First Time Home Buyers, Saving up While Tithing, Stress

Updated on April 09, 2013
E.P. asks from Corpus Christi, TX
32 answers

My Husband and I are wanting to buy our first home. We Struggle with our finances as a team. There is so much that I would like to put into this, but this is as easy as I can put it. We are on a Fireman's pay, I do not work at the moment and my husband just started a 2nd job. Tithing has been weighing HEAVILY on our hearts and right now I just dont see us tithing and TRYING to save for our house. Not to mention that when he got into the Academy he left his Real Estate job which was bring in SO MUCH MORE MONEY and went from that pay to the firefighter academy pay. Our income droped drastically and we were unable to pay our credit cards so we also have CREDIT REPAIR to deal with. Now we are stuck with bad credit, living pay check to pay check, tithe, and arguments (thats what I hate most :/ ) I dont know what to do. But I feel that if I dont do something now that we are gonna be in this same place in 2 more years and deal with this stress again. I dont know what we have to do to take care of the credit.. Consolidating our bills? will that help? I know that HE will not like it but then again he is NOT a financial advisor and wants to argue about EVERYTHING I suggest. I really need a way out of this stress. This is too much and this DEAD END is also putting stress on our marriage. Please Help!
SAHM, Fireman's Wife, 3 AMAZING KIDS, Chirstian household <3

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So What Happened?

thank you everyone for your kind responses. And for those of you who responded as though I do not respect, honor, and think that I am some ungrateful wife towards my husband ... 》can kick rocks. As I stated there is a lot I did not mention!!!thank you to those of you who understand that tithing come first. My husband and I are very happy with what we have planned for our future. God bless you all!

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

I like the expression "charity starts at home". You can stop tithing for a while. It doesn't have to be forever.

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answers from Chicago on

What do you think God wants more: 10% of your limited income, or a strong and happy Christian family?

Your relationship and family stability need to come first. Tithing isn't intended for people who are barely making it and in debt. It is for those who are stable. Once you get your feet back on solid ground you can then tithe.

If your marriage and family fail, you'll probably never have enough stability to tithe. Strong marriages usually mean that you have or can achieve financial security.

ETA: I am Catholic, and for us we aren't asked to give 10% - we are asked to give as much as we can of our time, talent, or treasure--whatever it is that we can do.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Take a break from tithing. The purpose of donating to the church seems, to me, to be defeated if it's causing you financial, emotional, and mental stress. If you are truly in financial need, this is something you can cut out of your budget.

If you don't feel comfortable giving zero, reduce it to something like $5/week (or even $5/month). I know that's not much, but you'll still feel good that you're giving and it won't stop you from achieving your goal of buying a house.

Personally, I don't tithe and don't fully see the point of it as a mandatory thing (though I think it's perfectly fine for those who give willingly, happily, and easily). It just seems to me feeling obligated to give money you don't have isn't good for anyone.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

The church does not want people to be stressed by giving more than they can afford. Call the church and ask to make a change to your donation. If you feel bad about giving less to the church then offer to volunteer some of your time instead.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Thie spirit of tithing should be about "giving back". For me, that looks like inviting my friend and her young children over for dinner, because they've hit a rough patch and I can do more with the actual food in my house than the money it would take to purchase it. It looks like sending a "poor college student" a $20 bill. (Maybe more today, but I was 21 and on my own, and my friend was hungry.) It looks like polishing my future MIL's fingernails on her deathbed because she wanted to be buried with pretty fingernails. I get that the church has bills, but so do I. Not only the practical ones that keep me off the streets, but also the ones that keep me connected to the rest of my human race. "Service is the rent we pay for living." That's my tithe, and it's my way of life. If I have money left over, they can have it. Some people are "called" to give money ot the church. Some people serve better to just put in the time. Everybody can't do everything or even the same thing. You need to sit down and figure out your expenses and see where your areas of giving are strongest. Money is not always the answer. What else do you have to offer? Would it not be just as valuable?

