Is tithing feasible in modern society?


I’d tend to agree with this, on the 10% figure.

Even in the United States, the government in the last 50 years or so has increased the size of the social safety net for the poor. Whereas in the 1930s a poor family might have gone to their church, their neighbors, or a private charity for help, today they’d turn to government social programs for help. So some of that 10% of your income is going to the poor in the form of what we pay in taxes.


I think tithing 10 percent of after-tax income is the way to go, if one wants to do it and can do it. If somebody is more comfortable giving time to the church or community instead, that’s okay too.


Pick up your newspaper and see how many jobs are paying 100k. That’s exceptionally rare.

There are people out there making minimum wage and those just above minimum and they are able to live.

20k for mortgage? What kind of mansion are you living in?

I think in this country we forget just how rich we are sometimes…


Now that you mention it, a 100K household income in the U.S. is still in the top 20%.

Some people in that category will say they “can’t make ends meet,” but as you say, over 80% of U.S. households somehow “make ends meet” with less.


A lot depends on which area of the USA you are living in, whether you have children, a second income from spouse or partner, and/or a mortgage.

A single person living in the Midwest making 100 K a year is very well off.

A single person living in San Francisco or New York City and supporting 3 kids on that income is likely to have trouble making ends meet.

You need about 300 K a year coming in for a family of four to have a decent life in NYC. In Cleveland, you probably need about a quarter of that.

Edited to add, people who have not experienced the cost disparities in different parts of the country, especially housing costs, tend to not get this.


$20k is for the whole year, right? That’s about $1,667 pet month. You can get an old 2 bedroom condo for that in an undesirable neighborhood in my area, IF you are lucky.


There sure is a lot of judgment on this thread. Not everyone lives in the middle of nowhere where you can buy a decent house on an acre of land for $100k or less. In the metro areas of big cities, food, shelter, and medical costs are all more expensive. Dental plans cost way more for someone living in the NYC or Boston area than they do for someone living in Mississippi or Kansas.


Correct. And if you’re talking Boston or NY Metro which includes homes that are 45-60 minutes away in clear traffic, the prices are around ~500k for a 1,000 sqft “home.” (these stats include in-apartment no-land condos, they are not all free-standing units) That’s a mortgage of about $3k a month if you include PMI, insurance, taxes as a part of a mortgage payment. (in

20k annually on a mortgage, or 1,667 monthly gets you a 30 year mortgage with PMI, insurance, taxes, interest according to a calculator gets you a 250k home. In a HCOL area that’s not really much. In a LCOL area…yeah…that’s a lot. You can get 50 acres and a 3000sqft house in the rustbelt. But that’s not really representative of America, where the average house cost is about $190k, which would be a 30-year mortgage over $1k monthly–far over 1k depending on where it’s located, PMI, taxes and other things.


This is going to depend on the area, but from what I have seen, people working minimum wage were either working insane hours, or they were relying on someone else to make ends meet. I didn’t meet someone who was supporting themselves on a normal workweek at minimum wage.


I hear you, but how do the people making $15 or $20 an hour survive on that?

I can’t believe your average hotel housekeeper, Starbucks Barista, grocery store clerk, dishwasher, janitor, secretary, etc is making close to the 100k a year people talk about. If they are able to live, it’s obviously doable. If what I see on TV is accurate (and I’m perfectly willing to concede that it may be wrong) a lot of people in NYC have roommates, which would make that housing cost far more palatable.

Also to keep in mind, no one is required to live in any city in this country. If it’s so expensive to live in San Francisco, even a lower paying job in a rural area is probably going to give you a better life.

It boggles my mind that engineers who work at Facebook and such make 100k a year and have that much trouble making it. I work in Milwaukee, WI and know of companies that pay 80k for systems engineers. I bet that’s like 240K or so in San Fran, can’t see why they don’t make the move.


Part of the question here is what’s your life situation. If you’re a single young adult, roommates are manageable. If you’re a family with kids, it’s a lot harder. If you’re a single parent, it’s very hard - a lot of people don’t want to live with children and you probably don’t want someone you don’t know well living there.


We’re hoping to move to the Midwest next year once my husband is able to switch fields, but for now all the jobs he is qualified for are concentrated in this one city. It’s not always easy to apply for jobs out of state, as employers find it easier to hire candidates who are already in the area. It also costs thousands of dollars to move in terms of paying the movers and paying security deposits.

The low wage workers around here either have tons of roommates (not feasible with a family), receive housing assistance, or live 2+ hours away from their jobs.


Don’t forget “work 60-80h weeks”. I’ve seen that one a lot around here. But again, it doesn’t work well if you have kids because you’ll never be able to see them.


Then tithing doesn’t apply to you. But when someone chooses computers, internet, television, movies, restaurants, vacations, nice clothes, nice cars, college, toys, dates, etc then it isn’t about “can’t” afford anymore but rather “don’t want to”


One thing to remember, if you cannot give 10%, at least give something. If every parishioner who today gives $0 put a $5 in the basket on Sunday, if households who already give could add another $5, it would make a world of difference in your parish.

Giving of time and volunteering is wonderful, but, the parish still has to pay the electric bill.


First, leave out “secretary” as many of them make OK money. Maybe you meant temp.
As for the rest, many of those people are living with someone else such as a parent, partner, etc who are bearing a lot of the rent cost, or else they are in a situation with multiple roommates which is often not stable or ideal. Rent is the worst expense for these folks - many of them can walk or bike to work and get at least some of their food through their employer. And none of the people I know doing these jobs have children, or had them at the time they worked these jobs. It would be very hard to support a child while working these jobs.

I actually know a lot of people among my friends and family who work or have worked as baristas, temps, hotel housekeepers, grocery workers, kitchen staffers, etc and I have seen and heard first hand how they live. The vast majority of them hold these jobs while going to college or figuring out what they really want to do in life, and they eventually move up to either manager level at their workplace, or go into whole different careers.


If we go about giving vastly greater quantities money to secular society than to God, then we really don’t care about God then do we? God is supposed to come FIRST in our lives. We shouldn’t just give a dollar or two in return for God’s great graces and ultimate sacrifice. That means we are ungrateful and we’d rather have spend our money on pointless material stuff or fancy food and the like. At the very LEAST we should tithe. We NEED to ALWAYS put God first. God loves us greatly, and He has given us the One True Church: the Holy Catholic Church. If we don’t fund His Church, then we are basically being very ungrateful and are basically asking for His Church to crumble. :man_shrugging:


Sorry, but if you went by this yardstick, no one who paid significant rent or a mortgage (to say nothing of necessities like health insurance, etc) would “care about God”. Throughout history we have had a lot of wealthy people who clearly cared about God even if they did not give everything they owned to the church or the poor. Not everybody is Mother Katherine Drexel, and while she is a wonderful saint, we aren’t all called to be and we don’t all need to be.


Mel…no offense…but get back to us when you are paying your own expenses. You live with your parents…you have stated you can’t move out because it’s “too expensive”

Think about that for a moment.

Think about what your life would be like if you had to be out on your own.

You wouldn’t be spending money on “pointless material stuff or fancy food”.

You are VERY lucky to have parents who can provide you food, clothing, and shelter. You are living a luxury most people don’t have. It is very, very easy for you to give 10% becuase you aren’t supporting yourself…you are being given free gifts and have money to play with.


My point has been my situation is duplicated a million times over and that many of the people who are told they should be tithing are in the exact same position I’m in. It’s very few in America today who can afford an endless stream of luxaries.

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