Dennis is right on. 18th birthday (adulthood, not kids any more) or high school
graduation -- whichever comes last -- you work, either paying rent & board
to live at home or move out. My 18th birthday came with some nice gifts
(I've forgotten), some cards and a rent bill. Lasting impression. There
are NO expenses having an able bodied adult living in your home after age 18.And at $400/month, which is 10k, kids of working age (age 12 or younger)
can certainly save enough (in six or more years) to support themselves on
missions and leave enough to get going with school before or after.
Just send the kid if they want to go for the right reasons and balance your
checkbook. Don't send them because it's purported to be cheaper,
that's like finding a financial babysitter for them instead of the real
When I had two children on a mission at the same time, I just didn't have
the money. I paid what I could and kept paying into the ward missionary fund for
an extra year until both of their missions were paid in full. With missionaries
going at age 18, they will return and go to college with two extra years of
maturity. That is a real advantage for them. They'll be better students,
learn more and be better prepared for the world of work after they graduate.
Long term, the younger age will be a real plus for them.
Monthly costs for my 18-yr-old Senior in High School:$100 - I pay
for his car insurance as long as he keeps a clean record, because it is more
convenient for him to drive to his many activities than for me to take him.
And, he is the taxi driver to take his sister where she needs to go.$100 -
Gas for the car my son uses.$200 - Food, both at home and school lunches -
No, I don't pay for all his lunches. He gets what the basic school lunch
costs. If he wants to eat pizza or hamburgers and runs out of money, he takes
his lunch or pays out of his PT job earnings.$50 - Cell phone, so he can
be available to us when we need him.$50 - his share of basic utilities,
mostly electricity for electronics, gas to heat water for showers and wash
clothes$50 - IncidentalsWe are well beyond $400 per month.
His older brother, now on a mission didn't even eat much, and we are saving
over having him at home. The Senior wants to go right after graduation in June.
Yippee!!!Wouldn't have it any other way.
Hutterite and Others:Your analysis of young people is pathetic. Our
church leaders have over and over said the most valiant souls have been saved
for the last days. If our young people are "lazy" and
"pampered" as you claim, it is no fault of their own but of the parents
and grand parents that have served as their examples. On the other hand, I see
young people doing amazing things. I think the mission age being lowered to 18
and 19 is because our generation might have not been ready spiritually for this
task while our young people today are ready in the eyes of our church leaders.
I think we need to get off of their backs. Think of all the problems facing our
country today from the fiscal cliff to the wars to the economy to the debt, it
isn't their fault, it is our fault. These young people WILL
make the BEST missionaries ever...Hide and watch.
@don'tfeedthe trolls.....I don't think you understand what a troll is.
It's not just someone who disagrees with you or the LDS perspective.
Sometimes is someone who's been there, done that and has a lifetime of
experiences, both good and bad, that may prove that something may not be what it
Frankly, the growth and maturity my son has gained on his mission is worth all
the money I could muster. No amount of college could have done that for him.
Even though I said earlier that we are essentially breaking even with him being
gone, I was referring to only the cash flow during the two years he is gone.
Sure, his career will be delayed by two years and he will miss two years of
salary that he could have made but now his goals are higher than they were
before he left. I wouldn't be surprised if the present value of his future
earnings will now be higher even after missing two years of work. The bottom line for me is that I couldn't care less about the financial
aspect (more cash flow, less cash flow, opportunity cost of lost earnings,
higher tuition when he returns, etc.) This amazing growth experience is a steal
at $400 per month (plus incidental expenses, of course). This article only
points out the obvious and that is that there are at least some saved expenses
for not being at home. Big whoop. I think everybody knows that.
@Don't Feed the TrollsYour comment criticizing my analysis is
virtually without merit unless you explain how changing my assumptions would
alter the result (which you have not done).Lifetime earnings (after
the two year mission period) are irrelevant and should be held constant in this
type of analysis because they will not vary substantially. And if you are
suggesting we should tax-effect everything (like the cost of the mission net of
charitable deductions and the two years lost wages) it will make the analysis
more complicated without changing the result, so I chose not to take that
route.Please supply your alternate analysis for me to critique.
I don't have a lot of confidence in a CPA, Fred, who only looks at gross
earnings, instead of net after expenses, nor one whose financial comparison only
looks at two years verses a lifetime of net gains.