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Why are you adding house stress to your worries? You're focused on the wrong thing. Lots of people rent. Homeownership is huge and costly in many ways. You are struggling financially, in your marriage and Spiritually.
You are not in a place to be stressing on what you don't have. Tithing is down on the list of your priorities of what to worry about. And this comes from a dedicated, long time tither.

You are on a secular website tring to get validation for a spiritual decision.
If titheing is weighing heavily on you, then do it. Tithing is not about giving to the church, it's about returning to God what is his. Really, it's all HIS. I suggest until you get your priorities right, and your understanding of money and it's place in your life, you will always have money troubles.

You are very resentful of the financial mess you are in right now. From your post, you are hurt that your H changed jobs and that left you with much less money and quite a bit of stress and financial strain. If what you hate most is the arguements about money, then find a Christian marriage counselor. If your church is not big enough for one, then call around.

You need to heal your marriage and find a way to stop putting artificial pressure on top of the real problems you have now. When you save money, it needs to go to pay off your credit card debt, not saving for a house. You have time at home to be reading Dave Ramsey. He is a Christian and has money advise that can help you.

Or you can put pressure on your marriage, make everyone unhappy, put pressure on a guy working two jobs and sit around trying to find a way to blame it on God and his expectations. Priorities girl, priorities!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

This is coming from a preacher's daughter and I have heard so many sermons on it throughout my life. We believe in giving what you are able to give. Not a standard percentage, but what you are able. For some, this means that some weeks, there is no money left over after the bills are paid. For others, they may give 25% of their income. God knows if you are struggling and the last thing he would want you to do would be to put yourselves out of a home to give an arbitrary percentage to the church. You can give a small monetary amount to the church, but how about donating your time in other ways? Host a ladies night Bible study. Teach a Sunday school class. Donate baked goods to a shelter in the name of your church. There are so many other ways to give from your heart. When we travel to India, many times the offerings are not money, but are different food items from a family's garden. God knows how your heart feels.

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answers from Baton Rouge on

My money doesn't belong to a deity. I work for it - it's mine.
Tithing isn't giving money back to God. God has no need for money - if there is a Heaven, I'm sure it doesn't run on a cash economy. It's giving money to the church to pay the church's bills - electricity, water, phone, internet connection, insurance, mortgage, staff salaries, supplies for Sunday School classes, etc.
My church doesn't go by the 10% rule. They do have guidelines based on gross income, and at the same time, recognize that some people have more demands on their disposable income than others, and do not pressure anyone to give if they can't.
Several years ago, I was going through a very rough patch financially, and couldn't afford to make offerings to my church based on the income guidelines they had. I spoke to the minister and the treasurer, and was told basicaly the same thing by both of them. If you're having to choose between buying groceries and giving to the church, go grocery shopping. If you're that strapped for cash, the church should be offering you assistance, not asking you for money.
I gave to my church, just not by writing a check. I served on various committees, taught classes, worked in the nursery, etc.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Honestly, it sounds you aren't anywhere near being ready to buy a home. I'm assuming you're renting right now, and that someone else does all of the repairs and pays for them. When you own the house, it will be your responsibility. How would you afford that when you are barely making it now? You make it sound as if renting a home is a "dead end" and I guess I'd rather not be tied down to a home that I couldn't afford in the first place.

The only conceivable way I can see for you to start moving toward home ownership is for YOU to generate some type of income. I'm all for moms staying home, but only if you can afford it and the family isn't suffering. First off the debt needs to be paid, and the credit needs time to be repaired before you even think of buying a house. Then you will need to save for a downpayment. As much as you want to own a home, it will add a lot more stress than you already have now.

And, I'm sorry, I find it hard to believe that God would rather you be broke and tithe than take a break from it and focus on your finances and eventually buying a house. I don't think you should have to pay to worship, but that's me. Are you a bad person because you don't put money in a basket every week? I just don't understand it. Is it possible to worship at home and stop attending the church for a while?

