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Ask Dave

When Can We Give More?

Jeremy wants to combine 2 great things in Secret Santa and tithing. What's the best way to make them both work?

QUESTION: Jeremy and his wife are debt free except the house and on a 15-year mortgage. They are excited about doing some Secret Santa things and extra giving. At what point should they start giving over the tithe?

ANSWER: Wait until after Baby Step 3 when you have a full emergency fund and are out of debt but the house. I take the Scripture that says he who doesn’t take care of his family is worse than an unbeliever. My interpretation of that is having an emergency fund in place and being out of debt but the house, and at that point I’m building wealth. Baby Steps 4 and 5 is the beginning of wealth.

Sharon and I made a decision that we would live on a certain amount of money. Everything above that, we apply a formula to it. We do 10% for tithe and 40% for taxes, and the rest we allocate percentages for giving, saving and spending. Don’t have one of those things cripple the other two.