One of the groups that Guide Financial Planning specializes in providing financial planning advice to is missionaries around the world. We really enjoy working with missionaries because of the significant eternal impact that you are making around the world. It is amazing to hear about the sacrifices that you make and the ways in which God is using you.
By providing financial planning services to workers like you at an affordable price, we hope to free up your time so that you are able focus on the important work that God has called you to. Here are nine financial planning starter tips for missionaries to get you going.
Think Of Yourself As A Business Owner
As a missionary, it’s important to think like an entrepreneur. Although figuring out how to be financially solvent is certainly not the focus of your work, it is necessary in order to remain on the mission field and reach people with the Gospel.
Get Your Affairs In Order In Your Home Country
Find a family member or friend to receive, open, and sort all of your mail for you while you are overseas. There are many services, some free, such as Zoom or a Google Voice account to help you handle communication and phone calls from back home.
Have The Right Insurance
Be sure to have adequate health, life, and disability insurance. Life insurance can be difficult to obtain when you live overseas and you may be best off purchasing it more than two years before you leave, if you are able. If not, find an insurance provider that specializes in international insurance.
Get A Will
Many organizations require their missionaries to have a will before they can enter the mission field. Be sure that it is clear who will be the guardian of your kids and who will get your possessions should something happen to you.
Learn How To Budget
If operating in a cash society, you’ll need to know how to budget cash. In addition to the regular monthly expenses you incur on the mission field, you need to budget for things like furlough, travel, vacations, retirement, and college. Enter your email at the bottom of this page for our free budget template and a video that explains how to use it.
Put Together A “Go Bag”
If you are located in an unstable part of the world, it is important to have a bag packed that you can grab quickly in case of an emergency. This bag should include things like passports, visas, insurance information, birth certificates, phone numbers for important people, enough cash to be able to get you and those with you safely out of the area, clothes, and food.
Have Plenty Of Cash On Hand
In addition to having cash on hand in case of an emergency, it can also be valuable to have money easily accessible for health expenses or other larger expenses for which you are waiting to be reimbursed. Make sure to store it safely, though!
Understand ATM Fees
Find out whether the ATM that you use charges a fixed fee per transaction, a percentage of the amount withdrawn, or a combination. If they only charge a fixed fee per transaction, then it may be advantageous to take fewer large withdrawals.
Learn From Your Teammates
If there are missionaries who have served in the same area as you, ask them what strategies they used to steward their resources well in that location. You can save yourself the trouble of learning the hard way by gleaning knowledge from those around you.
If you are a missionary or considering entering the mission field, are you following each of these tips? If not, or if you have questions, please set up a free 30 minute phone call to see if we might be able to help.
We admire the work that you do as a missionary. Thank you for serving.
About Guide Financial Planning
Guide Financial Planning is led by founder Ben Wacek, who is a Christian fee-only Certified Financial Planner™ and Certified Kingdom Advisor®. He has a passion to help people of all income levels make wise financial decisions and steward their resources from an eternal perspective using Biblical principles. Based in Minneapolis, MN, he works with clients both locally and virtually throughout the country and abroad. You can follow the links to learn more about Guide Financial Planning and our team and the services we offer.