I talk a lot about savings – so much so, that my daughter tells me to stop. I talk to my friends about it – and they do me the courtesy of NOT rolling their eyes. This is how daughters differ from friends!
Anyways, last Sunday – the 28th I was visiting my dear friend (I’m blessed with two of them!) in Irricana and talking a bit about being debt free and lamenting about my lack of savings. What I wasn’t really lamenting about was my lack of giving – and that too had suffered while I was so focused on the debt repayment plan. That realization just thunked me on the head like a hammer. So, over the last few days I’ve been pondering my behaviour – and my savings plan. Because while they sound good on paper and on Facebook – there’s a dimension of my life that’s lacking and I was too blind to see it.
So, why not go back to the beginning of things – and the Bible is a pretty early document, readily available online, at the library, in a hotel room. or if you’re close by, you can even ask me for one.
God has a lot to say about how we manage our wealth. In days gone by it might have been stuff rather than money, but since that’s how I’m paid, that’s how we’ll look at this.
The giving part is what churches call a “tithe” – 10 percent of your wages – gross or net, you pick. But since this feels a little like stepping on thin ice for me, I’m going to start with net and work towards tithing on my gross. That in itself could be an interesting journey.
The next part is the “party” part. Tony Campolo introduced me to this idea, found in the middle of that long drawn out book of do’s and don’ts called Deuteronomy (chapter 14:22-26). The idea here, is that once a year, you take another 10 percent and blow it – rejoicing before God – and enjoying it with Him. How about that? Fine champagne? a haircut in Paris? A one inch thick triple A dry aged steak from the Co-op?
And then, another 10 percent for savings. Because, I’m me and I’m Canadian, and really, saving for the future is good stuff. I might get old – and a bit of money might make it easier in the long haul.
Now that it’s Friday, I’ve got an opportunity to put this into action.
The net deposit from the YMCA was $302.14. This means that $31 goes to the party tithe (Which I will take out in cash). $53 went to that crazy savings plan. And $53 is going to giving. I already made one donation to a program I like to listen to. The rest will be given at church on Sunday. Actually, when I actually did it, the amount came out a bit higher. Not to worry – God has never rounded down on me!
Today was a kind of different paycheck. I didn’t have a credit card balance to deal with. Usually I use my credit card and then pay it off once a week. Not having that made a huge difference in my ability to move money where I wanted it to go. It was very freeing actually and I think I will keep on keeping my credit card at home!
To make this long story a bit shorter:
- Party tithe: Keep it in cash and see how I use it.
- Giving tithe: Keep it at the same amount as that savings game I’m playing (at least)
- Credit card: Don’t use it, or pay it before I use it so I don’t have a balance!
- Use the rest wisely, setting aside funds for rent, bills, and upcoming expenses (tuition for my course, flights to Toronto in April and August)
I don’t know if this is helpful to anyone else, but it’s been helpful to me!
Enjoy the fruits of your labours!