Mission trips can be as costly as they are rewarding. If you plan to venture off on a mission trip in the near future, it’s vital to start thinking about the budgetary aspect of making this desire a reality early. Because the costs associated with a mission trip, ranging from your plane ticket to your long-term mission trip medical coverage, can be extensive, it’s imperative to dedicate yourself to acquiring the cash you’ll need for your trip. If you begin planning how you’ll pay for your trip well in advance of your intended departure date, you can reduce the likelihood of being confronted by unexpected expenses you can’t pay.
1. Church Assistance
The first thing to consider when you set about budgeting for a religious mission trip is how much of the costs your church will cover. In many cases your chosen religious institution will cover at least some of these expenses, sponsoring you on your quest to help others. To determine how much of the costs you’ll actually be responsible for, ask your mission trip coordinator for a breakdown. This individual will have the knowledge necessary to give you a clear idea of how much money you’ll be expected to bring to the table.
2. Sponsored Trips
When planning to do volunteer travel, many programs offer sponsored trips. Many of these organizations will cover most costs aside from airfare. Programs offering work in exchange for shelter and food are also a great way to fund a volunteer trip. Consider looking in to programs like WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and Sudan Volunteer Programme for affordable and rewarding experiences.
If you don’t already operate by a household budget, now is the time to make one. By taking a closer look at your spending patterns you can improve your chances of effectively setting aside money to help cover the costs of this trip. Begin by adding up all sources of income you have, then determine how much you spend on the different expenses you encounter each month. Use a computer spreadsheet or old-fashioned pencil and paper to create this budget. After you have a relatively accurate representation of how you spend your money, start to look for areas in which you could reduce your expenditures, allowing yourself to reallocate this money to your mission trip.
Often, you can find many people willing to help you fund your mission trip, particularly if these people hold your same religious convictions. Start fundraising efforts early so you have ample time to reach your goal before your departure date. Engage in an array of different fundraising activities, ranging from the classic–selling candy bars–to writing support letters to request funds from those who value the work you will do. Keep track of your fundraising diligently to ensure you’re constantly aware of how close you are to your goal.
5. Saving Plan
To ensure that the money you have been able to pull out of your personal budget or fundraiser doesn’t get mixed in with your spendable cash, create a plan to stash it somewhere different, like in a special savings account. By doing so, you can make it easier to avoid spending this money as it is clearly earmarked for your mission trip.
It may be tempting to avoid thinking about the financial aspect of your mission trip planning, as the costs can be overwhelming at times. However, not considering the funds you need to make your trip a reality isn’t a smart decision. Instead of burying your head in the sand, take a proactive approach to mission trip planning and begin your budget exploration and cash acquisition early to ease the burden you must bear.
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