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sk!mom
09-06-2005, 08:05 PM
I posted a reply similar to this on one of the threads but I decided to start a new thread. I'm not trying to be judgemental- I am really interested in how people reconcile vacations with trying to become and stay debt free.

As I skimmed various threads on this topic, I noticed that many who are participating have recently taken or are planning expensive Disney trips according to their signatures. I've read enough of Dave Ramsey's stuff to know that he wouldn't recommend vacations for those that are struggling financially. At the very least, if you do not have a healthy emergency fund in place then an expensive vacation is probably not the best idea.

DH and I saved and took one trip to WDW in 1990. We did not return until 2001. This gap was partly caused by us traveling to other places but also partly because in our early years we had other priorities such as getting well established in a debt free lifestyle. We are now in a position to budget more for vacations and have been to WDW 3 times since 2001.

Vacations are very important to me but I wouldn't take one that I couldn't comfortably afford without dipping into my emergency fund.

What do others think? Is a vacation necessary enough to go into debt or spend emergency funds in order to go? or Should vacations only be taken with true "extra" funds?

shelly3girls
09-06-2005, 08:19 PM
We would definitely not go into debt or dip into emergency funds. I know that many people use Dave Ramsey's plan to truly get out of debt b/c they are in financial trouble. It seems that many on this board use his plan to have extra money to pay for these vacations while living out of debt and paying down mortgage or saving for retirement/college. I am not real familiar with his plan but it seems it works for either situation.

We actually budget for our vacations. Yes, this money could go towards other things (those listed above) but we contribute to all of those things first then take a vacation(s) we can comfortably afford with what is left.

lbgraves
09-06-2005, 08:29 PM
We wouldn't go on a vacation if we were not able to pay it off without having any interest added to the total. I wouldn't be able to enjoy it as much.

NY Disney fan
09-06-2005, 08:37 PM
What do others think? Is a vacation necessary enough to go into debt or spend emergency funds in order to go? or Should vacations only be taken with true "extra" funds?


I dipped into my emergency fund to go to Disney this year. The cost was extremely low and with the free dining plan we couldn't resist! Can you say Emergency? LOL!! My DH and I did not go anywhere this summer and didn't do anything fun so we decided to go to Disney for a Fall surprise. Between the time we reserved the trip and the actual trip (in 8 days) 50% of the money has been replaced. Sometimes you have to live a little, it just depends on how much you spend and what you can handle. After we come back from Disney, we are going full steam ahead with our savings. Our emergency fund is one month away from $10K and we are on target with retirement. I have practiced Mary Hunt's (cheapskate monthly.com) methods of financial planning combined with Suze Orman so I can confidently say I know what I am doing.

Also, we have no debt except for mortgage.

blanq
09-06-2005, 08:41 PM
I am not doing the Dave Ramsey plan, but my household is on a budget for the first time. We have little debt to pay down (mortage of $135K, one car we owe $8K on and it is a 0% interest rate on the loan, and $3K on our home equity loan). We need to build up our emergency fund and would like to pay off the home equity and car loan, hence the budget. We are doing well with long term savings and education savings for our DS, so will stay on track with those plans. Will we continue to vacation? Absolutely, but while we used to spend about $10K a year on various trips, we are scaling back and budgeting just $3K for the next year. We have never gone into debt for any trip, and would not. If we had credit card debt, had trouble paying our bills, etc., we would not be vacationing at all.

arminnie
09-06-2005, 08:58 PM
I made my first trip to WDW in 1980. I fell in love and was dying to go back.

I did not get back until my company sent me to Orlando on business in the early 90s! I just didn't take vacations that I couldn't pay for.

I'd like to give encouragement to those of you working hard on your budgets and retirement planning. I am now retired and because I didn't charge a bunch of vacations in the past, I can now go to WDW whenever I want.

crisi
09-06-2005, 09:49 PM
I think you need to apply these things to you in a fashion that will work. Money management can be like a diet (and it is). If you don't allow yourself any treats, you blow your budget. The trick is to balance the input with the outgo in a a fashion that allows you to reduce debt (or weight). For some people this may mean a strict "diet" and quick weight loss/debt reduction followed by a lifelong but easier maintenance mode that involves lifestyle changes from what they had, but less sacrifice than what they gave up relatively short term to get there. That's what Dave Ramsey seems to recommend. For others, this will be a lifelong struggle of losing 10 pounds (or $5,000 in debt) to gain seven back. As long as you don't gain more back than you lose, its progress.

Personally, when it comes to finances, I'm a "sacrifice up front, enjoy a pleasant worry free life later" girl. We also spent years not going on vacation. But my first marriage was to a "do today, worry tomorrow" guy, so I've been there, too.

RichNKatHolly
09-06-2005, 10:17 PM
I'm on the other thread mentioned as well. Like I said there, we personally will not go into debt to do our vacation in November. It was fully paid for in cash as will be our spending money. Now, we do not have a fully funded emergency fund, but will have one within months of returning home thanks to our tax refund.

I guess I justify the expense since I know months later my emergency fund will be paid, and we do not have credit card debt. We don't own a house yet either. But I think my kids will have more fond memories of us taking a trip here and there rather than whether we rent or own. Don't get me wrong, a house would be great, but it is far off. We will go on vacation now and then not for a while. Well, not a Disney priced vacation anyway. Although there are many ways to do Disney on the cheap as well.

I know many people charge their vacations, it is not for us, but it is not for me to tell them what to do either.

Dave Ramsey's plan does allow for "blow money" but I'm not sure he means to the extent of several thousand dollars for a vacation. I am trying his plan having just finished the book yesterday, but I am making modifications to it as we go. IE. I will not stop contributing to DHs 401K so we can have an emergency fund set up sooner.

