Many people my people my age (young couples with growing families) are concerned about how to properly give maaser from our earnings. Typically, people in my stage in life (late 20’s/early 30s) are not making sufficient amount of money to give 10% to tzedaka. We make an effort to give what we can. The problem is, if we give more money, in all likelihood, someone’s parents will end up giving us money for rent, yeshiva tuition, baby supplies, etc. What is the appropriate thing to do in this situation? Should we keep track of all our earnings (including wedding gifts?) until we can pay in a lump sum? Should we wait until we can afford to give and give a lesser percentage in the meantime?
Maaser Kesafim is a rabbinical obligation or a custom and therefore the more lenient opinion, that requires calculating the 10% from your net income after deducting necessary household expenses should be followed. Expenses for children over six years old can under certain circumstances be included in the 10%.