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answers from San Francisco on

Tithe! God rewards and always provides. Have the faith that God will provide and use this time as an act of faith to go ahead and tithe even though you don't know how your financial goals will work out. Your heart is heavy because of this and I am sure there are corners you can cut to make the 10%.

Go on Dave Ramsey and look at the Financial Peace University. There are tons of people who are able to to give and get a home etc who had massive debt etc. Best wishes!!!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Charity begins at home - namely yours.
Take a break from tithing till your finances have stabilized.
Sometimes the best way to help with charity is to do your best not to have to be needing assistance.
Put your own finances in order first and then come back to tithing at a later time.
Honestly with all you've got going on right now I'm not sure now is a good time to be buying a house.
With your bad credit, reduced income and living from paycheck to paycheck you will have a hard time qualifying for a loan.
Your husband use to work in real estate - he should know what's required.
So put that on the back burner.
You need more income to tackle the credit card debt.
Get a job and/or do some baby sitting to bring in some extra money.
Maybe the church can help you find a job and help with childcare.

"God cannot or will not bless you financially if you withhold your tithe.".

If God really works this way then I'm in the market for a new deity.
No one should ever think God's favors/blessings can be bought or purchased.
Because if it works that way then there are a whole lot of very poor people out there who can't afford the cover charge/membership fee on that particular concept of heaven.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

You are NOT obligated to tithe if it puts you into financial stress. I simply do not understand this. There were months in our very early years together when there was a dollar bill in our envelop because that was what we could afford that week and still pay our bills. You do not say what religion you are, but I would strongly suggest that you meet with your clergyman and let him/her know that your tithe will be reduced until your income stabilized. You don't need their permission, you just do what you need to do. If that causes an issue... find another spiritual home.

You are not "saving up" to buy a house... you are paying off your credit debt. AFTER your debt is gone, then you start putting money away for a house. At this point in your financial life, you cannot afford a home. That's the bottom line.

If your expenses exceed your income, you need to cut way way back on ALL things. Create a budget and stick to it. It's not easy. We're living on 1/2 of the income we previously made, but we are still able to pay our mortgage, put food on the table and have small birthday parties for our kids. Why? We don't but a THING that isn't "necessary". Seriously.

We moved across the country to be closer to my family in December. We walked away from $200,000 a year in NY to make less than $100,000 a year in FL. Cost of living is much less here, but it's not half. My husband is actively looking for a job (and has two interviews this week), but until he has an income:
- No eating out
- No clothing purchases
- NOTHING on credit cards
- No gifts and cards for eachother
- Nothing "premade" at the grocery store
- No coffee shop stops/ quick soda at a drive through
- Minimal entertainment costs... no theme parks, no movies... you'd be amazed at home many really fun "free" or low cost things there are to do if you look!

You get the idea. You need to cut out everything that doesn't involve keeping a roof over your head and food on your table. After your debts are repaid AND you have a savings account AND you have an income that can absorb not only a mortgage but repairs and upkeep on a house... then and ONLY then should you start house hunting. Before that, you are a foreclosure waiting to happen.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I've often heard churches use the phrase "time, talent and treasure," and understood it to mean that your financial "treasure" is one way that you can contribute to your church, but it is not the only way.

What else can you do? Can you volunteer to teach Sunday School or help with the Youth Group. Maybe you can help with a fundraising event or a food drive. There are so many ways you can give your "time."

What about your "talent?" So often people overlook this one. Maybe you could help with the landscaping or putting together play equipment. You might very creative and could help decorate for Vacation Bible School.

