Readers, I need your help. Many people have asked me about additional mission expenses for items not covered by the normal monthly allowance. I have written previously about the LDS Mission Cost and Saving for a Mission, yet there are uncovered expenses that are not intended to used with the monthly allowance such as photography, souvenirs or dining splurges. Many future missionaries and their parents are curious about these un-included expenses and would like to plan for them.
I need your help to answer this question in a more complete way for those parents and future missionaries. My mission was long ago, and specific to Argentina of course, so things now and in other parts of the world may be different from my experience. But this is how I would answer the question…
From my experience, an extra $20 to $50 a month would be nice depending on what your family can afford and what kind of souvenirs you intend to buy and other splurges you may want. It is important to remember, though, that your companion may not have any extra spending money, so you should be sensitive to their situation.
Anything above and beyond the monthly allowance given missionaries truly is discretionary, therefore it is difficult to give much further guidance. The missionary program is designed so missionaries can get along just fine without any extra money beyond the monthly allowance. On the other hand, though, it sure is nice to have a little extra cushion, especially for young people who may not be frugal or may not have learned practical steps for mission prep like managing money well.
I’m interested in all of your thoughts, though, so please comment below to add to or correct my response. Thanks.