Tithing and Saving: Can They Live Side by Side?

By definition, a tithe is a 1/10 portion of something paid toward a religious organization or a charity. Tithing is known as a spiritual practice, many recounting the 1/10 of their income as a gift to God, meaning tithing is thus bringing them closer to God. In the Bible, it states, “A tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain or fruit, is the Lord’s, and is holy.”

However, in the unfortunate event that you aren’t able to save money because of tithing, is it okay to mull over the idea of reducing or eliminating their tithe in order to save?

By definition, a tithe is a 1/10 portion of something paid toward a religious organization or a charity.In the Bible, it states, “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me,” meaning we should pay the tithe to God first even when in debt, and God will help us ensure these debts.

So what do you do if you find yourself in debt or unable to save any money while tithing? As far as eliminating or reducing your tithe, it’s a personal choice. However, Dave Ramsey, radio host of “The Dave Ramsey Show” and personal finance author, weighs in on tithing.

“I wouldn’t stop my tithe. I wouldn’t reduce it,” according to Ramsey. “It’s a tenth. I tithed all the way into bankruptcy court and all the way out. These are a loving Father’s instructions for His kids.”

The Bible states, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” It’s believed that God will give to those who give, and that he will provide for you no matter the circumstances.

Asha Praver, an Ananda minister, renowned teacher, and the author of Loved and Protected: Stories of Miracles and Answered Prayers, speaks from her personal life when she explains that she once made a very small income that left her oftentimes with little or no money each month.

“Instead of thinking, ‘I’m so poor, I can’t afford to tithe,’ I thought just the opposite: ‘My situation is so precarious, I don’t dare stop tithing now!’” she says.

“Several times I didn’t even have money to buy food. But then I would get invited out to dinner — ten days in a row. At other times I just found money — forgotten in a coat pocket, once even on the ground,” she says. “It became the kind of miracle that doesn’t even seem like a miracle because I was so certain that God would provide. But ah, how sweet!”

If you’re looking for additional ways to save while tithing, it’s important to budget your expenses. First, take out the 1/10 of your paycheck for your tithe. Then determine your necessary expenses, such as housing, taxes, insurance, utilities, etc. Then resolve a strict budget for food, clothing, entertainment, etc. by dividing your remaining income among these items.

“We’ve learned to live with what we have available for each category. We clothed our family for less than $25/month up until about a year ago (11 people). [My husband] and I lived on less than $100/month food budget for more than a year. We’ve had times when we’ve had nothing in our entertainment budget and less than $10 a month for gifts,” says Kimberly, who blogs for Raising Olives. “All of this works when you start with the premise that God has given you everything that you need. If there is not enough money to spend a little each month on clothing or gifts, then clothing or gifts are obviously luxuries that your family can do without.”

Another thing Kimberly does to save money without giving up tithing is to buy used. “If you are willing to patiently shop at yard sales you can clothe your family and decorate your home at a standard much higher than you could otherwise afford,” she says.

Tithing is important to many people, but it doesn’t mean you can’t save money as well. Talk to one of your representatives today to see if we can provide you with any advice on how to maximize your dollars.


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