I have recently started a practice called tithing. If you have never heard of tithing before, keep reading! I will explain what it is, and why I have decided to do it.
What is tithing?
Tithing is a traditional practice where you give away 10% of your earnings to charity or other good causes. It has roots in law and religion. Since ancient times, religions including Judaism and Christianity taught that tithing should be done, and in the past it was also a compulsory tax paid to the government. These days, in the UK at least, tithing is not compulsory and most religions no longer put much emphasis on it. In fact, I had never even heard of tithing until I read Steve Pavlina’s article on the subject.
After I learned about tithing, the idea appealed to me and I mulled it over in my mind for several months. Lately, I made up my mind to start tithing.
Although tithing originated as a religious practice, I choose to interpret it in a non-religious way. For me, it is a practice of giving, a way to contribute to good causes and a personal choice unrelated to any religion, law or sense of obligation.
Reasons why I’ve decided to tithe:
- To support good causes
- To create ripples of kindness and generosity
- I am a believer that you get back what you give out to the world. By giving my money away generously, more money will flow back to me.
- I already give to charities on a random basis, for example when I see a charity appeal. Tithing will help me to regulate and keep record of how much I am giving, and to which charities.
- My current life circumstances limit how much I can contribute to the world in the direct ways I want to, so tithing is an indirect way that I can support causes that are important to me.
My version of tithing
Traditionally, tithing involves giving away 10% of your earnings. However, I believe this percentage can be freely adjusted to suit the financial situation, goals and mindset of the individual. For example, if somebody is struggling financially but still wishes to support good causes, they could adjust the tithing amount to 5% or even 1%. If someone has plenty of money rolling in, they may wish to give 20% or more.
In my case, I have decided to tithe 5% of my earnings. This is because I am currently saving up to change my life circumstances, including moving out into my own home. Ultimately, by moving out I will be in a position to make more of a difference in the world, so that’s why I have decided to tithe a lower amount at the moment.
As well as giving directly to charities, my tithing will include giving to more local and personal causes, for example, sponsoring friends for charity events, and supporting fellow bloggers by buying them Ko-fi.
I will tithe on a monthly basis. If during the month I come across a cause that I want to donate to, I will go ahead and do so. At the end of each month, I will add up my earnings and work out my tithing amount, and subtract from that any donations that I have already made. Then I will decide where to donate the remaining money.
I will keep a list of ideas of causes I would like to support, and choose from them when the time comes to tithe. I will add ideas to my list every time I think of another cause.
My October causes
October was the first month when I started tithing. In October, I divided my tithing amount between the following causes:
- Peta – An animal welfare charity
I donated to Peta because I got an email from them about an appeal they were running.
- The British Hedgehog Preservation Society
I donated to help hedgehogs as part of Blogtober – see my post: Blogtober Day 8 – Helping Hedgehogs
- Greenpeace Rainforest Appeal
I got a letter about Greenpeace’s appeal to help save the rainforest, and decided to chip in
My November causes
In November, I donated to the following causes:
- Appalachian Wildlife Refuge
I was going to recycle my old mascara wands by sending them here, but then I realised they were in the US rather than the UK so it wouldn’t be very environmentally friendly to ship them overseas. I decided to donate money instead.
- Greenpeace Rainforest Appeal
I only donated a small amount of money to this cause in October, so I decided to give more this month.
- Cats Protection Dundee & District
This is my Grandma’s local branch, and she loved cats.
Have you ever tithed?
Had you heard of tithing before reading this post? Is it something you’ve ever done, or would consider? Let me know in the comments.