PDA

View Full Version : Budget Busted Ready to cry


Lisa loves Pooh
08-25-2004, 05:43 PM
Okay--

We are tithing kind of people--totally give $$ to our church. Well, we upped our contribution 2 months ago and were "rewarded" with a nice pay raise for hubby.

Needless to say--we have done so much this year that we have reached our breaking point.

I am a stay at home homeschooling mom. Husband is a software engineer. We just did a home equity loan in the spring and put in a pool, redid, our floors, and remodeled our kitchen. The return on our "investment" is that we are double what we put in. Mostly due to land value of our home. So those decisions, though expensive--were good ones. Unfortunatley--it's the non-house decision that bring us to where we are.

Now here is where we just plain stink.

We have been overspending for a couple of months in various categories on our budget. So much so that we are now $1200 in credit card debt. Additionally, hubby bought a laptap pc b/c he was working on his thesis. And computer thesis' work sometimes a bit better if you can bring your computer to your prof--so the story goes. PC is non-returnable and hubby switched options on his masters and will no longer require the thesis. The PC is on a non-interest for 12 months cc.

I was actually considering looking for jobs which is not easy to do as I would have to coordinate with husband's schedule and it is just not going to be worth the effort (in other words, 15 hours of min. wage work--will not have enough value in our budget--in other words--barely make a dent).

So my budget thoughts--and I would especially love to hear from those who have been in similar budget bust situations...I am not pleading a sob story--we are a family with 2 small children and have our hands in too many places at the moment. And I am solely looking for assistance in grasping the concept of living within my means...

So I am thinking of temporarily removing the tithe, vacation savings, and other superfluous and temporarily unnecessary categories. That gives me between $500 and $600 per month that could have our situation "cleaned up" by years end. (For comparsion--I would bring home about half this amount after taxes.)

To avoid the same situation from re-occuring, if anyone has any thoughts on how you and your spouse AGREED on handling purchase (do you have a maximum--no permission needed amount, how long do you wait for big ticket purchases, et cetera).


If anyone has heard of Crown Ministries--we have participated in that program 2 years ago...While we used some concepts we haven't used all which I believe is how we got into our tempest in a teapot.


Thank you for hearing me out--please no flames--helpful hints would be greatly appreciated!

DMRick
08-25-2004, 06:05 PM
So I am thinking of temporarily removing the tithe, vacation savings, and other superfluous and temporarily unnecessary categories.

No flames...sometimes stuff happens. That said, you consider the tithe superfluous and unnecessary? Didn't you start off saying you were rewarded in a pay hike?

In the way way past (when young and having kids at home), we have been in the same situation..we spent over our budget. Never thought of stopping the tithe (only because if you are a believer, and you tithe, it's not an option..it's what belongs to Him. If you aren't a believer, I'm not sure why you would be tithing anyway). We never even thought that was an option..but you do have other options.

Cut down on your food budget. I always found that the easiest when money was short. If you eat out, cut that down to minimum. If hubby buys lunch, let him brown bag it.

Perhaps you can sell the laptop..yes, it would be at a lose, but maybe you can at least pay it off. Definately, if things have gotten that tight, the vacation should be put off...perhaps the vacation ought to be in the backyard, in the new pool.

As a sahm, maybe you can do some babysitting for those who have to work (perhaps after school).

NikiM20
08-25-2004, 06:14 PM
Did you get a home equity line of credit? If so if you have enough equity built back up take some of that money and pay some bills or cut out some small stuff, get rid of call waiting, dont buy bottled water, get rid of long distance and buy prepaid phonecards as far as me and DH agreeing on purchases, anything over $100 we discuss and think about it overnight. If i can think of anything else i will let you know.

Nikiprincess:

Lisa loves Pooh
08-25-2004, 06:15 PM
I did not mean to imply that the tithe was superfluos and unnecessary. The whole we have dug ourselves into is not compensated by the raise.

While we have been giving money for years--it is the most substantial portion to get us out of our situation. And we would immediately resume it at conclusion.

Our grocery budget is cut as tight as it can be given some dietary constraints in our household.

Our vacation next year, if we find we need a getaway can be done in our back yard :) -- we can also visit family for that travel urge if we find we need to put miles between us and our house.

In Crown--I had read of situations where people did suspend tithe--and it was for the sole purpose of getting rid of their debt as expeditiously as possible as there was no other way.

I wish our other budget categories were worth more--but they are just not enough.

