or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › Is my attitude towards money unhealthy?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is my attitude towards money unhealthy? - Page 3

post #41 of 59
Thread Starter 
Lots to respond to. Thank you for all of the replies, it really is helping me dig into what's going on in my brain...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyamo View Post
If you pay off your debt first, then give, you will save so much in interest that you would actually be able to give more altogether. Would that argument help?
Well, after the debt is gone (which at this rate will be around for another 4 years) there will be the house downpayment, and retirement, and education funds. And car replacement. And and and. So from where I stand right now, I can't imagine ever being in a place where that $400 or $500 can be going to a tithe. Of course, that assumes that DH's income remains where it is. If he's suddenly pulling in substantially more, then maybe I'll feel less like we are in survival mode.
post #42 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangecanoe View Post
You lost me after the first few sentences when you stated that you weren't overindulged growing up and then proceed to list a whole bunch of ways in which you were. Add to that the continuing generosity of family to step in to meet your budget shortfalls and I will say that I do think your ...wouldn't necessarily call it attitude...towards money is skewed a bit.
Just wanted to address this quickly...I grew up very comfortably, but I was def. not one of those kids that had a closet overflowing with toys or designer clothes. I didn't even know what designer labels were until my older brother wanted Levi 501's. LOL. Yes, in my household that was considered "designer". (My parents attended many black tie events bcs of my father's work, but "couture" was just not my mom's thing). I don't think traveling and private schools were an indulgence. I feel like my own kids are missing out terribly because we CAN'T travel and see the world. I had every advantage growing up, but in the areas that exposed me to culture and broadened my worldview. I was told "no" plenty of times when it came to material things. That wasn't such a quick response, was it? It just never really occurred to me that my kids would be relying on their grandparents for piano lessons.
post #43 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quoting individually is not working, so I'm going to address a couple of things:

We haven't had any money on our budget for "allowances". We really are living close to the wire. Maybe we'll get there, but there just isn't room in the budget right now without taking it from someplace else, and all the other categories are already really tight. We've already cut out all of the extras in our budget. I think the only thing left is $10/month to Netflix. Seriously. There are no extras. We didn't go to the pumpkin patch this year bcs I can't imagine buying pumpkins for the kids.

I like the practical idea of tithing into an emergency fund, but I kind of feel like maybe that defeats the idea of having faith that God will meet our needs. I'm getting very legalistic about this, I realize. And maybe a bit superstitious. Again, not to get all religious on you, but God HAS come through for us (financially) again and again. I know that we would have not made it this far if some higher power or universal energy didn't have our back. That might sound cracked, but seriously, EVERYTIME we think, "Crap. What now?" there will be some unexpected windfall almost to the dime of what we are short. It's pretty bizarre. (I'm talking about after the credit cards were maxxed out)

This def. stems from our differing religious upbringing. I was talking to a friend of mine that I grew up with and it shed a lot of light on my attitude. She and I are of the same mindset as a lot of you...why money? Why not time? Why 10%? etc etc. DH and I will have to compromise, obviously. But the fact of the matter is we have been going to a Baptist church, and if the Baptist church lays things out a certain way...?

Btw, we are following Dave Ramsey's plan. It's how we got a handle on our financial situation. And I lurk on their boards. Haven't done FPU bcs it hasn't been offered anywhere nearby, but I feel like I know how to work the steps, so we're good there.
post #44 of 59
I don't think you are skewed. TBH, I don't agree with tithing, if you are taking money from others as charity. (I really am looking for a nice way to say that, but every way sounds wrong). I do like pp suggestions of tithing with time,etc.

That being said, I understand what you mean about never feeling financially 'full'. I think the nice thing about the DR 'steps' is that it clearly defines what 'full' looks like. Once you finish step three, you are in a position to open up your budget, travel, piano lessons etc. Does that make sense? Until you get to that point, you are justified in feeling as though you need to work harder etc.

I also understand the concept that god will provide as a sort of test of faith. But I believe, in a way, that god provides the means and opportunity to create a feast, not just the feast. I am not Christian, but I often listen to the DR show because it's entertaining (I don't agree with every thing he says.) But he sometimes quotes scripture-- perhaps taking a look at that from a more religious perspective will help explain to your DH how you feel?
post #45 of 59
We recently became members of the First United Methodist Church in our city. Our paster talked to us about tithing during the new member classes. He said that while the Bible suggests a tiith of 10%, all of that doesn't have to go to the church, for example if you volunteer your time, donate items or money to other charitable organizations. He also said that you should never tith if it will endanger your wellbeing or financial health, but the 10% should be a long term goal. That being said, we tith at church but no where near 10%.
post #46 of 59
If your budget is that tight (and I understand, we are there too) then I would put it back to DH. Lay out the numbers for him. If he wants to give $X to the church, he has to figure out where that is going to come from. If it is really that important to him, maybe he needs to work extra hours or get a paper route or something....

