In case you live under a rock, and otherwise haven’t heard – TravelCon is happening on February 28th in Anaheim, CA. I’ve been invited there to present, and am a little nervous about it. Thus far I’ve managed to host two #DOs without having to talk about anything in depth. But more importantly, I can’t afford the plane ticket to get me there – so I need YOUR help!
Someone asked me at the WestCoastDO what I ‘DO’ for a living, if the blog is it or if there is more. Well there’s a lot to that story and I’m not sure how much of it I spilled that night due to being three sheets to the wind. Long story short, I’ve worked in jobs since graduating in 1999 that have required me to work in continents far from home, and for companies who rarely would pay for my travel. I guess you could say I was a contractor, that fell into self employment for tax reasons.
Ever since I started running my own books, I can’t justify spending money on travel – perhaps an evolution of thought is:
- Get a job for a cool company that pays for my travel, while I reap the points
- Quit those bozos and start my own firm, pay for my own travel, deduct it, while reaping the points
- Deduct far too much, end up with an effective company tax rate of zero and a personal rate of <3% for as long as possible, and sadly have no room for travel expenses
OK maybe the last isn’t quite so common, but neither is breaking out to start your own firm. Most people are happy enough with the solid salary.
I launched my first business back in 2009 (and dissolved it last week) and since that time I have paid for only one personal flight, and perhaps 2 business flights. These really were exceptions to the norm, and i’ve used miles for everything else. It might sound odd to an employee, but I would rather spend my own personal airmiles to travel for business than take a revenue ticket for a deduction. You can run all the math you like, but if I can acquire 100K AAdvantage miles for $250 per the Executive card this year – that means I have that much more money to bootstrap the next dumb idea.
My attitude is that I am poor, every penny matters. I really can’t ‘afford’ to fly to LAX because that takes money out of my retirement account/next business/Dylans College fund. So I won’t pay money, despite it being a deductible expense. Instead, I’ll dip into my own points reserve, and use those to lift the expense from the balance sheet. For anyone else who is going there, I hope you don’t pay for the travel… kinda defeats the object.
Oh, and yeah, I don’t really need a kickstarter, I was just taking the piss.