My Personal Finance Journey

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110 Days on the Road, and Other Fun Travel Statistics in 2007

Contributed by mm | December 15, 2007 6:26 AM PST

airtravel2007.jpgOne more trip to go, and it will be the end of the year.

And it is a very long year in terms of travel: by the end of the year, I will have flown a total of 124,520 miles. This includes 7 cross-Pacific trips to the U.S., one trip each to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia and a nice southwestern town in China, and the upcoming Christmas trip to Maldives.

Yes, 124,520 miles is a long distance -- in fact, it is five times the length of the Equator. On the other hand, it is another typical year. In 2006, I travelled a total of 122,709 miles, so my 2007 travel diary will break the 2006 record, but only by the smallest margin of 1.5%.

Commercial airlines usually fly about 500 miles per hour on average, so 124,520 miles means 250 hours or 10 whole days in the cabin. It is no wonder I'm developing my rhythm in the cabin like watching videos in my Zune, reading magazines and playing computer games.

If I were paid by the distance I fly, I would be making approximately $2.40 per mile I fly in business trips. I wish I can negotiate a pay-by-mile compensation package with my employer -- it is likely that my job responsibility will require me to fly even more in 2008.

To spin the numbers in another way, for each of the 365 days in the year, I log a mileage of 341 miles, or 14.83 miles per hour, day and night, 24 by 7.

On the brighter side, my travel pattern certainly earned me a lot of miles and premier status in a couple of frequent flier programs. For example, I added 200,000 miles to my Northwest WorldPerks account, and 50,000 miles to my Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account.

All I can say is: life is not easy, and unless I can finally bid farewell to my job, I will have to continue to fly a lot. But at least, I can still feel good that out of the 110 travel days, 29 days are spent with my family on family trips. We have visited and will be visiting nice places and keeping good memories. Can I ask for more?

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This Post Has Received 12 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.

30k Commented on December 15, 2007

So 124,520 miles. $2.40 per mile. You are making close to $30k a year in salary, excluding bonus, etc? My question is that do you hire a financial adviser?

MM Commented on December 15, 2007

First it would be $300k. Second, business trips add up to about 95k miles. Third, I don't hire a financial advisor -- I seriously doubt an average financial advisor knows less than I do about finance.

Mary J Commented on December 15, 2007

$300k salary?! MM, you are above middle-income, less than 1% of people make that much. So you $1M should be achieved in 4 years! Congrats! My question would be that what do you see your future investment considering market is down, both in US and China

KL Commented on December 16, 2007

what is the point of this post?? what does it have to do with personal finance?? It's also hard for me to believe that Microsoft pays its financial controllers $230,000 per year. Its not a "profit center" but more of an administrative area. Or are you including the income from your side business? Also, why on earth do you fly Northworst? And even if you're forced to why not put the miles on Continental Onepass which is a much better program. And it sounds like you're flying coach?? Doesn't Microsoft have enough money to let its employees fly business? You'll also get 150% miles and you won't have to deal with your Zune, the good airlines have 100+ movies on the personal screens.

FU Commented on December 16, 2007

I am working at Microsoft, $300K is crazy high for a controller. I believe you are very successful as an expat, is that the reason for this high income? On the other side, you should reach (as Mary said) $1M soon, what is your next goal, getting more from Microsoft, as a cash cow?

MM Commented on December 16, 2007

KL, unfortunately Continental does not fly to west coast from China, and between United and Northwest, Northwest has better business class seats.

MM Commented on December 16, 2007

Let me clarify on the compensation side: the stock component is accumulated over the years, and 2007 happens to be a great year for stock compensation.

KL Commented on December 16, 2007

MM, I meant you could still apply your Northwest flights to Continental's Onepass program. Your elite status would still work on both.

FU, it is not $300K, he said the $2.40 per mile is for business flight miles which he flew 95k of. So $2.40 * 95,000 = $228,000. That is still high for a financial controller (unless very senior level) but he says he includes his stock based compensation in that as well. So that could make sense. I still don't see the point of this post though, it has nothing to do with personal finance or useful tips/reading for people. To be frank your blog has been getting more and more about your own personal things instead of about personal finance lately.

MM Commented on December 17, 2007

KL, fair enough. Yes, I feel personal finance blog should be personal. We have too many blogs that are me-too mimics of personal finance news sources.

cjacobs Commented on December 17, 2007

MM, keep doing what your doing. I like the "personal" in personal finance. and enjoy reading about your financial journey and your life and your view on things. I subscribe to all the magazines and read articles on the usual sites. so I dsagree with KL. keep doing what you do.

Creative Investor Commented on December 17, 2007

I agree with cjacobs, keep doing what you're doing. It is interesting nevertheless and it reads as personal finance story if not personal finance advice. By the way, nice streak of daily posts! :)

Bad credit car loan Commented on June 27, 2008

Hey, It seem to be a nice trip!! I also want to go for a long tour. Can u suggest me where to go for a long tour?

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