Author Topic: How to max out a Per Diem?  (Read 1904 times)

Mattzlaff

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How to max out a Per Diem?
« on: March 05, 2017, 04:30:48 PM »
Hello everyone

I have a work related trip coming up sometime starting in April and ending in June or July. I am being granted a 50 USD/day Per Diem(~1500%/mo) and I am looking for information on what to do to max out this per diem and keep most of what I get and of course invest it.

Background info, I am Canadian, I have a Canadian Costco membership. My location will be near the gulf coast in Freeport, TX. Housing and a car are supplied but gas is covered with the per diem. I will need a decent phone package(iphone) to contact home. I have no idea what the apartment will be furnished with, but it is furnished. I would assume basic pots and pans I know for sure it has laundry in room, not sure about internet. I would like to continue my gym routine while I'm there, so locating a decent priced one ahead of time would be nice.

So to break it down easily I think what I will need to pay for out of per diem will/should be.


Groceries
Phone plan probably something a bit more lavish than one for someone who lived in the states.
Gas
Gym
Entertainment

I have no idea what the COL is like in Freeport so I don't know what type of weekly budget I should be making. I would also like to know if I should be bringing some food storage/Tupperware with me to lower costs. Company is paying for 3 bags on the flight and I can totally max out my space.

Feel free to ask questions if it helps maximize any aspect of this trip

AJ41

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Re: How to max out a Per Diem?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2017, 05:13:58 PM »
Does the per diem require receipts? Or will you be granted the 50$ with no receipt.

If the latter just go grocery shopping with 50-100$ a week and pocket the rest of the money. You could easily eat for the week off of 50$. Companies give out per diem thinking that your going to eat out all the time.


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AMandM

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Re: How to max out a Per Diem?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2017, 06:25:00 PM »
I don't know about temporary iPhone plans, but if all you need to do is talk to your family at home you could get a tracfone and buy minutes.  Or does "contact home" mean lots of business calls and needing apps for work? Conversely, if you have a phone with data, do you need the internet as well?

I would try to find out more detail about what is in the apartment, and bring what you need.  OTOH, you can also hit a Goodwill as soon as you land in TX.

Do you have a say in what kind of car, to get one with good gas mileage?  Or can you bring a bike and ride to cut down on gas consumption?  High temps in Freeport in April are in the 70s, getting up into the 80s by June.


Mattzlaff

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Re: How to max out a Per Diem?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2017, 07:27:06 PM »
Does the per diem require receipts? Or will you be granted the 50$ with no receipt.

If the latter just go grocery shopping with 50-100$ a week and pocket the rest of the money. You could easily eat for the week off of 50$. Companies give out per diem thinking that your going to eat out all the time.


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No receipt required, Its a pay back at the end of each month.

I don't know about temporary iPhone plans, but if all you need to do is talk to your family at home you could get a tracfone and buy minutes.  Or does "contact home" mean lots of business calls and needing apps for work? Conversely, if you have a phone with data, do you need the internet as well?

home contact means business calls/apps. I would need the internet for my personal needs as well.

I would try to find out more detail about what is in the apartment, and bring what you need.  OTOH, you can also hit a Goodwill as soon as you land in TX.

I will know more when I actually get my exact travel dates. They've been jerking around the start/end times for almost a month now, I keep telling them shit or get off the pot and make up their minds already.

Do you have a say in what kind of car, to get one with good gas mileage?  Or can you bring a bike and ride to cut down on gas consumption?  High temps in Freeport in April are in the 70s, getting up into the 80s by June.

As far as I know, no say in a car, it will be a new sedan, the company leases from a different company. I don't have a say in how close I am to work, once I find out the location I can determine a travel strategy.


Case

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Re: How to max out a Per Diem?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2017, 07:30:49 PM »
Hello everyone

I have a work related trip coming up sometime starting in April and ending in June or July. I am being granted a 50 USD/day Per Diem(~1500%/mo) and I am looking for information on what to do to max out this per diem and keep most of what I get and of course invest it.

Background info, I am Canadian, I have a Canadian Costco membership. My location will be near the gulf coast in Freeport, TX. Housing and a car are supplied but gas is covered with the per diem. I will need a decent phone package(iphone) to contact home. I have no idea what the apartment will be furnished with, but it is furnished. I would assume basic pots and pans I know for sure it has laundry in room, not sure about internet. I would like to continue my gym routine while I'm there, so locating a decent priced one ahead of time would be nice.

So to break it down easily I think what I will need to pay for out of per diem will/should be.


Groceries
Phone plan probably something a bit more lavish than one for someone who lived in the states.
Gas
Gym
Entertainment

I have no idea what the COL is like in Freeport so I don't know what type of weekly budget I should be making. I would also like to know if I should be bringing some food storage/Tupperware with me to lower costs. Company is paying for 3 bags on the flight and I can totally max out my space.

Feel free to ask questions if it helps maximize any aspect of this trip

I have heard that Freeport is a total shithole.  Probably wont be very expensive to live.  You'll probably be traveling to Houston for fun.

use2betrix

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Re: How to max out a Per Diem?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2017, 10:17:04 PM »
I pretty recently spent 18 months in Freeport area.

First of all, Freeport is a craphole. The good news is, it's right next to Lake Jackson, which is pretty decent. It's still small, but it is much, much, nicer. You'll likely want to do everything in Lake Jackson, they're right next to each other.

Gym wise, I really liked power house. We tried a few in the area and found this to be the best. Really only two choices. It does get a bit busy from like 5-7 pm though. The owners name is Brett, great guy.

Restaurants in Lake Jackson, my wife and I really liked Wurst House (huge beer selection) and an amazinggggg Irish Pub called Wayside, suuuper good food. Table 24 is good if you want something nicer.

Overall it's cheap. Houston is 45 mins north of Lake Jackson and about an hour north of Freeport. Plenty to do there.

Feel free to PM me with any more specific questions. It will send a notification to my email I think as I don't get on here too much.


Mattzlaff

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Re: How to max out a Per Diem?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2017, 02:34:17 AM »
I pretty recently spent 18 months in Freeport area.

First of all, Freeport is a craphole. The good news is, it's right next to Lake Jackson, which is pretty decent. It's still small, but it is much, much, nicer. You'll likely want to do everything in Lake Jackson, they're right next to each other.

Gym wise, I really liked power house. We tried a few in the area and found this to be the best. Really only two choices. It does get a bit busy from like 5-7 pm though. The owners name is Brett, great guy.

Restaurants in Lake Jackson, my wife and I really liked Wurst House (huge beer selection) and an amazinggggg Irish Pub called Wayside, suuuper good food. Table 24 is good if you want something nicer.

Overall it's cheap. Houston is 45 mins north of Lake Jackson and about an hour north of Freeport. Plenty to do there.

Feel free to PM me with any more specific questions. It will send a notification to my email I think as I don't get on here too much.



Awesome info, some of the guys from work I know live in lake Jackson. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure my housing will be in Freeport.

Not sure how much I will be eating out I'm sure I'll eat out at least a couple times so thanks for the recommendations.