“Why Tithe 10%?” by guest author, Ivan Muzychenko — September 2019

I had the pleasure of meeting Ivan Muzychenko, a Russian emigrant, when he did tile work for us in our home.  And since “frugality” is the second name in “The Frugal Catholic,” I kept asking him questions.  He shared how learning to budget and tithe saved his family’s finances.  You will likewise benefit both spiritually and financially  from tithing, just as Ivan has.   Why not?  You truly have nothing to lose.    


  1.   Ivan, where did you immigrate from; and when and why?  Also , how long have you been an American?

My family immigrated from Russia in June of 1991 where we were persecuted for our faith.  My parents sold everything and gave proceeds away to the church knowing that
God would provide.  God did provide in many miraculous ways.  We got our citizenship in 1999.

2.   What was your first impression of America?  Has that impression changed over the years?

In Russia we lived a basic life.  Coming to America we noticed how goods were readily available.  If you wanted something you just go to the store and get it.  People were very friendly and polite looking out for one another.  I can’t say that impression has changed.

3.  Do you have a family?  If so what are the ages of each member?

I grew up in a large family of 13 children.  Now my wife of 13 years have 2 children, Jacob 12 and Hannah 9.

4.  What do you do for work Ivan, and what church denomination do you attend?

I am a tile contractor.  We go to a Baptist Church.

5.  How did you discover the importance of tithing 10%?

Growing up in a Christian home I knew about giving to God.  It wasn’t till about 3 years ago that we started to get serious about tithing.  We took a financial class at church to get educated on what God says about money.  Through that we were convicted to trust God more than ever.  Malachi 3:10  says, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.  And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”  My wife and I decided to put that to the test.

6.   Do you tithe 10%?  Why or why not?

We tithe 10% to our church and have been increasing the dollar amount of our tithe each year due to the blessings God has given us.  Understanding that the money we receive is a gift from God, we trust that He provides and has our lives planned out.  James 1:17 says, “Every good good and every perfect gift is from above,  coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”  We also give beyond that 10% to other ministries and missions.  We believe that giving of time and gifts of service is also important.  God provides us with opportunities to serve at our local church and take mission trips regularly.

7.  Does your wife work outside of the home, or are you living on one salary?  Yours?

My wife is a home maker.  God blesses us with enough through one salary that she doesn’t need to work.

8.  What have you seen tithing do for your finances and your family?

Tithing developed a trust between my Heavenly Father and me.  Knowing without doubting that He is in control.  That He is using my gifts and talents to provide for my family.  So I do my part and He does His.

9.  Do you have any further thoughts to share about living frugally or tithing?

Being frugal for us is a process; it’s difficult to change a lifestyle over a short period of time.  We don’t save or put away for retirement as much as we would like.  Our budget is all over the place because being a contractor,  monthly income varies.  Tithing has released me from being responsible to provide for my family financially; it’s in God’s hands.  As long as I am being obedient to Him, He does the rest.  One less thing to worry about and that’s huge for us.  Ultimately knowing that our goal is to store up treasure in heaven where we will spend eternity with King Jesus.

Thank you Martha for giving me this opportunity to share with you my experience and the testimony of God’s faithfulness.

In Christ-

Ivan Muzychenko

(from TFC–also check out the excellent article listed below)



“Rid Yourself of Buy-Ite-Us” by Martha Wild King, M.Ed.–November 2018

How Do You Know if You Have BUY-ITE-US?

In 2017, the flu got a lot of people, myself and my husband included. It hit hard with little warning.  And we weren’t alone: a lot of friends got it, and some ended up in the hospital.  The problem with the flu is that  the vaccine doesn’t always cover what is actually out there.  BUY-ITE-US (the strong desire to purchase) is likewise indiscriminate on whom it strikes, for it can hit all ages.  Fortunately, unlike the flu however, a cure exists from this malady, and YOU are the only one who can completely remedy it with three  simple cures.

                             What Exactly is BUY-ITE-US?

