Any Christians out there actively figuring their 10% tithe into their financial planning? What percentage goes toward savings/investments? Also, if the question doesn’t apply to you, please don’t turn my inquiry into a philosophical debate about tithing or faith in general. My DMs are always open for those discussions. Just trying to get some advice about money management with tithing incorporated. Thank you!

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I also tithe 10% that hits the bank account, plus 10%-ish of any other random money that comes my way (odd jobs, money given to me for xmas).

Remember to not get too scared/legalistic about it - cultivating trust and generosity in your heart is the point. If tithing starts to be a source of stress or fear, stop and pray and remember you are loved and accepted by God even if you don’t tithe another penny a day in your life. Ask him to help you have a healthier relationship with your money and remember it all belongs to him anyway.

It will be a joy to see what happens with that money when it is given away ☺️ whether your church’s air conditioning works perfectly on a hot day (maybe you helped pay the repair man!) or you helped a high schooler travel to another country to experience how varied the global church is, tithing eventually turns into a joy.

likeuplifting

Well said BAH2. It more important to give with full heart than be obligation.
I’m a recently converted Christian and have been having a hard time tithing. I was giving periodic offers but they were not 10%.
I’m going through a challenging financial situation now and despite of that, I just decided to tithe and I never felt so in peace about it. 🙏

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My spouse and I disagreed for the early part of our marriage on tithing with me wanting to tithe after tax vs the pretax that my spouse wanted. Over time though, we have been blessed with much professional and investment success and we switched to tithing off gross as a minimum and then giving more as we feel led. It’s worth noting that giving appreciated capital assets is the best tax strategy so we went from solely investing in index funds to investing in a wide array of individual stocks because some would inevitably be winners (which we would tithe and never have to pay capital gains tax on) and our losers would be sold to harvest losses. In terms of giving, we don’t like to be more than 5% of our church’s budget so we spread our tithe across our local church, Parachurch organizations, missions groups, and Christian non profits. We don’t count Donations to our kids schools and non Christian non profits as part of our tithe.

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Tithe 10% on money that hits the bank account. My thoughts are I will tithe 10% on my 401k when I withdraw in retirement.

likehelpful

Same!!

Can I ask what the rules around tithing are?

In Islam, we give our zakat (2.5%) on savings only. So if you don’t have any savings you’re not required to give any money. I usually calculate a projection of how much I think I’ll make in the next year (based on contributions, rate of return, previous spending habits) and budget that amount monthly. I donate throughout the year but the bulk of my donation happens in our holy month of Ramadan.

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I’ve learned a lot too! I think one important distinction is zakat is for the needy (there are specific criteria to be eligible to receive zakat) and is more of a community tax to help feed, clothe, educate or generally support the poor. Mosques do not qualify for zakat and are usually supported by sadaqah, which is additional charity that is recommended but not mandated. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam 😊

I tithe my 10% on my pre-taxed income first then budget everything that remains.

I live at home so I max out my Roth & 401k each year. I also have other sources of income to supplement bc that’s a lot of money to invest & my checks are really low for a period of time.

I know that’s not really the case for everyone so this response may have been useless 😬

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Not useless. I’ll take all the insight I can get. Thank you!

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I would only tithe 10% if I was comfortable and debt free (other than a mortgage). Don’t be tithing large sums until you are doing alright yourself.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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When I do my budget my tithe is the top item…I tithe 10% of my gross income this includes any bonuses I get and if I get a tax refund I don’t tithe off of that since I have paid tithes on my gross income and not net income. My tithes is automated and I normally round up to the nearest $5 or $10. I do about 16-17% to my 401k which will max me out and then max out my Roth IRA before bills and personal savings

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You’re welcome! As my salary has gone up I’ve gotten more aggressive; when I first started out I was doing my 10% tithe but only like 5% to my 401K and I didn’t have an IRA. It looks like most people on this tread tithe post tax which is fine, but I took the FirstFruit to mean at the gross level…I’ve been working full time for 6-7 years and this is my first year maxing out my 401k so you can do it to! ☺️

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I’m catholic and I tithe on my post tax income and any bonuses post tax as well. Its gets tricky with RSU since thats a large chunk of my income, but I guess i’ll just tithe on the net profit (after capital gains) when I sell investments

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Thanks for sharing, FM1! I tithe on post-tax bonus as well.

Not a philosophical question, just a question about different denominations. Is tithing a thing outside of the LDS church? I was raised Catholic and this was never a thing.

likehelpful

10% tithing for Catholics has also always been a thing

likesmart

From what I know, you pay your 10% from your income ( I do after tax is taken out: pay Caesar what is his and Pay God what is his) , and follow the 50/30/20 rule to the best of my ability

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Thanks for sharing, MC1! Great ending point. Having a giving spirit should naturally translate in other areas beyond the church.

One thing that’s worth modeling is the point at which your tithe (which is tax deductible) makes it more advantageous to start itemizing deductions vs taking the standard deduction. In 2022 the standard deduction is $12950 for individuals and $25900 for married filing jointly. Once the sum total of your taxable deductions exceeds that point (the big ones would likely be mortgage interest, SALT, and charitable donations) then you’ll want to start itemizing.

