Tithe in Paycheck Setup

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I want a fully automated feature (with customization choices) to handle tithing starting from Paycheck Setup. [Tithing is a statute in the Christian and Jewish religions where a certain percentage of you income is required to be given away - the idea that this money does not belong to you - it is to be given directly to the poor, or to your religious/charity organization.]
  • Would you like to set up Tithe for this paycheck? (Yes/No)
  • Specify base from which you will be tithing (gross pay, net pay, or include/exclude other multiple elements from the paycheck sections)
  • What percentage would you like to tithe? (Defaults at 10%)
  • Would you like to set up a ledger Account in Quicken [not an actual account at a bank] in which this tithe will accumulate until you disburse it, or would you like it to be associated with an Expense Category instead? 
  • If [Account]: Would you like the accumulated tithe in this account to be counted, or excluded, in your Accounts total(s) and/or in your Net Worth? [Some people believe that upon arrival of their paycheck, their tithe no longer belongs to them, but to God, and should not be counted as "spendable" money - Quicken might be able to use existing credit card structure to create this sense of "money owed".]
  • If [Category]: Which category should this tithe be associated with? (Option to select existing category or create new category)
  • Would you like to set up Automatic Payments and/or Bill Reminders for your tithe? (Or would you rather manually control when and to whom your tithe is disbursed, or both.)
  1. When they make tithe payments (to organization, or pay for a hotel for a homeless person from checking, for example) they can add [Tithe Account] or the Tithe Category to the category field in the register.
  2. They are able to include tithing into their budgets
  3. They can easily see at any given time how much tithe has accumulated so they know how much they still need to disburse. (Needed for those who do not set up Automatic Payments on the full amount of tithe each paycheck.)
  4. They can give MORE than their allotted %, and they can easily see that they've "gone over".
  5. FYI Savings Goals will not be sufficient for this.
My current workaround:
  • I created a Quicken banking account called [Tithe]. It is not associated with a real account at a bank.
  • I created a Reminder that coincides with paycheck dates. The Payee is the name of my job. The Category is [Tithe]. The account to use is Tithe. The amount I leave blank until the paycheck comes.
  • When the paycheck comes, I go to the Reminder, click Enter. I manually calculate 10% of takehome pay, and put that in the amount field in the reminder. Click Enter Transaction.
  • This creates a negative balance in the Tithe account (red) - like a credit card. If it's red, I know I "owe" tithe. I set it up this way so that it will be subtracted from my Banking total and from my Net Worth. I still can see exactly how much money is in Checking, but I can also see that some of it isn't "mine" by looking at the banking total.
  • When I write a check to my organization, or purchase something for the needy, I put [Tithe] in the category field. This makes the red value in the Tithe account less negative. If the expense exceeded the amount "owed" in tithe, then the Tithe balance becomes positive. This is where it breaks down, because now the black amount is added to my Banking total and my Net Worth, which is doubly wrong.
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GiveAnAccount

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Posted 1 month ago

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mshiggins, SuperUser

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Wouldn't combining the tithe transfer and paycheck reduce the net amount of the paycheck reminder and make it impossible to match the downloaded deposit transaction?
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NotACPA - QW HBRP 2019, SuperUser

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If the employer directly made the contribution, then a paycheck deduction would work ... but since the OP is writing a check after receiving the pay, then mshiggins' objection is spot on.

It simply can't work as the OP requests.
(Edited)
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GiveAnAccount

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I'm saying that the tithe questions are asked during Paycheck Setup as that is a logical time when you would need to use or learn of the feature (perhaps also available in tools). But that does not mean that it becomes a line item on the paycheck entry form (like tax, etc.) and affects the net. (I guess it can be a line item, but programmed not to affect the net.) It just means that it guides you through the rest of the setup and grabs the 10% value to place in other forms, like automatic payment and/or transfer to wherever tithe money is being stored.
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smayer97 (QM2007, CDN user since '92), SuperUser

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Does not the Savings Goals feature work for this?
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mshiggins, SuperUser

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It could provide the account and regular deposits, but there wouldn't be an automatic percent calculation for the deposit amounts.
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GiveAnAccount

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And as I experience Savings Goals, you cannot use a Savings Goal as a category in the Checking register.
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GiveAnAccount

