For missionaries only- a financial question

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by Mexdeaf, May 23, 2007.

  1. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    Fellow laborers,

    I am paying about $25-$30 a month in 'International transaction fees' to use my debit card to withdraw funds from my stateside checking account. Do any of you have a suggestion on how to cut that amount down? Some have suggested using a credit card, but the same principle applies there unless you can find a card that does not charge the Int'l fee. Plus we have to have cash to pay most of our bills including the rent and so forth.

    Thanks!
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I hate that. My Credit Union debit card doesn't have that problem ( think Chase backs this one). My is with Wachovia and they don't charge the fee either. My co-worker has to pay the fees (not sure who backs his card).

    Can you shop around?
     
  3. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    Well, I am stuck using the bank that our missions org uses, and they charge. I have figured out which ATM's here will not charge me a fee on top of the int'l fee and I try to use them but sometimes the ones that charge are the only ones working- you know what I mean?

    So far this month I have spent over $22 on fees and still need to make one more withdrawal for gas. I have thought about opening a Credit Union account and transfer funds from my MO bank to that but I will have to see which CU's do not charge an int'l fee.
     
  4. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I know this is a problem.. My co-worker has money transferred to his Irish bank by our mission board's bank. They charge a little, but it is less than the transaction fees.
     
  5. John of Japan

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    Hi, Mexdeaf.

    Is it possible to get the limit raised on your card and take out money fewer times? Of course you don't want to walk the streets with $1000 worth of cash....

    John
     
  6. Mexdeaf

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    Well the transaction fee is 1% no matter how much you take out so that really doesn't solve anything.
     
  7. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I think you may be stuck and the only solution would be to look for, or have someone else look for a credit union or bank who does not charge for debit card use.

    Then, as you mentioned you could transfer funds from the bank your mission board uses to the credit union.

    A lot of hassle I know, but in these weak dollor days it may be worthwhile?
     
  8. John of Japan

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    Well, that's too bad. It's different with our American bank. We have a straight fee every time we take out money, so if you take it out in larger amounts you save.

    I assume that the 1% fee comes on the American side. Could you start an account at a different American bank that has a straight fee, transfer the funds from the bank your board uses to that account and then use it for your transfers to the field.

    Several years ago we got something neat in Japan. You can have a savings account at the post offices here, kind of like a bank. We are now able to go to a PO ATM and use our American debit card to get money from our American account!

    P. S. I just noticed that this is pretty much what C4K said in his post. Sorry, Roger! [​IMG]
     
    #8 John of Japan, May 24, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2007
  9. mnw

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    Could you set up a Paypal account and transfer into and out of that?

    I am not sure how it all works. But that could be an option.
     
  10. DHK

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    That's what I would recommend in an overseas transaction. Have the board wire the funds over once a month. They can do so for a minimal fee. Then the missionary can have the funds, and budget them on a monthly basis like most of us have to--with the currency of the nation that he is in.
     
  11. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    The difficulty is that your budget changes monthly. With the weakening dollar our co-workers have watched the amount lodged in their Irish account fall by a couple of hundred euro over the last several months. The same amount of dollars are being transferred, but the amount of euro to budget on is never stable.
     
  12. DHK

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    I face the same problem. But from one month to the next month the difference can't be that much as to make an appreciable difference. Over an eight year period, we saw our income decrease by one-third of what it originally was because of the discrepancy in the dollar. But that was over eight years. It all didn't happen in just one month.
     
    #12 DHK, May 27, 2007
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  13. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    You don't deal with the euro obviously ;).

    I think he told me the amount wired to his Irish account as fallen by a little over 300 euro since the first of the year.

    The euro is a growing currency and the dollar is being allowed to weaken. It is hard to budget with that kind of change.

    All I know is that it is causing them great budgeting difficulties.
     
  14. Sularis

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    Theory

    It is possible - to change debit card limits usually done in branch - but it is possible to get the changes done by internet - again this is for Canadians but it should work for Americans

    you need to set up account by internet - but it is possible
     
  15. DHK

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    No, I don't deal with the euro (except when I am stuch in an airport in London or Germany). But I have to deal in three other currencies on a regular basis. I am constantly keeping an eye on the rate of exchange in relation to the Canadian dollar. Whether my income was in euros or Canadian dollars or Japanese yen, he principle would be the same. It depends on the value of the American and/or the fluctuaction of that dollar. As the American dollar strengthens, my income increases; as it weakens, my income decreases. It is simple economics no matter what country you live in.
    While I live in Cannada I have two accounts: American and Canadian. When monies are transferred/wired to my American account, I can at least wait until I think the Canadian dollar is weak or the American dollar is strong, (whichever way you look at it), and then transfer it. Sometimes you are able to see a trend, but usually the change in currency is so volatile it doesn't matter anyway, and when you need the money it doesn't matter what the rate is; it has to be exchanged.
    However, if you have both accounts at one bank (American and _____, the bank is apt to give you a better rate of exchange when transferring money from one account to another.
     
  16. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Sorry for misunderstanding. I thought you meant that you based your budget on a set amount being transferred monthly. I don't know of any banks that operate in both the US and Ireland so that wise option is not available to us. We are facing the same problems as missionaries have always faced. Like you said, when dollar falls our income falls, full stop, end of story. We can either get exasperated, or as you have mentioned in your example, learn to live with it and trust God with the results.

    At the moment one cannot wait for the euro to weaken - it is just getting stronger. I prefer to draw my money out on an as needed basis using my debit card. Actually, I usually just use my debit card on the spot for purchases.

    This is a quandary for those whose card companies charge a fee. This is frustrating now because it seems like banks have found a new way to make a profit. I don't use my credit card here unless it is an emergency because Chase is now charging almost 3% if you use your card overseas. Ideally, they could change banks, but that is not easy while on the field. I feel especially fortunate and blessed. My credit union does not charge me for using my debit card here, I am able to work a little and get paid in euro, and my sons can work so I but euro from them in dollars which they put back for college. We use the official rate to exchange so we both benefit and avoid all fees.

    BTW, the next time you are stuck in an airport in London, get sterling instead of euro, that way you don't have to pay an exchange fee twice :).
     
    #16 NaasPreacher (C4K), May 28, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2007
  17. 4His_glory

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    This is a problem for a lot of us missionaries no? The Lord blessed me with finding a bank that does not have high transaction fees. If I need a lot of money I can write a check at the exchange house (for a fee of course).
     
  18. Ehud

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    Bank fees.

    An easier solution, instead of working on the fee end, would be to get one or two more supporting churches. A new church for $50.00 a month would seem to cover the fees with extra left over. I am sure you could pick up enough to cover the fees if you would write your supporters. Cheers Christopher:thumbs:
     
  19. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Problem here that this kind of action perpetuates the concept of the begging missionary, or as some put it "moochinary."
     
  20. 4His_glory

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    True, not to mention that it is also becoming increasingly difficult to garner new support these days.
     

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