PDA

View Full Version : Being Financially Responsible


Shanan
05-16-2010, 09:27 AM
is a great thing but can have disappointments, especially if you want to go to WDW. I have had 3 chances to go to WDW this year with friends & family. On Memorial Day, 1st week in December and now another chance to meet up with family over Christmas this year. When asked to 'let's go to WDW', 'we are going on...you ought to meet up with us', etc. I take a deep breath and smile and say the phrase that has become so familiar to me...I would love to go but right now DH & I are working on some financial goals and it is not the best time for us to go to WDW. Would love to go with you another time.

Of course everyone understands but....3 times in one year... and we are not going:( BUT I do keep thinking about long term goals. I know that there are others out there that also make the responsible choices. So keep on trucking along with your good choices if it is not going shopping today or working on your budget.

NYCDiane
05-16-2010, 09:32 AM
Remember what Dave Ramsey says:

Live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later


I know it's rough --- I hate at work when people are going to do this or that or they're selling t-shirts for something and I always have to pass on it. They look at me like I have 10 heads, but I'm on a budget and have a long-term goal. I will never be able to reach that goal with $10 here or $20 there for a t-shirt or a bowling party or whatever.

dvcgirl
05-16-2010, 09:43 AM
Hang in there. There is is always a period of "delayed gratification" when an individual or family decides to become financially responsible. And you're experiencing that now. Take heart, it means that you're acting like an adult in a world where you could take a trip today on credit and pay for it down the road. That would make you fairly normal actually, but trust me, you don't want to be "normal" in this department.

There's no better feeling than knowing that you can truly "afford" that trip. And by that I mean that you're not only paying cash for the trip, but you've paid down or are actively paying down your consumer debt and also saving a nice chunk of change and investing it for your retirement years.

A huge number of Americans aren't doing this. They're living in the moment and will pay dearly for it down the road.

4Seasons
05-16-2010, 10:35 AM
Let me share a little story with you (the tale of 2 families). This is a TRUE story:

Family A - mom, dad and 2 small kids
Mom made the decision to be a SAHM when 2nd child was born. It was tough but they ultimately felt it was the right thing to do. Mom did several p/t stints over many many years when she could to help make ends meet. They consistently put away money when they could (sometimes small amounts, sometimes larger amounts i.e. tax refunds, etc.) Watched the budget VERY carefully, religiously shopped yard sales for the kids clothes as they grew instead of hitting the mall every weekend. Bought most of their furniture 2nd hand, drove older, used paid-for cars that weren't always the prettiest but served the purpose. Ate out very little (and still to this day haven't dined at some of the "in" restaurants in the area). Basically did anything they could to live a frugal lifestyle, knowing it would pay off one day. Had the opportunity over these years to invest in real estate that now brings a substantial rental income.

Family B - mom, dad and 2 kids
Mom and dad both have pretty good paying jobs with great opportunities to basically "write their own ticket" for income. This family spends money as soon as they get it (if not before). Eating out 3+ times a week (spending $100 a pop) was the norm. Kids ALWAYS got brand new clothes, parents drove newer vehicles, their Christmas tree had literally HUNDREDS of presents under it every year. I could go on and on and on......but you get the picture.

These 2 families lived like this for many years.........

Fast forward to TODAY.
Family A still drives older, paid for cars (with the exception of mom who got a newer car being paid for by her business which she owns and is doing quite well). Their house is just 4 years away from being paid for, they own substantial rental property investments which brings them a very decent monthly income. Daughter is going off to a wonderful private college this fall (with a scholarship but still costs for the family). Kids are now older and by example practice many of the same frugal principles they saw their parents practice growing up. They are still pretty frugal but at the same time if they want to do or buy something they can without too much impact on their finances.

Family B, well lets say they not able to spend money like they used to. During the housing boom they refinanced and took cash out of their house at least 3 times. Now they owe more on their house than its worth. House needs substantial work done, and no money to do so. Dad's hours were cut substantially when the housing industry took a big hit. Kids are now older and by example practice many of the same frugal principles they saw their parents practice growing up (which in this example is not good). Mom and dad are close to 50 and life has become very tough for them.

For years family A endured many, many jabs, jokes, comments, etc. from family B because of their choice of "frugal lifestyle".

Who's laughing now?

Once again, this is a true story. Take a guess which family we are...:)

Moral of the story........it's hard but it will pay off in the end!!!

