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March 09, 2008


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My husband and I were talking about doing something like this last week. We havent found a church we like yet but we do want to have a "system" of giving whereby we make sure that we are supporting a charity, giving donations or sponsoring a child from on our home countries.

Your tithes are on auto pilot? Im not there yet. We just left our church because they were just too focused on money and having a 10 million dollar jet which turned us off. He preaches at 4 churches on a Sunday and by the time he gets to us its a ten minute sermon on how we should be tithing. We need spiritual food not a lecture about tithing.

I tithe much less but still it is on auto pilot for the church to take it every month. I make up for it in what you call offerings by giving to my favorite charities. For many years I gave to my favorites on a rotating basis every month. I've since halted that process and save the charitable donations all year long to give in one big lump sum in December. I give appreciated mutual fund shares to save on capital gains and buy back with the cash I saved for charity. This year I started and endowment at a major university that will be there 'forever.' Not only our records much easier to keep with 1 big donation than many smaller donations but I can now give smaller donations if I want to the endowment. Works great for us.

sorry i didn't edit my work. i know the difference between our and are!

My tithes are automatically debited from my account each week. As far as offerings, I don't have a set plan. I just give as the mood strikes, so to speak.

I think it's way too easy to get lazy about giving if you don't have a disciplined plan for it. I really need to set one up. Right now I have an estimate of how much I should give over the course of the year but I'm not too proactive in seeking out opportunities to give--I tend to be impulsive within that framework, which is maybe not the best way to go.

I have set aside 10% of my gross income for tithe (church offering and missions support) for most of my life. I recently set up a "Giving" account in Quicken which I treat very similar to a credit card in that every time we receive our paychecks I "charge" 10% of our gross income to this account and every time we cut a check to the church or missions organization, we make a "payment" to the account. That way, the money is earmarked for giving and I never see it in Quicken as disposable income.

I would love to hear your opinion on expanding this "Giving" account to include all different types of giving--ie, community groups, charitable organizations, gifts to neighbors, friends, etc. Strange as it sounds, I feel like I am slighting God a bit by including these things that have, up until now, been taken out of our disposable income... What do you think?

JapChap --

I think whatever system works for you to give as much as you feel you should is fine. Set up the system to give the % you feel is appropriate and don't feel guilty about it. ;-)

We give a 10% tithe to our church, and then set aside another percentage for other charities. We actually have a budget line item in Quicken for each of these charities and each year we divide up our charitable giving percentage as we feel best (not all get equal amounts). We also have another budget line for small amounts given "on-request" through the year, if worthy causes come up. It makes for a more complex system in Quicken, but helps us make sure we're getting our planned contribution to each place.

We send out contributions to each charity twice a year, to help spread the income out a bit for them. I must admit we're considering changing this to once a year, simply because writing the checks becomes tedious! :-)

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