When I started my planning for this 5 to 6 months career break, the biggest hurdle was the obvious one – how do I get money to sustain my bills and mortgages while I am travelling. It took me 7 months to figure out a solution for determining how I would be funding my career break.
I had very minimal savings as I have always earned my money to travel. So, the biggest challenge was to change my mindset into saving, which I did not succeed much. I did travel while I was planning this, but I did not do too many overseas travel like how I generally do.
Just few things to note before I proceed further, I am not sponsored by anyone. I have really worked hard and earned my break. Yes, my mother is funding for a bit of my travel. And I do not make a single penny with my blog or social medias. As of now, #Solopassport is my baby and its personal and that’s how I want to keep it as of now.
The first thing I figured out was how much money do I need to take a break from work. If have planned it right, then I do have sufficient money to pay my bills and mortgages when I am away traveling. And hey! If things don’t work out, I can always get back to the 9 to 5 work earlier than the 4 planned months of break. There is always a backup.
So, lets bring it on!
These are the few steps that I took in order to fund my career break:
- Planned my destinations and started booking – Let me be honest, I did not plan every day of my break. I planned only my major trips (like Maldives, Bhutan, and long hikes). I started booking the flights and accommodations while I was earning. And this way most of my major expenses were taken care of.
- Saved a bit as additional tax – I will not lie here – I cannot save. I have tried over the years and I am not a person who saves. Before any assumptions, let me tell you I have failed over and over again trying to do this. So, after one of my friends suggested, I decided to go with this approach as this money is completely inaccessible. I saved a bit of my salary as additional tax and I paid a little extra money towards the tax, which I can claim at the end of the financial year. And the additional tax is paid back as a huge amount, that straight went to my break fund.
- Gifts as flight tickets/activities – I asked my family and friends to gift me flight vouchers or flight tickets for my birthday. My biggest contributor is my mother, who paid for few of my flight tickets.
- Worked out how much I needed – I had calculated and worked out how much money I needed. I exactly knew how much money I needed to pay my mortgages and bills for that entire 4-5 months. I calculated every single expense and I knew exactly how much money I needed.
- Flights booking – I pre-booked my flight tickets. And to get cheaper tickets, I traveled over the weekdays rather than weekends.
- Frequent flyer points – I used my frequent flyer points. I actually got a flight from Amsterdam to Bucharest for 20,000 Qantas points + AUD 76.
- Stays – I am staying at hostels, homestays and cheaper accommodation options rather than expensive and luxury resorts, except in Maldives. I also have a Club Mahindra membership which I would be using to stay at certain places.
- Groupon website – I frequently visited Groupon website in order to get some deals on the things to do and the stays.
I have done as much as possible for funding my career break. But things change when one is in the situation and I know there would be unexpected costs and expenses. I am also aware of the consequences but as I said earlier, life is too short and I do not want to spend it with regrets.
Follow #rakssabbaticaldiaries2019 and #solopassport for stories of my career break and travels.