Disneybuckeye
05-16-2010, 10:38 AM
I know it is tough and I applaud you for doing what is best for your family. We are not able to go this year either as we will have 3 kids in college in the fall. Keep working hard and keep your chin up and that Disney trip will come. I enjoy reading the trip reports posted on the Dis for a Disney fix.

disykat
05-16-2010, 12:20 PM
Congratulations! I think on the DIS it's easy to forget that most people can't afford to go to Disney every year and, because they can't afford it - they don't do it!

I put my trips in my signature for this reason - so people would know it is possible to love going to WDW without going every year.

DL55
05-16-2010, 12:42 PM
Remember Disney will be there when you are ready to go. It will feel so good to not have to worry about finances while vacationing. :goodvibes We deliberately wait a few years in between visits It keeps everything new and fresh for us. (I guess we have short memories :upsidedow).
:hug: for you doing the right thing. :)

parlay
05-16-2010, 01:26 PM
is a great thing but can have disappointments, especially if you want to go to WDW. I have had 3 chances to go to WDW this year with friends & family. On Memorial Day, 1st week in December and now another chance to meet up with family over Christmas this year. When asked to 'let's go to WDW', 'we are going on...you ought to meet up with us', etc. I take a deep breath and smile and say the phrase that has become so familiar to me...I would love to go but right now DH & I are working on some financial goals and it is not the best time for us to go to WDW. Would love to go with you another time.

Of course everyone understands but....3 times in one year... and we are not going:( BUT I do keep thinking about long term goals. I know that there are others out there that also make the responsible choices. So keep on trucking along with your good choices if it is not going shopping today or working on your budget.

Thank you for posting this! This year is suppose to be a staycation - because we are trying to be financially responsible (or I am at least). And my DSIL was also suppose to be having a staycation, but she caved into the pressure from my BIL. Free-dining came out and now my DH wants me to just go ahead and book it! I feel like I am the adult in this relationship. And its even harder when several of our friends are going through tough medical times, I have a high school friend who is going through stage 2 breast cancer, and an 8 year old friend of the family is going through inoperable/terminal brain cancer. DH's philosophy is that you only live once - true, but you have to be responsible some time! I'm trying be the voice of reason.

Again, thanks for posting this! I needed it!

vegasnative
05-16-2010, 01:29 PM
Yes, congrats to OP and hang in there. I know it's hard, you are not alone. My friends are at WDW right now as we speak without me.

But let me tell you this, maybe something to look at from another perspective. We are going to DL in August. It is our family trip this year. We asked our friends to join us, as they have a son the same age as our boys and he has never been. We asked them to go, she told me about a month ago she would have to look into how much it will cost and she will get back to me.

We were with them Friday night, so I asked her if they were thinking of going. She looked at me point blank and said the only way they could go is if they put the airfare on the credit card. I told her "I would LOVE for you guys to go, but I don't want you to do that." She then turned to me and let out this sigh of relief and said "thank-you!" It made me feel good, and it made her feel good. She then said, they will go with us at some point because she wants her son to have his first DL experience with our boys...and we are all good with that.

ANyway, I guess my point, is I was the "asker" and I felt good to hear my friend make the right decision at this time.

Planogirl
05-16-2010, 01:47 PM
I haven't killed our vacations at this point but they are bare bones. I do only what I can pay for outright and that means staying in a free hotel offsite, getting a bargain car rental and eating counter service and offsite. We like the parks so it's worth it to us.

We do have some old business debt but it's being paid back through a controlled agreement where the interest rate stays at a low level if we pay a certain payment at a certain time each month. I won't interfere with that of course but this definitely puts a crimp in our life. We have old cars, buy only what's absolutely necessary and forgo a lot. I have a 17 year about ready to move on with his life and we're going to WDW. On a shoestring but we're going.

I feel for everyone dealing with budget concerns however you're handling them.

markb
05-16-2010, 04:34 PM
My family and I have been blessed enough to have many happy Disney memories. We spent 3 weeks in FW the June after Katrina, and this next trip will be my 35th trip. :thumbsup2:thumbsup2 We lost one of our babies (DD, Madison-16) last year, and haven't had a Disney trip since 2006 after years of going 1,2,3 times a year. We're blessed to have been able to do what we've done, and blessed to know when we couldn't do what we used to. This will be our first trip without Madison, but we know she'll be right there with us... sans the wheelchair!

Ya gotta know when you can... and when you can't afford to do what you want.