Or just get creative... what about holding a garage sale and donating all of that money to the church? Or volunteer to organize a bake sale or Christmas craft sale or something.
post #47 of 59
I hope this doesn't sound too judgmental. I am genuinely curious.

If your tithe is between $400/$500 a month... where are you that you qualify for reduced lunch?

You are making more than twice as much as we are, including every benefit we get, including health insurance, and we are buying our own kids' clothes. We do get about $30/month in food from WIC.

How much of that are you using to pay down debt? You own your cars free and clear? You are renting? What does your rent cost you?

I'm not saying this really bears on tithing because again, I think it's about much more than money. I see you are in New England. Nonetheless, even at $4,000 / mo, that is $48 k / year.

That is solid middle-class. If you aren't paying down debts, where are the expenses that are encroaching on clothes and groceries?

Or are the grocery/clothing issues in the past, and that is just part of the present anxiety? I can totally relate to that but it's also something you need to get past as you budget rationally.
post #48 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristina47454 View Post
Just wanted to address this quickly...I grew up very comfortably, but I was def. not one of those kids that had a closet overflowing with toys or designer clothes. I didn't even know what designer labels were until my older brother wanted Levi 501's. LOL. Yes, in my household that was considered "designer". (My parents attended many black tie events bcs of my father's work, but "couture" was just not my mom's thing). I don't think traveling and private schools were an indulgence. I feel like my own kids are missing out terribly because we CAN'T travel and see the world. I had every advantage growing up, but in the areas that exposed me to culture and broadened my worldview. I was told "no" plenty of times when it came to material things. That wasn't such a quick response, was it? It just never really occurred to me that my kids would be relying on their grandparents for piano lessons.

You asked for opinions on your attitude towards money and I still get a sense of entitlement---not meaning that entirely in the pejorative. Travel and piano lessons are things that many in this forum would consider extras and indulgences.

As a single mom working on 2/3 of my former budget, I opted not to sign up any of the kids for soccer. I also didn't go asking the grandparents to do so. There is just a different mindset to living with in your household's means or always wanting more or trying to match up to a lifestyle you can no longer afford.
post #49 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristina47454 View Post
He's still talking about taking over the finances, which is also freaking me out. Historically speaking, he's been TERRIBLE about paying bills on time and has been known to just stop opening mail when he gets stressed about money. The only reason we have maintained good credit is because I took over the bills. I had to take over a couple of his business bills bcs he simply wasn't paying them. He does need to get more involved in the finances, yes. Currently he know about how much we have in expenses, but if he were responsible for figuring out what needed to be paid and when, maybe he would understand my panic!
IMO this is a much bigger problem than the disagreement over tithing. There is no way on earth I would let this guy take over the finances.
post #50 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
I hope this doesn't sound too judgmental. I am genuinely curious.

If your tithe is between $400/$500 a month... where are you that you qualify for reduced lunch?

You are making more than twice as much as we are, including every benefit we get, including health insurance, and we are buying our own kids' clothes. We do get about $30/month in food from WIC.

How much of that are you using to pay down debt? You own your cars free and clear? You are renting? What does your rent cost you?

I'm not saying this really bears on tithing because again, I think it's about much more than money. I see you are in New England. Nonetheless, even at $4,000 / mo, that is $48 k / year.

That is solid middle-class. If you aren't paying down debts, where are the expenses that are encroaching on clothes and groceries?

Or are the grocery/clothing issues in the past, and that is just part of the present anxiety? I can totally relate to that but it's also something you need to get past as you budget rationally.
I don't know that we qualify for reduced lunch, but with a family of 5, we just might (I don't know where I put the guidelines, but we were close). Our income would be IDEALLY $4000-$5000/mo for the pinch to come off. DH was unemployed/underemployed for several months and there were many months where his income was nowhere near that. I'm being cautiously hopeful that we will get back to a point where it doesn't feel like I need to be in crisis mode.

