Tithing When You Can’t Pay Your Bills. What to do

Article Summary: How to tithe when you are broke? Tithing is a Christian costume where people donate 10% of their income to the Church or other people in need. This article will show you how to tithe even when you’re broke by setting a few easy to follow habits.

Tithing is a way to honor God and thank Him for his goodness to us. It is a way to show our gratitude to our Lord and savior. It is a practice to honor God’s command faithfully. 

In this article:

What exactly is tithing

Tithe makes 10% of your income. It is the amount Christians faithfully give to God every month. It is the practice of honoring scriptural principles of charitably providing for:

  • Religious leaders 
  • The poor and needy

Tithing is a way to stay closer to God and lay up treasures in heaven. It is an expression of gratitude and honor towards God.

Throughout Scripture, Christians are encouraged to offer the first part of their resources to God.

You give God a part of your income and he ensure that all your needs will be met. Remember, what you are giving back always belonged to the Lord according to the faith.

We honor God by being faithful to him. He rewards us in countless ways when we acknowledge He owns and provide all we have.

NOTE – This is not a religious post, we are not going into the argument of believing or not or practicing one habit or another. This post is written with the assumption you already do it and hold Christian beliefs

However, the real question is, how can you tithe when you can hardly pay your bills.

This article will address this issue in detail. So, without further ado, let’s get to the topic. 

Why Should You Tithe?

Stewardship is a key principle mentioned in the Scripture. It is a practice that helps us recognize that everything is God’s creation, and He owns it all.

That includes our resources. The role of human beings is to manage these resources. One of the key areas where stewardship is practiced is our finances. 

Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine” 

Proverbs 3:9–10

Our ability to earn money is one of the many of God’s blessings. We need to be mindful while spending our resources.

We have to use our money to further God’s kingdom. With our resources, we can fulfill God’s work by taking care of those in need. 

According to Scripture, the tithe is God’s favorite has practiced the most important way of stewardship. Some of the Bible verses that show the significance of tithing include:


And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

GEN. 14:19–20


Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me, I will give a full tenth to you.”

GEN. 28:20–22


Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. If a man wishes to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdsman’s staff, shall be holy to the Lord. One shall not differentiate between good or bad, neither shall he make a substitute for it; and if he does substitute for it, then both it and the substitute shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.”

LEV. 27:30–34

How To Tithe When You Cannot Pay Your Bills?

With the global economic crisis on the rise, most people are barely getting by. Various people can’t even pay their bills. So the question remains, how to tithe when you are broke or close to it?

Most are living paycheck to paycheck, and most are under debt. So a popular question people ask is how to tithe when in debt and have nothing left after your living expenses to give away.

There are various mistakes people make that put them in bad financial situations and we are not going to judge anyone on why he is in that situation.

Some people have their jobs, but their partner has been laid off.

Hence, the family has only one income to survive. Some are in the middle of a divorce. Others have medical problems that take up most of their income. And the list goes on. 

So what to do when your expenses are more than what you earn? Should you stop tithing? The answer is NO. You can simply give what you have. 

You need to trust God regarding your finances. You need to strengthen your faith in God’s word.

It will motivate you to give to God what belongs to him no matter how tight your budget is. 

Things To Consider When Your Budget Doesn’t Allow You To Tithe: 

In an effort to see how you can still tithe even when your financial situation is hard, there are generally a few areas where we can focus on:

Develop faith in Tithing Do a financial assessment
Put it in your family budget Every amount counts

Let’s review each item one by one and see where we can improve in that regard.

Develop Faith In Tithing:

You need to understand God’s message about giving and receiving to develop faith in tithing.

Once you truly understand his message, you can tithe without fear. However, give it some time. That won’t happen overnight. 

For those who are in a bad financial situation, just acknowledging God’s saying won’t help.

You need to put your faith into action if you want to get out of your situation.

You need to practice your faith by trusting God with your financial position. 