Churches have a variety of needs. Not everyone is in a position to contribute monetarily, but that doesn't mean their contributions aren't valuable and very much appreciated.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

God does not, IMO, want to break a family over tithing, while it is important, I do not feel guilt should make you overextend your family. Remember someone might put a penny in the till, while another puts in $100 but the value of the penny is so much more. God wants you to thrive not be unhappy, He knows your heart.
Try to cut back on even the little luxuries, maybe that can ease the struggle a bit.
And pray. Always.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Are your credit cards paid off?
Are you debt free? (Cars, store cards, etc)
If not, you need to get rid if that debt before trying to save for a house.
You need a budget and a plan.
Short term goals and long term goals.
Why in the world would a married to a SAHM with 3 kids willingly take that kind of a pay cut?
Like every other household, Chrostian or not, you need to make a budget and stick to it, no matter the income.
Clean up the debt first or you'll never get ahead.
Get a Dave Ramsay book.
It doesn't sound like tithing is the problem, because if it was the tithe (10th, first fruits) the issue would be you'd be saving 10% less every month.
Sounds like you have an income problem (glad hubby got a 2nd job). Find a way to contribute yourself--sell your kids outgrown stuff on eBay or Craigslist, have a garage sale, take clothes to a resale shop, clean O. house per week, shop smart, stay out of the mall, take in sewing, babysit a child part time.
Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

When you tithe, the MONEY COMES BACK TO YOU. Donating to your church is the HIGHEST donation you can make.

Tithing is a monetary flow toward a Greater Good.

Keep looking for a different solution. It will come. I've been in credit issues myself, but I've also found that donating to my church means the money seems to come back tenfold.

Don't cut off the flow to the most important part of you--your spirit. It will always seem like it should be the first thing to go--but really it should be the first place your money goes. Your Eternity is worth much more than a house.

I don't believe that He will provide magically, you will still have to do the work. But keep looking. The solution will be there. I agree, check out Dave Ramsay.

Just my opinion.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My advice is to call your church and ask if they have someone who donates their time that is a financial advisor. One of my friends husband's does this for our church...he also teaches Dave Ramsey's course on money management. You guys could sit down and talk with someone for free who will help you make a financial plan.

Go to the library and check out some of Dave Ramsay's books on money management. He is going to tell you to tithe as he teaches from a Christian prospective. I am torn on this issue as we have tithed and not tithed...but you as a husband and wife will have to decide this together...whether or not to tithe while getting your finances in order. And if it is 10% or 5%...or whatever percent and if donating extra time to church activities might also be good as a part of your tithe. (I was going to bring up the story of the widow woman who gave so little but it was all she had to give vs the rich man who gave a lot but it didn't value his gift as it didn't push his comfort zone or was not given with a glad and giving heart.)

Dave Ramsey will tell you what to do to work on your credit and how to dig yourself out of any financial holes you are in...we followed his advice and got out of credit card debt...we still have student loans and a mortgage...but those are not bothering us at this time we are just steadily paying them off.

Pay check to pay check is pretty normal these days...we are finally getting some money into savings but it has taken a few years to get to that point. My husband and I try to look at the positive...we have a roof over our heads and food on the table...the rest is icing. I am sending you a huge hug!!

Money is one of the top five reasons for divorce (and it is even higher in the Christian church then in the rest of the population...stunning isn't it). So please do look for help and get on the same page with your husband.

Oh and don't worry about the house right now...when we started working on our finances we were renting and we rented for many years...there is much more stress with home ownership...we need a new roof...and who has 20K just hanging around for that...not many people I know... You are not alone!!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