We'll bring more snacks, carry our own water bottles, and thank God for another vacation.
:worship::worship:

mamamia2
05-16-2010, 05:26 PM
I know how you feel.

My family wants to go back to Disney so badly, but we have colleges to pay for (my DD is just finishing up her 2nd year at college and my son will be starting in Sept. 2011 and our youngest will start Sept. 2013). We have been lucky enough to take 5 trips to Disney between February 2000 and August 2008. We also just went to Florida (not Disney) in December for a long weekend for a very good friend's wedding - we all went and we had a great time - and we were able to pay for it without going in to debt because we had planned for it (we knew about it about 10 months in advance so we just didn't take a summer trip last summer).

We are going to a few concerts this summer. So, we will still be having fun. We just won't be spending thousands and thousands of dollars at Disney. We just saw Taylor Swift last night, and we have tickets for 2 more concerts in July and August.

So far, all of my children seem to understand that you don't just put things on your credit card if you don't already have the money to pay it off.

My sister and her family have so much credit card debt because they go on trips and just throw on the credit card. My poor BIL earns a very good salary, but my sister just spends and spends and spends. Every time they get a credit card payed off, they have built another one up.

PinkRhombus
05-16-2010, 06:07 PM
is a great thing but can have disappointments, especially if you want to go to WDW. I have had 3 chances to go to WDW this year with friends & family. On Memorial Day, 1st week in December and now another chance to meet up with family over Christmas this year. When asked to 'let's go to WDW', 'we are going on...you ought to meet up with us', etc. I take a deep breath and smile and say the phrase that has become so familiar to me...I would love to go but right now DH & I are working on some financial goals and it is not the best time for us to go to WDW. Would love to go with you another time.

Of course everyone understands but....3 times in one year... and we are not going:( BUT I do keep thinking about long term goals. I know that there are others out there that also make the responsible choices. So keep on trucking along with your good choices if it is not going shopping today or working on your budget.

Okay...I don't totally feel your Disney pain at the moment, because we are going soon, HOWEVER last year we were going to go, but several things made us move it back a year.

That being said, recently there have been oodles of things that our friends are doing that we've said "no" to because we ARE going to Disney.

Not as much dining out, not going to some shows (had to turn down Wicked!!!!!), putting off joining the pool for another year...

You are always going to be in the situation to pick and choose what you can afford. It stinks for a little bit, but you get over it.

And you may have turned down three chances in one year, but that is only one year. You may get to go next year or the year after.

Luv Bunnies
05-16-2010, 06:57 PM
It's difficult to be financially responsible but it does pay off. My DH and I have always had the same philosophy about money - we just don't spend much. We've had many nice vacations but we always do them as inexpensively as we can. We took our boys to WDW a few years ago. We could have afforded concierge level at the GF if we'd wanted to, but we stayed at POP instead and saved the rest. We've taken the boys on two cruises, but we always get the least expensive cabin we can get. We forgo a lot of extras because we just don't want to spend the money even if "technically" we can afford it.

One year ago, my DH was laid off from his job of 22 years. I work part time and stated providing benefits for the whole family which reduced my monthly paycheck by about 1/3. DH collects unemployment which isn't all that much. Since I work for a school, I won't be paid at all for 2 months during the summer. But, all that saving has paid off! We're watching our pennies more than ever before but we're surviving just fine. There's enough savings to dip into over the summer with no problem. We're planning a week-long vacation to a cabin that my parents own so it will be rent-free. We'll spend a little extra on activities for the kids but it will still be fine.

My point is that saving might feel painful at the time. There are things you really want to be doing and are tempted to do but it's best to hold off. If you get into a bad situation down the road, you'll be glad you saved enough to keep going!:)

dd50
05-16-2010, 08:34 PM
Some times it is hard but the right thing to do. We didn't go on vacation for 10 years because my DH is disabled and hasn't worked in 20 years.

Last year was the first time that we went to Disney in 10 years. We saved all year for it tho. When the kids wanted something I would say no because we are saving for Disney. We are doing the same this year but it seems that every thing in the house is breaking and it is making it real hard.

I have taught my girls that you should always save and never use a credit card unless you have the money to pay for it now.

