My wife recently started to work . With this additional income we are able to make ends meet without assistance from tzedaka. We are unsure for how long this is going to be the case, as our family of 5 kids is growing and expenses are mounting. We are currently renting a machsan apt.
Are we allowed to receive ma’aser money to be used in the future in times of need? This will allow me to stay in learning longer.
Additionally, it will currently offer us more menuchas hanefesh, knowing that we have somewhat of a financial safety net.
In principle, you should do all you can in order to avoid receiving charity money. If you are, baruch Hashem, making it on your own, this is an ideal position, and worry about the future is not a sufficient factor for receiving charity money today.
However, if your current situation does not permit you to live a normal life (including some Torah study), it is permitted to receive charity money.
See Pe’ah 8:9, where the virtue of not receiving charity money is extolled; a number of sources also encourage and even obligate a person to work, in any possible job, rather than receiving chairty. See Pesachim 112b; Kesubos 67b; Bava Basra 110a; see also Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De’ah 255:1; but see also Aruch ha-Shulchan, who writes that one should not come to denigrate the honor of Torah on account of this.
On the other hand Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggros Moshe, Yoreh De’ah 1:144) writes that somebody who wishes to study Torah can receive charity money that will enable him to do so.