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  #1  
Old Apr 17, '12, 6:45 pm
yellow8yellowM yellow8yellowM is offline
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Default Charitable giving - where to draw the line with spouse?

Forgive my bluntly worded title, but the questions is this:

Is there a minimum amount of monetary charity that a family should give, assuming that they could give it without starving the children, etc?

My wife does not want to give more than 1% but I feel especially guilty considering we should not have bought our house if we couldn't afford to give more than 1% to charity (I did not want to buy the house).

I almost feel like I should draw the line in the sand and manage our finances separately (we both have similar incomes). Where would you draw the line?
  #2  
Old Apr 17, '12, 7:27 pm
Richard320 Richard320 is offline
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Default Re: Charitable giving - where to draw the line with spouse?

It's not going to help you any, but someone else reading this thread might need to see it, so... This is one of those topics that should have been fought over before marriage. I'm pretty certain it was mentioned at our Engaged Encounter. If it wasn't, it should have been.

My wife and I are aiming at 10% charitable giving. We're getting close - last year it was about 8%. In one of his talks available from catholicity (I think Confession) Fr Larry Richards discusses tithing. He makes the point that God cannot be outdone in generosity. Families that give generously never seem to be lacking.

You and the wife are going to have to fight this one out. And I'll bet it isn't going to be pretty. But it is important. Look at the budget; look at expenses. Put things in perspective. Is more spent on pedicures than giving to the church? More spent on Cable TV with all the extras and HD than the church? More spent on vintage varietal wines than the church? That sort of thing.

See where God ranks in your spending.
  #3  
Old Apr 17, '12, 7:34 pm
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bmullins bmullins is offline
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Default Re: Charitable giving - where to draw the line with spouse?

We are currently budgeting to get our finances under control. Last year we gave around 3%. In my budget we are aiming for 10%. I think that on average most people in our country give less than 1% (if I remember our finance council statistics.) Imagine if all of us gave the 10% we are encouraged to by scripture?

There is no 'minimum' and there is no 'maximum'. It all belongs to God. The important thing is to make sure you are a good steward of that money. Make sure your family is cared for. Make sure your church is cared for. Make sure you are doing things to help the poor and needy. But come together as a family as well, and make sure that she understands how important giving is to you. Also make sure you listen to her reasons for not doing it.

The only other advice I can give is to look at your parish and see if they are offering the 7 Steps to Financial Freedom program. It really opened our eyes.
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  #4  
Old Apr 17, '12, 7:59 pm
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Annabelle Marie Annabelle Marie is offline
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Default Re: Charitable giving - where to draw the line with spouse?

There also is time, talent, and treasure...some people can't give a lot of treasure but give loads of time.
  #5  
Old Apr 17, '12, 8:25 pm
rturner76 rturner76 is offline
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Default Re: Charitable giving - where to draw the line with spouse?

Maybe you could take her to a poor church so he can see how poor people who have nothing to their name can be so spritual and thankful for what little they do have. She can see that "stuff" cannot make you happy. Sounds a little greedy to me. Not that she is a greedy person, but that you can't even squeeze out 1 or 2 more percent is a greedy attitude. I'm sorry to come off like that I know it's rude. People are hurting out here and you want to help, God will bless you for it. The blessing you get is worth more then that couple percent can get you unless you are having money troubles. I could learn a lesson from you myself. I give change to people on the street but I don't plan my giving like that. I'm pretty poor myself though I must admit. I get food stamps but I share them with my mother so we help each other how we can in this world when we can sometimes.
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  #6  
Old Apr 18, '12, 5:46 pm
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Bklynguy Bklynguy is offline
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Default Re: Charitable giving - where to draw the line with spouse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellow8yellowM View Post
Forgive my bluntly worded title, but the questions is this:

Is there a minimum amount of monetary charity that a family should give, assuming that they could give it without starving the children, etc?

My wife does not want to give more than 1% but I feel especially guilty considering we should not have bought our house if we couldn't afford to give more than 1% to charity (I did not want to buy the house).

I almost feel like I should draw the line in the sand and manage our finances separately (we both have similar incomes). Where would you draw the line?
Well, you are married, so you should work with your wife. On the other hand, it shouldn't be strictly her choice, either. She wants 1%--why don't you think of a figure that is more acceptable to you and try to meet somewhere in the middle.
  #7  
Old Apr 19, '12, 9:00 am
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SummerSmiles SummerSmiles is offline
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Default Re: Charitable giving - where to draw the line with spouse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmullins View Post

There is no 'minimum' and there is no 'maximum'. It all belongs to God. The important thing is to make sure you are a good steward of that money. Make sure your family is cared for. Make sure your church is cared for. Make sure you are doing things to help the poor and needy. But come together as a family as well, and make sure that she understands how important giving is to you. Also make sure you listen to her reasons for not doing it.
When my DH and I were going through marriage prep, this is what the priest told us when we asked him for some guidance on the issue. It's much more difficult to donate extra money when you are struggling to get by. When you've got extra money for nights at the movies and pedicures and things like that, then you very likely have enough to donate to charity. Also, he reminded us to be mindful that we should consider our time in our donations. Some families don't have enough money to donate, but they can certainly donate their time to help the church.

And he also pointed out the differences between where we are in life. A family with young children must spend more of their time and money in caring for their young family. A couple whose children have already left home has both more money and more time at their disposal to donate.

In all of your discernment, remember that God has given you everything you have. If you had been given such a gift from a friend/relative, you'd surely be very appreciative of it; make sure that you show God that same appreciation. Make sure that you are making wise decisions when it comes to using all the gifts that God has given you.

It sounds like you and your wife are in disagreement with the handling of the finances in general. (You mentioned that you didn't want to buy the house but she did, for example.) You need to find some way for the two of you to get on the same page. Have an honest discussion together about the finances: how you'd like to handle them, how she'd like to handle them, which areas you think the spending should be dedicated to, what your financial goals are, etc. Giving to the church is just one of the many financial decisions that a husband and wife should be making together.
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