So you've taken down notes of Philippine Holidays for 2013, you've probably have plane tickets purchased during last year's Piso Fare waiting to be used, or you've just completed your To-Go list of provinces and festivites, question is, do you have enough resources to fund your dream trips?
How can you pay for trips if your budget is tight? I'd like to welcome 2013 by sharing some of my travel tips.
A few months ago, I shared about the Farm that Funds My Travel Fancy. I thought that since the Philippines is so rich in agriculture, fellow travel bloggers especially those who live in provinces in rich soiled areas might consider owning or investing in a farm to help fund that wanderlust.
I couldn't be happier to share more tips and strategies I personally do to help me get pocket ready. Opportunities abound and it's easier now to save up for those dream trips. So here goes my tips, small and big :)
1. Befriend your Credit Card
Credit cards per se may not have an attractive image considering how many people get their financial status into trouble by getting deeper into credit card debt. Ever seen the movie the "Confessions of a Shopaholic?" I've personally seen how destructive credit cards can be that earlier in my work life promised myself never to own one. But I did own one eventually and I realized that having cc isn't bad as it seems. In fact, it can actually give you a special spending power - score freebies, promos, movie passes, gift certificates and more. Plus, you can take advantage of your cash flow too.
Most of my travel essentials were purchased from my credit card's freebies and gc's (directly and indirectly) - shoes, clothes, sleeping bag etc.
Believe it or not, credit cards can give you an extra oomph to your pocket. Trick is, just make sure you pay those bills on time. Avoid those charges and do not ever purchase something you cannot pay on or before due date. To get those big time gift certificates, use your credit card instead of cash on things you really need to purchase anyway like grocery or big time payments like school tuition or insurance plans.
Discipline is the key. Remember not to abuse your credit card and control yourself from swiping if you don't have the cash to pay for the monthly due to make sure you get away from paying interest charges. Make credit cards your travel buddy and get into the habit of smart spending.
I just calculated all my freebies worth for 2012, it amounted to a whopping Php16,780! Never paid any interest nor paid for an annual fee. In the end, it's like my credit card allowed me to shop for free!
2. Practice the Art of Selling
We Pinoys are fond of getting into sidelines or rakets as others would call it. Whether you simply like selling items or your skill, selling can be rewarding.
Ebay is a great online marketplace, so is Sulit. You can try posting your items there - used or brand new. You get rid of stuffs you no longer use and still get some money from it. During my first year on Ebay, was able to sell some of my used stuffs and was able to cash in Php20,000. Mind you, I just listed all the stuff I no longer need! I've been doing garage sales before and participated in bazaars, but I'm just so thankful for these online sites as they make things way easier for me to sell.
I also buy and sell some native products from the places I visited, like in Lake Sebu's case where I sold some t'nalak products to local online buyers.
Get your sleeping Chinese business sense into action and you'll definitely reap the rewards.
3. Join Contest
I'm not a hooker for online contests especially if it entails public voting. But if ever I see a contest worth joining to, I take chances. During my high school and college days, I used to join art contests and it helps raise my meager allowance. I think if you have the talent, share it! These days, many contests are held online and there are a bunch of really cool and easy contests out there. Tried my luck on one of those KFC So Good Contests and won some gc's by simply submitting 2 of my travel videos. Last 2012, I also joined a blog writing contest and ranked 2nd which allowed me to win some cash.
4. Online Money
Many Netizens have most probably typed the keywords "make money online". Online opportunities abound, and so are scams, so be very wary. Sites that I recommend - Google Adsense and Nuffnang to monetize your blog or website's content. Put these ads on your site and see money coming in even if you forget to update your website for months.
You can also try writing paid posts, answering online surveys, affiliate marketing or become a virtual assistant.
5. Employee Benefits
When I was still an employee, I try to regularly set aside my 13th month pay, Christmas bonus, cash from tax refund as well as cash gifts. Add these up to your vacation fund and set aside some of the money to invest for later trips. After deciding to quit the employment world, I used some of the money saved to fund my 2 month vacation back in the province.
Tip: Do not loan just to get the money to fund your travel needs.
Give your fund time to grow.
Make your money work hard for you by putting it in good investments. You can put your money in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate and businesses to generate dividends, interests, monthly rental income - in short, investments that generates passive income.
Tip: One thing I learned from the investment world is that sometimes, it's not what you know, it's who you know. It's good to invest in the stock market, but in my case, I try to invest from "the inside". If you know someone credible who owns a successful business, ask if you can invest with him. Don't be shy to ask around and you might just hit that golden opportunity.
While I also think this should have been done way before one gets bitten by the travel bug, it's never too late to start. You can start even with a small amount of investment, the most important thing is, you should start now and start young. As they say, time is money.
Clearly, having multiple streams of income is the best way to manage and boost your travel fund. Hope this post helps wanderers out there get some ideas. Feel free to share some of your financial strategies as to how you fund your wanderlust. Would love to read some tips too ^_^