By: Mike and Tabi
Let’s talk money.
We aren’t complaining or suffering. Things are a little tighter right now, and we thought we would explain something most missionaries deal with.
But why? You send your money to our sending church, and they pay us our salary. It’s always the same amount, and no changes are made unless they’ve been discussed in full by our missions board. We’ve been doing fine so far, so there’s no reason why we should be struggling now, right?
Well, not necessarily. Because the salary we get paid does fluctuate; not in dollars, but in pesos.
To get an idea of how exchange rate impacts our budget. Earlier this year we were near 700 pesos per dollar. We recently dropped to near 610 per dollar. Now it has rebounded a bit to about 630 per dollar. Below I use 690 for the before and 620 for the after.
Our rent costs 253000 Chilean pesos (this is really, really good!). A couple of months ago it was $370, now it is $408
A monthly grocery shopping trip might cost 100000 pesos. It has gone from $144 to $161
All our utilities together come to about 100000, so about $144 to $161
Our health insurance costs about 170000 pesos a month, so $246 to $275
Our public transport, cellphones, gasoline, doctor visits, clothes, diapers, and other expenses all do the same thing. We are easily looking at a 10% variation in monthly expenses. We also had a stretch for a couple of years after we got to Chile where it was at or below 500 pesos per dollar.
Let’s pray it doesn’t go back there!