It’s the time of the season where we go shopping for the best deals from travel agencies.
It’s the time when traveloka, trivago, and Airbnb are fully booked.
It’s when we look out for piso-seat sales and other airline sales.
But before you post #wanderlust, #travelgram, #travelgoals, #travelph, let’s take a step back and think of #travelfund.
Don’t Travel Without a Travel Fund
If you have been reading my previous articles, I always say that the goal of Financial Freedom is to enjoy life.
There is no point of having a lot of money if you can’t enjoy it.
In my article “3 Steps on How to Set-Up a Play Fund“, I said that believe that we should work hard and enjoy life harder.
But you must be thinking, “Why is he telling me not to travel?”
What I am telling you is NOT “not to travel” BUT not to travel without a TRAVEL FUND.
Your Credit Card Limit is NOT your TRAVEL FUND.
Never travel for FUN using DEBT.
Yes, it may seem heaven for the next 10-15 days BUT I tell you it will be HELL for the next 6-12 months when those credit card bills begin to pile up.
The rule is simple: Live Within Your Means!
If you want to increase your lifestyle, don’t use debt to do so but increase your INCOME.
If you can’t pay in CASH, you can’t afford it.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not telling not to use your credit card.
Use your credit card to maximize points and get freebies but make sure you pay it in full.
You don’t buy something in deferred payment.
You buy in full. You pay in full.
Just like paying in cash.
Here is an article I wrote about “3 Ways to Use Your Credit Card Wisely and Not Drown in Debt.”
So before you travel, set-up a travel fund first.
5 Easy Steps to Set-Up Your Travel Fund
We can achieve #Wanderlust and #FinancialFreedom at the same time.
We just need to have the discipline and consistency to do so.
Always remember BALANCE.
We can’t just travel and forget about our finances.
But we can’t also just focus on earning money and forgetting living life.
STEP 1: Make a List of your #Wanderlust Destinations
Make a list.
Don’t limit yourself.
This will be your inspiration to work, save, and invest hard.
Some of your dream destinations might be impossible for now but nothing is impossible for a person determined to achieve his/her dreams.
Now that you know your #wanderlust destinations, it’s time to plan the WHEN.
If your goal is to travel Europe for 3 months and you just have P20,000 in your bank account and you are just earning P20,000-P30,000/month, that goal should not be placed next year.
But it can be placed 10-15 years later.
Then you find a savings and investment plan where you save consistently for the next 10-15 years to realize that goal.
If you save P1,500/month for the next 15 years that is invested in a fund earning 10%p.a., the projected amount is P621,705.50.
With that money, I think you can afford to travel Europe for a month with a little luxury.
After planning the WHENs of your #wanderlust destinations, it’s time to do STEP 2.
STEP 2: Have a Detailed Itinerary With Cost
The detailed itinerary with cost is more applicable for your #wanderlust destinations for the next 2-3 years .
For #wanderlust destinations after 3 years, you just need an estimate of how much you will need.
Having a detailed itinerary will help you plan well in setting-up your travel fund.
This will also save you a lot of money in unexpected expenses when you are already travelling.
This will make sure that you will maximize your stay in that place.
By having a detailed itinerary, you may be able to shorten your stay which means more savings for other #wanderlust destination.
This will also make sure that you will not be forced to use your credit card abroad for expenses you can’t afford.
STEP 3: Create a Travel Fund
Now that you know how much you will be needing, it’s time to break it down into smaller pieces.
For example, if you plan to travel to Palawan after 6 months and based on STEP 2 you need P30,000.
You need to save P5,000 per month starting now.
Let’s say your mid-year bonus is P30,000.
Don’t use the whole P30,000 mid-year bonus for the Palawan trip.
You STILL need to save for the trip.
Maybe allocate P10,000 of the P30,000 bonus, then save for the P20,000 balance.
Because we are creatures of habit and we want to CREATE the HABIT of SAVING and INVESTING first before SPENDING.
Imagine, if you have the habit of spending big amounts of money for travel without saving for it.
You will not value money and you will not follow your itinerary.
You will have the mentality of a one-day millionaire.
Think of it this way, if you can’t save a small amount of money, how can you save big ones?
For #wanderlust destinations 10-15 years from now, have a savings and investment plan for it.
You will be amazed that you don’t need to save the same amount of your projected expenses because you will be using the power of compounding interest.
As stated above, your P1,500 per month invested at a 10%p.a. for 15 years is not projected to be P270,000 (P1,500 x 12mos x 15yrs) but P621,705.
If you think your budget will not be able to handle the cost, you can do 3 things:
- Adjust your timeline.
- Find ways to increase your income.
- Find ways to lessen your expenses (just don’t lessen your monthly contribution to your Financial Freedom Fund).
STEP 4: Stick to Your Budget
Now that you have a plan, stick with it.
If you don’t stick with the plan, all your #wanderlust destinations will be moved to a futher date.
Or you may not be able to travel at all.
Or you may be able to travel but you will always worry financially: paying bills, making ends meet, drowning in debt, etc.
And when you’re already travelling, always stick to Step 2 which is your itinerary with cost.
You may change your itinerary but not the alloted cost for the travel.
Again, if you overbudget, the consequence is that your other travel destinations will be affected.
STEP 5: Enjoy Your Travel!
Now that you can travel in CASH and without thinking how to pay for your expenses in the next 6-12months, you can travel worry-free!
With a travel fund, you can pamper yourself with luxury without touching your emergency fund, retirement fund, insurance, and/or children’s education fund.
The best part is You Travel DEBT FREE!
To Summarize, here are the 5 STEPS in Building a Travel Fund:
- Make a List of Your #Wanderlust Destinations.
- Have a Detailed Itinerary With Cost
- Create a Travel Fund
- Stick to Your Budget
- Enjoy Your Travel!
Your Millennial Wealth Planner,
Harold Q. Gardon, CWP, CEPP
How do you find the article? Do you have any questions? Please feel free to message me if you want me to discuss a particular topic or if you are seeking financial advice.
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