We are also a Christian household and it's really tough trying to figure out all the finances and stuff. I understand where you are coming from. We are also saving to buy a house, my husband is in the middle of filing for a bankruptcy (not the full one, I think it's the chapter 13?, where we are still making payments, just one that fits our budget). We do have a goal also to save up enough for a down payment. I do work part time, and my credit is excellent. So, when we do go to buy a home, it will be in my name not my husbands, but we will have enough savings for our down payment. My husband is a cop, but he does make good money, and puts in a lot of overtime also.
Right now, we have stopped our tithing. Sometimes when you have a goal and have some financial issues, you need to be able to take care of it. I know we are supposed to give 10% to the church, but we can't always do that. What if you just gave $20 a month to the church instead of the 10%? I don't think that God will be upset by that. He knows where our hearts are at and he knows your hearts desires and I fully believe that God wants you to be happy and be able to buy a home and get out of debt. I don't think that God will sit there and add up all your tithing and say that you didn't give enough.
My goal for buying a home is in about a year from now, but it might have to be 2 years. We are saving as much as we can right now and with my working part time when the kids are in school, it does help. I don't know how old your kids are, but if they are school age, then maybe you could find a part time job during school hours. I was very lucky to find mine. I'm only there 3 days a week and I'm home in time to pick up the kids from school.

One thing that helped us with our budget was Dave Ramseys financial peace class. Maybe look into that for you guys?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Welcome to mamapedia!!

Money is the thing most couples fight over. You need to get on the same page or it will only get worse. Find out what HIS ideas are and how to meld the two ideas together.

Real Estate can be done on weekends and after normal business hours. Sounds like he needs to work that into his schedule rather than a DIFFERENT second job. So more income can be made applied to credit card debt and savings.

No credit repair company will fix your credit. Sorry. It's a myth. If the accounting from the credit cards are correct - late/missed payments - NOTHING will fix them but time and making the payments on time or paying them off.

You might want to take a trip down to the library and check out Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman. You need to get in control of your finances, NOT your finances controlling you.

Try going to a CASH ONLY family. I can't tell you the difference it makes knowing you won't have a credit card bill in the mail...just gas, electric, water, etc. And even those? You can talk to your provider and ask if they have a "Budget Plan" where your bill is the same every month - it truly does help.

As to tithing. God understands your end goal. If you have to tithe less, He will understand. If your husband goes back to Real Estate on his off days, you can tithe a portion of his commissions from that. God understands and He knows you are not forgetting Him.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

If you and your husband are committed to tithing, then that's commendable and I have nothing to say about that. If you disagree on tithing, good luck convincing the other spouse.

But here's my take on tithing, when you can't afford it: You have three kids of your own, and it's wonderful that you want to help others, but you are not obligated to destroy the home of your own children by giving away money you need for your own survival.

Finances are one of the hugest stresses on a marriage. If tithing is taking so much away from your own financial security that it's destroying the harmony of your home, and potentially damaging your children, then you need to take a break from tithing.

You can take up tithing again once you can afford it.

Meanwhile, if you are that much in debt, it sounds like you won't be able to afford to buy a home. You should not be "saving" money while you have credit card debt. The interest you will accrue will outweigh your "savings."

Stop tithing, pay off your debt, and THEN save for a home. Meanwhile, rent. There is nothing wrong with renting.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

You need to consider going to work. Your family is suffering and you could go to work and help alleviate some of that.

If your income is truly that low you can get child care assistance and pay less for child care. You know what your convictions are. Some of my friends who planned on being SAHM's found that with today's economy they just can't or they would have to go to the church's welfare program. Some of them chose to go to work instead. They were able to set aside money for homes, to pay off bills, and finally set aside money for college funds for the kiddos. Going to work isn't all bad. Millions of mom's have no choice and they go every day, missing being home with their kids too. A couple of them went back to college with full financial aid and got teaching degrees or nursing degrees. They were able to get steady jobs that made a good salary.

If you are adamant about not working then you have to consider some other options.

IF you are renting an apartment you could sign up for low income housing and get on the waiting list. Once your family's name came up you could move into an apartment or home, depending on the program you signed up for, and move into a home that was of an adequate size.

Is there a Habitat for Humanity group in your area? If so they could be your fastest resource to owning a home. Your family and friends can work for your sweat equity hours. This is your down payment. Once you've worked a certain amount of hours you get to start focusing on the home that will be yours, you can pick the colors, the curtains, the flooring, etc.... Then when you move in you make a minimal payment to the organization. That money goes towards another family's home so they can be a home owner too. It's a great program.

