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Do I Donate Out Of A Stimulus Check? Dave Says…

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Dear Dave,

Should my wife and I tithe on our stimulus checks? She thinks we should, but I’m not sure. In my mind, we already gave our money to Caesar—so to speak—and now he’s just giving it back. What do you think?

Luke {{more}}

Dear Luke,

Well, it’s your money you’re getting back. The government doesn’t really create anything, it only takes money from us. And in this case, it gave you back some of what it took. I don’t really see that as a tithing circumstance.

The other side of the coin is that you really can’t go wrong being generous. The tithe is your baseline for generosity. You shouldn’t tithe or not tithe because of a set of rules, but if you’re having a theological or philosophical discussion about the tithe and how it works, I think your reasoning is sound.

It’s certainly not a salvation issue, but generosity is a good rhythm to have in your life. And honestly, these stimulus checks are kind of like tax refunds. You gave it to the government, and now they’re giving it back.

So, in my mind it’s okay either way. I’ve just always had an attitude of when in doubt, it’s better to give.

—Dave

Dear Dave,

We make about $70,000 a year, and we’re debt-free except for our house. We’re following your plan, and just started saving for retirement, but we only have $15,000 left on our mortgage. We can have that paid off in six or seven months, so would it be okay to go ahead and pay off our home as soon as possible before continuing to save for retirement?

Nate

Dear Nate,

I’m generally pretty hardcore about sticking with the proper order while doing the Baby Steps. But in your case, with such a small amount left to pay on your home, I think I’d go ahead and knock that out.

Most of the people I talk to still have six figures left on their mortgages. There’s a big difference between that and the situation you two are in right now. Think about it, you guys could be completely debt-free by Christmas, and you’ve already started to make a move on retirement planning. I say go for it!

—Dave

*Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, includingThe Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 16 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.comand on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

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