Local_Girl
08-25-2004, 06:24 PM
Hi Lisa loves Pooh,

No flames here. Just my .02...tithing is usually described as 10% of your income or increase, though perhaps it is different in different churches. In our family, we believe that the payment of tithing is a manifestation of faith, rather than merely fulfilling a financial obligation...that when tithing is paid, blessings will follow, financial or otherwise. It sounds as though you believe your family has received blessings as the result of paying your tithe. If it were me, I would not stop paying a tithe. I need the blessings!

Also, I understand about not wanting to try to find a part time job if you wouldn't be making enough to make it worthwhile...my DH and I are in the same situation. He makes more in a couple of hours of OT (and he gets OT almost daily) than I would make in 2-3 days of part time work. It would make no sense for him to cut out the OT to watch the kids so I could go to a low paying job.

Not sure if this has been helpful...but I wish you the best!:)

Lisa loves Pooh
08-25-2004, 06:53 PM
I think I will scrap what I can out of the budget--salvage some tithe and make up for the rest in volunteering at my church.

We all just have to push through however we can :)

ReneeQ
08-25-2004, 06:59 PM
I agree, I also would not suspend the tithe. Crown teaches that everything we have is God's, even all our money, and we should handle it ALL in the way most pleasing to Him. You made a mistake, we all do, and you are in a bit of debt right now. It may take you longer to pay it back than you would like, but chalk that up to a lesson learned. Sometimes I feel the best when I still give my tithe during the hardest times.

God bless you in your decision!

sconnell
08-25-2004, 07:08 PM
Not a judgment, just an encouragment.
I just wanted to encourage you to keep looking for other ways of saving money. I know tithing can be very hard, my family can testify to this. Sometimes it is more tempting when there is less money to tithe from. But remember why you tithe in the first place. Many times, God has rewarded my family because we have been faithful to Him.

Lisa loves Pooh
08-25-2004, 07:33 PM
That is pretty true---

All my blessings could dry up and then where would I be?

I guess we never know what His plan is do we?

Plus--if I ditch donations--it would make it a little hard to do the fundraising I need to do for team in training as I would no longer have a budget for donations.

I did remove my girls from a program that we were going to do with our homeschooling group. I went to the orientation and had this overwhelming sensation that I shouldn't be there. We are out about $100, but will save $50 a month for 3 months tuition.

The laptop has to be paid off in a year...the credit card we can "sit" on and pay an above minimum payment.

Groceries--we compromised--our "health" foods that can only be purchased at the health food store will be purchased that way and we are going to switch to Wal-Mart for necessities that we still consume like fruit and veggies and non-food items that we can buy anywhere. Should save us money in that area.

The good news is that even though our food budget is still out of whack (haven't gotten the monthly budget down pat on the food/non-food, yet)---in one month--our food expense went down by about $300+ due to our new healthy eating. So we are making some progress.

I guess it takes time before a budget becomes perfect, if it ever gets that way :)

Lisa loves Pooh
08-25-2004, 07:36 PM
Thanks for the encouragement and Godly perspective everyone..took some faith to post my predicament and I am most gracious for the responses!

Now I am welling up with tears of joy :cloud9: (they don't have a tears of joy smiley).

travelbug
08-25-2004, 08:34 PM
I can't help but think that the wonderful encouragement you've gotten in the previous responses is God's way of encouraging you to hang in there and keep putting Him first. It took a lot of courage for you to look at your situation for what it is and describe it so candidly here. I'd like to be one more voice to encourage you to continue your tithe and pray for wisdom on where else you can tweak your budget for awhile. He won't let you down! :D

Carrie Ellis
08-25-2004, 08:54 PM
You sound like a wonderful person!!

I wish we were only $1200 in debt! My husband was deployed last year and our income was cut in half (he is a reservist). We are in the process of a home equity loan. We have a lot of equity in our home and if we should move we would have paid the bills off anyway that we are using w/ our equity loan.

I would consider putting that $1200 into your equity loan if you could still. This happens to probably about everyone one time or another...you just learn not to do it again.

I am a work out of the home/SAHM to 4 kids and the older two I am homeschooling this year.

I had to make a hard decision yesterday not to put my younger 2 into preschool (twin 3 yo). I was going to have to serve on 2 committees and put lots of time in (plus I am HS the older two). I was stressing and everyone was saying "it is too much for you". Well I kept saying I will be ok. My friend asked me if I had prayed about it and I said "a lot" but I kind of need an email from God! Well yesterday I checked my account before going to the preschool meeting. We were going to have to pay for 2 months worth last night (and I have 2 kids in!!). Well I had 0 money in that account!!!! I said welp that is God's email for me not to do this!! We have money in another account but I do not like to touch it!!!

So that it is my story about how God sometimes has to knock us over the head to get us to listen!