Brancaneve
05-16-2010, 08:42 PM
Let me share a little story with you (the tale of 2 families). This is a TRUE story:

Family A - mom, dad and 2 small kids
Mom made the decision to be a SAHM when 2nd child was born. It was tough but they ultimately felt it was the right thing to do. Mom did several p/t stints over many many years when she could to help make ends meet. They consistently put away money when they could (sometimes small amounts, sometimes larger amounts i.e. tax refunds, etc.) Watched the budget VERY carefully, religiously shopped yard sales for the kids clothes as they grew instead of hitting the mall every weekend. Bought most of their furniture 2nd hand, drove older, used paid-for cars that weren't always the prettiest but served the purpose. Ate out very little (and still to this day haven't dined at some of the "in" restaurants in the area). Basically did anything they could to live a frugal lifestyle, knowing it would pay off one day. Had the opportunity over these years to invest in real estate that now brings a substantial rental income.

Family B - mom, dad and 2 kids
Mom and dad both have pretty good paying jobs with great opportunities to basically "write their own ticket" for income. This family spends money as soon as they get it (if not before). Eating out 3+ times a week (spending $100 a pop) was the norm. Kids ALWAYS got brand new clothes, parents drove newer vehicles, their Christmas tree had literally HUNDREDS of presents under it every year. I could go on and on and on......but you get the picture.

These 2 families lived like this for many years.........

Fast forward to TODAY.
Family A still drives older, paid for cars (with the exception of mom who got a newer car being paid for by her business which she owns and is doing quite well). Their house is just 4 years away from being paid for, they own substantial rental property investments which brings them a very decent monthly income. Daughter is going off to a wonderful private college this fall (with a scholarship but still costs for the family). Kids are now older and by example practice many of the same frugal principles they saw their parents practice growing up. They are still pretty frugal but at the same time if they want to do or buy something they can without too much impact on their finances.

Family B, well lets say they not able to spend money like they used to. During the housing boom they refinanced and took cash out of their house at least 3 times. Now they owe more on their house than its worth. House needs substantial work done, and no money to do so. Dad's hours were cut substantially when the housing industry took a big hit. Kids are now older and by example practice many of the same frugal principles they saw their parents practice growing up (which in this example is not good). Mom and dad are close to 50 and life has become very tough for them.

For years family A endured many, many jabs, jokes, comments, etc. from family B because of their choice of "frugal lifestyle".

Who's laughing now?

Once again, this is a true story. Take a guess which family we are...:)

Moral of the story........it's hard but it will pay off in the end!!!


Wow! I actually have goosebumps on my arms. We try to be like family A and member of (Family B), always teased his brother(my DH) about being "cheap." This happened most often when we went on vacation together, when we made a point not to buy our kids everything they wanted. Fast forward a few years, and Family B asks us if he can borrow money. Interesting, isn't it?

starstruck93
05-16-2010, 09:07 PM
First I want to congratulate you on sticking to a goal... that is always hard to do, no matter what it is! I also understand where you are coming from coming from a single parent family.... as a child I rarely got to go on trips like the other kids. However, I also want to make another valid point. Understanding how much I missed out on my childhood has made me a better parent in so many ways. One of which is I trying to enjoy my son's childhood while he's young. Yes, we put back for college, all of our bills are paid and we are'nt in any debt (except for my college loans;)), but we bought DVC so we could enjoy Disney with our son now. No, we did'nt pay for ALL of it upfront... it's financed, but it was something that we could afford. I have an uncle that is loaded and lives a very modest life.. nothing wrong with that. However, he's never stopped to enjoy the fruits of is labor. Work is all he does.... he never makes time for fun or himself. Well, he's in his 60's now and not in great health and now... all he has are his piles of money in a bank account that will go to his 2 kids that are also more than financialy stable. There's extremes on both sides. If DH had his way, we would never take a vacation.... he just wants to save, save, save; but something happened to him on our first trip to Disney World last Sept..... he realized that there was more to life than a fat bank account. He saw happy memories with the family and place to refuel the soul.pixiedust: Dh truly turns into a kid at WDW.:cutie: If you truly have a goal in mind and know that sometime in the near future you will get your vacation, then stick to your goal; just try not to get so caught up in the idea of money that you regret missed oppurtunities. :hug:Good luck! April

amyy
05-16-2010, 09:17 PM
I read fast so I missed what your actual goal is. If it is to be totally debt free that is wonderful. I am not debt free but I have no car payments, no credit card debit, just put a metal roof on the house which was paid in cash and we are having a Disney wedding with no debt and it is the best feeling in the world. I do have a house payment and student loans but I put away in my retirement and overall I am happy. Before you know it you will be back at Disney. I remember when I couldn't even splurge on a Christmas wreath but it is all worth it now.

