I’ve enjoyed getting to catch up with lots of people while I’ve been back here in Wisconsin. It’s amazing how much can happen in a year and a half, both on this side of the ocean and the other.
One time someone asked about my finances and my budget, and since I didn’t think that I answered that question very well, I figured I should write about it here for them and for anyone else who is curious but afraid to ask. As far as support goes, I’m at 100% and God is providing for all my needs through partners like a lot of you who may be reading this!
A lot of my expenses are cheaper in Burkina Faso than they would be in the US. When I buy food at the market or buy local snacks, for example, they are cheap. When I buy food in the grocery store it is the equivalent of US prices or more expensive. Water and electricity aren’t too bad at my place, though I know other missionaries who have had very expensive electricity bills. I’m not paying rent for the house I’m staying in now, so that helps save money for the time being. By choosing to live life more like the Burkinabé people around me, I save more money as well.
Even though I try to live simply, there are other expenses that I can’t avoid, and those are the ones that take up a lot more of my budget. There is health insurance, life insurance, and emergency evacuation insurance. Even though I don’t have to pay US taxes while I’m out of the country, I do have to pay about 13.5% for social security (which would normally be the employer and employee parts put together). I have my tithe. I have a little bit of money that goes to New Tribes for things like the travel of my West Africa leadership when they come out to visit me. I have travel expenses, especially for when I’m on the People Group Assessment trips, traipsing through West Africa. I have to save money to replace things like my computer, phone, and camera when they die (and their life spans aren’t as long since I’m living in the heat and the dust of Burkina Faso). I had to buy furniture to furnish my house. I had to buy my moto to be able to get around. I have to save for retirement. I have to save money for other unexpected circumstances.
Anyway, there’s a little glimpse into my budget and where a lot of my money goes in case you were curious. If you have any other questions, don’t be afraid to ask.