in a non-monetary way. Once I FIRE, I have full intentions to give monetarily as well.

SoulNotSoldier

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #43 on: December 08, 2014, 10:48:46 PM »
Guys and gals, long time reader of the blog and forums.  First time poster.  Just have to say, it made my day to read this thread and be reminded of all the generosity out there - and the diverse background thereof.  You're all doing wonderful things, not just with your monetary means, but also with time and talents contributed to making the world a better place.  Thank you all for uplifting my spirits tonight!

TerriM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 507
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #44 on: December 08, 2014, 11:11:15 PM »

One question is whether there is any flexibility on what "tithing" consists of? I really value helping others, but choose to do that mainly with things other than money. For example, I volunteer time to various local organizations. I think this is a good way to give back to your community in a non-monetary way. Once I FIRE, I have full intentions to give monetarily as well.

Absolutely.  Tithing is just about giving--there are many ways to give--people frequently talk about it as "time talent and treasure."  When I was self-employed working hourly and my husband was a student, we talked about substituting hours instead of $$ in order to tithe while making ends meet.   Right now, I don't think of it as part of our tithe, but we give away significant amounts of kid's clothes to organizations helping needy families and pregnant women after our own kids have grown out of them.   From many organizations' point of view, if they can't get volunteers, they have to hire someone, so an hour of time is somewhat exchangeable with a certain number of $$.  (Though there's a limit to that--most orgs need some amount of experienced staff to make sure that the volunteers are managed.)

And I think most people are flexible about where the "tithe" goes.  We do not separate Church vs. charitable organizations.  It's all one pot for us.  My conscience gets a little tweaked about giving to our kid's school.  I figure we're reaping the benefits, so it is really a donation?  But others are benefitting too I figure.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 11:21:27 PM by TerriM »

DCJrMustachian

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Washington DC
  • Geek, skater, pilot, stilter, techie, vegan
    • DC Power Stilts
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2014, 12:59:26 AM »
If god put us on this Earth, why should we have to pay him to stay here?

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2014, 04:05:31 AM »
My thoughts, from a UK perspective:

10% tithe was traditional here before industrialisation. It was given to the Church, and a portion of that money was used for 'poor relief', I guess an early form of welfare.

I have read old Church accounts and seen payments and gifts being given to people in my parish. In a late Georgian ledger I found the Church bought, 'Candles, wafers' and then the next entry was 'bonnet and swaddling cloth for Widow Webster' (who we assume had recently had a child and obviously had no husband).

Fast forward to today, and, in the UK, the Church of England is no longer responsible for looking after people in this way. We all do it through our taxes (which, yes, pay for other stuff as well). I received my statement of what my taxes were spent on just last week, and about 1/4 of those taxes were spent on welfare, and IIRC 1/5 on the old age pension, both things previously covered (ineffectively, to say the least) by the 10% tithe. My personal tax rate was about 28%, I think, but obviously this excludes purchase tax, car tax, council tax (a local tax here). 

I therefore feel that I have done my 'tithing' (and I would like to note that I am very happy that my taxes are spent alleviating poverty).

I do also give to charity, but only approx 1% of our income. I chose charities carefully based on where I get the most bang for my buck (Bill Gate's 2014 letter is great on this). I chose education for women, and free contraception. Educate the women, most other issues (such a high birth rates and corresponding high infant mortality rates, lifelong poverty) abate. And I don't think anyone should have children they don't want just because they do not have access to contraception.

But I guess it depends what your Church does with the tithe. A recent trip through the deep south (small sample, I know) made it appear as though some churches in the US spent huge sums of money on large brick building with massive tarmac'd car parks, whilst members the congregation lived in what I would honestly call shacks. I hope that is not the case and they are collecting money to assist the needy, but if so maybe they need to work on their PR. (Loved the South BTW, and saw much luxury as well. It just struck me how much more sturdy the church building looked compared to the homes around them, especially considering the extreme weather they had to endure (extreme to my northern european eyes). 

UnleashHell

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6740
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Florida
  • Chapter IV - A New ... er.. something
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2014, 04:45:26 AM »
so references to FSM are disrespectful? Theres as much proof for that as God and it stands up to as much scrutiny as any other religion.
Plus the poster who started that also stated how they give to charity.

Congrats to the ones who called out a charity giver who prefers to view FSM as a diety. Very compassionate and understanding. Your sky buddy must be proud of you.


RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11705
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #48 on: December 09, 2014, 06:40:56 AM »
+1 with the advicist

Canada has much higher taxes than the US (except maybe Alberta, because of the oil money).  Historically the tithe was 10% to the church and 10% to the local lord - so 20%.  Here I pay more than 20% in taxes, which cover both the functions of the secular rulers and the clergy.  However, Canada has much stronger safety nets than the US, so I think that the money I would give to charities if I lived in the US (that make up for the poor safety net) is going to the government here.

This does not mean that I do not give to charities - I do in both time/labour and money - but I do not see the need to get to 10%.  I think that the posters who are doing the full 10% have all been from the US, and if I were in their position I would most likely be at 10% as well.  But they should not think less of those in other countries who do not give the 10%, the social circumstances are totally different.

RMD

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 158
  • Location: Overland Park, KS
Re: Tithing with a 'Stache
« Reply #49 on: December 09, 2014, 07:48:31 AM »
If you are struggling with the fact that your tithe isn't a struggle, then take an extra step.  It would seem the mustachian thing to do would be to put the wallet down and get busy.  If you are putting your sweat and hard work into other tasks (home repair, transportation, outdoor exercise) it would make sense to use the same principle for your charitable giving.  Instead of spending a Sunday watching a football game or on a hike or reading a book, use your time to help others.  I work for non-profits and we always love the work groups who helped rebuild our buildings, prep the garden, paint, deliver meals, provide chore services or company to seniors.  It's not always "fun" but it is rewarding and challenging.  Which seems to be exactly what you are looking for.

+1  This is what I was going to suggest.