Do Financial Assessment – Tithing when you have no money

Before you decide to tithe on a strict budget, you need to know your current financial standing. It is possible tithing when you have no money, but you have to take a closer look at your budget and plan ahead.

You need to acknowledge where you are financially at the moment. It will help you better determine what you can offer the Lord with all that you have. 

You can make that happen by creating a detailed budget. You also need to monitor your spending habits.

You need to be honest while assessing your budget. Sometimes, items on our budget list are not our needs. They are simply our wants. 

Budget assessment will help you distinguish your legitimate needs from your wants.

Tithing on a tight budget requires you to make appropriate adjustments. When things don’t add up, it’s always better to look for expenses that can be subtracted. 

If you have money to spend over your wants but cannot afford to tithe, you cannot please God.

You need to put tithe over your wants if you want to honor the Lord.

If you genuinely don’t have enough to tithe according to your budget assessment, you should pay at least what you can. Leave the rest to God. 

Make Tithe A Part Of Your Budget

While creating your monthly budget, you should always include tithes. Some people don’t understand the concept of tithing.

On the other hand, there a few who have not grown faith in this area. Therefore, their budget doesn’t include tithe. 

If you have planned to get closer to God, you should start tithing with what you have.

Make tithing a part of your budget. Add what can be committed to God on the budget you have.

For example, if you are only left with $50 after paying your bills and meeting your utilities, don’t think you can’t afford to tithe. You can keep at least something aside as tithe from what you have saved. 

A good example is the story of the widow’s mite in Mark 12. 

Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. 43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on. 

Mark 12:41-44 NLT

The widow gave all she had to survive in God’s way. We understand that taking 10% out of their income as tithe may not be a big deal for some people.

However, those who are barely getting by find this percentage hard to afford. 

However, if you trust in God’s plan and have your faith in action, you can save $5, $10, or $20 as a tithe, whenever it’s easy.

You don’t need to begin with 10% of your income if you can’t afford that at the moment.

However, by remaining consistent, you can increase the amount you take out in the name of God until you reach 10%. 

Even A Dime Can Make The Biggest Difference 

With your faith, your trust also grows. When you trust God with your finances, you let go of the fear of giving when you have a tight budget that barely covers your basic expenses.

You must be wondering what to do when you have nothing to give, and you are not even capable of paying your bills at the moment. If that’s the case, simply take out $0.10 to give God. 

It’s a common saying, “anything can change on a dime.” A dime is only 17.91 mm in diameter.

The turning radius of a dime is too small. However, anything can turn on a dime.

It means anything that can make the slightest difference has the power to make a radical change. 

This analogy is so interesting that all God needs from you is a dime on every dollar you spend.

That’s it. This means you can make a radical change in your life by taking out a dime on every dollar spent in the name of God.

Bring Your Tithe

“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!”

Malachi 3:10 (NLT)

As mentioned earlier, your financial situation can radically change if you trust God with your financial standing.

If you are not happy with where you are now, give God the very least he asks from you in terms of your finances.

Take out a dime on every dollar. You will be surprised how quickly your situation will change. God has promised greater blessings for those who put trust in Him. 

Wrapping up 

Put tithing into practice even if you have a strict budget to work with. It is a way to worship and honor God.

Tithing reminds us who our provider is and how everything we own belongs to him.

When you set tithe aside from your income, God helps you manage your finances for the rest of the month. 

To put tithing into practice, you need to keep your payment schedule in mind.

Create a habit that keeps you in touch with your faith and reminds you of God’s blessing. Your tithe needs to go to your local church where you worship. 

Tithe makes 10% of your gross income. Apart from giving God 10% of your financial resources, you should also consider giving Him your time and energy.

Give the first part of your day to God.  Take out one day in a week to focus on worship and rest.

Use your abilities and strength to further God’s work. Take part in church and community services. 

It’s your motives that matter the most to God. Develop faith in God’s promise.

He will faithfully provide you with whatever you need so that you can use His gifts and blessings to abound in good deeds. 

 “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work”

 (II Corinthians 9:7–8)

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