Managing Money When You Live Outside the US, Part 2



September 5, 2017

Keep Your Money Safe when Living and Traveling Internationally

From the time you start learning about money, you’re encouraged to protect it. Get a piggy bank. Open a bank account. As adults today, we’re all too aware of the challenges of keeping our money safe. What about when you live and travel internationally? Here are some common-sense ways to protect the funds people invest in your ministry.

Don’t carry a lot of cash

Thanks to today’s sophisticated online banking technology, it’s easier to have money when you need it without carrying a lot of cash. Same goes for the more secure credit and debit cards with EMV chip technology like ECCU offers. Not only do they make it easier to purchase things. You won’t get hit with international transaction fees either. Here are a couple other alternatives to carrying cash:

Travelers Checks: You can purchase travelers checks for a fee at many financial institutions. You’ll need to cash them at a bank or currency exchange and pay a fee to convert your funds to the local currency. If the checks are lost or stolen, the issuer will replace them. Be sure to find out in advance whether they’re a good option for your destination.

Prepaid Travel Cards: These work like debit cards. You pay a fee to purchase them. Pay attention to possible additional fees for ATM withdrawals, reloading or monthly use.

If you must carry larger amounts of cash, don’t keep it all in one place and never leave it in an unattended suitcase or bag.

Be smart with your money

An indirect way of protecting your money is by making sure you get the most from each dollar you spend. Here are two ways.

Do a little homework once you arrive and learn how prices compare to what you’re used to. Heather Pubols talks about this in a blog titled Cultural Economics. When she and her family moved to Africa, she assumed prices would be cheaper on everything. Then she read a survey that found 13 African cities among the 50 most expensive cities in the world.

Know the exchange rates and how to get the best ones. To find out how, check out the first blog in this series: Be Smart about Exchanging Currency, Getting Cash and Making Purchases.

Every dollar you supporters give to your ministry represents a stewardship responsibility. For more ideas about how to keep it safe and spend it wisely, check out the blog 5 Best Practices for Banking Internationally.

Category: Missionary Minded