BUY-ITE-US could best be defined as “a strong desire to buy—“anything.”  This malady usually hits when you don’t have any money at the end of the month or even when you do at the beginning; and if you use Amazon Prime, it can strike late in the evening when you’ve had too much wine to drink.  It is a dangerous disorder that can wreck your credit ratings, divide a happy marriage, and generally leave you wondering what hit. 

BUY-ITE-US can wreak havoc if one can’t control it, and it is particularly challenging around Christmas time. 

                                What Can BUY-ITE-US Do to You?

As stated this malady inflicts destruction on your life.  We want happiness, and somehow we think that shopping therapy will help.  But it doesn’t because our desire to feel better doesn’t get better.  We just end up with more stuff and no place to put it.  Only God can give us that feeling of peace and contentment if we but let Him.  The other main problem with this impulse buying is that everything should have a place in our homes, and if there is no space or place then you don’t need everything.  So what is the best way to deal with our wants versus our needs?

                                 How Can I Cure BUY-ITE-US?

                                 Three cures exist for this condition. 

The first major cure is TITHING.  Now if you haven’t tithed before, here is what it looks like.  You take 10% of your incoming funds and give that percent to your church or a mission which you feel important.  That is God’s leading.  As The Frugal Catholic said last month, “Give to God His 10% due and 90% blessed will He return to you.”  Truthfully, by giving away that first 10%, something happens in your brain.  You become more content with what you have and the desire to acquire is diminished.  Also by tithing, everything seems to last longer.  It is the same concept as when Elijah asked the widow for food in  1 Kings 17:7.  What she had, although very little, lasted well over many days.  Tithing is supernatural, but if you feel leery about tithing 10%, then begin with 5%, or wherever you can.  You will watch the Lord provide in amazing ways.

                     The Widow of Zarephath

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.” 11 As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.” 15 She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

                                                           *     *     *    

The second major cure is to take stock of what you have when BUY-ITE-US hits.  For example, although I was really into used clothing, my closet now holds about one-fourth of what it did.   Everything that didn’t feel just right was let go and slowly the preferred brand names were purchased.  In taking stock too, look at your food and arrange cans or products so you can read them.  Often we purchase more of something because we aren’t taking stock of what we have.

The third major cure sounds easy but it’s not.  Number three is to stay out of stores.  Yes, that includes ALL stores, on line and the kind you walk into.  Just remember “SOS”  or “Stay Out of Stores.”  Now if staying out of stores is too hard, you can always go to your Amazon wish list and go shopping that way.  99% of the time that “Wish List” shopping helps remove the ITCH of Buy-ite-usJust don’t push the “buy now” button.  Not wise when no monies.

                    What Will My Life Look Like Without BUY-ITE-US?

When you mentally get control of your spending by tithing, taking stock of what you have, and staying out of stores (SOS),  you will most likely get better at living within your means through budgeting.  In the 38 years of marriage, the more closely we have tithed, the easier and more satisfying budgeting became.   A budget is just like a train track; it is a path to run on.   I also find that creating that  Amazon wish list and NOT buying is very satisfying.  So give these tricks a try–tithing,  budgeting, and staying out of stores.   The beauty of living this life as a Catholic Christian is that we are not in charge; God is.  The closer we come to living His will, the happier our lives become.


The Frugal Catholic: Wild Thoughts for October 2018 by Martha Wild King M.Ed.

Give to God His 10% DUE and 90% BLESSED will He return to you.  TFC

10% DUE = 90% BLESSED

I’m not the sharpest rubber band in the tack box, but I’m not the dullest tack in the rubber band package either.     TFC

Proverbs 1:7–The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

You are only as beautiful as you make others feel.  TFC

Proverbs 31   “Charm is deceitful  and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

The world is too perfect for there not to be a God.                                      William Shen

We are always in His hands even when it doesn’t feel like it.

Nothing worthwhile is beyond saving.  It just takes a little courage.    Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton

Deuteronomy 31: 8  It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”