@Dadof5sons,Hutterite and Dennis"Sorry your wrong. You paid for
his education? That is commendable but as I said earlier when they finish their
missions the purse strings are cut."You can have your opinions,
and every kid is different (and needs his own plan). I am happy, however, to
compare the results of my philosophy (of helping my children achieve their
worthy goals even at my own personal sacrifice) with your "cut the purse
strings" philosophy. My first two sons are 27 and 25 years old.
One is a mechanical engineer and the other has his masters in IT Management.
They both married nice LDS girls and have purchased their own homes. My
youngest is studying electrical engineering at a top university.My
youngest is competing with a lot of students from different countries, and many
of the students, particularly the Scandinavian ones, receive free educations at
our universities paid for by their home countries. These kids, along with all
the Chinese kids in his program are going to go back to their home countries and
compete against us. If all American parents have your attitude, rather than
mine, we are sunk as a nation.
@toosmartforyou....I'm guessing that the kids that can't apply
themselves to move into the real word should start looking for something in the
"trades". Plumbers, masonry, electricians etc. etc. Not everyone
is meant for college. Spend your time in the 12 years of public education not
preparing, (like the rest of the world does) for later in life you're a bit
stuck. Few want to admit their kids can't cut college.
Well, Hutterite and Dennis.....in this economy just where are the jobs one can
get that will pay enough to cover living expenses? And what of going to
college----that's hardly free. What you are asking for is a society of
under-developed and non-skilled workers that are living in poverty, or college
graduates that are heavily in debt and still have little prospects of s decent
job with regards to pay. What did you do when you were 19? And what was the
state of the economy, as compared to what it has been the last 5 years?I think it's better to help our sons and daughters get an education and
if possible or necessary work while they try and achieve that. A mission will
serve them well over a lifetime. Just running out after high school isn't
a guarantee of success or being a great employee. Those skills are not
dependent upon with whom or where you live. I'm glad Dennis paid for his
own education----but have those costs stayed flat over the decade? Hardly.
Things are harder and less available now, but not unreachable with parent's
@woolybruceWell as one who has two kids serving one year apart on serving
in a foreign mission on serving in the states. The cost of the one over seas to
send out 1,200 dollars the state side 1,480 to send out the 200 on a debit card
my son who has been out a year has never spent a dime of that money. Same with
my other son same thing. Care packages for the over seas elder your right 70 to
100 dollars to send. All in all my sons worked before to save as much as they
could one worked in the woods setting chokers logging the other was a manager
for a car dealership and paid for his first year. I really think parents need to
teach their kids to work hard and pay their own way for as much as they can.
@cpafredSorry your wrong. You paid for his education? That is commendable
but as I said earlier when they finish their missions the purse strings are cut.
If the chose not serve the money that I set side for their mission does not go
to them in any way shape or form. They are out the door and on their own. That
ten thousand goes to my mission fund for my wife and I.
I had a co-worker who used the money he had saved to pay for his mission, later
regretted serving a mission, felt he would have been better off had he NOT
served a mission, and no longer attends church.A mission has similar
results that serving in the military has. Many become more spiritual while
others leave the church.
As with all financial advisers they seem to be missing the reality. $2000 to
send a missionary out? Really? How about $3500 to $4000 in the more reality.
And then they are only including $400 per month. Well there is the $200 that is
supposed to be in a debit card. Who came up with that idea? Giving a teenager
a debit card with a never ending $200? And while the Parent is financially
responsible, while on a mission, the parent can't have direct contact with
the kid. Shouldn't the real rule be a 0 balance debit card and if an
emergency happen the parents be contacted by the Mission President or such?
This is a financial disaster as currently constituted. And if the kid is
overseas, watch out for the month $70 care packages that contain $15 worth of
stuff. While the kid as at home there is some control, but while on a Mission,
he is a Mission, and none of that can be challenged.
I agree with Hutterite and Dennis...except we never felt our children had to
move out and support themselves 100 %. It definitely costs LESS for a parent to
NOT have a child on a mission unless the children go to an expensive college,
have an expensive automobile, and are not frugal.We know a family
whose eldest child got 3 scholarships for college but the next two got none. The
eldest graduated from college, got a job after college, lived at home after
college until marriage and voluntarily helped support the 2nd child on a
mission. The 2nd child worked while attending college before and after the
mission. The 2nd child's mission initially cost over $ 500 per
month and had increased to over $ 700 per month by the end of the mission.