Good luck and everything will be ok!

shirleyb
08-25-2004, 09:43 PM
Lisa,
I can't tell you what to do. We've been through some very tough times, and I know we don't tithe enough, so I certainly can't preach. All I can suggest is that you pray on it. Put the problem in God's hands.
Shirley

jgates
08-25-2004, 09:59 PM
Tithing is a real hard concept for me to grasp as all but one of our churches here are contributions set by choice by each person/family. There is only one that I am aware of around here that heavily stresses tithing. So if one family wants to put $5 in a week, another wants to put in $50, another makes a $100,000 contribution to a new chapel, another makes no donation - none of them are turned away. God loves all of us.

I am not telling you to stop tithing, as it seems to be a heavy part of your beliefs, but I would seriously look at decreasing the amount until you are comfortably stable. (Comfortably as defined by how YOU feel when you are writing out the bills). If it is that important to you, you can keep track of what you would have given during that time & make it up at a later date - increase later on by $50/mo until you have made up the difference for example. If you become stressed and wrought because of what to you is a financial strain, it will affect your marriage and your children.

pediatric-rnp
08-25-2004, 10:01 PM
I think you have to pray on this, which you already have done, and follow your heart. Please do not flame me for what I have to offer.....We also tithe and are very strong believers in this , however I believe in a loving God, not a punishing God who is going to withhold blessings at a time when you & your family may need them the most. Afterall, He knows what you have been going thru, having heard all your prayers. I think your idea of volunteering at your church is a wonderful way to help make up the difference right now - I know we have too few volunteers at in our parish - always the same people. And as they say - time is money. You are trying to get yourself out of a tight spot right now, and the sooner you are able to do this, the sooner you will be able to return to your increased tithing amount.

A thought - are you in a situation where you could refinance your mortgage - I haven't kept up with the rates since we did this last year, but this may be an option to consolidate everything.

janie91
08-25-2004, 10:31 PM
I just wanted to join in the encouragment! I am so thrilled to see people strong in their faith out there. I would agree with the above posts regarding the tithe as an act of faith. You are only returning to God a portion of what he has graciously blessed you with and whoever is faithful with the least will be faithful with much. I think you show your complete dependence on God and his provision for your family through your giving. I am also a homeschool Mom of 3 and consider that a wonderful blessing and hope you are enjoying your time with your children.

As for saving money, do you have an Aldi grocery store in your area? I recently started shopping there again and most of the prices are hard to beat.

Could you clean out closests and have a rummage sale? Sometimes they can be very profitable if you have some time to invest in preparing for one.

Keep up the good work!

adriannabannana
08-25-2004, 11:29 PM
It can be so hard to develop a flexible budget, and it's even tougher to keep all the members of your family in line with it. I think everyone goes through this at one time or another...

One thing you could look at to get that debt down is having a garage or tag sale. In fact, look around the house and see if there's anything that might sell on Ebay as well. I've done that for big expenses that've come up here and there, and it's been a great resource for scrounging up money quickly. You'd be amazed at how much some of the house hold clutter can be worth! The bonus is that you can reclaim some attic, basement, garage or closet space as well.

As far as how to adminstrate your budget, my Hubby and I had real battles over that one. We finally agreed that I'd put together the monthly budget and go over it with him prior to the start of each month. Nobody spends a dime without it being approved by both parties, which means detailed discussions over everything. It's worth it though, we've seen a tremendous improvement in our savings and our ability to live below our means. ;)

Good luck, and know that God will see you through.

Lisa loves Pooh
08-26-2004, 05:14 AM
Thank you all for the encouragement!

We've been wanting to tithe for 2 years (since starting crown) and it has always been "when we have more money". Our budget was "breaking" two months ago when we starting tithing on our net pay (baby steps). Since doing that, I found a new way of healthful eating that was healthier than before (and I've tried giving up sweets and stuff--we all have our vices). For reasons unexplained--in the years that I have tried varioius diets, this new healthful eating approach is working. Much the same as when I have had other "faith-building" advances in my life, bad habits that were unstoppable--just all of a sudden stopped for me. Plus one month ago, I was adamant about my daughters doing this homeschool co-op thing thinking it was inmportant. Thankfully a woman sends out faith encouragement from the homeschooling group. And it was about thinking we have everything under control when we should let Him lead us.

The tithe is not just to church, it is all donations for our year--while the bulk portion goes to our church...we use the others for other donations such as purchasing my materials for my team in training fundraising campaign, buying gifts at Christmas for the less fortunate, et cetera. I LOVE helping to provide for other people--and it would be tough to back down on that.

Plus, the great thing about our church is they do practice what they preach. 10% of their offertory income goes out the door to charity right off of the top. This does not include other monies generated from their thrift store and book store (all profits after expenseses go to charity).

