First Time Tithe Payer - What Amount is Correct?


InstilledPhear
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All righty, so I know that tithing questions must pop up on here quite a lot. I didn't seem to find the answer to my particular question in previous threads, though, so here I am.

Here's my situation:

I've never paid tithing before. Ever. I'm nearly twenty and I have not even the slightest clue how to fill out those fancy little slips. (Sad, eh?) But anyway, I've been sitting here for a while--looking at bank statements, calling my mom, asking my roommates--trying to figure out exactly what amount I should give.

I worked over the summer, so I know to pay my 10% on all of that. I'm not even going to get into the argument of gross income vs. net income right now, though... I just want to pay tithing on the numbers that ended up in my bank account. So here's the thing--I'm back at college with no income, so my dad helps me out by putting a bit of money in my account each month. My dad once told me that people don't necessarily have to pay tithing on money that has already been tithed, and he used the example of him giving me money to illustrate that. Because his money has already been tithed, I can choose whether or not to pay tithing on that money when I receive it.

My mom has a different stance, though. She says that one should pay tithing on every increase, including gift money. Both of my parents' philosophies make sense, but I'm afraid that if I go with my dad's idea, I'm technically not a full tithe payer. I don't want to be guilt-tripped into paying tithing on the money that my dad gives to me, though, if it's not something that I need to do. (I hope that doesn't make me sound selfish... I am in college, after all, and a few extra bucks can buy a meal on campus for when I don't have time to go home.)

So, I'm just wondering what your personal views on paying tithing are. I'm not asking you to make a decision for me; I just need a bit of guidance from people who know more about it than I do.

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Decide how you are going to pay your tithing, pray and ask the lord if it is correct. Listen for the spirit.

Remember tithing is a sacrifice you make, so make sacrifices if need be to pay it.

I liked the "A sacrifice and a Privilege" section of this talk given by President Howard W. Hunter.

Our Law of Tithing - Ensign Mar. 2013 - ensign

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The only answer we can give is: A tenth of your annual increase. I (and I believe most other wage-earning Saints) interpret this as meaning a tenth of your gross, pretax income. Business owners must of necessity calculate their increase in other ways, since a tenth of their gross revenue might well be more than their profit margin.

I suggest you start paying your tithing according to your present understanding and then go from there. Counsel with your bishop, if you need advice.

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So, I'm just wondering what your personal views on paying tithing are. I'm not asking you to make a decision for me; I just need a bit of guidance from people who know more about it than I do.

According to scripture, tithing is a tenth of your annual increase. It can be interpreted in three different ways.

1. 10% of your gross income (before tax) to include child support and other benefits.

2. 10% of your net income (after tax).

3. 10% of your actual increase (of wealth) after paying taxes, mortgage, utilities, school tuition, and other fees and unavoidable expenses.

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My sons 10 and 12 years old are not paying tithing on their allowance money. They are paying tithing on money they earn (they make side money doing things like selling books on amazon or giving piano lessons).

This is just the way we're doing it. It doesn't necessarily mean its how it's supposed to be done.

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My sons 10 and 12 years old are not paying tithing on their allowance money. They are paying tithing on money they earn (they make side money doing things like selling books on amazon or giving piano lessons).

This is just the way we're doing it. It doesn't necessarily mean its how it's supposed to be done.

What is their allowance based on if not earning it? I had to earn my allowance. :) Was I ripped off? :lol:

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What is their allowance based on if not earning it? I had to earn my allowance. :) Was I ripped off? :lol:

Their allowance is based on them being our children without their own income. It is much easier for us to budget our finances if we just give the kids a set amount every week (I get weekly paycheck) and they figure out what to do with it. So that when we go to movies (every weekend tradition) or go to the grocery, or walk around the mall, they won't bugger us for toys or snacks or candy or what-have-you. If they want it, they buy it with their allowance money. This includes renting video games and such. We buy them toys and things on bday and christmas. That's it. They also spend it on hot lunch at the school cafeteria if the food I pack for them is not enough. My 12-year-old especially can eat a Mac truck when he's really hungry. They are not allowed to eat anything in the hallways so he has to wait until lunch time to eat something! He's always begging his brother for money because he runs out of allowance before Friday.

By the way, I learned this from my parents. We line up by my parents' bedroom door every morning because we get our allowance daily. When we're under restriction for being bad, etc., our allowance is withheld until such time that we're good again. We don't lose it - we just don't get it. So if we're bad today and good tomorrow, we get today's allowance with tomorrow's allowance tomorrow. Make sense?

My husband, on the other hand, resented his parents for keeping his paper route money. They told him it's his contribution to household expenses and for his mission (he ended up not going). His parents, I think, were too extreme.

So, we went by my parents' method. But it doesn't work as well because my husband has a habit of buying "presents" for no reason - like when we go to the movies, we'd be sitting in the theater and my husband would go get snacks and the kids don't have money so they're not getting anything (we always buy one large popcorn and one large drink to share for all of 4 of us) and my husband would come walking in the theater with icees and extreme sours... so, I would ask him, who's paying for the candy? And he would say, it's just more fun watching a movie with extreme sours so I just bought it for them... waaaa.

Anyway, when they get older, they'll have their college funds. It's part of their allowance. I don't expect them to have to pay tithing on those either. But, of course, the deicsion is theirs.

Edited by anatess
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What is their allowance based on if not earning it? I had to earn my allowance. :) Was I ripped off? :lol:

There are two theories (at least) about giving allowance. One theory says that children should earn the allowance through household chores and such. If they don't do their chores (or whatever), all or part of their allowance might be withheld or even skipped.

