I was not born rich. Maybe that's the reason why I only became aware of the wonderful things that travel could do for me when I already graduated from college and had my job. Thankfully, I have aunts who supported me financially while I studied in a state university.
Being an industrial engineering student in this state university, my subjects were mostly on optimization techniques. My professors in these subjects consistently taught about designating 20% of your income instantly to savings before spending the rest.
I took that lesson to heart, and vowed to do even better. Every payday, I only spend half of my net salary. The remaining half is left untouched. Part of it is long-term savings, while an indefinite and variable part is temporary savings, which either goes to my travel fund, or to the doctors and drugstores which I am a suki of. I would be more than thankful if everything goes to my travel fund.
The temporary savings is what I use to fund my wanderlust. My aim is to maximize what's left of the temporary savings, or else I won't be saving anything at all. Thus, I spend hours, days, and months on researching for the most economical way to quench my never-ending thirst for adventure, and had an unwritten rule for myself:
- Expenses for a 3-Days, 2-Nights stay in a local destination should not exceed P 5,000.
- Expenses for a 4-Days, 3-Nights stay in a local destination should not exceed P 7,000.
- Expenses for a 4-Days, 3-Nights stay in an international destination (in South East Asia) should not exceed P 20,000.
So far, I have consistently followed these rules for myself - spending roughly 20% of my net income on travel, thus leaving me with savings sufficient enough to make my professors proud.
20% of net income: for anyone who ever encountered the Pareto Principle, 20% would definitely ring a bell.
For the sake of those who came across this for the first time, Pareto Principle is also known as "the law of the vital few", wherein 80% of the effects are brought about by 20% of the causes.
Whether it's plain coincidence or I just took lessons from college by heart, I've applied Pareto Principle to fund my wanderlust. 20% of my net income causes me to enjoy the 80% of my motivation to work, which is to travel.
If I may add, I do not have a competitive salary. But neither do I have a work that is so demanding that I have to be on-call 24/7, go to office on weekends or spend hours on overtime. I have chosen a job which gives me a steady source of income, and more than sufficient leave credits which are convenient to apply so I could go and satisfy my need for monthly adventures. (Still lusting for a work that requires travel and writing, though.)
In preparing itineraries, I simply live by the rules of operations research, wherein the objective function is to maximize enjoyment given the budget and time constraints. To maximize enjoyment, I need to prioritize the places I want to see and the adventures I want to do in a certain location. It need not be said that I do not care much on other details such as food and accommodation. As long as I could safely sleep, it's okay; as long as I have something to eat, I'll be fine (kung saan tamaan ng gutom). Splurge on activities that you would only encounter on a certain location instead of being picky about an accommodation. You could relax all you want at home; it's only rare that you get outside.
To each his own. While there are people who prioritizes gadgets and fashion, these two things do not have its place in my monthly budget. I only need a basic phone to communicate wherever I am (probably, if there's a signal), and a laptop (to research on travels, to create an itinerary spreadsheet, and to share travel stories to everyone). When it comes to fashion, I rarely buy new clothes or shoes - only when there's a pressing need for such. With trekking shoes or travel backpacks - well, that's a different case. But mind you, spending on these require an intense effort to save, too.
|I owe a lot to these books. (photo with the two of the "fashion" items that I seriously saved for)|
This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival with the theme "How to Fund Your Wanderlust" posted on James Betia's blog Journeying James.