Additionally, we have seen the "fruits" of our commitment to God in such a short time. And the devil can have his hand in this trying to convince me to back down. True while guy may not withhold blessings it is true that the devil does not bless. God gave us free will and that makes room for sin. By removing temporarily useless categories (budget item for pest control when they gave us a "free" year due to not servicing us correctly last year) and finding alternate methods of doing things (finding free or reduced fee rabies shots instead of getting them at the vet for astronomical rates)...we can keep the tithe, further get that grocery budget to an appropriate number, and even increase our clothing budget--which even by Crown standards, was too tiny. I'm all for finding a deal, but even our budget was a joke in that category considering two shrinking parents and two growing children.

Thank you for the blessings!

p.s. I'm working on the garage sale--our garage is packed to the gills! However, I had considered using it as a fundraiser for my Team In Training--should I still do that, or maybe do a 50/50. Half towards debt and half towards the money that I need to raise. Any thoughts on this? I thought putting "fundraiser" on the posters and stuff might make people a little bit nicer when "haggling".

Ozymoe
08-26-2004, 07:00 AM
Lisa,

I'm a pragmatist. That being said I'll offer this, which was said in essence by a previous poster. I would take the tithe (or 80% of it at least) and put it toward the credit card debt until the debt was paid.

For each month that I did this until the debt was paid, I would make a (to the penny) notation of the tithe that I would have made (had I not elected to pay off the credit card debt). Then, when the debt was paid off I would resume tithing and add 10% of the total amount (that I owe for taking the cc repayment hiatus from tithing) to the tithe each month until "my cc repayment tithe" was paid off.

This won't be easy when it comes due in a year or so...probably a year-long reminder not to become endebted to cc companies...but it will solve your problem without interfering with your tithing.

You will have more to tithe (and more wherewithal with which to care for your family) if you pay off usurial credit card debt before you do anything else.

Just remember...in the future, if you cannot pay off the cc balance each month, DO NOT BUY IT...no exceptions.

That being said, I'd not sell the laptop...you will probably not get anywhere near what you paid for it and it can be a valuable tool. For instance, take it to garage sales and/or estate auctions to find out if a particual item will resell on ebay for a big profit! (and it goes without saying that as a portable educational tool it is wonderful...take it with you on field trips to museums, libraries and other places of interest).

Just my 2 cents...you have to do what works for you and your family...but it never hurts to have options...and sometimes those options spawn ideas that benefit everyone!

btass
08-26-2004, 07:24 AM
I completely understand the tithing, but could you possibly talk to someone in your church and explain the situation? Maybe ask God for some guidance. I am sure that if you are comitted enough to tith in the first place, God will understand that you made a mistake and will be back as soon as you can with financial help.

I personally do not tith, but I think that if you get the finances mixed up enough a lot of churches try and help people who need it in that way. You won't be asking for anything but a little break from the $ aspect of the church for a few months and that might be better than having to ask for $ from them in the future.

DMRick
08-26-2004, 08:34 AM
I think that if you should or shouldn't stop your tithe, really comes up to how you believe. If you believe the money isn't yours in the first place, and you believe you owe to God first before man, then you will think one way. If you believe you are giving the tithe because you can afford it at the time, you might think another way. Our church would never insist you pay a tithe..that is between God and you. It's not public knowledge in our church. On the other hand, Biblically, the tithe is 10% of your income..and volunteer work wouldn't take the place, but be in addition to it. If times get hard (for anyone, not just you) and you decide that you just can't tithe, then that is a decision between you and God, and your beliefs. I'm not sure that this part even belongs on the budget board, but maybe is better suited to the Community board, since it's really a religious question, if you should continue to tithe. No one here can tell you what to do in this situation (about tithing), since it's so personal between you and God.

Of course many here can (and have) given you some budget tips. I would suggest you do as you mentioned, and watch the other spending. You've had a few trips just to Disney so far this year..maybe that will be one of your cut backs for the rest of the year.

Tithing is really a believer's giving back to God, what belongs to Him. It's Bibical (and for those who believe), and of course if someone isn't following the Bible, it would not be important, and the first thing to go I think. If you are following what the Bible says and what your church believes, then it would be the last to go. Truly believing in God's promises, you know this too shall pass, and work out.

Lisa loves Pooh
08-26-2004, 08:45 AM
I posted here for budget help. I wasn't soliciting theology assistance and all responses have leaned towards that and I am grateful for them.

I feel that this is the appropriate place for this post and request it to not be moved.

