Nice Little Earner: Can a business trip help you save money?
The rising cost of food, energy and fuel are cause for concern for millions. A recent report by credit score company Experian found that 71% of Americans feel their pay check is not able to keep up with inflation. Higher earners are no exception. Half of workers earning more than $100,000 said they have little to nothing left over at the end of the month, according to a poll of 3,250 people by financial platform Lending Club.
In the UK the Official for National Statistics reports that 75% of adults worry about the rising cost of living, with half of them doing so on a daily basis.
Inflation is outpacing wage growth right now. So, if your upcoming sales meeting is occupying less headspace than your gas bill, you may find solace in making business travel work for your wallet.
Take advantage of someone else footing the bill – Providing it fits within your company’s policy and budget restrictions, use your business trip to take the opportunity to stay at the boutique hotel you’ve seen in magazines, eat at the fancy restaurant with the Michelin star, or upgrade your flight to the next class. Enjoy some of the finer things that your personal budget won’t stretch to.
Rent out your home – You’ll find dozens of apps that let you make money from your space. From renting out your driveway, your living room as a photoshoot or workshop venue to hiring your place out on AirBnB, it’s easier than ever to earn relatively passive income while you’re away. And if you don’t rent your place out, you’ll have a chance to save on utilities while your home isn’t in use. Just remember to turn off the lights.
Bleisure boost – Fewer things are harder to bear than lockdowns, expect perhaps, the word ‘bleisure.’ Unpalatable portmanteau notwithstanding, the benefits of combining business with leisure travel are especially acute now.
Pent-up demand is showing no signs of abating. A May TripAdvisor index found that 77% of Singaporeans, for example, said they were either “extremely” or “very” concerned about rising costs, yet nearly 40% more people plan to travel this summer than in the last. If you need a break, you might as well let work cover the travel to and from your destination, and tack on leisure time after your meetings.
Tick off a financial task – Working parents or carers know that free evenings midweek are like a solar eclipse blood moon. They occur about three times a year. Not so when you’re in a hotel room, flying solo. Use the hours not spent loading the dishwasher to tick off financial admin such as tweaking your home budget, researching cheaper utilities providers or looking into investment opportunities.
Saving money, renting out your home, tacking on a mini break and using free time to plan your financial future are all ways to benefit in small ways from a return to business travel.