You could buy a mobile home and put it in a mobile home lot. There would be kids for your kids to play with, they are like small communities where everyone waves and is friendly, well, most of the time it's like that. Mobile homes come in a variety of sizes and styles. Most of them are made in the area you live in so they are insulated for that climate area. You could get a 16'X80' and have over 1200 sq. ft. You'd have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a large living area. In your area of Texas you do have hurricanes so you might want to know your storm plan but other than that time of year you could live in one quite comfortably. They cost, new, much less than a house. Buying a used one, everyone but new builders do live in used homes by the way, is even much more affordable. Our mobile home cost just over $16,000. It has been through 100mph+ winds, hail, storms, microbursts, etc...and is still standing and protecting us well.

You have some options so I hope you and hubby will sit down and decide what is going to happen from this point forward. You are risking your marriage, your family, your happiness over low income. Fix it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Okay, so I think that firstly, a break from tithing would be ideal. In addition I think you should look into finding a part time job or even a full time job to help ease the financial strains.

I do understand that sometimes it is more expensive to have two working parents and that you working as well may not be a feesable suggestion but it should be looked into.

Not to undermine your faith but do you think that God would be dissapointed if you forwarded your tithe into your new home savings account? In my opinion moving the tithe would be ideal.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

When you are in a financial bind, donate of time talent and skill, not of money for life basics. If you are already in a hole and hubby is getting a second job perhaps it is time to maybe do in home childcare so you can help pay down and save for a home. Once you are more financially secure then is the time to reconsider how much you give to the church. Until then cut back on absolutely everything nonessential. Cablr? Smart phone? Junk food? Make a menu plan, shopping list according to sales and coupons. Use simple non toxic things for cleaning that are cheaper and better for environment. Meet once with a financial planner together with All your cards on the table. All bills, income, savings and come up with a plan to pay down and save. God is a gracious understanding being who will see your hard efforts of leading a good, hardworked for life, while being kind to others. Any christian who judges what you need to do to balance your family, should look within themselves and ask what can i do to help. So tithe when you are solvent. May you be blessed with shelter, food and peace of mind.


When you are in a financial bind, donate of time talent and skill, not of money for life basics. If you are already in a hole and hubby is getting a second job perhaps it is time to maybe do in home childcare so you can help pay down and save for a home. Once you are more financially secure then is the time to reconsider how much you give to the church. Until then cut back on absolutely everything nonessential. Cablr? Smart phone? Junk food? Make a menu plan, shopping list according to sales and coupons. Use simple non toxic things for cleaning that are cheaper and better for environment. Meet once with a financial planner together with All your cards on the table. All bills, income, savings and come up with a plan to pay down and save. God is a gracious understanding being who will see your hard efforts of leading a good, hardworked for life, while being kind to others. Any christian who judges what you need to do to balance your family, should look within themselves and ask what can i do to help. So tithe when you are solvent. May you be blessed with shelter, food and peace of mind.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think you hit the nail on the head in your last few statements. You all need to go see a financial advisor. Dave Ramsey classes at your church?
or find another financial counselor. I believe your husband is dismissing your ideas possibly for the same reason you are dismissing his - neither of you are experts in this field and it appears to be something you value. Take the strain off your shoulders. let a third party map out the plan and then agree to follow it.

Finances, job change and moving are all key life experiences that cause significant strain on a marriage.
Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We have a financial adviser who has been very helpful. He guided us, in many ways. It sounds like you need a 3rd party to advise "you two" so it is not either one of your ideas.

Dave Ramsey and Suzie Orman both have great plans and ideas. We have taken ideas from each. I think both are smart in different ways, but both are good with money.

Good luck.

