Here's a piece from CNN Money that discusses the price of faith, what Jews, Muslims, and Christians have to pay/spend related to their faiths. Here's how Cnn Money describes the series:
To explore how religion affects the way people manage their money, we visited with three families of different faiths who are struggling to reconcile their spiritual beliefs with their wallets. Their stories, and our advice to them, follow. What all three households have in common: the desire to let faith guide their economic prospects, without undermining their family's security or long-term goals. As you'll see, that isn't always an easy task.
I thought I'd highlight this piece in three different posts and give my comments along the way. Today we'll cover the costs associated with being Jewish (or at least Orthodox Jewish.) Here's a summary of what they have to spend because of their faith:
- $18,000 per year for religious school tuition
- $5,000 charitable giving
- $3,600 synagogue dues and events
- $2,000 extra cost for kosher food
- $28,600 Total
In addition, they bought a more expensive house because it was within a Jewish community that "permits certain activities" at a cost of $100,000 more than they would have paid for a similar home in a non-Orthodox neighborhood. Then they also spent $30k renovating the kitchen to help them keep kosher.
A few other highlights:
- Husband and wife are 36 and 33 years old.
- They make $135,000 a year.
- Their net worth is $234,000.
- They have $25,000 in credit card debt.
1. These people claim to have a tough time making ends meet despite the fact that they have a great income (FYI, this is a theme you'll see with all three of these couples of faith.) It's mind-blowing that someone making $135k in Houston is having budget troubles.
2. That said, they have a decent net worth for their ages. I'm guessing they're ahead of the pack.
3. The credit card debt seems strange to me. Why do they even have it?
4. I was surprised that they didn't tithe. Even if they combined their synagogue dues and events dollars with their charitable giving, they aren't tithing. If Orthodox Jews don't tithe, who does?
5. Wow on the home costs. I never knew this was an issue, but that's a big, big faith-related expense.
Any thoughts on this from Jewish readers or those more familiar with the Jewish faith?