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Also, you can not go OVER on a savings goal, which is part of the request. In practice: If I have $100 in unpaid tithe, and I pay for a hotel for a homeless person, but the hotel costs $200. I want to be able to do that and have the full amount be counted against tithe knowing that next paycheck's tithe will cover the remaining $100. Kind of like revolving credit. God being the credit card company. 10% of paycheck being the charges to the card. Disbursements to the poor/charity being credit card payments. Sometimes you can over pay your credit card and have a credit on the card which will eventually get used up when you make purchases. It's hard to conceptualize because in the this case, paying for a hotel is counted as a PAYMENT not a DEBIT on this kind of credit card.
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splasher, SuperUser

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This seems like something for a budget to keep track of, not a system of accounts.
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mshiggins, SuperUser

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I could see having some sort of linked reminder whose amount is linked to an amount in the paycheck reminder, but I'm not sure how many Quicken users would want that feature.
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smayer97 (QM2007, CDN user since '92), SuperUser

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Agreed. As much as I can see the benefit of something like this, as I also make many donations, this seems like a narrow audience, though if it were there, I may make use of it, depending on the implementation. 

I think the challenge would be to make it versatile enough to appeal to a wider user base and use cases.

You may be able to make something work, albeit with some manual intervention/tracking, with either the Savings Goals, budgets, or simply a report that tracks what qualifies for donations and what was actually given (the latter is how I do it). 

(If you find this reply helpful, please be sure to click "Like", so others will know, thanks.)
(Edited)
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GiveAnAccount

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narrow audience
I teach personal financial management at a religious organization. 80% of the class are tithers, and the other 20% are working towards it. And there are huge people out there like Dave Ramsey with giant audiences advocating tithing/giving as part of a healthy financial plan. I think there may be more people than we might expect.
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smayer97 (QM2007, CDN user since '92), SuperUser

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In your circles, the percentage is high but how many are there in the population at large? There may be many tithers, donors, etc, but how many of those actually use Quicken? Or another way to look at it is how many of Quicken's users would use such a feature?

All other commentaries are simply suggestions on alternatives, either in the meantime, or even sufficiently instead.

The bottom line test will be now many add their vote to express a desire for this kind of feature. Let users cast their votes.
(Edited)
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GiveAnAccount

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This is my first post. I will clarify. I don't care how Quicken gets there from here, I just want to get there. If my suggested route would not work for various reasons, I'm asking them to develop something that would.
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NotACPA - QW HBRP 2019, SuperUser

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I'm asking them to develop something that would.
WHY?  You've already developed a process that works for you ... why should Q re-invent the wheel?e
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GiveAnAccount

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  1. It doesn't actually work. It breaks when you give more than your 10%.
  2. A novice would not intuitively know how to set up my workaround
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QPW

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I don't understand this statement:
It doesn't actually work. It breaks when you give more than your 10%.
What about the way you are doing "breaks" when you give more than 10%?

BTW the "solution" might not be a change to the paycheck reminder which is complicated, but instead a "wizard" to setup what you are already doing.
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markus1957, SuperUser

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Or just customize a report that shows Income subject to tithing and Expenses related to tithe payments; set up a Tithe category to apply to the payments. Get out a calculator (something like 10% wouldn't require a calculator for most people), estimate the next payment. Schedule a tithe reminder with an estimated amount to keep from forgetting and also get it into estimated cash flow modules in Quicken.
(Edited)
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smayer97 (QM2007, CDN user since '92), SuperUser

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Yes, that is was I was alluding too also... 
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markus1957, SuperUser

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Adding- the Tithe category could have sub-categories for taxable and non-taxable payments; the subs would need to have appropriate tax line associated.
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QPW

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Frankly I see a request for a very complicated system for what is in fact a very simple operation as long as it is done manually and tailored by the individual.

I look at the way you are doing it, it seems like a very good efficient way to do it.

Then I look at your suggestion that tries to generalize it so that it will work with lots of different combinations, and it gets very complicated on how anyone would even fill out that information.

Your goal seems to be to automate it completely for you.  But now that you have it up, that consists of basically making one calculation and entering it.  I'm not counting the withdraw because even in your proposal that out be outside of what the new "reminder functionality" does.

My wife works hourly, and different hours each week, and is paid weekly.

That means that I have to enter every single line of her paycheck.  What's more her 401K transactions can only be downloaded using Web Connect (QFX file), and still I can do this all in a few minutes.

It would be nice if the paycheck reminder would allow me to put in hours and calculate all of this.  But I also know that I would have to always double check everything because there isn't any way that all the different employers would calculate everything to the penny in the same way.

And this kind of "entry" has been suggested a few times over the years, but as people have pointed out it would get complicated, and it has never been implemented.  And frankly given the "user work vs possible bad results" of Quicken Inc implement this I think that is probably the right answer (not doing it).