Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Paying for vacations

Later this summer, I'll be going to Shanghai for a sort of working holiday. I'm looking forward to the trip immensely, both as a chance to recharge my batteries, but also catch a glimpse of the breathtaking economic growth in China first hand.

The reason this is personal-finance related is I have to figure out a way to pay for the damn thing. I'm still technically a contract worker, so I'll be taking unpaid time off to go. That makes it doubly expensive because not only am I losing out on income via lost hours, I'll be dipping into savings to finance the trip. It's one thing to be swimming for yourself. Or even treading water. But it's quite another to be free-diving below the surface (As an aside, this is definitely why my brief periods of unemployment have tended to make the financial problems they create exponentially larger. One of the advantages of having a job is that not only are you earning money, but you're also not hanging around at home, spending cash on food and entertainment to fill the time every day.)

I'm hoping to write a few stories while I'm there just to make it worth my while, but this will no doubt make a dent in my financial plan. My goal for the year is to have a net worth of $40K by Christmas. With my new place and this trip, that seems like a bit of a stretch at this point, but we'll see just how disciplined I can be.

It's time to put my thinking cap on to drum up a little income above and beyond my 9-to-5er.

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