Fortunately, there were relatives of the family who paid about half the cost of
the mission. Since we believe serving a mission is a privilege, we
started a savings account to help 5 of our grandchildren serve a mission and
have added to each account and the savings account that parents had started for
We crunched the numbers as well and we are breaking even with our son on a
mission. There has been no difference in our spending whatsoever. They money we
send for mission costs offsets the money we would have spent if he had been
here. The mission is essentially free.
Hutterite... I agree.Our namby pamby culture has decided that 19 year olds
are still kids. They're not. If your kids didn't work hard enough in
school to get a scholarship or at least a partial scholarship, too bad. Get out
of the house. There are no "worthy" goals to be attained living by the
shirt tails of mom and dad. You're right vegaspam, this went out in the
80's. The reason it went out is baby boomer parents stopped parenting and
placing expectations of excellence on their children. I went to college because
I got a job and paid for it. Very simple. Today's generation, and
I've hired dozens of them have very little work ethic, less ambition, and
all want something for nothing. Imagine sending these kids out to the mission
field and the headache it give mission presidents. It's time to start
"parenting" not long term "babysitting".
On an overnight trip we took when I was a coach we asked athletes to pay $30.
We had parents say they can't afford this. I always countered with this
argument. If your child stays at home and doesn't go on the trip are you
still planning on feeding him? Is he likely to have his lights on his bedroom
while he stays? How about use your car? Maybe, he'll want to go on a date
an want $20. Well, if he is with us, we plan on feeding him two to three meals,
he won't be using your car, leaving the lights on or asking for money. I
suspect it will be a wash financially if you figure it out. But he will having
a great experience with us on this trip (hopefully)...I think this
is analogous to the mission situation but on steroids so to speak. The cost of
the mission won't be that great when you think that child will still have
to be fed, clothed, etc. Plus the experience of the mission will likely be life
changing in a beneficial way which is hard to put on price on that.
In all likelihood going on a mission will be more "expensive" than if a
child stays home. But in reality, it won't be the $400 more like some
people think. It is likely in this economy most children ages 18-24 will live
at home for most or all of that time. It is likely this will cost the parents
money. I don't think people need to fear financial destitution to send
their children on missions is what this article is saying because if they stay
home they are still going to cost parents money most likely.
cpafred understands the concept of opportunity cost.
@Dadof5sons"Plus it is so much cheaper to send them out and have grow
up doing that than have them out anywhere else."I think it is a
bit of a generalization saying it is cheaper sending a son on a mission than
having them out anywhere else. I think it depends on each child. I was poorer
by $12K for the cost of the mission and the increased cost of college tuition
(due to inflation) as a result of him serving. In addition, the mission cost
him approximately $130K in permanently lost salary (versus what he
hypothetically would have earned) by graduating two years later than originally
scheduled.@Hutterite"How about they move out and get a
job? That's pretty cheap for all concerned."I hope
you're kidding. Kicking kids out on their own may work for a few, but if
your kids have worthy goals (as many young people do) and we can help them
reach their goals and become prosperous adults, shouldn't we do that?
Isn't that better for our society and our future economy? @JRJ and Orem - I agree, but this article was about financial costs/benefits,
not non-financial aspects.
We have been going through this and we are going to break even. The cost of
having our sons at home is pretty close to $400 a month. The article is right
on. I would gladly pay double that for the experiences they are going to have.
It really is life changing and will set the tone for the rest of their lives.
Oh good grief! You go on a mission because you have a personal conviction that
it is what you should do. As for the financier who thinks that most parents
spend more than $500 / month per child to have them at home, all I can say is he
needs to spend more time with the average American.
It costs to send a young man out before he enters the MTC is right at close to
one thousand dollars. Then it is five thousand per year. Or four hundred a month
no matter were you go. I don't know the cost for sisters. So if any knows
those costs it would be helpful to know as well. For clothing for one of my sons
was eight hundred dollars a bike because that is all they use for transportation
five hundred dollars. An no he did not have a bike before. So that right there
is 1400 start up cost. Then the 400 per month. I save more in food costs per
month. Plus it is so much more cheaper to send them out and have grow up doing
that. Then have them out any were else.
My mom couldn't afford to send me on a mission and now I'm glad I
never went. It would of been a total burden on her financially and I'm a
firm believer that not every young person should go if they truly do not want to
go. I had mixed feelings about the whole idea.
I have two sons out at the same time not a big deal. As for being cheaper. Then
living at home yes to a degree. My oldest turned 19 a few months after high
school so he left right a way my other son turned 18 on the day he graduated.
