What is the difference between a budget for a Christian and a non-Christian? Well, for a Christian one very important and vital aspect of a budget includes a tithe. God instructs us to give at least 10% of our first fruits. Translated to today’s language, it means God wants us to donate, at the minimum, 10% of our gross income to our church. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:10) Why? The most important reason is because He tells us do so. Secondly, it is His money and not ours. The earth belongs to the Lord, and everything in it — the world and all its people. (Psalm 24: 1) If we are faithful and do as God instructs, He will bless us.
Our budgets should start with our gross income, then we subtract 10% of the that money as our tithe. Then, we subtract our taxes. This is the net income (take-home pay) that we should learn to live on. Next, we deduct 10% for our emergency savings. Then, food, shelter, clothing – the necessities. After that, we deduct our other expenses.
Non-Christians on the other hand do not deduct the 10% tithe from their budget. To them, net income is gross income minus their taxes. From this net income they construct their budgets.
Personally, obedience to the Lord is critical. If we learn to live on 90% of our gross income, God will bless us. This does not mean that all of a sudden we will be flooded with money. No, it means that He will meet our needs, not our wants or desires. The Lord will bless us in other ways not just materially. However, the best rewards are waiting for us in heaven.