I'm sure I've posted my budget on this forum at some point so I don't mind doing it again. Our rent is $1275/mo. I keep an eye on the real estate listings bcs our landlord just put this place on the market, and unless we downsize to a one bedroom apt we are already on the low end of rents. Utilities (oil/electric/phone/propane) run about another $400/mo. DH's cell and gas usage for work are easily $650/month (traveling sales). I try to limit my gas usage to $150/month, but we live rurally, so everything is a hike. I bundle trips and simply stay home. I budget $400/groceries. Car insurance and life insurance are supposed to have a sink fund. Our credit card minimums are $1300/month. Obviously, without the credit card debt we would be having a different conversation. You'll notice I'm missing a couple of categories, like FICA. So yeah, when I say things are tight, they are tight.
post #51 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangecanoe View Post
You asked for opinions on your attitude towards money and I still get a sense of entitlement---not meaning that entirely in the pejorative. Travel and piano lessons are things that many in this forum would consider extras and indulgences.

As a single mom working on 2/3 of my former budget, I opted not to sign up any of the kids for soccer. I also didn't go asking the grandparents to do so. There is just a different mindset to living with in your household's means or always wanting more or trying to match up to a lifestyle you can no longer afford.
I'm choosing not to be offended that you get a sense of entitlement from my post. Is it entitlement to want my girls to have some of the advantages that I had growing up? It sure would beat having to say "no" when we get invited to birthday parties when there is no money for a gift.

But you get exactly what the rub is. I am living a "lifestyle" that I never envisioned for my children. I don't think it's wrong to want to expose my children to things or help them discover and cultivate their skills. I grew up a certain way. My father worked hard to give us a certain lifestyle. It never occurred to me that I would EVER be in a position to accept public assistance. Turns out, life can throw you curveballs. I'm trying to make the best of it.

But FWIW, I am not ASKING my parents to pay for lessons for my daughters. But I am so so grateful that they wanted to. And even if I were asking them to contribute to my daughters' musical and dance educations, why would that be wrong, considering it was such a huge priority in my own upbringing? They have been wanting to do it for years, just like some grandparents love buying their grandkids books or clothes. This is just the first time I've accepted.
post #52 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
IMO this is a much bigger problem than the disagreement over tithing. There is no way on earth I would let this guy take over the finances.
Yeah, we're not doing that. I will say, however, that his own company checkbook is METICULOUS. Which is funny to me.

We came up with our original budget about two years ago and it was LIKE PULLING TEETH to get him to sit down to talk about it. Since then, I've finetuned it and kept things running as smoothly as I could with what we had. Not a job I'm turning over anytime soon. I think it's something he feels he "should" do, but not something he really wants to do.

And I also figured out that being the one handling the finances is the only thing that is helping me feel like I have some control over this crappy situation we find ourselves in. And he gets that.
post #53 of 59
Quote:
I don't know that we qualify for reduced lunch, but with a family of 5, we just might (I don't know where I put the guidelines, but we were close). Our income would be IDEALLY $4000-$5000/mo for the pinch to come off. DH was unemployed/underemployed for several months and there were many months where his income was nowhere near that. I'm being cautiously hopeful that we will get back to a point where it doesn't feel like I need to be in crisis mode.

I'm sure I've posted my budget on this forum at some point so I don't mind doing it again. Our rent is $1275/mo. I keep an eye on the real estate listings bcs our landlord just put this place on the market, and unless we downsize to a one bedroom apt we are already on the low end of rents. Utilities (oil/electric/phone/propane) run about another $400/mo. DH's cell and gas usage for work are easily $650/month (traveling sales). I try to limit my gas usage to $150/month, but we live rurally, so everything is a hike. I bundle trips and simply stay home. I budget $400/groceries. Car insurance and life insurance are supposed to have a sink fund. Our credit card minimums are $1300/month. Obviously, without the credit card debt we would be having a different conversation. You'll notice I'm missing a couple of categories, like FICA. So yeah, when I say things are tight, they are tight.
WOW. Okay. So, that's three kids, right? I thought you were applying for food aid like reduced lunch from earlier in the post. I also thought you were saying you were looking at a $400-500 tithe, so that was based on actual income.

Your rent and credit card expenses are insane. We were unemployed but luckily had savings so that did not go to credit card debt, THANK GOD. But I understand where you are coming from.

I do think you are overestimating your tithe while underestimating your income.

In the same thread you are talking about a $500 tithe and applying for benefits. That does not square up. I think that that may be part of where the anxiety is coming from. Know that if you're not making $5k, the tithe is not going to be $500. If you don't make anything, there will be no tithe.

Now, again, I agree that as long as you're in debt, I think you need to be paying that down, vs. tithing and who cares what the church thinks. Volunteer and pay yourself the salary you could make doing something else. I also do not think you sound entitled. I want more for my kids than I had.