The other view, the one to which Sister Vort and I subscribe, is that allowance is given freely (with the expectation that certain things be done, e.g. payment of tithing and mission/college saving). In this view, household chores are a simple duty which every child is expected to perform. No "payment for services" is given, because the child is not a servant and is not performing a service. In any case, we pay our children one dollar per month per year of age, so that e.g. a ten-year-old receives ten dollars a month. We could never possibly afford to pay any reasonable wage for household chores, and I don't want my children getting the idea that their labor is worth only $0.50 an hour or some such thing.

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There are two theories (at least) about giving allowance. One theory says that children should earn the allowance through household chores and such. If they don't do their chores (or whatever), all or part of their allowance might be withheld or even skipped.

The other view, the one to which Sister Vort and I subscribe, is that allowance is given freely (with the expectation that certain things be done, e.g. payment of tithing and mission/college saving). In this view, household chores are a simple duty which every child is expected to perform. No "payment for services" is given, because the child is not a servant and is not performing a service. In any case, we pay our children one dollar per month per year of age, so that e.g. a ten-year-old receives ten dollars a month. We could never possibly afford to pay any reasonable wage for household chores, and I don't want my children getting the idea that their labor is worth only $0.50 an hour or some such thing.

Oddly, I agree with Vort (which means the thinking has been done). Mrs. MOE and I use the allowance to teach money management skills. The kids are just expected to contribute to the family economy and teaching them to manage their money is part of the family economy.

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There are a million ways in which one could interpret these things.

As for the money your dad gives you to help you get by, I personally never tithed on that kind of money. I considered it a form of welfare support. Here's the reasoning: we are counseled that if we can't make ends meet, first we turn to our families for help before we turn to the Church. If you were to go to your bishop and ask for Fast Offering assistance, you would be told that there is no need to pay tithing on the Fast Offering assistance. I don't see why one should pay tithing on support money coming from a family member if they won't pay tithing on support money coming from the Church.

As a personal decision, I pay tithing on the money that I earn. If someone gifts me money, I don't typically tithe it. (I may choose to do differently for a large sum, such as an inheritance, but the interpretation I just gave is usually applicable to the small sums I'm gifted now).

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Thanks anatess, Vort and Moe for your responses. I can understand where you all are coming from. I guess my parents took a different approach to it. Not that any approach is right or wrong because everyone has different parenting ideas and skills.

We had simple chores we were responsible for each day. I think it was my parents way of teaching us the cause and effect kind of thing. If we didn't fulfill our end of the deal by performing those small chores we lost out on part of our allowance. So if I wanted my full allowance for the week, I had better make sure I do all of the chores I was assigned for that particular week. We rotated them.

That's probably where my idea of actually earning an allowance comes from.

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Thanks anatess, Vort and Moe for your responses. I can understand where you all are coming from. I guess my parents took a different approach to it. Not that any approach is right or wrong because everyone has different parenting ideas and skills.

We had simple chores we were responsible for each day. I think it was my parents way of teaching us the cause and effect kind of thing. If we didn't fulfill our end of the deal by performing those small chores we lost out on part of our allowance. So if I wanted my full allowance for the week, I had better make sure I do all of the chores I was assigned for that particular week. We rotated them.

That's probably where my idea of actually earning an allowance comes from.

I think it all comes out the same.

My kids have a chore list and a study schedule. They don't get to play until their chore list is done and they're not on a study schedule. So, we both have that same cause and effect from both parenting styles. And having part of the allowance a given, we both also don't treat allowance as payment for work performed. So, it's two different ways to apply the same principles.

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Oddly, I agree with Vort (which means the thinking has been done).

Not really that odd. I have noticed that we actually agree on a great many things. We seem to disagree about some other things that seem foundational to both of us.

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In your situation, I would agree with your mom and pay tithes on what your family gives you. This is considered additional income.

Also, don't be afraid to pay smaller amounts over time. As a new tithe payer myself, that's what I'm doing to equal up to my 10% of my Adjusted Gross Income.

Technically none of us have the authority to tell someone how much or how to figure out what to pay. That is between that person and the Lord. The Bishop can counsel as he does have stewardship. But none of us here on lds.net have that authority.

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Technically none of us have the authority to tell someone how much or how to figure out what to pay. That is between that person and the Lord. The Bishop can counsel as he does have stewardship. But none of us here on lds.net have that authority.

Pam is 1000% correct. We can give you our ideas, your Bishop can give you his ideas, but no one is authorized to tell you anything other than that its 10% of your increase.

Decide what you think your increase is and take it to the Lord in prayer.

I've heard all sorts of different reasoning as to what a persons increase is and as long as the person counsels with God and gets confirmation from God that it is correct, then it is.

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I hate when people give me that advice ... think about it and you will know the answer.

I pay 10% on net income ... well not really. 10% of gross income seemed way too high. 10% of net income ... actually seems too low. I have reached the point where I feel I am doing the right thing.

Interpretation on tithing issues is not going to go away as you earn more money. It might be better to clarify your thought process now.

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Official Doctrine = "For your guidance in this matter, please be advised that we have uniformly replied that the simplest statement we know of is that statement of the Lord himself that the members of the Church should pay one-tenth of all their interest annually, which is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this. We feel that every member of the Church should be entitled to make his own decision as to what he thinks he owes the Lord, and to make payment accordingly."

It is up to you to determine gross, net, or surplus by going to Heavenly Father and asking him, then pay it accordingly. That said the % is not up for debate. It is 10%. We actually have quotes from apostles and prophets defining it all three ways (gross, net or surplus)

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