Life Is What You Make It

 

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Life is a series of lessons. It is not unlike the picture I added above. Using some fancy changes I made this block image from my phone. This is not unlike travel. You start out with the image of what you think will be a trip or an adventure and by the end of the journey it is very different from what you imagined.
I know that in planning for my excursions I have to ask myself what is important while I travel. Since lately I have been a solo traveler going to either visit friends around the world I have the opportunity to shop around and find the best seats I can find at the least expensive price.
When looking around at airlines I have a tendency to use the Star Alliance Program. I use my miles wisely and many times fly for free. One of the best deals I have found is using the two credit cards I applied for recently and had an instant 50 thousand mile placed into my account. I recently have found that for my area flying on US Airways has been very painless.
Even though, the lions share of my miles approximately 150,000 are with United. I have a modest 60,000 miles with US Airways. I range from Silver to Gold status depending on the year. I do not regularly fly for business. I fly mostly for pleasure. That makes my world a happy place.
So how does this woman do it? Well in various posts I have spoken about the value of flying the best way possible for the least amount of money. I do this all the time. It does take dedication. If you are a college student you can do this very same thing. It is about the journey not the destination. If you focus on how, what, when and where you will lose the process of enjoying that life is a game. It is knowing how to play the game that makes it a breeze.
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Let’s get to basics. How much money do you have now! I mean right now! Not tomorrow. Not next week but, right now. Sit down and grab a piece of paper or add it on your notebook. Write down your assests. I mean everything you own that has value. Once you do that I want you to focus in on where you want your finances to be in 3 months, 6 months, and a year from now. Simple I know but believe me it does work.
Then write down your monthly expenses it is really important that you do this. Write down next to the credit card, college loan, rent, phone, electric, cable, internet what ever bill you have the amount you must pay. Add it all up. Now take a breath and multiple that times 12…ok bills for a year. Now put in your monthly salary, income, allowance, stipend, interest on accounts…where ever you have income. Write that number down. Multiple it by 12 and that is your yearly income. Now subtract your income from your out-go (debt) that will give  you an idea of how much money you have for the year. Now subtract  $2,500 from that amount. That is any emergency funds. Believe me it will be ok. Now take that amount you have left and divide by 12 that is actually how much money you have extra to spend a month.
Monthly Income X 12= Yearly Income
Monthly Bills X 12 = Yearly Debt
Total Yearly Income – Total Yearly Bills = Money for the year- $2500= Actual disposable cash for the year
Actual cash available divide by 12= Monthly cash to invest and use for travel
ImageThat is right I said save. If you are not saving and only spending then you are not going to enjoy living life on the beach, mountains or your underwater vacation. You will be coming home to a mountain of pain. I have all my trips paid for before I leave. I work a regular job ..well sort of …and work for myself. I spend many hours ( as I like to call it my planning before the trip time) working, saving, and enjoying all that is free in my local area.
This is what is known as working it to make it happen. I am really very happy to say that my bucket list was started way before the term bucket list became popular. I was traveling to India, England and many places beyond my home at the age of 18. My parents were so unhappy with me at the time. There grew to appreciate that they started it by taking me all over the US. I have shared this with my son.
Back to the plan at hand. You are here on Earth to explore yourself and enjoy all the world has to offer. There are times that life is not fair. I believe that is the way is.

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