Managing Missionary Finances: New Book Launched This Week

November 13, 2012 § 8 Comments

What is the number one stressor for missionaries? According to the results of a survey conducted by member-care trainer Brenda Bosch, the answer is “financial pressure.”

Not only can a lack of funds cause headaches, but so can keeping track of income and outflow, reporting to supporters, handling exchange rates, filing taxes . . . and the list goes on. I dare say that most missionaries don’t enter the vocation because of a love for bookkeeping, so any help on the financial-tracking front is welcome.

One such help is Money Management for Cross-Cultural Workers, written by Ryan Eidson, of Copper Coin Coaching. This workbook is targeted at missionaries who, for tax purposes, are considered self-employed, but it contains a wealth of information for all people working overseas—regardless of their particular financial situation.

Organized as a 90-day tutorial, Money Management leads the reader through a step-by-step process for understanding, organizing, and tracking funds, developed by Eidson and his wife while they served as missionaries in East Asia. The book also includes access to a spreadsheet template—with detailed instructions on using it—links to audio interviews with experts in the field, discussions of the Biblical principles guiding financial decisions, and links to and summaries of many applicable documents from the IRS.

While I and my family served as direct-support missionaries in Taiwan, we followed the financial guidelines of our missions organization, but Eidson’s book would have certainly been a valuable tool in helping us in answering questions that, at the time, we didn’t even know to ask. For me, one of the big stressors of our financial year was filing taxes. Not only was I sometimes confused by all the forms and schedules and rules, but it was tax time that often made me rethink my figures from throughout the previous year. About two-thirds of the way through his daily lessons, Eidson gives these encouraging words: “Remember, after you complete this entire workbook, you won’t have to fret when tax season comes. You’ll have all your records ready. Press on!”

Discounts for “Launch Week”

During this week’s launch of the second edition of Money Management for Cross-Cultural Workers, the Kindle version is available free at Amazon today and tomorrow (Nov. 13 and 14). Also, Eidson is giving away a set of free bonus digital goods to those who purchase the book this week. Details here.

(Brenda Bosch, “Summary of Missionary Survey Outcomes,” Global Member Care Network Conference, April 2012)

[photo: “Foreign Currency and Coins,” by Philip Brewer, used under a Creative Commons license]

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