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answers from Austin on

There are lots of things that we want in this life that we can't have. Until you get your debt taken care of, buying a house should not be your focus. If you make your home a happy home (stop the fighting), your kids will not care if you are in your own home or a rental. A lot of times we think, if I had a house, or a new ____, or more money, or a different _____, then I will be happy. This thinking is not what you want to be modeling for your kids.

I love that you are tithing. That is a great model for your kids! Be sure to talk to them about why you are tithing. Include them also in the process. So you need to know why you tithe. We tithe because of God's teaching in the Bible. To me it reads, "Do you trust Me enough to live on 90%?" And "All you have is Mine; are you thankful for ALL that I give you?" I can do many things to honor God, but He knows the hardest thing for us is to give up money. Money is such a big issue in our lives so there are 2000 verses in the Bible that address this issue! Someone once said that you can tell a person's heart by looking at their checkbook. Talk with your husband about what money means to you. Dave Ramsey addresses this in his books. That would be a good place to start.

Dave Ramsey's books also talk about things you've always thought about that aren't true. Here is a little snapshot on one of his books: I like Dave Ramsey because he makes it sound doable if you just start with baby steps. He also is very Biblical. It really doesn't matter what other people think. We should base our decisions on what God thinks:

Your husband may be arguing about "everything you suggest" if it comes across as him not being able to provide for his family. Be sure to encourage your husband by thanking him for working so hard (2 jobs!!!) to keep you home with the kids. He needs to know that he is your knight in shining armor, your handsome prince charming, etc. When was the last time you told him how proud you were to be a fireman's wife?!

So, stop the arguing. Get one of Dave Ramsey's books and take control of your finances. You can do it because 1000's of people just like you have. It takes time, but every day that you are on a plan, the closer you will be to getting out of debt! The house will come down the road, but right now, just put that stress out of your mind and be thankful for what you have.

I wish someone asked me this when I was your age. Would you rather have your husband know that you are right or would you rather have your husband look at you with love and admiration? For so long, I was arguing so that I could convince him that I was right... I wish I knew to let all that stuff go and just be more loving. At the end of the day, I would have been a lot happier. Once I figured it out, our marriage has been so much stronger.

Blessings to you! I envision a happier, financially stable home in your future!

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answers from Austin on

I know you've already heard a lot about Dave Ramsey on here. Dave's philosophy on tithing: God instructs us to tithe, so that we will grow to have the heart of a giver. HE doesn't love us any less, if we don't tithe (just like you don't love your kids any less, when they don't listen to you).

Based on everything I've heard in Dave's teachings (I'm a coordinator for Financial Peace University and listen to him, regularly), I can say with confidence that he would recommend: do NOT save for a house, yet.

Save $1000 for emergencies, then get ALL your debts paid off as quickly as possible, then save 3-6 months of an emergency fund (these would be Dave's first three "baby steps"). THEN start saving for a down payment. Keep tithing, but only if you can. If you're in danger of not being able to pay your rent, utilities, transportation or groceries, then God will understand.

As far as the Real Estate vs Firefighter: I happen to be a Realtor, and have a friend that's a broker. . . AND a full-time fire fighter.
He just happens to show homes during his 48 off.

I HIGHLY recommend Financial Peace University. It's recently changed from 13 weeks down to only 9. It will seriously change your life, and take SO much stress out of your marriage!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Google Dave Ramsey. You need to get your credit and your house in order before buying a house. If you are struggling now you are really going to struggle with a new home. I had to do the same thing. It took me three years but now my credit is up, I have absolutely NO bills or debt and I just purchased my first home. It can be done but you have to take baby steps and it might require you getting a job to help out and It might require your spouse to help more around the home. Get on the same page with this and you will pull out of it.

Best of luck



answers from Waco on

I second the recommendation for finding a Dave Ramsey class. It was truly one of the best things I ever did for myself. You will whole-heartedly enjoy it. Many churches offer it for free. Just go to the Financial Peace website and look for classes in your area. It's 13 weeks, which sounds like a long time, but you didn't get into this mess overnight. It will take time to learn a new way of living/thinking.

