How often to do you think of Tithing? I think about it a lot, especially when my husband brings up student loans. My husband's employer reimburses part of his tuition, but not enough, even with almost halving our rent last summer, and tuition reimbursements we don't have enough money for school. Professional MBA program is quite expensive, for a ho-hum state. We were suppose to sign up for student loans before the end of 2009. We needed them, but then 2010 rolled around and we had enough money for tuition. Now I would like to tell you this is because of my fantastic budgeting and my thrifty ways, but its not. The math does not add up, we should be in the red, we are not. This is completely surprising for Brent, he runs the numbers- he runs them, in his head, on the computer, in the car, he has even been found running numbers on the back of his church program. No matter how the numbers run we are in black we should not be. This may surprise my husband but it does not surprise me, we are diligent tithing payers, the only way we made it through our ungrad was my dad paying my tuition, and tithing. The undgrad was a leap of faith, Brent worked 20 hours a week and after four years of working still made a single digit wage, but a highly sought after wage in the small college town. I did not work, I had a baby and went to class, we did not have much money coming in and more money going to the university. Every semester we should have ended up in the red but we didn't, we always ended up with almost exactly enough money to get to the next stage of life where we could earn more.
But yet when we planned on the MBA I did not plan on tithing, we make a lot more money and tithing helps those poor widow mite bearers. During our undergrad we didn't even have two pennies to rub together. Our whole grocery budget for the month was less than $120 a month. That is now our weekly grocery budget, we now have so much more so I assumed we were exempt from such blessings. Until our savings kept growing and we didn't need a student loan. The blessings of tithing are still alive and well, I'm grateful for tithing it gives such physical examples of our blessings from God. Even-though tithing and fast offerings are a physical example of our devotion to religion. So now we often have the debate to student loan or to not student loan? Right now our savings is growing slowly, and we have enough money to make ends meet. We have been counseled to only go into debt for a modest home and for school only after thoughtful prayer. So we could get a student loan, we often pray about it. We don't know what to do, we haven't for months now, we just seem to be riding it out, waiting until we need our loan. Waiting I guess for a sign to say, "you need a student loan!", but nothing has come yet. We originally planned on getting student loans so we could have a sizable savings for a down payment on a house. We thought we MIGHT be able to make it through without student loans but our accounts will be empty at the end, but the opposite it true. Our savings is growing, and with tuition reimbursements some how the tuition keeps getting paid. The numbers are not adding up which means the promise in Malachi is true. Yet I have no idea if we should get a student loan, my gut says not now. Although MBA logic would say time value of money, get a loan. My husband would say that is not the question at hand, he does not like mixing logic with feelings, he would not compare to the two. I would, he is the worker and I'm the prayer. Not to say I don't work, and he doesn't pray. We just have different strengths, his is logic and practicality.
Which once again to student loan or to not? (That is rhetorical, I'm not looking for advice, please no advice)
And now that I've written this all I have to share one more thought, my husband's mission president told his missionaries the most important thing to look for in a future wife was not a testimony, but being good with money. He was under the impression you can teach the gospel a lot easier than you teach a foundation of fiscal responsibility. Let's hope I helped Brent follow that counsel, but I don't want to sound haughty. Honestly I wish I had a lot more fiscal responsibility and self control.