Summer is just around the corner. Think vacations. Think of it in Chinese. The word for a vacation or a leave of absence is 休假 (xiūjià). The word for going on a vacation is 度假 (dùjià), in which 度 (dù) takes on the meaning of “to spend”.
Nǐ jīnnián yào qù nǎr dùjià?
Where are you vacationing this year?
But wait. Do you have enough money saved up for going to a vacation spot other than your own backyard? 旅費 (lǚfèi travel expenses), 膳食費 (shànshí fèi meal expenses) and 娛樂費用 (yúlè fèiyòng entertainment fees) all need to be provided for, you know.
Nǐ de yínháng hùtóu lǐ yǒu duōshao cúnkuǎn?
How much savings do you have in your bank account?
Nǐ měi yuè shōurù duōshao?
What’s your monthly earnings?
Nǐmen jiā měi gè yuè kāizhī duōshao?
How much are the monthly expenses of your household?
Yǒu méi yǒu dàikuǎnlìxī yào fù?
Do you have any interests on a loan to pay?
Are you counting on receiving dividends, or 股息 (gǔxī), from your investment in the stock market? The Chinese word for investment is 投资 (tóuzī). Keep in mind that the stock market, or 股票市场 (gǔpiàoshìchǎng), is quite volatile.
Gǔpiào jiàgé yǒushí shēngzhí, yǒushí xiàjiàng.
Stock prices sometimes appreciate, sometimes drop.
It’s important to have some savings, or 储蓄 (chǔxù). We want to save up not just for vacations but also for old age. Your 社会安全福利金 (shèhuì ānquán fúlì jīn social security income) may not be sufficient to cover all your living expenses.
Shěngqián jiùshì zhuànqián.
A penny saved is a penny earned.
(Saving money is making money.)
Jiéjiǎn shì měidé.
Frugality is a virtue.
Careful budgeting helps to ensure that one lives within one’s means. 平衡 (pínghéng) means being balanced. 收支平衡 (shōuzhī pínghéng) means the incomes and the expenses are balanced.
Should you come out ahead and have extra cash to spend, then congratulations! Start planning a vacation away from home. On the other hand, should you find yourself in the 入不敷出 (rù bù fū chū) situation, in which your income falls short of your expenses and you cannot make both ends meet, then you will probably have to satisfy your vacationing enthusiasm this year via armchair travel. A Chinese equivalent of armchair traveling is 卧游 (wò yóu). 卧 (wò) means to lie down, and 游 (yóu) means to travel. This expression describes how one would lie on a recliner, holding a book or pictures of scenery, and travel mentally. 神游 (shén yóu) means to transport to a place mentally, not necessarily with a book or an iPad in hand.