Lewisc
08-26-2004, 08:47 AM
Either sell the laptop or donate it. I don't see any reason why you couldn't consider the value of the laptop as part of your tithe. Of course I'm assuming it works and isn't so old as to be a dinosaur.

I've read that people consider the tithe to be money you contribute to charitable activities, not just to your church. Some people go so far as to reduce the 10% by some amount to reflect the portion of your taxes that goes toward charitable endeavors.

I'd stay away from any church that says 10% of your earnings MUST be contributed 100% TO THAT CHURCH regardless of your economic status.

I saw your recent post after I posted this. I know you're asking for budget help BUT it sounds like the single largest discretionary (or semi-discretionary) expenditure is your tithe which is more of a theological decision than a budget issue.

I think you and your spouse should discuss any expenditure that's more than $50-$100 over buget for that item.

Lisa loves Pooh
08-26-2004, 09:00 AM
Tithe is 10% towards any cause--church included. My church does ask yearly for you to commit if you can b/c they have to have a basis for the budget they develop (thousands of members and about 80 ministries--gotta provide for that somehow). BUT it isn't a contract of course, and my church will not hang me out to dry, so thank for the concerns.

The laptop is one month old and I have a garage full of stuff that I can sell before we have to get rid of the laptop. It is a no-interest 12 month loan--and since it was a stupid decision to purchase, we just eliminate the vacation fund and it is paid for, no problem. So instead of a $1400 vacation next year--we have a laptop. Stinks--but that is life and to me would be smarter than selling it.

I was a dark pit last night and wanted to hear about what other people in similar circumstances have done in their situations. We are at a bump in the road and I think it is time for me to "let go" and have faith that it will all work out.

If we find the need for a vacation to involve a hotel--we have a gargantuan amount of Hilton Honors points that we can utilize for this purpose. We have paid of our cc's just fine for almost 3 years. As with all home improvements, you have the "oops--didn't think of that, or oops--we have to do what?". In the long run, for the amount of improvement that we did--the amounts will be a small blip that are happen to be at present a big blunder on our radar at this moment in time.

MrsPete
08-26-2004, 09:09 AM
I agree that you should continue the tithes.

The 1200 debt, while minor compared to some other families' debts, is costing you money. I'd do as much as possible to get rid of it in a hurry:

Have a yard sale (that benefits you by decluttering the house too).
Consider putting things of greater value on ebay where they'll bring a higher price. Some people buy at yard sales and re-sell on ebay; that might net you a greater profit than a part-time job (especially with your time constraints).
Slash your grocery budget to the bone -- it's only temporary. Cut out all sodas, etc. until the debt is gone.

Once that debt is gone, you'll feel in control again and you'll be able to get back to normal again.

janie91
08-26-2004, 09:12 AM
Sorry it's dark for you now but God will continue to be faithful and supply all your needs.

On the saving money issue, as of late we have became totally addicted to the library. Yesterday I was able to get the 2005 edition of the Unofficial Guide to WDW which I was suprised to get such an updated version. Anyway we also checked out some DVDs several Disney movies available and fairly recent movies as well. It's better than the 2.99 at blockbuster if you get it back on time. The kids are loving all the books and they also have audio cds so we can check out some music. I thought this may be a cheap form of entertainment for your family during this time. You can also usually request certain books if you want and they will get them from other libraries.

dg39
08-26-2004, 09:45 AM
Can't you suspend donating to your church until your financial situation changes? While I don't beleive in donating to the church for God's blessing in return I do understand that some people do and I respect every ones' beliefs. I'm sure He and your church will understand your situation and hopefully encourage you to stop donating until the time is right for you.

DMRick
08-26-2004, 10:05 AM
I think it is time for me to "let go" and have faith that it will all work out.

And there you go!

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make this a theology question about tithing (Dictionary.com: A tenth part of one's annual income contributed voluntarily or due as a tax, especially for the support of the clergy or church). Many give tithes and offerings to our church, with the offerings being the extra we are giving up to run our church programs (always nice to have more than we need..to use for "special" activities), and the tithe being what already belongs to God. But it's not something our church demands (although to be on the board, it is expected that the Biblical rules be followed..and you know that before you run for office).

I do think once you mentioned specifically your tithe, that becomes a large part of the discussion (or at least it did), and usually this type of discussion isn't on the budget board, which is why I questioned it. It often brings arguments, but good for all of those posting here..it hasn't. I personally wouldn't want to take any responsibility for someone elses soul..by suggesting they don't follow the teachings they believe in, so that's a decision you would have to make on your own 'tween you and God.

Sounds like you have a plan to get back on track. Hope all goes well.

Lisa loves Pooh
08-26-2004, 10:11 AM
Thanks DMRick!

