Category Archives: money and such

Will Clean for Yoga

This is one of those years. Or perhaps such is adulthood, where the budget is perpetually lean to accommodate ever-looming large financial goals. We pinched and shifted until there was room for my yoga teacher training. Yoga itself? Not so much. Thankfully my studio utilizes karma as a currency, so in exchange for two-hours of my service cleaning I get unlimited yoga, plus a bit of yoga to share. Thanks to some sweat equity, my back enjoys a consistent yoga practice and I get to participate more in this community I have been peripherally a part of for over five years now. I can hardly understand why I didn’t start this last spring.

Since returning from Rwanda, we are cautious with our commitments. I am glad for this shift. However, sometimes I forget that budgeting time is much the same as budgeting money. There is a set amount, and it is a matter of setting aside enough time for those things I need and prioritizing the wish list for what is remaining. Last spring and summer and fall and winter I felt like there was not enough time. There certainly was not enough time readily available. This spring I budgeted the time. And after two years off, Leila and I are back to very occasionally co-op volunteering. Why not? She learns the importance of giving time, we both have an excuse to linger and mingle and then our family enjoys $10 of credit to chip away at our weekly order.

Have you ever used any sort of time banking in your communities?

PS Look what I found. I’m intrigued.

A Tale of How Sometimes You Get Exactly (the opposite of) What You Pay For

This is a short story.

I spent three hours on the phone with 4 separate credit card representatives, 3 customer service representatives and 1 in store manager to try to un-do a mistake that THE STORE MADE. They were all exceedingly unhelpful, and not once was I given even the slightest apology for their mistake or the inconvenience it caused me. The last person lamely told me that had I spoken with her first (as if wading through incompetence was my choice) she would have been able to resolve the matter in a more satisfactory manor, but at this point she had to honor the poor resolution I had previously been promised. Apparently that’s what over $2000 at West Elm will get you.

Then this evening, in less than 15 minutes, I was able to transfer my phone and airtime and gifted an additional 60 days of service. The customer service representative was pleasant and efficient. Thankfully that is what $5 with TracFone will get you.

Sometimes you get exactly the opposite of what you pay for, or so I learned today.

D40 (Zanzi1) 011

(This view. About 1/100 the cost of a West Elm couch.)

Why We Tithe (and completely unrelated photos of Leila)

Our church just ended its annual stewardship campaign, KUHF is ending its fall fundraising campaign today and a friend of mine recently shared with me about a brilliantly innovative fundraising approach her organization officially began last month. Donating has been on my brain. Giving financially is something that is important to us, and probably the most central to that is the practice of tithing.

One-tenth of everything the land produces—seeds from the ground and fruits from the trees—belongs to Me and is sacred to Me. (Leviticus 27:30)

Ultimately, we believe that everything we have is from God and is God’s. For us, to give a tenth of what we earn financially is a way to honor that belief.

I could probably end there. Maybe I should end there, but I’m going to go on for a bit.

Lest you think too much, or too little of us, let me first clarify some things.

We do not tithe because we believe it will lead to prosperity. I am no theological expert, but I am pretty sure that argument is goofballs.

We do not tithe because we feel that we have to give our money or God will punish us in any way shape or form. (See aforementioned thoughts)

We do not tithe in lieu of actions. We think giving money matters but so does a focus on justice, mercy and faithfulness.

We do not tithe because we think our church is perfect and will use the money perfectly. We do think they do a pretty great job though.

We do not tithe because we are generous people. We know and love lots of mind-blowingly generous people (such as my parents). We are not that awesome.

There are also several reasons we do choose to tithe (and donate in general).

We do think it behooves us to put our money where our mouths are. If we believe in something, if we think a person or a group or an organization is doing good work, why wouldn’t we want to participate financially in what they are doing?

We do believe in private donations. We disagree that the private sector can sustain the needs of our country, but we do not want to live in a country where our tax dollars do it all either.Giving money is personal, and we think there is something to be said for having that financial connection with an organization.

We do believe that how we spend money is how we spend money. Our generosity is not contingent on our income. Realistically if we had more income we would not donate all of it but most likely continue to give about the same percentage and use the rest for going out to eat more (and more frequent pedicures).

Now that I’m done, here are some completely random photos of Leila from this morning.