The Starbucks Sponsorship Plan for Short-Term Missions

. July 23, 2011
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So far, we've discussed how you can self-fund ambitious dreams like lifetime overseas missions or sending your kids to a Christian school. But what about something smaller?

I have friends who regularly take summer trips overseas. Individual trips don't have to be expensive, especially if they're mission trips, but funding them over and over again, every summer, can still be challenging.


Starbucks has a well-deserved reputation for taking care of its employees. It's a great company to work for, but how can you get them to fund your summer trips without having to work there?

If you've been following this blog, the answer is familiar by now. Step 1 is to earn more and spend less.

The Coffee Cost Calculator shows you how much money you'll have if you make coffee at work instead of buying it one cup at a time each morning. Assuming that you drink one cup a day, 250 days per year, you currently spend $813 per year more on coffee than you otherwise would.

If you make coffee at work every day and invest the saved money at a 7% inflation-adjusted return, the calculator says you'll have $11,200 after ten years.

I'm not hating on Starbucks. You can buy a 20-oz. bag of brand-name Starbucks coffee for $13 and save a lot of money making it at work. A bag that big makes a lot of coffee. That worth eleven grand to you?

$11,200 isn't enough to live overseas for the rest of your life. It'll pay for Christian school tuition for a year and a half. But that's not what we're after in this particular case.

Enough for Each Summer

If you're going to a developing country each summer for a mission trip, one of the major expenses is your plane ticket. That may be the expense that's hardest to pay for.

I used to look up the cost of a round-trip plane ticket from Oklahoma City to San José, Costa Rica. Using flexible travel dates to save money, I found two airlines, United and Continental, that will do the round trip for around $600 to $650. None of the round trips I saw cost more than $710.

If you save $813 a year by making coffee at work, you've paid for the plane trip.

There you have it:
The Starbucks Sponsorship Plan for Short-Term Missions.
If they decide to offer a real sponsorship plan for their employees, don't forget.

You saw it here first.