Also, I "hear" quite a bit of stress in your post. Try not to beat yourself up over all of this. God wouldn't want that! There are many instances in the Bible where you see people giving many different amounts - 10%, 20%, 50%, etc. Try not to get so caught up in the 10% thing. God wants you to give with your WHOLE heart. Best wishes to you!



answers from Austin on

I've not read the other answers but we're on a fixed income as well with just myself working at the moment. Like your husband, my husband is getting out of one business and trying to start another. We make sure that if we cannot give monetarily (to help others in need), we then volunteer our time/efforts as those are just as precious in God's eyes (IMO). For example, we are Disaster Relief Shepherds for our local Disaster Relief Network which partners with organizations like the Red Cross when there are traumatic events affecting one or more families (e.g., apartment fires, floods, hurricanes). In this role, we're able to give of our time to research and help solve basic needs of families who have lost everything. I feel that until such time as we can give monetarily, that giving of ourselves is just as appreciated by God. Perhaps you can pray about it with your husband and see about something similar for y'all either at your church or local DRN.



answers from College Station on

Read Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" . He is also on AM radio. Easy to read book and outlines what you need to do get out of debt, save money, etc. Please give a try. One step at a time. Do not be discouraged.



answers from Houston on

Sorry but this is a very long answer but I hope you will read it all of the way through.

First before anyone gets upset about what I am writing, I want to say that this is coming from a biblical perspective. One of the things that we are taught in our church is that for a Christian it does not matter what a church denomination says, or what a pastor says, or what the latest self-help book says, or even what your best friend says; if you have a question on what God wants you to do then go to the Bible and see what He says.

In reading your letter I see two issues and neither one is about money but they are both about control. First, to me, it reads as though if your husband would do things your way everything would be better but he only wants to argue with you. Are you being a wife as described in Ephesians 5:22-33? I know this is hard. I tend to be a strong willed person also and I struggle with this. However I can also tell you that the times when I have been absolutely positive that I knew what was best for our family and that whatever my husband wanted to do was wrong; those were the times that caused the most strife in our marriage. The times that I have realized that this is what I was doing and then I decided to back off and allow my husband to be the head of our household as God has instructed him to be; those were the times that we were able to sit down and really work on whatever the issue was and find a solution that worked well for everyone involved. Being a wife that submits to her husband does not mean that he is the only one who has any say in the discussion but it does mean realizing that he has the final decision making authority. If he has any smarts at all he will realized that you may see things differently than how he sees things and that should be taken into account in his decision. But remember your husband will be held accountable to God for the decisions made for your family. Remember Adam did not choose to eat the forbidden fruit first but he was cast out of Eden because of the decision that Eve made.

The second control issue is about finances. Study Malachi 3:6-18. Study it with your husband. Pray over it. Most of the time in the Bible we are told not to test God because we will not like the consequences but in Malachi 3:10 God says to test Him. He says to “Test me in this and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Tithing is not a financial issue it is a faith issue. Faith is trusting in something or someone when nothing about that trust makes logical sense. One thing to remember is that His blessings are not always financial. They can be peace in your marriage and family, they can be good health, they can be a happy home that you are either renting or buying, or they can be financial as in a better paying job or unexpected financial gifts. His floodgates are unlimited and He knows what you need. I know of at least three times in my personal walk that God has chosen to reward our faithfulness in ways that could only be described as a “God thing.” He blesses us all of the time but these three times it had to be God because I don’t know of any other possible explanation. If you want to hear those stories private message me. They would be longer than this already is.

I am not saying any of this to verbally beat you up. This is said to give you a hope and a future of happiness and contentment. You and your husband may need to get help to work together as a couple the way God intends for a marriage to work. If so, make sure it is someone who gets their answers from God’s word. When you and your husband are working together as a team instead of enemies, there are no limits on what God can bless you with.

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