Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Budgeting Diaries: Marathon Bride

We are back with...

Today Stephanie from Marathon Bride is sharing how she and her husband have saved money so they could afford to travel… particularly afford to serve on mission trips.  Stephanie's heart and priorities are inspiring… make sure to check out her blog :)

Hungary 2013- She was pregnant with their son Martin

How we afford to travel 

When deciding to spend money on something that isn't a necessity, I think it's a good idea to always think about what you're going to have to say no to, in order to say yes to what you're buying. Jason and I get asked frequently how we have afforded to travel on mission trips while living on a small budget. The answer is simple, when we make up our budget each month we weigh out what we want to say yes to --- which for us is seeing the world one mission trip at a time, and what we are willing to say no to in order to do that - cable, fancy phones, new cars, eating out, new furniture, etc. Quite often Jason and I will be discussing buying something, and I will say the name of a country to him and we both immediately know that we are saying no, so we can say yes. People don't usually like that answer, but it is the truth. I wanted to show you just how inexpensive traveling can be, and also show you how expensive little habits can be when you add them up over the course of a year.
Ethiopia 2012

Uganda 2011
I went to Uganda right after graduating college so I know the costs while there, and I have udpated the cost of flights by looking some up that are current.  

Airfare to Uganda in April for one adult - $706.80. (If booked now, obviously when you plan in adavance you get cheaper tickets. )
Cost of hotel that also provides breakfast - $ 105.00 for one week.
Cost of visa when you arrive at airport - $20.00
Average cost of meals out each day/eating in missionaries homes and donating to them - $70.00 for the week.

Total = $1597.80

Starbucks coffee once a week at $4.00 a cup - $208 a year!
Average cost of cable per month according to the most recent report from the FCC - $64.41 a month
which is -  $772.92
Eating out once a week $20, in a year adds up to - $1040.00

Total =  $2085.33

Look at that, if you cut out all of those things, you would even have money to spare that you could GIVE to the missionaries you are working with, or to the different needs to you see while traveling that trust me will impact you for the rest of your life!

There are plenty of mission orginizations that plan out trips and then you just go on their selected dates, I have found them to be MUCH more expensive than going on your own. Don't be intimadated to go without a set group. If you're part of a church that isn't organizing mission trips, ask your pastor if he knows any missionaries in other countries. Start praying for them during your quiet times, learn about the countries they live in, and give the Lord your yes to go to any of them, reach out to the missinoaries and see how you could be of a help if you came to visit. See what things you could bring, how you could serve, and what you would need to know before you go.

The world is waiting. 

So skip the drive thru,turn off the tv, start looking up flights, pack your bags and go be Jesus to the world! 


Ethiopia 2014

Matthew 28:18-20
 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Isaiah 6:8 
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"


Want to read some other encouraging and real budgeting stories???
Laura @The Epitome of Us
Mandy @ Almond Place
Sarah @ Abiding in Grace
Stasia @ Our Life on a Budget

What is your story? Or do you have some tips or pointers or anything you think would be encouraging to readers trying to be good stewards of what God has given them? Email me at and you can share a post! :)



  1. Such great tips. I am a planner, but when it comes to spending money I am apprehensive in planning so far in advance. Well, this year I've already booked a flight for my husband to travel to NY for an event he has been looking forward to. We booked this weekend and was able to save so much because we did it in advance. Now I have to keep my fears from getting the best of me that something will happen and sabotage it all. Great ideas here.

    1. Fear is something that plagues me too… usually in the form of worry. Good for you for taking the plunge and booking the flight!

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  3. Great post, lady! Thanks for sharing your tips!