My question has been answered...and I think I know what I need to do--now if me and hubby can just agree :hyper: (but that can be saved for another thread).

Thanks everyone!

adriannabannana
08-26-2004, 11:07 AM
I sure know what you're talking about with renovation budget blow-outs, we just had a doozy while repairing and remodeling our upstairs bathroom! I did most of the work myself (minus plumbing---I'm cheap, but I'm not stupid :teeth: ) and we still found more stuff that needed to be dealt with, like plywood that needed replacing, ect. Boy were there some sleepless nights for me during that one. My neighbors teased us a little when they saw the garage sale, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do.

Still, God saw us through, and he'll see you through too. Good luck with everything Lisa, and keep us posted. I'm sure we'll all be sending prayers and good thoughts out there for you.

tanyacj
08-26-2004, 01:00 PM
I, too, have to say don't stop tithing!!! I can't think of chapter and verse of the top of my head but the Bible does say that God will reward you 10,000 fold.

I am saying don't stop tithing from experience!!!! I found that I can't afford not to tithe. It is unexplainable as to how much God blesses when you follow Him.

Goobergal99
08-26-2004, 01:15 PM
Alright I am preparing myself for the flames on this one....

First of all, I am not religious and therefore my post will be a bit biased, however I can't see saying to my child "Hey sweety, were not going to disney this year because I'm contributing an astronomical percentage of my income to a non taxed organization so they can pay off their sexual abuse law suits!!"

I'm sorry but I would never, ever, ever go into debt over a church, a religious belief or if he so does exist, God himself. I would say cut down on the money you give to the church, believe me they are far from hurting financially. Then pay off your credit cards and maybe take some online courses at home, this way you will have the education necessary to make more then minimum wage if and when you should ever decide to work. If your finances are limited, apply for state and federal grants to assist you. I got all the way through college on grants and am only able to continue in graduate school, because of the scholarships I earned while an undergrad.

Good luck with whatever decision you make! :D

Goobergal99
08-26-2004, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by tanyacj
I, too, have to say don't stop tithing!!! I can't think of chapter and verse of the top of my head but the Bible does say that God will reward you 10,000 fold.

I am saying don't stop tithing from experience!!!! I found that I can't afford not to tithe. It is unexplainable as to how much God blesses when you follow Him.

So i am assuming that the poor are not well rewarded by this God figure?? that would explain their living sitjuation I guess...

think b4 you post!

Lyn-CA
08-26-2004, 01:21 PM
Hi Lisa Loves Pooh,

I PM'd you another helpful hint.

:tongue:

DMRick
08-26-2004, 01:23 PM
First of all, I am not religious and therefore my post will be a bit biased

In this sentence, which says it all I would agree with you..tithing would mean absolutely nothing to you. For those of us who do follow God's calling (which the original poster says she does, so many of our answers were based on that), we realize the church has to be supported, and what the Bible says and believe it...and for a believer, it's important to follow the Bible on tithing. I personally know of no one who faithfully tithes that has gone without important needs. That said, for some, a trip to Disney may be more important than tithing..and in that case, tithing wouldn't be very important at all.
Some of us also don't feel it's an astonomical amount. I'm happy our Pastor is paid and doesn't need a second job (since the first is a hard one), I've seen the church electric bill and the mortage, and I know how much our church supports missions and the needy (some kids who have never been to Disney, but need money for medicine and food). For some of us, that's important : )
I get to do both..and for that I'm grateful.

mom2alix
08-26-2004, 01:24 PM
I think others have more than covered the tithing aspect of your question, so on the budget ideas to help you out:

Don't forget to look around your house for books that might sell on Amazon (they don't charge a fee to list like eBay so you only have to pay them if an item sells). I've had really good luck with this and donated books that weren't worth listing there to the library so others could enjoy them (also a nice tax deduction).

Sounds like you have the makings of a great garage sale/eBay sales. You'll probably be surprised how much of a dent that can make in your debt load. Kids clothes/toys REALLY do well and you probably have a lot of that kind of stuff. We made about $350 at our recent sale and that kind of money would go a long way toward eliminating your problem.

You might reconsider a short-term part-time job. Could you possibly work just weekends somewhere as Christmas help (that season is approaching fast)? I know last year about this time I got a job at Kohl's working just one or two shifts a week. It wasn't a lot of money, but I also got a nice employee discount which went a long way toward stretching the Christmas present budget AND would also help with the clothing budget issue you mentioned. I quit after the Christmas season since I'm expecting DS soon and was too tired to keep up with it, but it was actually kind of fun at the time.