Sagginit
05-16-2010, 10:27 PM
i know the feeling my friends just came back from a cruise without me. the thought of being in debt for a long time and having no savings is worse than the thought of being left out. by not going on that trip i can afford to book disney in the fall (which is only with the low rates and free dining). stick to your guns and be unapolagetic. i still drive a 1992 car and dont care how bad it looks, if my friends dont like it they can drive themselves.

i had some "friends" about two years or three years ago who were going to clubs in limos, getting VIP boothes, going on vacas. i said i couldnt afford and so did my bf at the time. he just got a brand new luxury car and owns his own bussiness. i have a great job with a 401K, nice savings, and no debt other than student loans. some of them can barely pay rent, have had cars repossessed, and are still finishing college. i dont have any regrets.

TwiddleDeeTwiddleDum
05-16-2010, 10:49 PM
is a great thing but can have disappointments, especially if you want to go to WDW. I have had 3 chances to go to WDW this year with friends & family. On Memorial Day, 1st week in December and now another chance to meet up with family over Christmas this year. When asked to 'let's go to WDW', 'we are going on...you ought to meet up with us', etc. I take a deep breath and smile and say the phrase that has become so familiar to me...I would love to go but right now DH & I are working on some financial goals and it is not the best time for us to go to WDW. Would love to go with you another time.

Of course everyone understands but....3 times in one year... and we are not going:( BUT I do keep thinking about long term goals. I know that there are others out there that also make the responsible choices. So keep on trucking along with your good choices if it is not going shopping today or working on your budget.

Sounds like you are being "tested" and you are passing the test! You say, "keep on trucking along with your your good choices". See, you encourage yourself as you encourage us!

You choose freedom by not being weighed down financially with 3 trips that you know on the front end you cannot afford right now. And as OP said, WDW is always going to be there. Trust that you WILL GO another time when you are prepared financially. It is going to happen for you :) You will appreciate it even more when it does :hug:

Some of our family missed part of our annual Christmas :santa:celebration to go to WDW - I have never been at Christmas. I would have LOVED to go - but it just wasn't possible. Instead I helped them plan & even looked forward to their trip, knowing it would be a wonderful time for THEM. It just goes to show you how much you love someone when you can feel their joy - & that is worth more than anything :lovestruc

tinkarooni
05-17-2010, 08:40 AM
You are not alone. Many families I know are embracing the idea of a staycation this year and we are one of them. We traveled to Disney this past September and we knew that we were not going away this summer, we are waiting until next summer.

So we started planning early and when Nana asked what the family wanted for Christmas we told her season passes to the local water park. At $49.99 each it fell perfectly within her gift budget and we now have unlimited fun for the summer for free. Honestly the kids didn't need more stuff cluttering their rooms so this is perfect. They are very excited. DH and I have still planned two weeks to take off together and we are going to do local stuff as well as probably multiple trips to the water park and probably a couple of meals out. We're just taking the eating out from the food budget, packing picnics for the water park and probably add a camp out in the back yard night. Last year we invited other families to camp out with us and made a big party of it. Cost was cheap, some hot dogs and the fixins for smores.

We are also a family that goes to the library once a week.

I remember summer when I was a kid was playing outside until the lightning bugs came out, swimming in the moonlight and having really dirty feet all the time from being barefoot. :rotfl: Those are happy memories for me, I hope to allow my kids the time and freedom to make some of their own too.

Good Luck!

Pigeon
05-17-2010, 11:32 AM
We go to WDW every three or four years tops, and it's the only real vacation we take. I don't feel deprived in the least--for me it's about being a responsible adult.

We have no debt other than a small mortgage and one small car loan, we are ahead of plan on our retirement, and are socking away money for our kids' college education.

blanq
05-17-2010, 01:17 PM
Sometimes it's hard to say "no" to your head when your heart wants to say "yes" to a vacation. I am right there with you. My family had planned on a WDW trip for this Oct. Last week, our furnace died and we spent over $5K to replace it. We had to dip into our emergency account to pay for it, and although we still have a nice chunk of change in that account, DH and I know we need to save up over the summer to replace what we took from that account. That means that our Oct trip will no longer be a reality. It is a hard pill to swallow, but we know it is the right thing to do and we know WDW will be there for us when we are ready to visit. Sometimes it is hard being a grown up!