Feeling guilty about travel expenses

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Rotsevni
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Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by Rotsevni » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:59 am

Hey all,

I'm in this situation where I find myself really guilty about my travel expenses this year. In September I have my third trip this year and the sooner it comes the more guilty I feel, actually I regret it a bit. Let me explain.

I have a yearly net income of 29k Euro
With my last 2 trips I spend combined about 5k and the trip in September will cost me around 3k so that's 8k total.
That is roughly 27.5% of my yearly net income, it's also more than my investment contributions, which are about 3k per year.

I planned those trips for a long time before with my friends / brother so cancelling was not an option. It really seems like one of those 'first world problems' but after making this calculation I feel guilty and regret it. I think next year I will just make a rule for 1 trip and perhaps a smaller one. Have you ever been in such a situation?

wilked
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by wilked » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:59 am

Dis you do a search?

It's a common topic

Here's one extensive thread on it
viewtopic.php?t=195777

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Kosmo
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by Kosmo » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:07 am

It's your money, spend it as you see fit. You shouldn't feel guilty spending money to do something you enjoy.

Blueskies123
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by Blueskies123 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:30 am

Kosmo wrote:It's your money, spend it as you see fit. You shouldn't feel guilty spending money to do something you enjoy.
Let's put some context around this statement. I would agree with this comment IF:

1) you are maxing out your 401K and HSA.
2) you have zero credit card and car debt.
3) you have thought about and put in place a diversified portfolio strategy.
4) you are on track with your savings goals based on your age
5) you do not have any other expensive habits or hobbies

If 1-5 are true then you can reward yourself with an expensive vacation. If 1-5 are not true then find a way to take cheaper vacations. Stay local, try camping and fishing, backpacking, or shorter duration. I remember my inexpensive camping vacations from 25 years ago more than my blow out retirement vacation to Italy.
FIRE July 2015 The US government spends nearly the ENTIRETY of its tax revenue on Social Security, Medicare, and Interest on the Debt.

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Soul.in.Progress
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by Soul.in.Progress » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:56 am

What is your age? Also, do you have debt? If not, then from what you've posted, it appears that you are living below your means, and are using leftover amounts to both invest and take trips, albeit weighting the latter more than the former. That's certainly a personal choice, but I'd be interested in more details of your personal situation (total amount in investments, age, etc) that might help shed light on why you're feeling guilty.
Start by doing what is necessary; | then do what is possible; | and suddenly you are doing the impossible. | -- Francis of Assisi

flyingaway
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by flyingaway » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:08 am

If my salary is $29K and I bought a $40K BMW at a young age and I do not have rich parents, I might feel guilty. But that is me, some people do just that and they do not feel guilty.

Jags4186
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:22 am

I'll be the one to say it.

30% of your take home pay of €29000 is too much to spend on travel. Get it over with this year and try to get yourself a little more frugal next year.

chisey
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by chisey » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:24 am

Rotsevni wrote:Hey all,

I'm in this situation where I find myself really guilty about my travel expenses this year. In September I have my third trip this year and the sooner it comes the more guilty I feel, actually I regret it a bit.
I used be so laser focused on saving that I let myself feel bad about expenditures on things that made me happy. No more. My advice to anyone: prioritize saving and get your financial house in order. But do NOT do it at the expense of your happiness.

I'd try to save more and travel a bit less in the future if I were you, but I highly doubt you're ever going to regret the travel you've done.

Lynette
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by Lynette » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:27 am

You haven't given us enough information. Are you 21 to 55?

Flux
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by Flux » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:23 am

We don't know much about your situation so it's hard to make a suggestion. I think that spending that much on travel is not sustainable unless you make quite a bit more.

My recommendation is to figure out how to travel cheaper. You don't say how long your trips are but if the 8k Euro is for only a few weeks, then that's too much.

ryman554
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by ryman554 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:41 am

Rotsevni wrote: I have a yearly net income of 29k Euro
With my last 2 trips I spend combined about 5k and the trip in September will cost me around 3k so that's 8k total.
That is roughly 27.5% of my yearly net income, it's also more than my investment contributions, which are about 3k per year.
I am of two minds:

1. It sounds like this was something special this year. Be wary, but not guilty, as long as you budgeted and aren't going into debt for it.

