Earmark fixed percentage of income for charity

Aryeh Leib Taurog vim at aryehleib.com
Mon Jan 31 17:56:46 EST 2011

John <gnw at nb.net> wrote:
> Hi Aryeh,
> Based on some advice given me by a GnuCash user in England, this is how 
> I track my "Tithe".
> I created a liability account "Liabilities : Unpaid Tithe" and an 
> expense account "Expenses : Charity".
> When I deposit income I include a pair of split transactions using these 
> accounts.  I debit(aka deposit) 'Expenses : Charity' by 10% of the 
> income being deposited.  Then I credit(aka withdraw) 'Liabilities : 
> Unpaid Tithe' for the same amount.  When I write a check to pay the 
> tithe (a credit/withdrawal on the checking account) I debit/deposit 
> 'Liabilities:Unpaid Tithe' by the same amount.  I can check the 
> 'Liabilities:Unpaid Tithe' account any time to see how much "Unpaid 
> Tithe" I should be giving and my "Expenses:Charity" gives accurate 
> reports on the giving.    BTW.... I'm still working on keeping 
> debit/credit vs deposit/withdrawal straight so I hope my notation does 
> not cause confusion.
> John G.

John, thanks.  This is what I was trying to get at when I posted the 
question.  I got this same suggestion off-list from someone else, who 
also pointed out the caveat that the Expenses:Charity account will not 
necessarily reflect how much you actually gave to charity in a given 
period, only how much you were supposed to give.

Aryeh Leib

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