Friday, January 16, 2009

Thinking of travelling..

Ok, so I'm thinking of going to Portugal this summer! Why you ask?
Well for one thing, half of my family is from there, so it's a chance to learn about where I come from. I have lots of family there, so I dont really have to pay for accomodations, and I wont have to pay for many meals either. I pretty much just have to pay for my flight and spending money.
I have been wanting to go for a long time. As time goes on I feel more urgency to go.

I feel like i should go while im still young and have nothing to hold me back you know? Yes, I still have student loan debt. And no, I dont make that much money. But I dont spend much either, so saving the money is really not a problem. I dont make that much money, but I am still making more money that I ever have, and at least I still have a job in this crappy economy where people are losing their jobs left right and center. Plus, if I put it off until next year, who knows? Maybe I wont have a job this time next year. Maybe something will come up and I just wont have the money.

Right now, I have enough money saved to more than cover this trip. But, the money I have in savings wasnt really saved for this purpose. In previous posts, I have talked about how I am so close to paying off my student loan, how I want to pay it off as soon as possible. Can I pay off my OSAP and still save for Portugal?? It's possible...not overly likely thought.

I figure the flight will run around $1000. Spending not sure..around $1000 to $1500, depending on what the euro/dollar exchange looks like.
So I will need around $2000-$2500 total. This is just a basic estimate. Once I do more research and talk to more people I can get a better idea.

So here are my options money wise...

1. Only pay the minimum on my student loan and save aggresively for the trip. Once I feel I have enough money saved for the trip, I can once again pay more to my loan.

2. Continute to pay off my loan as fast as possible, then dip into my savings for the trip.

3. Find a good balance between paying off as much OSAP as I can while also saving as much as I can for the trip. Then if i didnt quite save as much as I wanted I can take a bit from my savings if i have to.

4. Just focus on my OSAP and plan to do the trip next year.

Then there is the option on when to go, and for how long.

I am thinking maybe like june/july. It might be really cool to be there for my birthday (july). Summer is the best time to go, also the most expensive, but I have cousins that are in school and I dont really want to go when they are in school.
Since the flight is so much money, im thinking 2 weeks BARE MINIMUM....2.5-3 weeks would be more ideal. I dont really think I will have a huge deal getting the time off work, because my boss likes me, and I am a really hard worker. Im sure i am entitled to atleast one week paid vacation, and if the other 2 weeks are unpaid well i dont really care. I have been at my job for a year and a half and have yet to take a sick day. I'm never late, never need to leave early, have stayed late many times when I was needed and came in on days when I was suposed to be off, and I think I deserve a vacation!

Anyways...those are my thoughts...what do you guys think??


C - The Asian Pear said...

I think it kinda depends on many variables. How stable do you think your job is? How comfortable are you about using your savings? What were the savings originally for - emergency or other? Are you comfortable with letting OSAP take interest money from you a lil longer because interest rates in Canada is pretty low right now & you can take advantage by trying to pay off your principal more (unless you've locked in your OSAP instead of floating). How strong is the urgency?

honestly? I really don't think you should go during the summer. that's really peak season and it'll be hot and probably a bit uncomfortable. It'd be of course nice to see your cousins but you'll likely not see them 24/7 anyways. You'll be seeing the sites and hanging out with other family members at times so why not go during an off season like April or May? In April, there's even a holidays. So you won't miss that much of work. It's cheaper too.

also, don't forget that if you do your taxes on time, you'll probably get a nice return quickly too which will help with either the OSAP return and/or trip.

Sorry, I'm not much help. I know what you mean about feeling the urge to go though as I'm wavering between yes and no about going to Europe myself. The best advice I can think of is to sit down and weigh out all your options. You might be able to do both but you'll have to sacrifice abit more within your budget. Good luck!

Fabulously Broke said...

Portugal is super cheap. You get lots of food for little money, so $1000 may not be totally needed, but helpful if you want to be sure you won't go over.

I say go for it. When are you ever going to get a chance to go?

No sense in letting debt rule your life.

I'd agree with going in an off season like October or February, but check the weather because it DOES get gold there.

Also, interest rates aren't so bad, to letting OSAP slide a bit is all right because this is something you can only do when you're young without a family and kids.

Fabulously Broke in the City

"Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver."

hklover86 said...

Thanks for the comments guys!
C- I work in retail so i dont know if i would call anything in retail "stable". I dont nesessarily fear losing my job all together anytime soon but there is always teh possiblity of losing some hours. My OSAP interest rate is pretty low right now and I would not feel too bad about letting it sit a little longer than anticipated.
I guess i wasnt too specific about the location. we are from the islands, which i think has slightly different weather than the mainland. My parents went in May for their honeymoon and said they would not go back in may because its too rainy and cold. Summer is far enough away that I will have plenty of time to save. Yes I was also thinking about the tax refund, it will help alot with either one, im not sure yet which i will use it for.

FB- i also dont think debt should rule my life, and definately want to go before I have a family of my own.

I know the economy is bad right now, but i am still ok financially and i feel like i should take the chance while i still can!! They say this recession might last for years...if i put if off now, who knows how many more years it will be until I have the chance again!


Money Minder said...

Pay off your debt!

You'll enjoy your trip more and the desire to go to Portugal will help motivate you to pay off the loan ASAP.