Baha'i Huquq'u'llah Tracking
Members of the Baha'i Faith (and any Faith really) have been given 2 forms of flexing our generosity muscles:
1. General Charitable Giving - This is based on each person's desire to give. We are encouraged to be responsibly generous to any and all good causes and includes contributions to the different Baha'i Funds - Local, Regional, National, International, Temples, etc.
2. The Right of God (Huqúq'u'lláh) - This one is a prescribed requirement, a law, by Bahá'u'lláh, although most Baha'is are yet to get into a regular practice of it. It is similar to the Judeo/Christian Tithe but a little closer to the Muslim Zakat (a word that means "that which purifies"). The basic concept is that one is to pay Huquq'u'llah on the excesses of life as decided by each person for his/her-self. One doesn't pay until a certain level of wealth has occurred. For me, this is a law of love to help me be less materialistic while at the same time raising my consciousness of financial responsibility.
The reason I'm posting is that the guidance to calculate your Huqúq'u'lláh can be a bit complicated (no one is allowed to do it for you). As I try to get better at being responsible with what God has given me (budgeting), I am trying to improve my regularity with this law. ONE thing I would love to have is a way within YNAB (the API?) to mark each transaction if I feel I need to pay Huquq on it, or even a percentage. For instance, I currently sum the categories of excess (eating out & entertainment) and pay my Huquq on the entirety. But sometimes eating out is a necessity, like while travelling, so I would like to exclude it.
Anyone have a way to 'tax' yourself on certain transactions? It's kind of a self taxation or sales and use tax in business. I'd love to learn what others do for this.
Anyone have other methods to calculate Huquq'u'lláh? I would love to discuss.
Greg Hansen said:
ONE thing I would love to have is a way within YNAB (the API?) to mark each transaction if I feel I need to pay Huquq on it, or even a percentage. For instance, I currently sum the categories of excess (eating out & entertainment) and pay my Huquq on the entirety. But sometimes eating out is a necessity, like while travelling, so I would like to exclude it.
For ease of grouping the transactions you describe as the excess ones, I would use one of the coloured flags, say Red. As part of your budget review (frequency tbd by you) you can do a search in the "all accounts" view for all red flagged transactions. Just type red in the search bar and the option to select all transactions with a red flag is an available search. Once you have them all displayed, you can select them all, and that will then display a total for all the selected transactions on the screen. From this you could extrapolate a desired percentage for giving. Having assessed the necessary giving for the transactions to date, I would then change the flag colour for the transactions to a different colour, say Orange. This would be my way of confirming that I already identified that particular transaction as an "excess" and the giving percentage for it has been added to my budget.
First, giving is very personal and I'd not share any of this in person.
Second, there's not enough giving going around. So, good for you.
Third, this seems like either a tool question or a behavior question. In the tool, I'd just add a word in the memo field because I like text, but same result as flag suggestion. Search and see all transactions. In behavior, how about using a different credit card for excess transactions? Or, find a card that supports the goal (might not hurt to look). My credit card automatically takes half the points I earn and donates them to Christian missions. I don't track this or count it as part of my tithe. Then, I have the choice to cash out the rest of the points or donate those as well.
Fourth, and last, I understand this is personal, but consider simplicity. You mentioned wealth a couple times, but switched to expenses, perhaps because those are details I'm missing. I used to track tithe on every income source of any kind, seriously. If I earned $1.20 in interest in savings, I'd transfer 0.12 to tithe. Same would go for cash birthday gifts, tax refunds, found money on the street, finding a parking meter with time on it (ok, not really that far), but everything I could track. After years of doing so, I looked at all the time I was spending and decided I could make better use of the time. Now, I tithe on income (earned wages, bonuses, and tax refunds) and round up to nearest $10. Interest earned on savings sometimes goes all to tithe, sometimes not. I look at the end of the year, see if I'm able to give any more, and do if able. It's been a relief and less stressful. Before anyone jumps in, I know tax refunds are not all income, but it's my choice to give.
Good luck with budgeting. The book helped me the most get into the YNAB thinking. I've been budgeting for decades, but not this style. If you don't have to the book, the link in my tagline helps cover the same topics.
I just visited a church where the pastor said he didn't believe tithing (your option 2) was required anymore. He only encourages giving (your option 1). And he said, it's giving as needs are presented to you. The example he used was if you saved up to give $500 to the church, but you have the need presented to you (maybe you're in the repair shop) of a single parent needed a car repair, then help pay for the car repair and skip giving to the church that week. Definitely not how I was brought up, it makes sense, but I'm going to have to think on it for a while.