On the other end, it’s worth noting where the alternative minimum tax exemptions start to disappear (meaning you can no longer fully take deductions out of your AGI regardless of how much you donate). In 2022 the Phase out begins at $539k for an individual return and $1.079M for a joint.

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Thank you SO MUCH for breaking this down for me! There are things in here that I’ve neglected to take note of. In another year or two I’ll need to itemize. Good to know ahead of time.

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I use the "envelope method" for my budgeting and put 10% of the top line (salary income) into my charitable giving envelope. Right now I "owe" a lot of money to charity, but donating appreciated stock removes a lot of the sting when I do get around to giving.

likehelpful

Ah ok, gotcha! Thanks for sharing 😊.

I’m not religious so really out of curiosity - how is all the tithe contributions used and who decides it? Eg when tax is collected by IRS they are supposed to be used for defense, education, infrastructure etc., what do the churches do with all the money they got?

likefunny

Theres generally three models of church structure (called polity).

The first is episcopal polity, which is where the leadership comes from the top down (think pope who can call the shots for the whole Catholic Church or Anglican Church where the head is the Archbishop of Canterbury). This is governed by the view that God has chosen these leaders to carry on the work of the original apostles (apostolic succession). Think monty python where the king talks about how he became king because he was divinely ordained. This is the closest thing to a monarchy as you can get in church polity. These churches usually provide financial disclosure to their individual congregations but they don’t have to give a voice to anyone as decision making is centralized, often not even at the church level.

On the other extreme is a congregational model where churches are generally independently run and operated, not bowing to a higher body. This is closest to a direct democracy as there is in church polity as there are checks and balances between members and lay leaders and pastors. Typically in congregational churches, budgets have to be approved by the members so everyone in theory has a say and a vote. Non denominational churches fall in this bucket although many congregational churches still organize on denominational lines (eg baptists) but there is limited authority at the denominational level.

The last is presbyterian polity which is more like a representative democracy. Here certain elders are elected and then once elected they have full power to run the church. Disclosure again generally happens but decision making all happens at elder level.

Practically, in my view it’s a miracle that any churches with episcopal polity can exist because far removed leadership often gets out of touch and it becomes very bureaucratic. This form of polity in my view is one of the main reasons why many mainline churches have shrunk so much in size over the years in the west. Their centralized leadership lost touch with the people in the churches and failed to lead the flock well. These are also really hard to govern. If you think about the diversity within the Catholic Church for instance, you have super poor folks in the third world, rich people in the west, and everything in between. The United States in terms of diversity pales in comparison and many would say that the differences among americans makes the US ungovernable, even with a federalist system that pushes powers to the state and local levels. Now try keeping together the Catholic church or the Anglican Communion which operates in hundreds of countries in a centralized manner. A miracle it can happen at all, especially when you think that the longest continuing institution in the world is the Catholic Church and it’s not even close. It has outlived every state government by thousands of years. Literally, a miracle.

Congregational churches have the benefit of being locally run and in touch with needs of the congregation although they risk getting too bogged down in debate and can’t make decisions. If you hear about churches splitting over the choice in the color of the carpet, this is a quintessential congregational issue. When you have too many decision makers, it becomes difficult to ever make one. when Congregational churches get bigger, it ends up functionally being more like a Presbyterian model because a few key people will do much of the work, but there are real touch points that all individual members have to insert themselves in the process.

likesmarthelpful

I’m happy to see this being discussed! I do 10% of my take home pay and then I’ll do 10% when I if and when I sell my stock/take out 401k

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I watch this YouTuber Marissa Lyda’s monthly budget and I believe she tithes on after-tax income.

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Thanks, M1! I’ll check her out this week.

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I tithe on take home pay and do extra offerings as things come up. I will tithe on my retirement withdrawals which is why I personally tithe on post tax.

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A1, I appreciate you sharing. Makes so much sense to pair it that way and I will do the same after reading these responses. I’ve been tithing on take home and on bonuses, but hadn’t given a lot of thought to retirement tithing.

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Tithing is an Old Testament principle

Tithing is REQUIRED in the Old Testament not in the new.

funny

By paying social security and medicare taxes each year on gross income, I think I have tithed my way to heaven.

Mark 12:41-44.

Yes. I am a faithful tithepayer as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. I have paid and always will pay my 10% tithing and it is a fixed line item on my monthly budget . From a financial planning perspective, my wife and I have decided that what is pulled from my paycheck for 401k we don’t consider part of our income and plan to pay a full 10% as we withdraw from our retirement accounts after retirement. To us, that is what made the most sense for paying an accurate tithe when we start to withdraw instead of trying to figure out what we had and hadn’t paid on already. Everyone goes about it differently of course, but we have liked that way of going about it. It gives us the blessing of good conscience of being full tithepayers our whole lives.

The guideline that we are given is to pay on “Annual Increase” which is left to interpretation

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