Giving a tenth during difficult financial times

Question: What should we do if I want to continue to give "Ma'aser Kesafim" (ten percent to tzedakah) as we have done in the past, but my husband is opposed on account of our difficult financial situation?
Answer: The question can be divided into two parts: 1. How does a couple make decisions? It is clear that a couple must make decisions together. This is not always simple since there are differences of opinion. It is natural that there are differences of opinion because people are different, faces are different, opinions are different, but you must reach a joint decision. Even when making a joint decision, one side does not have to change its opinion. Sometimes one side gives in and sometimes the other side gives in and sometimes there can be a compromise. It is not always possible to reach a compromise. For example, one person wants the children to learn at one school and the other wants them to learn at another school, it is not possible to learn in two different schools. It is possible to compromise on monetary issues. If someone wants to give 1000 shekels and another wants to give 200 shekels, there can be a compromise and give 600 shekels. You must therefore sit and discuss the issue until you reach a compromise. 2. Is someone who is having financial difficulties obligated to give "ma'aser kesafim"? See the book "Ahavat Chesed" of the Chafetz Chaim that giving ten percent for "ma'aser kesafim" is for people who have an average income, and someone who is wealthy should give more and someone who is poor should give less. Most halachic authorities point out that the Torah does not mentioning giving ten percent of one's income; it is only mentioned in connection to giving of one's produce. The practice of giving ten percent of one's income is a holy and supreme custom of Israel. When discussing tzedakah, the Torah says that one should give according to the need and one's ability. Regarding the need, there is obviously great need. The deciding factor is therefore one's ability. It is very difficult to determine one's ability. Our Sages thus fixed ten percent as the average ability. If one's financial situation is difficult, he should give less. In sum: you and your husband should sit together in love, fraternity, peace, and friendship, and decide your ability together, "without making a vow," since your financial situation may change.