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A Huge Oversight In My New Budget

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This is a religious, christian-faith post about my personal decision to start tithing. As this concept may not be understood by those outside of the faith, please note that I am journaling my personal decisions and walk.

In my journey to be debt free, I have been almost exclusively focused on saving money. I didn’t tithe because at its simplest theoretical level, I considered tithing as giving away money that I could allocate toward debt-reduction or saving. And this was counteractive to my goals. But theological principles explains that tithing is returning a portion of income that belonged to God to start with.  

Here’s the thing- none of this information was new to me. I simply disregarded tithing because I thought that it did not directly contribute to my financial goals. To be completely honest, I will admit that it has been months, years even, since I have tithed. Perhaps this was because I had let my relationship with God become less and less of a priority until it wasn’t one at all.

But at the beginning of this year I made the decision to return to God fully, giving my heart and actions. Two Sundays ago, I went to church for the first time in the city that I live in and I made a small offering of under $20.

I’ve also realized that despite my financial situation, I can still afford to be charitable and to have a giving spirit. I know that there are some people that would gladly trade me for my debt. So I strive to be more generous, which I’ll also admit that, as a tight budgeter, does not come naturally or easily to me.

But God reminded me of the power of giving without strings attached. I have been looking for a quality part time job for months and instead did odd things like substitute teach when it was convenient in the meantime. Last Friday, I was offered a part-time job for about $30 an hour. I got the offer out of the blue and I know that this was not circumstance. I will start this job in a few weeks and should have my credit card paid off even faster than my original plan.

Not only did this happen, but I just found out that I will also be receiving additional pay this month. I have been putting in many extra hours after the workday to work on a project. (That’s right! The day hardly ever ends after the students go home for the many people that think educators leave work around 3 p.m.) This is simply the culture of schools and no one expects to get paid overtime. In my years of being an educator, I don’t know if I ever have. However, I was informed this week that I would be getting paid for the extra hours that I recently put in. I already have that money earmarked. With the combination of this surplus money and the income from my part time job, I will have my Bank of America balance paid in full with my March paycheck and April at the latest. I will keep you updated on this payoff date.

I’m sure that none of this was by coincidence. After only planting a small seed, I have been given a great part time job and also received extra pay. I will give my full tithe ($300 or 10% of my $3,000 income) to the church this month. A key factor in monthly tithing is being intentional about it in my budget as I would any other priority so that it does not become forgotten. I will have to modify my March budget and will do so with a grateful spirit.


10 Comments

  • Reply Pat |

    You still haven’t done any sort of post describing your debts / income / pay off plans. Without any of that, it’s almost impossible to care at all about this “god given windfall” and decision to tithe. Without any backstory, it’s all meaningless and reads as just wanting to publicly talk about something you think you deserve congratulations for doing.

  • Reply Julie |

    First – welcome back Ashley! You have been missed. I support your decision 100% – I have also found that in giving we are enriched. Blessings!

    • Reply Laura |

      You know this is the new Ashely, right? Not the one with kids going through a divorce? Just asking because we were asking about her recently 🙂

  • Reply Margann34 |

    Ashley, I am so glad to see you making strides in improving your life. I think you are in for good things this year. Financially it will be difficult but I think your overall well being will be much improved. You will probably get pushback on giving away 10% of your income when you are in debt. But I think as long as you are wisely managing the rest of your money, it is fine. Besides, your spiritual journey is your own. Not really anyone elses business. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply Lisa |

    How wonderful that you have this blessing! For years we held the same position as you had. We gave 2-5%, and backed off when we had extra bills. Some years back, we got serious about our finances, started budgeting differently, and got intentional about our offerings. When we started giving 10%, it was AMAZING the blessings that returned to us. Truly miraculous. Now we return more than that, and continue to be blessed when we least expect it. God is good.

  • Reply Emily N. |

    That’s great that your income is improving and that you made the decision to give to your church. In the past I’ve struggled with giving while paying down student loans, but I’m really happy with my decision to support my church financially. I’m not at 10%, but I increase the amount every year and give a lot of my time as well.

  • Reply Kyle |

    I love this post and think it’s wonderful that you have decided to start tithing faithfully. Non-believers will think it’s totally ludicrous, but my husband and I starting making tithing a priority when our finances were at their lowest and we have NEVER gone without. We truly believe this is God’s work. HE provides for us, we only have what we do because of him and the LEAST we can do is give back 10%.

  • Reply BS |

    Ashley, are you planning to address any of the commenters’ questions about giving a full explanation of your financial situation? These one off posts with no background information are less than helpful or useful.

So, what do you think ?