When I first became a Baha'i, I heard that it took on the average two years before the newcomer gave to the funds. Not me. I gave immediately. And I sent money to the NSA every month -- a small but fixed sum for I was retired. I even changed from sending it every calendar month to every Baha'i month without reducing the amount. Which meant I couldn't use the money elsewhere.
But things changed after a few years when I was falsely accused by another Baha'i of being infirm in the Covenant. That ended with my being cleared officially but in the process I learned that the individual Baha'i is of no importance to the Administrative Order. I am slow to react but eventually it became a matter of being obedient or following my conscience. I did not think then and don't think now that Baha'u'llah wants blind obedience. So I chose to follow my conscience ( I know of at least one person who took the
other path at that junction in his life and I realize that we don't all see
things the same way.)
But the eventual outcome was that I no longer give any monies to the
Administrative Order. None at all because I can mark it for a particular use and it would so be used. However, that just frees up other monies to be used in ways I cannot accept.