Monday, May 14, 2007

Category 6: Travel

Oh, Travel. We have such a love/hate relationship, but it’s definitely worth it. I love you because you let me see all those people I’ve left to live in this small town in the middle of nowhere, but you hate me by being much more expensive than every day living. You break my budget, but I will continue to use you as my excuse to splurge.

Travel actually is a difficult category for me. I do live in a very small town, very in the middle of nowhere. My family all live 1000+ miles away, my boyfriend is about 500 miles away, and I really miss city life. All of these factors come together to create incredibly high travel expenses.

Currently, I break travel into three subcategories, lodging, transport, and banking. Other related travel expenses, such as food and entertainment, stay in their original categories; I would have to eat whether or not I was traveling. Lodging is self-explanatory and something that I generally minimize due to usually visiting other people. Transport is only the cost of transport that doesn’t happen in my car. If I drive to Boston, it doesn’t fall in this category, but if I fly it does. It could also include train tickets or taxi rides. Banking is a subcategory that doesn’t get utilized that often, but occurs occasionally when I’m away from my home bank. If I’m traveling internationally, it accounts for conversion commissions, while if it’s more domestic, it’s the ATM fees I generally try to avoid.

This category does vary wildly from month to month and is something I should really work on, perhaps budgeting a small amount each month into a travel account, then only traveling when I have the funds built up. I don’t know that I’m disciplined enough to actually deny myself travel, but it’s something to consider.

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