It has now been about 7 months since my wife paid off her student loan and our household became a completely debt free one. But I feel as if just about now we are getting into a great groove of budgeting without debt line items. We still (and always will) budget and plan every month before it begins and give every dollar an assignment. And in becoming debt free we’ve planned to do a little more saving, spending to have fun, and giving.
As a general rule we tithe on our net income. My thought is it takes an act of God to make taxes come down, so if God wants more, He knows what to do. J Up to now we spread our tithe across 3 places: our local church, sponsoring children overseas through Compassion International, and for miscellaneous gifts throughout the year such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, etc.
In our latest budget committee meeting we agreed to only spread our tithe between our local church and Compassion. We will use our disposable income to save monthly for year round gifts. Why the change? Well, it’s important to us to give to a local ministry and with this revised plan, we can now give an extra $1,200 a year to our local church on TOP OF what we have previously been giving to our local church. Forget the tax deduction for a moment, for us giving is a declaration that God owns everything. Regardless of the amount, we prioritize and plan our giving so that in emulating God’s example of giving, we too can be open to receiving the love and grace that comes with holding our money with an open hand and spirit.
Giving has changed me. Over the years it has opened my heart to healing and love that I would have never thought possible years ago. It’s made me less selfish and has encouraged me to recognize the needs of others, and to open my eyes to how I can serve with my time, talents and resources.
I know I may have gotten off point here, but giving is probably my favorite thing to do with money. So here we are, in February, debt free and planning to give more to one organization than either of us have in our entire lives. I can’t wait to see how God is going to use these gifts!