How do you all track religious tithing with variable income?
I do 10% tithing but my income is variable each month, anyone have examples of how they do it? It feels like I cant actually budget it as this month it could be 500 dollars and next 1500...
If you're a month ahead, Jan income funds Feb all at once. Tithing is just another category. The monthly amount is known in advance, so easy to compute a percentage if that's your approach.
Variable income can also be normalized to minimize the impact to the budget. Income above the average is stashed in a Deferred Income category. In a below average month, money is pulled out to supplement to the average level. (The rest of the budget targets the average income level.)
I would suggest prioritizing getting ahead to where you can push all income into next month. The deferred income category is a secondary consideration, IMO.
Not sure what the tithing payment rules are, but any time you get income into your TBB you could just budget 10% of that amount to a tithing category and the rest to whatever other categories you want. At the end of the month (or whatever the time frame is) just pay whatever you've budgeted to the tithing category.
What I do is use the Reports. I have a category group called "justice and compassion" with the various causes and contributions I make. Some of these expenditures are a fixed amount each month, some are commitments I make over several months, and some address needs that I keep an eye on but only contribute sporadically or at the end of the year when I'm cashing things out for the new year. My fixed commitments are all ones I can meet even when my checks are on the lower side. (So for instance I keep a very low pledge at church, but then I kick up my actual contributions through various routes depending on what income comes in).
I aim for spending from this group to be in a range of 12- 15% of my total spending over a yearlong period. By looking at the spending pie chart, I can easily see if I am in that range. If I notice spending going towards the lower end of the range, then next time I get a bigger check, I make sure to stretch and give a lot. So maybe set a range for yourself like 9-11% of your total spending for the year.
Right now I am carrying debt and I decided 12-15% of my spending was appropriate (as opposed to 12-15% of my income). When I am out of debt, I'm sure there's a way to use reports to track spending in a category group as percentage of income, rather than percentage of spending.
It feels like I cant actually budget it
Maybe you’re not fullyYNAB budgeting quite yet? In YNAB, you get money, and then you budget it. So you’re not predicting how much10% of your variable income will be. You know how much the income is because you’ve already received it and then you are setting 10% aside.
So each time you make an income transaction, 10% of the resulting TBB goes immediately to your tithe category. You might choose to also get a month ahead (recommended, especially with variable income) and so then you’ll have to choose if you set aside/send the 10% right away or if you do it when you budget the next month. Either is fine and depends more on your spiritual practice than your financial although doing it at the same time as budgeting and not the same time as receiving the income certainly simplifies things.
I set aside my giving with each paycheck, and that category gets hit every month for a few regular gifts I make, at random throughout the year for ad hoc giving I want to do, and then I make sure it’s empty at year’s end.
I basically have an automatic withdrawal for the minimum amount. Then each month if I earn more than that I take 10% minus the already paid minimum and give separately. There have been a couple months where money was tighter and I didn't tithe then made up for it after. (Although, in my heart I believe that tithing should be the first thing off the top before bills etc.)