We were poor. I have always wanted to do gymnastics, and I didn't get to do that as a child. I am still sad about it. I want my kids to travel, to learn instruments. I do not think of that as entitlements. I'm going to have to be creative about it and I would never, ever turn down a gift from a grandparent, either.

I do want you to know, though, Cristina, that as poor as we were, I traveled across the country at 15, out of the country at 16, went to college and have been traveling since. Had lots of time to learn languages. Hubby's in the army now (longest story ever) and my kids are getting languages here in Germany... you can give your kids great opportunities if you canvass for them.

Start looking at private school scholarships now.

It doesn't have to do with tithe but I want you to know that these things DO happen. Not always with money, and not always exactly how you wanted, but you can make it happen.

Put out an ad for lessons in any instrument, in exchange for [insert your skill here]. Citizenship tutoring. English language tutoring. Whatever.
post #54 of 59
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your response and the time you put into it, EdnaMarie. I realize I wasn't very clear about our actual income. And DH just had one of his jobs cancel ( a big one), so it turns out instead of the breathing room we thought we were about to have (which is why these conversations started), we're back to the wire again. This just confirms how important it is right now for us to be building a safety cushion, maybe even at the expense of the debt snowball for a little while. We are still somehow managing to squeak by and that's our reality.

I hear what you are saying about your wanting to do gymnastics as a child and still being sad about not being able to do it. I danced my entire childhood and it feels tragic that my very graceful, rhythm-filled 6 yo has had to wait this long to start taking lessons. Esp. since her older sister, who couldn't have cared a fig about it, got to take lessons from an early age bcs we were in a different financial place at the time.

I have often thought about the private school scholarships thing, and about how I could creatively make things happen (up till now we've managed to find a lot of great free and low cost things to do) but in the back of my mind I keep thinking this is all just temporary.

My dad told me once (about something not related to finances) when I was an idealistic teenager to "hope for the best but expect the worst". At the time I was outraged by his cynicism. Now I'm thinking it's maybe the best advice I've ever gotten. So I guess that needs to be my gameplan.
post #55 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristina47454 View Post

My dad told me once (about something not related to finances) when I was an idealistic teenager to "hope for the best but expect the worst". At the time I was outraged by his cynicism. Now I'm thinking it's maybe the best advice I've ever gotten. So I guess that needs to be my gameplan.
Hah, I remember some things that outraged me as a youth. I say them myself now. How we learn...
post #56 of 59
It did used to be that a solidly middle-class family could probably afford to have ballet or music lessons for each child. Maybe not both, but one each (dance for one child, music for the other, or whatever). Nowadays that usually is not possible without help from grandparents, because middle-class income has stayed flat and the cost of living has increased. That may be where some of your cognitive dissonance is coming from, OP.
post #57 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
It did used to be that a solidly middle-class family could probably afford to have ballet or music lessons for each child. Maybe not both, but one each (dance for one child, music for the other, or whatever). Nowadays that usually is not possible without help from grandparents, because middle-class income has stayed flat and the cost of living has increased. That may be where some of your cognitive dissonance is coming from, OP.
This is also true. Or rather... you could say the middle class is disappearing and we now again have working and upper classes, but not a real middle class of working people that have the chance to advance themselves and engage in civil action and discourse and--most importantly--take small risks, so that they were not living in fear of things getting worse, but basing decisions on hope.

Gee, wonder why that happened.
post #58 of 59
I pm'ed you OP.

We began tithing during one of the worst financial crisis' of our personal lives, and during the worst financial crisis during The Great Depression (this recession). Adopting the tithe literally changed our financial lives and we haven't worried about money once in three years, praise God. We have thrived with no natural or explainable reason (other than "luck", which I think is a harder concept to believe in than God lol)

I respect that other people have differing views, so I'm not interested in debating, but if anyone would like to know more, feel free to pm me.
post #59 of 59
For dh's religion he is expected to give away 2.5% of his income.We are a familiy of 4 living off of one low income.Religion or not we need all that we have.
If you feel you can give and you want too then do it.If not then don't.I am sure *GOD* would understand.

Personally I think it is silly to be *required* to give a set amount.I think people should give what they can when they can.And it shouldn't even have to be money that you give.

We are poor enough to struggle,but too rich to qualify for any discounts or programs.It is frustrating,but I have come to accept it.Things could be worse.

Wishing you better days ahead!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Frugality & Finances
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › Is my attitude towards money unhealthy?