And was working six days a week ten hours a day to pay for his. Mission that
all changed for him in October and he put his papers in that month. And left
right a way. As for college. All my boys plans are after missions military and
use the GI bill to pay for school.sorry but my financial obligation ends when
they come home from their missions. No living at home get a job what ever. And
don't ask for money. Purse strings are cut.
I suspect that if we were to sit down with a calculator, pencil and piece of
paper, there are a great many things that would be way too expensive to do or to
invest in. Personally, I can't see how people can afford Cable or
Satellite TV. Nor can I comprehend how people can afford cigarettes. It all
comes down to priorities and interests.I think the article was
trying to point out that before we discount a mission that we recognize that not
going on a mission can also still cost money. Personally, if they so choose, I
would prefer that my sons, especially, serve missions and I'm willing to
help them do so. Of course I hope that they have savings that they can use, but
I'm certainly not going to not help out if their savings come up short.
It's a tough economy.And in conclusion, not all young adults
who live at home are lazy, burdens to the household budget. A great many work,
contribute around the house and care for parents in their declining years.
A parent needs to see the overall picture of what "cheaper means. It's
not just financial. I was sooooooooo grateful to have sons in the mission
field when they were most vulnerable to the pressures of life, the excitement of
being on your own, girlfriend situations, decisions of what to do with life,
etc. For those of you who don't know, a mission lines you up to look at
life before partaking. Watching people suffer through their decisions and
attempting to make changes certainly gives some valuable insight to your own
future. Learning to love each other will help all missionaries learn what is
really important. Yes, those years are definitely much more than a monetary
"The age limit for women was lowered from 21 to 19."Shouldn't this sentence read "The age requirement was lowered from 21
to 19" ??I thought the "Limit" or oldest that someone
could go was 26.
I really don't think these numbers add up. I suspect if you add in the
initial costs of going on a mission it's not as cheap as they say it is.
Looking at the numbers I would bet that it cost more like $6,000 a year to keep
a missionary out. It depends on the country your in. There is a lot of work
and sacrifice to send a missionary out on a mission. Let's not give people
false hopes of how much it will cost. Most of us don't make six figure
salaries like these guys do. Most of us have cars and houses to make payments
on and illness comes into the equation. Most of the families I know have had to
sacrifice a great deal to send their sons and duaghters on missions. Reading
this article you would think it was simple and easy.
This article is at best incomplete and misleading.Let me explain
with a tale of two sons.I saved for my sons' college educations
and had the full amount put away by the time each graduated high school. Son #1
did not go on a mission, graduated college within 4 years of high school
graduation, and got a job earning $65k/yr. Son #2 went on a
mission, came back, graduated college, and got a job with a starting salary
roughly the same amount as son #1. I paid a lost less (for the mission versus
tuition) for the 2 years while son #2 was gone, but while he was away the cost
of tuition inflated at a greater rate than his college savings earned, and he
permanently lost 2 years wages ($65k times 2).So from a strictly
financial perspective, the mission was a LOT more expensive than continuing
school, graduating and beginning work.The only way a two-year hiatus
would have been financially beneficial was if I had not saved the tuition by
graduation (and thereby had two more years to save while #2 was gone). But I
had #3 coming up behind #2, so that was not an option for me.
As much as my teenagers eat, leaving lights on, car insurance, etc, them leaving
on missions will mean a pay raise to me. I have two leaving in the next 14
months. I must be getting old.
LOL. Good one Hutterite. Kids don't move out and get jobs because it is too
darn painful on their doting parents. The same parents that made sure their kids
had rides everywhere, same parents that allow their teenagers to sleep in until
noon. Kids are fragile and must be treated as such.
hutty-not enough eggnogg this year? Yeow!I suspect that many of these
young people that this story applies to are still in high school, hence they are
still at home.For those in college, I say let them live at home as long as
they are actively pursuing an education or working to save money for a
mission.It's pretty tough for a young person to save when they are
paying rent and expenses.For me, just the thought of my sons being
on their missions was a great source of peace and comfort to me. I always felt
that for now, they were where they needed to be. I never worried...too much over
their safety or well being. Once they got home I was more anxious with what they
would do now after their mission such as relationships, educations, jobs, cars
etc etc.Turns out, in large part that due to their missions, they
know very well how to save, how to budget, how to study and how to work hard.Truly the best two years of "our" lives.
Hutterite: Your comment reveals your age. Things have changed, greatly, from
when this was done regularly ending in about the 1980's.
How about they move out and get a job? That's pretty cheap for all