Thursday, February 16, 2012

Portrait of the Artist as a struggling woman

True confessions time.  So, every once in a while I blather on about the idea that one of the big reasons I try so hard to be frugal is so that I can share with others.  I talk the talk.  Do I walk the walk?

Er, . . . no.

What Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have in common with each other, but not with me, is the number 14%.  That's how much of their income they each donated to charity last year, according to their income tax statements, or so I hear.  Several religions (including mine) strongly suggest 10% as the minimum magic number (except, of course, we don't say "magic").  I'm not there either.

Even if you just look at the money that makes it into our bank account -- that is, after my employer deducts taxes, retirement, and health insurance costs and then deposits the rest of the moolah for me -- even if you look at that reduced amount as the base, we don't make it to a proper tithe.  

What I can say about our expenditures is that we're paying a lot for our moral values.  The energy-saving home renovation consumes a vast amount of our take-home pay.  Our high-energy boys consume another big chunk.  I suppose if we hadn't renovated the home or adopted our kids, we'd find it a lot easier to be as proportionally generous as our two presidential front-runners.  
The break-down of how our take-home pay leaves our home.
 This doesn't include some large categories:  health insurance, retirement, or taxes.

But for me, that's not really an excuse.  In my heart of hearts, what I wish I could do is be a marvelous mom, a perfect professor, an excellent environmentalist . . . and still find a way to put large chunks of my money in the hands of others, making the world a better place.  See the pigs flying by?  

1 comment:

  1. You shouldn't be so hard with yourself. If you add the 6% of charities to the 9% of childcare and some other aliquot percentages from other pieces of the cake (that you dedicate to your adopted children), you will be well above the 14% of the presidential's income bite.