Wishing you a lot of luck!:sunny:

DMRick
08-26-2004, 01:27 PM
So i am assuming that the poor are not well rewarded by this God figure??

Poor people also tithe. Their tithe might be much lower, but a tithe is a tithe. Some may give their tithe in vegetables, some may only give pennies.
But this was why I wondered if this belonged on the budget board : (

DMRick
08-26-2004, 01:30 PM
Don't forget to look around your house for books that might sell on Amazon (they don't charge a fee to list like eBay so you only have to pay them if an item sells).

Especially this time of year, for home schoolers!

tanyacj
08-26-2004, 01:37 PM
<<So i am assuming that the poor are not well rewarded by this God figure?? that would explain their living sitjuation I guess...

think b4 you post!>>

Okay, I am thinking b4 I post!!!! I still say that if 2 yrs ago, as a believer, if she felt convicted to tithe she should continue. I understand that you don't believe the way she does, that doesn't make it wrong.

Most ppl would consider me poor. I qualify for government assistance; I've never taken it!!!! As long as I am tithing, I'm taken care of...plus I've took my kids to DW and am planning another. Believers will agree that you reap what you sow. So, yes, that explains some ppl's living situation.

Lisa loves Pooh
08-26-2004, 02:14 PM
No flames at you--but I will respond to your post.

Originally posted by Goobergal99
Alright I am preparing myself for the flames on this one....

First of all, I am not religious and therefore my post will be a bit biased, however I can't see saying to my child "Hey sweety, were not going to disney this year because I'm contributing an astronomical percentage of my income to a non taxed organization so they can pay off their sexual abuse law suits!!"

We live locally--and you can see in my signature that we are waiting until she grows 1/2" She has been plenty of times and she knows that she wants to go on splash mountain and can go when she is tall enough. We had an annual pass last year, so disney is a "way of life" but it is also a treat not to be taken lightly. If we can only afford to go one day when that is time, then we just pay for one day--or just one parent takes her instead of both of us. She is quite used to very short trips anyway and as long as she is packing a suitcase, then grandma's house is fine. And your comment isn't very helpful as you made an assumption of what my church does with its money.


I'm sorry but I would never, ever, ever go into debt over a church, a religious belief or if he so does exist, God himself. I would say cut down on the money you give to the church, believe me they are far from hurting financially. Then pay off your credit cards and maybe take some online courses at home, this way you will have the education necessary to make more then minimum wage if and when you should ever decide to work. If your finances are limited, apply for state and federal grants to assist you. I got all the way through college on grants and am only able to continue in graduate school, because of the scholarships I earned while an undergrad.

I did not get into debt over giving money away. We got into debt being materialistic. Our finances were fine until recent events made them a little topsy turvy and have caused me to evaluate what we choose to spend money on.

And again, you are assuming what my church is doing with its money.

I have a college education. I can make above minimum wage, but it requires me to work a day job. After the expenses of childcare, travel, clothing, et cetera--I made $1 an hour after my first daughter was born. We have two now--so I'd be lucky to pay their expenses. Our finances are not "limited", just in the short-term at present and only b/c we need to shift around our priorities. Our family would not qualify for grants even if furthering my education would have any benefit--but thank you for that suggestion.


Good luck with whatever decision you make! :D

Thanks so much for your response :)

Lisa loves Pooh
08-26-2004, 02:17 PM
Okay guys--send me some Ebay and Garage Sale Pixie Dust!!!!!

Goobergal99
08-26-2004, 02:21 PM
I prepared myself in advance for the comments, however I still don't believe that you have to donate money in order to practice faith. I also stand by my belief that some of the people that believe so devoutly sound like brain controlled robots. Therefore, all of you quoting the bible as reason for your convictions, means absolutely nothing to me.

crisi
08-26-2004, 02:28 PM
Best of luck, Lisa.

Tithe if it is important to you. Cut the less important things before you cut the important stuff.

I'd just like to point out that the thought that God can be bought is really offensive to me. As is the thought that God isn't looking out for me because I don't tithe. I understand some people think its a calling and a required part of faith, but I think you'd be hard pressed to prove cause and effect here. Do it because it makes you feel good, because it makes you a better person, because your Church puts it to good use. Don't do it to buy your way into heaven or to reap rewards here on Earth.

Lisa loves Pooh
08-26-2004, 02:34 PM
Originally posted by Goobergal99
I prepared myself in advance for the comments, however I still don't believe that you have to donate money in order to practice faith. I also stand by my belief that some of the people that believe so devoutly sound like brain controlled robots. Therefore, all of you quoting the bible as reason for your convictions, means absolutely nothing to me.

