do you underbudget your traveling funds?

over the weekend, i revisited the dormant personal cash management file i obviously has ignored since the start of this year to see where my actual financial position is compared to where i expect i end the first quarter of 2009. though, with the europe + us trip just recently ended, i was expecting that once again, my travels are screwing up my cash management. i hate it when that happens, but it always happen. that leads me to think that perhaps my current strategy of keeping myself within the budget just doesn’t seem to work.

i spent about US$1,200 more than i expect to for the said holiday. the trip was worth it- but damn it, now i have to spend the next few months paying myself back for that overspending by underspending my monthly allowance. impressive news though- unlike last year’s trip to the US- i rarely used the card during the holiday.

the boring nerd that i am, i worked on my cash management file the entire weekend to address that opportunity of overspending on travels and revisiting the baskets of financial products into which i dumped my savings (the latter is discussed in my next post).

why do i keep overspending on travels?

i really am a very simple girl. strange, at some point, but really very simple. i hate shopping. i don’t like jewelries. i am allergic to perfume. i never crave for chocolates. so an impulse to indulge in any of these when i get to europe was nonexistent. so, i couldn’t possibly spend on these things that i didn’t allot a budget for because it will take for the moon to turn blue for me to do one of those.

a careful look at my historical travel expenses and the initial budget i have set for those, i found out that i have this nasty habit of underestimating my travel expenses. as i am a sucker for cheap and bargain flights, i carelessly assume i can get away with the rest of the travel expenses cheaply as well. as meticulous as i am with price when i am planning and looking for good deals at the comforts of my home, my holiday self just really want to have fun without having to keep on accounting for every single cash outlay she makes for the entire duration of the holiday trip.

in short, the travel allowance i allotted for any trip does not reasonably reflect my actual behaviour on holiday spending. which was very silly of me. did i really think i can cheat myself and get away with it?

and so, the finance girl in me finally accepted the fact that although i do enjoy spending an entire weekend overhauling my personal cash management file and doing personal cash account reconciliation, i also enjoy traveling with Zsolt and is less frugal when it comes to holiday spending. and hopefully, the next travel plans i have would actually reflect what i would really end up spending.

because really, the finance girl in me might think my holiday self is too careless with her finances- my holiday self’s ability to enjoy traveling to its fullest potential is the only reason the finance character is still sane.

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