2. This spending, if yearly, is not sustainable at your income level if you want a comfortable retirement or a nice house or... you are making a choice to live now at the expense of your future. I make a significant multiple (>5x) of what you do, and have a family of 4. Of the three (four?) trips my family took, we spend maybe 10k euro, not more than this including two trips overseas. I believe you are overspending on the trips themselves -- why so expensive? I had a 2.5 week trip to new zealand that cost maybe 4k, because I stay in hostels/cheap hotels and eat at grocery stores. Enjoy your holiday, but be frugal about it and you might get just as much out of them and a fraction of the cost.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:52 am

Rotsevni wrote:Hey all,

I'm in this situation where I find myself really guilty about my travel expenses this year. In September I have my third trip this year and the sooner it comes the more guilty I feel, actually I regret it a bit. Let me explain.

I have a yearly net income of 29k Euro
With my last 2 trips I spend combined about 5k and the trip in September will cost me around 3k so that's 8k total.
That is roughly 27.5% of my yearly net income, it's also more than my investment contributions, which are about 3k per year.

I planned those trips for a long time before with my friends / brother so cancelling was not an option. It really seems like one of those 'first world problems' but after making this calculation I feel guilty and regret it. I think next year I will just make a rule for 1 trip and perhaps a smaller one. Have you ever been in such a situation?
With a 10% net savings rate, it will take ~50 years to reach financial independence.

With a 20% net savings rate, it will take ~37 years to do the same.

It all comes down to priorities, how long you want to work, how much do you see your income vs expenses going up in the future, what other factors will affect your happiness and wealth.

2Birds1Stone
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Location: New York

Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:53 am

A great article on the topic.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/ ... etirement/

While I don't agree with everything MMM writes about, the math for small changes = huge results over time, is pretty eye opening.

LarryAllen
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by LarryAllen » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:55 am

Jags4186 wrote:I'll be the one to say it.

30% of your take home pay of €29000 is too much to spend on travel. Get it over with this year and try to get yourself a little more frugal next year.
I tend to agree with this. Don't feel guilty though. Enjoy the last trip but buckle down a bit next year. Just my two cents.

bigred77
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by bigred77 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:10 am

Sounds like you are relatively young.

I would agree with others, maybe try to up your savings rate a little bit but I would not feel guilty about traveling. It sounds like you live below your means. Your day to day living expenses don't sound outlandish if your saving 10% and spending 30% on travel. Enjoy the money. Maybe save 6k next year and spend only 5k on traveling.

delamer
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by delamer » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:40 am

chisey wrote:
Rotsevni wrote:Hey all,

I'm in this situation where I find myself really guilty about my travel expenses this year. In September I have my third trip this year and the sooner it comes the more guilty I feel, actually I regret it a bit.
I used be so laser focused on saving that I let myself feel bad about expenditures on things that made me happy. No more. My advice to anyone: prioritize saving and get your financial house in order. But do NOT do it at the expense of your happiness.

I'd try to save more and travel a bit less in the future if I were you, but I highly doubt you're ever going to regret the travel you've done.
This is the key -- are you meeting your financial goals and then spending money on travel?

If you need to save for retirement, are you doing that? If you want to put a downpayment on a house, are you saving for that? If you have any debt (like credit cards), is that almost paid off?

As long as you are comfortable that you are doing what you need to become financially secure, then spend your excess as you see fit.

RudyS
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by RudyS » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:56 pm

What's done is done. Now enjoy the trip, stop worrying about the money. But then, you ought to change your spending, and your trip budget, to take care of your future needs. Lots of comments on that aspect already. Bon Voyage!

adamthesmythe
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by adamthesmythe » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:48 pm

> it's also more than my investment contributions, which are about 3k per year.

OP seems to be in the Netherlands. We don't know his pension situation and we don't know what he faces for pre- and post-retirement medical expenses.

Things are likely to be very different in a European system. That would be an extremely modest and probably unwise savings rate in the US. But then most people in the US don't have a pension and our social services are more uncertain.

