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Financial Analysis

What is your dream and why is it important to you?

My dream is to travel around the World. One of the places around the world that I’d like to visit is China. This is a pretty important dream/goal for me to accomplish in my lifetime since half of my family lives in Hong Kong and I have only seen them on a few occasions. The last time I was in Hong Kong was when I had my first birthday. At this age, I think I can really grasp the many experiences and that China has to offer. My philosophy is that if you really want to learn about a place, to learn about its culture the only way to do it is to go there and experience it with the people. The experience of watching a basketball game on television is completely different then watching the game in the stadium. I feel like I have lost a lot of my roots and some of my culture that made my parents and family who they are today. I am hoping by traveling to China I will be able to grasp some of my roots.

How did others accomplish the same dream?

This dream is a very achievable in that after I graduate from college in after the coming Fall term and get a job at where I currently am doing my internship I should have plenty saved up to go on this luxurious trip. Many others accomplished their dream of traveling to China by putting money on the side and accumulating enough money to go on the trip. Other people like Sara Naumann from About.com, get to travel around the World so that they can document their travels and let others know about their experiences. In her article she basically talks about her day and some of the activities she was a part of. I have another friend who gets to travel to China and visits with many business executives at months at a time to discuss business propositions. However, what these  people get to do is part of my dream,  I would like to travel to China on my leisure time and be able to do and see what I would like to instead of being tied down to some requirements of a company. The only way to accomplish my dream the way I want it is to basically save up money on the side just like how some of my other relatives have done in the past.

What barriers and support systems exist that may help/hinder your progress toward fulfilling the dream?

There can be potentially many different kinds of barriers inhibiting my journey to China. The biggest barrier would be the finances. If I do not find a job that not only will be able to support my everyday needs but also lets me save enough money to g on the trip. Another problem that could possibly happen is if I somehow become physically unable to travel which could be a result of an accident, sickness or etc.

I have a very supportive family and If I want to go travel to China, I know that they will be able to support financially to send me over there to visit. However, I do not want to depend on my family and to use their income to help me enjoy myself.

Analyze your needs and desires and compare options to help refine the decisions you make which could lead to implementing the dream?

The biggest decision I will have to make is which tour I would like to take. There are several other different tours that do not go for as long and goes to a fewer cities that are much cheaper. My dream though is to be able to experience all of what China has to offer. Some decisions that I could also make that could help speed up the current state of my finances is to invest my money in some stocks. However, if the stock market goes down it can be very detrimental with my timing to attend the tour.

Another desire that I have alongside with this dream is to be able to travel with some of my closes companions. The experience can be drastically altered if I travel alone. I know traveling with some close companions will result of me enjoying the tour much more than if I traveled alone. Nothing can beat creating new memories and experiences with people that are close to you. Not only will my finances limit to which plan I choose but deciding which tour to travel on will also be limited to what my companions can afford for themselves on the trip. Communication will be a key in making this happen so that we all can come a compromise on which tour to go on and that every buddy is happy with what they are getting.

Current Finances

In the next figure below is a detailed analysis of my finances throughout the month. I am very fortunate to have a family that can help support me through school such that I do not need to get any loans. The benefit of not having any loans or having to pay for school is that I have more money to save.

Detailed analysis of current finances and budgets of different scenarios.

Budget

I have set up three scenarios that I could potentially be taking for my visit to China. In the above figure details each scenario and the potential costs that might incur. The first scenario is a premium tour through Ritz Tours. The cost of the tour is $4980.00 which includes: airfare, breakfast, lunch, attractions, and lodging. The tour will go through 5 cities (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Xian, Bangkok, and Beijing) and will also include 4 nights on a cruise on the Yangtze River. Also included in the package are three special shows including: dinner show, Chinese acrobatics, and classical dance show. Since it is a guided tour there will also be a comprehensive guide that will show us many features of the cities that I would not of have known about. The total duration of the trip will be 18 days through the five cities and cruise. Here is the link of the tour which includes an in-depth description of the trip: Ritz Premium Trips

Another scenario that I could potentially be doing is doing a self paced tour through the same cities and excluding the cruise trip. I will have more freedom to do what I want to do throughout this trip however, I will not have a guide. Another downside the planning will be much more in-depth with finding airfare, hotels and etc. The benefit however of going with this plan is that I will have the freedom that I would not have doing a guided tour. The cost of doing a self paced tour will be slightly more expensive due going through a package and getting group discounts.

A scenario that also looks very appealing is spending approximately the same number of days but in just one city. Having family in Hong Kong I will be able to save money on lodging living with them during the duration of the trip.  Talking with my family members and they have agreed to give me a guided tour of Hong Kong to show me some of the hot spots around town. Going with this scenario I will be able to save about $1000.00 which would’ve gone towards lodging and some food expenses.

Each scenario has its own pros and cons. The largest constraint that will decide which scenario that I will select is that I want the plan that has lowest degree of planning. So I have decided that I would like to start saving my money towards the premium trip where I will just pay Ritz tours a set price and they will do all the planning and scheduling of the trip. The only thing that I really need to worry during the trip is waking up and enjoying the beauties of China.

Looking through my financial analysis tables I will have more than enough money in my savings to spend on this trip. I will have a monthly savings of approximately $1,099.67. If I start saving money right now and to go on this tour sometime in June 2011 I will need to save approximately $523.33 per month. I am very excited about potentially going on this tour. The next step in achieving this dream is to first start setting money on the side and trying to find some friends that could potentially join me in this trip. I have a vision and the next step to achieve this vision is to start implementing or acting.

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