Question: What part of an LDS mission did you pay for vs. what your kids paid for? If they paid part, how did you encourage them to do that? At what age did they begin to save, how much did they save, etc.?
Several of the parents encouraged savings for missions and other big items (school, weddings, etc.), although most didn't actually use those savings to pay for the missions but instead paid for them themselves and reserved those savings for their kids to use when they got back (for school, a car, etc.). One did have their kids use the funds to buy all of the mission prep stuff (clothes, luggage, etc.).
Abigail and Martin
We set up an account for our children when they were very young that was to go for mission’s college, weddings and/or other necessary expenses. We put money into it and they did as well. All in all, we put more in than they did, but they knew they were contributing. They have been very frugal in the use of those funds.
Danielle (and Jake)
We encouraged our kids to save for a mission, then we expected them to buy the clothes etc. for their mission from their savings. It usually took about $2000 to get them to the MTC. We then saved their funds and allowed them to get a car with the money when they got back, however they did not know this going into it. We had great support from family members. Some faithfully sent $25.00 a month, which adds up when you are looking at $400/Month. We made up the difference.
I am so sad when I see families that EXPECT missionaries to pay their own way.....and subsequently have sons and daughters that never make it on their mission because it is so overwhelming.
Mary (and Robert)
We paid the month to month for each of our missionaries. It was our contribution to the work at the time. They had money in the bank, as I recall, that we could have drawn on if necessary but we didn't have to, so when they got home they had some funds to begin school or buy a car or get some clothes.
They were young, maybe 8 or so when they began to save for their missions. They each had a budget box to keep their money in and a budget sheet to keep track of income and outgo. They put away 10% for tithing, 10% for long term savings and the remaining was divided in half. 50% went to spending money and 50% to mission fund. This was advised by a former bishop and the boys took it to heart. It was a great trainer for their family budgets now an they are great savers.
Cynthia (and Brad)
Our son began working at a plant nursery when he was 12. At first he did it a little grudgingly, but then he started looking at his savings book and it became a game with him. He paid tithing, and then saved all the rest. We gave him spending money, but he never touched that savings account. He was even able to come home from his first year of college and work for that summer before his mission. By the time he left he had $6,000, more than enough to pay for his mission in Argentina. But of course that was 1983.
We had not planned on any of our three daughters serving a mission, so when one decided to go, she did not have any money saved. Whatever she had earned working at fast food went toward college. So we paid for it all, and that was before the regulated mission fee. She went to England, one of the most expensive places you could be sent. So that is when I started working to help pay for it.
Rachel (and Bennett)
We had one son and two daughters go on a mission. None of them paid for any of their mission. I think you really have to start early to get them to save for a mission, because there are so many other things to save for. But saving for a mission, keeps it foremost in their minds for many years. It's a good thing.
Marsha and Richard
We pretty well paid for our children’s missions including their clothing, luggage and all the requirements. The money they saved before their mission we kept for them to use when they returned and then we expected them to take a lot of responsibility for themselves at that point. Now, there is more emphasis on the young people financing their own missions but that wasn’t such a big deal then.
Even if we had a child who saved for his/her mission, we would cover the monthly costs and save the money for them. We did use birthdays and Christmas to supply most of their missionary items.
We encouraged our children to save at least 10 percent of what they made. That made 10% tithing and 10% savings. Sometimes we encouraged as much as 50% savings when possible.
Our son’s family teaches 20% savings through their whole life, which we like.
Karen (and Lance)
If we were sending our boys on a mission today we would be sure they were saving, and no time is too early. Start teaching them when they can understand. We never said to our sons, "If you go on a mission..." we always said, "When you go on your mission . . . . " It was assumed they would go. We paid for most of their missions because we didn't have too big a drain on us. If they had some savings they would use that. That was pretty unlikely because we didn't stress it. We were lucky to have a girl in between each of our 5 sons, so we had some time to save up again. Now, since the girls are going, they really do need to save or some of the parents would really be drained. There could be a special time to go to the bank and open a savings account. Children like to add to their account if they can see it growing. I guess it can also be done over the internet, to which they are quite adept, after they have opened the account. Anyway, good luck to you all. If it's in the right spirit anything can be done that is right.
Melissa and Henry
Our two daughters and four sons all served missions. We wanted them to
save money that they earned, and they did, but their first priority was
being good students, so working was only an option in the summers. Most
missions were less expensive than now when our children went out, but
they helped when they could. We anticipated missions long before they
went out, and were happy when our daughters decided, on their own, to go
also. Because of their missions served, when we went on two missions
in the last ten years they were very supportive and did not feel we were
Next week's question: How many kids did you have? How did you decide on that number and what do you feel are the pros and/or cons to the size of family you chose?