It's YOUR money, spend it whatever way you want. If you were in France you might (reasonably!) spend that much on food. But think some about your long-range situation and plan accordingly.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by tennisplyr » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:56 pm

Life is to be lived....within reason
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

thangngo
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by thangngo » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:59 pm

Rotsevni wrote:Hey all,

I'm in this situation where I find myself really guilty about my travel expenses this year. In September I have my third trip this year and the sooner it comes the more guilty I feel, actually I regret it a bit. Let me explain.

I have a yearly net income of 29k Euro
With my last 2 trips I spend combined about 5k and the trip in September will cost me around 3k so that's 8k total.
That is roughly 27.5% of my yearly net income, it's also more than my investment contributions, which are about 3k per year.

I planned those trips for a long time before with my friends / brother so cancelling was not an option. It really seems like one of those 'first world problems' but after making this calculation I feel guilty and regret it. I think next year I will just make a rule for 1 trip and perhaps a smaller one. Have you ever been in such a situation?
I don't feel guilty spending on travel. But that because I already save first. If I could not save and/or take on debt for traveling, I would be very ashamed of myself.

Saving always comes first.

What's done is done. Move on. Go ahead and enjoy your trip. The last thing you want to do is feeling guilty.

harrychan
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by harrychan » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:45 pm

Jags4186 wrote:I'll be the one to say it.

30% of your take home pay of €29000 is too much to spend on travel. Get it over with this year and try to get yourself a little more frugal next year.
This. It is so tempting to keep up with the Jones. It is a saying Americans use as a euphemism when someone is spending more than they can afford just to keep up with their cliche. It'll require a lot of discipline to say no when people ask you to join on travel. Do you keep a budget? Set aside what you deem as reasonable as travel expense and go from there.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

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Kosmo
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by Kosmo » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:45 pm

Blueskies123 wrote:
Kosmo wrote:It's your money, spend it as you see fit. You shouldn't feel guilty spending money to do something you enjoy.
Let's put some context around this statement. I would agree with this comment IF:

1) you are maxing out your 401K and HSA.
2) you have zero credit card and car debt.
3) you have thought about and put in place a diversified portfolio strategy.
4) you are on track with your savings goals based on your age
5) you do not have any other expensive habits or hobbies

If 1-5 are true then you can reward yourself with an expensive vacation. If 1-5 are not true then find a way to take cheaper vacations. Stay local, try camping and fishing, backpacking, or shorter duration. I remember my inexpensive camping vacations from 25 years ago more than my blow out retirement vacation to Italy.
100% disagree. But this is why it's all personal and there is no universal answer. While I do think your items 1-5 are important, they most certainly are not prerequisites to an expensive trip. I don't consider a vacation a reward for good financial behavior. Vacations and traveling are part of a full and enjoyable life. If you can meet your personal financial goals, then don't worry about spending money doing something fun. I remember my very expensive trip to Italy to attend my cousin's wedding far more than my local trips.

Nate79
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by Nate79 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:22 pm

This is how broke people stay broke.

Katie
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by Katie » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:27 pm

My advice is enjoy this trip since you're already committed. Then sit down and figure out a realistic budget. How much do you need to save to reach your financial goals (emergency fund, pay off any debt, save for the future taking into account pension and other future benefits etc). Then see how much is available for "fun" and plan your trips to match your excess fun money.

Plus, if you plan your travel a bit in advance, you may be able to find some cost saving tips for your travel and get more for your vacation dollar. Knowing you have your financial goals in process will also help you enjoy your trips and know you don't have to feel guilty on your travel spending.

travellight
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by travellight » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:07 pm

I once spent half my net worth and took a 6 week trip around the world solo. There are occasions for splurges and having made the decision to do it, get the most out of your money and enjoy it to the hilt. Plan to save up the next year or so to refill the tank. There's no use crying over spilt milk. Just try not to spill the milk next time.

The Wizard
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Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

Post by The Wizard » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:30 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:22 pm
This is how broke people stay broke.
Well stated, Nate.
I'm hiring you as my financial advisor just as soon as I can round up the money to do so...
Attempted new signature...

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