Tag Archives: budget

The Finance of Travel: How much travel can my paycheck sustain?

If you are a regular Indian middle-class person, chances are you work a 9-5 (or 9-whatever time your boss makes you stay back) job and have a fixed salary deposited in your account every month. For many, most of that amount is divided among the following:
(i) EMI payments
(ii) Mutual funds, stock market and other investments
(iii) Household expenses
(iv) Money staying in the account
(v) Miscellaneous

Now, where does the money for travel come from? Usually out of the miscellaneous. But if your miscellaneous expenses include a movie, dinner and drinks every week, shopping every other week, then chances are that any travel, big or small, is going to cause your miscellaneous expenses to shoot up. This is the reason many people give for not traveling: I don’t have the money to spare. But you do. You just need to look at your budget a bit more carefully.

Just before Christmas last year, I sat with all my financial statements, and tried to figure out how much money I could allot to travel. This year, I want to be able to travel at least once a month, with two major trips, hopefully one abroad (but not if I can’t afford it). I have certain financial commitments and I also want to do some investments and maintain a certain amount in my savings account. So, the absolute maximum I can allot for miscellaneous expenses is 10% of my paycheck. This includes general entertainment like eating out, movies, shopping etc, and travel.
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The Finance of Travel: Talking about Money

Money. We think about it every waking minute (and most sleeping minutes too), yet we hate talking about it. We know what we would do if we had buckets of it, but most of us have little more than a trickle. And the process of managing this trickle of money to fulfill our truckload of dreams is the biggest challenge of life, the only challenge, one might say.

Travel is an expensive hobby: the most expensive, I’d say. Money is the most important aspect of any travel planning. Before I plan my travel, I don’t think about what I want to do or where I want to go, but what budget I have to work with. Only when the financial part is settled that I begin to think about the rest- itineraries, tickets, hotels and the rest.
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