I am a first year Ph.D. student. During my master's (which was in a different university), a professor (call him M) and I worked on a paper on banking regulations. Apart from the single idea, all of the paper and results were done by me. We worked on it for a couple of months and tried to submit our work at many journals. All of them rejected it. Finally, it has been accepted recently at a conference. This conference is not major league but niche.
Prof. M wants me to attend, but I do not have funding. Initially, he expected me to spend from my own pocket for travel and registration (around USD 2,000). Being a graduate student and living in one of the expensive cities, I am living hand-to-mouth. So, I informed him politely that I am not keen to attend due to my inability to fund myself. He asked me to apply to funding agencies, or else he is willing to fund 50% of my expenses.
The fact of the matter is that I cannot afford even 50% of the travel expenses. Out of nowhere, this conference comes up and it further cripples my shoestring budget.
How should I proceed? I am really hesitant to discuss my financial shortcomings with Prof. M, but if I don't, he'll assume that I can afford the travel.