I'm the only one who quoted you and I didn't quote the Bible.
My question for you is, do you give to charity at all even if you choose not to give to your church. The way I look at it, I receive benefits from my church from the money I give them--they turn around and spend it back on is in a variety of ways by their buildings, ministries, et cetera. Much in the same way your govt controlled taxes go to support community centers in your area-so that you can enjoy the benefits of those centers for free or reduced costs.

Lisa loves Pooh
08-26-2004, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by crisi
Best of luck, Lisa.

Tithe if it is important to you. Cut the less important things before you cut the important stuff.

I'd just like to point out that the thought that God can be bought is really offensive to me. As is the thought that God isn't looking out for me because I don't tithe. I understand some people think its a calling and a required part of faith, but I think you'd be hard pressed to prove cause and effect here. Do it because it makes you feel good, because it makes you a better person, because your Church puts it to good use. Don't do it to buy your way into heaven or to reap rewards here on Earth.

I am not trying to buy my way out of anything or into anywhere. We just happen to notice some cause and effects of our efforts. The raise my husband got this year is the highest he's gotten in several years. I am able to follow a diet that I am happy with and enjoy. My health has improved. Et Cetera. There is nothing wrong for seeing positive consequences to your actions. Much like you work hard at work--hopefully b/c you have a good work ethic. You recieve a bonus or a compliment--that drives your fire to continue working hard, not necessarily makes you work out just so you can receive those rewards.

I was trying to find out what others have done in similar situations--you got yourself into a spot, what did you do to get out of it. In my situation--we had chosen to tithe, but it did not cause our debt. If anything, home improvement--a longer than necessary unusable kitchen that required eating out, damage to our porch that was discovered when we were having our pool built et cetera.

I was trying to justify removing the tithe to temporarily "fix" our present situation as that was the biggest chunk without having to make any other sacrifices. In other words, an easy fix instead of a sacrificial adjustment. If I remove my "tithe"--I cannot donate to my present charity, we cannot support those who do not have the means to give there family even a modest Christmas, we can't support anything at all except our selfish habits in our home.

I appreciate the responses and again I will say I have made my decision. I respect everyone's point of view--and appreciate those who do the tithe and those who choose not to.

THE QUESTION HAS BEEN ANSWERED ADEQUATELY AND THIS WILL BE MY LAST POST ON THIS THREAD. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE! HAPPY DISing!

Goobergal99
08-26-2004, 03:38 PM
listen, you need to do what you believe is right. However, i think that working outside of the home and cutting down on your church donations are probably your best bet for living comfortably and not having to make sacrfices. Life is way to short to worry about paying your way into heaven. Make life here count because it is a guarantee. The afterlife is merely an unproven possibility.

And yes, I do donate money to charaties (AIDS fund, Breast cancer Foundation, purple heart, Veterans of Foreign wars, etc....) And guess what! I don't ask for anything in return for it, I don't even write it off on my taxes!!!

Goobergal99
08-26-2004, 03:57 PM
Oh ok, so I guess all of the vietnam vets that are now homeless "Reaped what they sowed" Anyone could lose their job and become homeless at any minute. None of us are as sound as we believe we are finanically and therefore a post like that is totally uncalled for and just adds one more reason for me to keep believeing that religion is pschologically destructive.

Oh well, I guess I better start studying the bible tonight so that I will be rescued by the almighty in the afterlife. I mean why don't we really start getting elemetary here and believe every other biblical myth there is: I have to run and tell my daughter not to sneak those cookies because God is stading at the pearly white gates with his book of judegements!


"Keep thy religion to thy self" ---George Carlin

figment27
08-26-2004, 04:09 PM
Hello Lisa,
Been there, done that! I certainly do empathize with your situation.
Did you ever consider selling on eBay? I don't know if others have suggested it to you as I have not had the time to read EVERY post.
Kids clothes, in good condition, sell well and you will receive more than you would at a tag/rummage/garage sale. Less time intensive also.
In addition, toys also sell well, such as Playskook, Fisher Price, Little Tykes.
Bigger items can be posted as "local pick-up only"
Good luck, and know this is only a TEMPORARy situation.
Best Regards,
Figment

HookedOnDiz
08-26-2004, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by Carrie Ellis


I would consider putting that $1200 into your equity loan if you could still. This happens to probably about everyone one time or another...you just learn not to do it again.



Not a great idea... she has an interest free loan that is an unsecured debt... to replace it with a secured debt (home equity loan) with interest is risky. The worst that can happen if you fail to pay your credit card is that you get a black mark on your credit history... fail to pay back your home equity loan and you could be sleeping on the street.

Robinrs
08-26-2004, 05:42 PM
Closed by request of the OP.

God bless....

Robinrs