To make the most of my jet lag, I have decided to write a summary of my amazing adventure to Portugal. I know over the next few weeks people will ask, "Hey Raf, How was your trip?". Although their intentions may be good, it is often a difficult question to answer with a few sentences. As well, I can tell them to read this blog and if they are really interested, I can grab a coffee and chat about my adventures in greater detail.
The only thing worse than asking for a short answer, in my honest opinion, is when people say, "Oh you are so lucky to go traveling." Actually luck has nothing to do with traveling. I guess I could be lucky if everything was paid for and I still generated income in my absence; however, that just means I work my ass off.
My adventure has been filled full of warm, caring individuals. I am happy to say, I have made a few life long friends; as well, I have been introduced to a brand new exciting world with a better frame of mind.
It isn't odd for most people to identify themselves with the career they have or the employer they work for. Realistically, most individuals see their work colleagues more than they see their loved ones during the week.
Often individuals who work on a manager's salary or who work more than one job may suffer from their work/ lifestyle being unbalanced. However, it is easy to get caught up in work and live vicariously through your employer. Most employers strive to encourage their employees to continuously contribute more to the team, even outside of work hours. Most employees may be enticed to devote all of their energy towards work; hoping to be rewarded, as the company grows, for their countless efforts.
When should individuals draw the line when their personal time is continuously being allocated towards work?
When I was in high school, all I wanted to do was work for a large international firm, with a corner office, after I finished college. At the age of 21, I was already hosting my first of many Board of Directors meetings, presenting the 5 year financial forecast for a public junior venture company. I also had my corner office, but it wasn't as glamorous as I once thought it would be.
The truth was I did not like my job. The pay however was more than I could ever ask for; especially since I was milking free rent living at home with my parents. I figured with so much disposable income and having no major financial obligations, I decided to enter into the world of backpacking/ traveling aboard. After my first global adventure, I realized at the age of 23 all I wanted to do was see the world. A few months after my first trip, my car died, and it was then when I realized that I can finance a new car thus committing myself to my current job. Or I could free myself of all financial obligations and achieve my life goals.
If you had all the time and resources, would you pursue your goals in life today?
Friday is probably the most popular day of the work week as well potentially the most unproductive day. The lunch hour turns into two and the afternoon slows down to a crawl. After a 40+ hour work week, most people just want to enjoy their happy hour and/or head home to prepare for their weekend plans. The excitement of the weekend can be intoxicating and the element of spontaneity is everywhere.
Unfortunately, spontaneity can come at a significant cost if it is not planned properly, you could be looking at picking up overtime shifts on the following week to make up for the weekend.
How well are you prepared at the end of the work week to anticipate your entertainment costs from the weekend?
Do you cringe at the thought of creating a budget? Do you feel there are too many obligations in each month that limits your ability to afford an enjoyable lifestyle (without using a credit card)?
Budgeting to some is a very intimidating task, and it often leads to frustration and anxiety. The stress may be associated with limited funds available to allocate to entertainment and other life expenses; however, it doesn't have to be that way.
A budget not only plans an individual's monthly expenses, it also includes their monthly income. If you can't afford your monthly expenses what do you do? Do you try to compress your monthly expenses to match your income? Or do you make a plan to earn more income to afford your expenses?
If you had options to increase your income, would you know how much money you would need per month to accommodate your wants?
Are you confident that you have enough savings to retire comfortably? What would you be willing to do to increase your retirement savings? Retire later than originally planned or save more now and potentially make unwanted sacrifices today in order to save more for tomorrow.
It may be a stressful topic to discuss; however, it is important to plan your retirement savings as soon as possible. Therefore, if you have not started a retirement savings plan it would be wise to create one. Those who are currently contributing to a retirement savings plan should assess if they are on the right path.
How can you improve your retirement plan if you do not have enough savings and are limited to contribute more?
Just another day on the beautiful beaches of Ao Nang.
I have just returned from a wonderful one month vacation traveling through the South of Thailand. During my stay in Thailand, I had the fortunate privilege of taking a Thai cooking class, snorkeling in the Andaman Sea, riding an elephant, and meeting interesting people from all corners of the globe.
Over the past month I managed to discuss with travelers of diverse globe trotting experiences. However, there seemed to be a consensus with regards to managing ones spending budget while traveling abroad. Therefore, I would like to share the secrets of the average global traveler consolidated into the 10 COMMANDMENTS FOR STAYING ON BUDGET DURING VACATION
I was watching the news today and I came across the term 'Blue Monday'. This was the first time I have ever heard of Blue Monday. For those that don't know what Blue Monday is, it is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Mind you the geniuses who coined this scientific break through are financed from a travel company called Sky Travel. Their purpose for conducting this scientific study was to fuel their publicity campaign to 'motivate' people to purchase holiday packages.
Not a bad idea for travel companies to promote the industry during a potential lull time, but is there conclusive evidence that such a study is accurate?
I am happy to report my 2011 has been very productive so far, and I am enjoying the rewards from all the hard work I have continuously put in. I couldn't help but notice the amount of coverage on the news regarding new years resolutions (I do realize New Years was less than a week ago), whether it be to save more money or get into shape the media has it covered in great detail.
It appears almost everyone around me is excited to turn over a new leaf and take on new obstacles and achieve goals. However, when does the momentum begin to slow down for most people? Do New Years resolutions cause more trouble than solve?
What should a person do if they want to make 2011 their year to shine?
I am pleased to end this year stronger and more determined than I was at the beginning of 2010. It was a great year full of amazing events. I was very fortunate to have my city host the Winter Olympic Games and enjoyed every single moment of it. Canada broke the record for Olympic Gold (GO CANADA GO) and put Vancouver on the map as a world city. As well, I was also blessed with a nephew who I now have the privilege of calling my Godson and the safe return of my best friend who served his country proudly in Afghanistan.
2010 represented several personal and professional victories. I won my amateur boxing fight in November while supporting Movember. My business, Adviser Assistant was created and provided me with the flexibility and confidence to be 100% independent. Finally, I have designed and finalized a business plan that compliments my demanding lifestyle which provides all the required resources needed.
What do I anticipate to come in 2011?