Wow, that was long, sorry!

JMSMommy
09-06-2005, 10:17 PM
We are still in "debt snowball" and going to Disney in less than 3 weeks.

We've been in "debt snowball" quite a while due to losing that "gazelle intensity." I don't think our vacation is extravagent, it has been completely paid for since the end of July. The total due to free dining, staying in value, the youngest being just shy of 3 (he turns 3 in October) and driving down (although I'm beginning to wonder on that one) is quite "reasonable." We checked out the "debt snowball" projected end date (thanks to a Dh who is an Excel guru and is tracking and projecting) going to Disney put us paying off the total consumer debt by 2 months. 2 extra months in debt snowball was worth it to us to go to Disney to create those memories while the kids are young enough to think those characters truly are REAL.

We are also planning on a rather LARGE expenditure next year that we will probably get a loan for (again projecting we are supposed to be consumer debt free when we travel, so we will probably be paying cash where possible and put off debt repayment). What are we doing? Adopting from China, and waiting until we can afford to pay cash will take too long. The current adoption tax credit is in process of possibly being raised, and we are going to apply for grants. We're doing fundraising too, but mostly we're trusting God since He is the one who put this on our hearts at this time. We felt that going to Disney with the boys before we start on the adoption road was the right thing for our family.

From what I've read, heard, and learned from Dave is that it is okay to splurge on things as long as we can pay cash for them while in debt snowball. We have. We're okay with being in debt for 2 extra months overall.

Dave probably wouldn't okay the "adoption loan" but I've learned when God tells me to do something I need to listen. I'm hoping that when it comes down to it, we won't have to get the loan, but it's the "back up" plan.

lisajl
09-06-2005, 10:20 PM
We wanted to go to WDW this Thanksgiving, but realized we just can't do it.
Now with my DD's health in question, we definately would not go.

we are doing the TMMO, and I am very excited about it.
We don't have a lot of debt, but I want it all gone. I really want to have that emergency fund ready for anything. So, no, we would and will not be going soon. Hopefully next year we will be in a better position.

I will not charge another vacation! EVER!

Lisa

RichNKatHolly
09-06-2005, 10:33 PM
First off, congratulations and best of luck to you with the adoption. That is very exciting! Given the magnitude of this adoption and it's possible impact on your family I can definately see taking a trip with your children. I would too.

There are just so many personal situations out there that I think any one plan - straight through and by the book - is not for everybody. you have to work it and make modifications to fit your situation.

Hey, I think about cancelling our trip and putting that money into the bank to complete step #3, but like you, we will finish that step a few months after we return.


We are still in "debt snowball" and going to Disney in less than 3 weeks.

We've been in "debt snowball" quite a while due to losing that "gazelle intensity." I don't think our vacation is extravagent, it has been completely paid for since the end of July. The total due to free dining, staying in value, the youngest being just shy of 3 (he turns 3 in October) and driving down (although I'm beginning to wonder on that one) is quite "reasonable." We checked out the "debt snowball" projected end date (thanks to a Dh who is an Excel guru and is tracking and projecting) going to Disney put us paying off the total consumer debt by 2 months. 2 extra months in debt snowball was worth it to us to go to Disney to create those memories while the kids are young enough to think those characters truly are REAL.

We are also planning on a rather LARGE expenditure next year that we will probably get a loan for (again projecting we are supposed to be consumer debt free when we travel, so we will probably be paying cash where possible and put off debt repayment). What are we doing? Adopting from China, and waiting until we can afford to pay cash will take too long. The current adoption tax credit is in process of possibly being raised, and we are going to apply for grants. We're doing fundraising too, but mostly we're trusting God since He is the one who put this on our hearts at this time. We felt that going to Disney with the boys before we start on the adoption road was the right thing for our family.

From what I've read, heard, and learned from Dave is that it is okay to splurge on things as long as we can pay cash for them while in debt snowball. We have. We're okay with being in debt for 2 extra months overall.

Dave probably wouldn't okay the "adoption loan" but I've learned when God tells me to do something I need to listen. I'm hoping that when it comes down to it, we won't have to get the loan, but it's the "back up" plan.

disneysteve
09-07-2005, 08:39 AM
Here is my personal opinion - not intended to criticize anyone who acts differently.

We would not go into debt to take a vacation. A vacation, pure and simple, is a luxury purchase. It is a want, not a need.

If we didn't have the funds to take a vacation and pay it off 100% when the credit card bill came, we wouldn't go.

annsteere
09-07-2005, 08:43 AM
Just not adding to the debt was good enough for us when the kids were small. We were very disciplined about eating out and hiring sitters but the trip to DW seemed more important than building an emergency fund. (I've got a theory that my home equity can serve as an emergency fund--in an emergency I could use my home equity line of credit.)

Actually, just not adding to our debt is good enough for me now. DD is in college and we are thinking about a quick trip before she takes a "real" job. We won't be staying concierge at the Grand Floridian, but we won't let the fact that I now have a car and some of her college education on the home equity loan stop us. I'm saving change, doing surveys, mystery shopping, and have an extra temporary part time job to avoid putting the trip on a charge card. But, she's growing up and growing away. Car payments will be made monthly and no better while we enjoy this time together.

dadtoagirl
09-07-2005, 09:05 AM
Double Post - Sorry

dadtoagirl
09-07-2005, 09:07 AM
We have paid off home equity loan this year and working on car and mortgage at the same time. Hope to be debt free in about 6 years ( will be 36 at that time). I however need a vacation to recover from it all. I would in no way take a vacation on credit or use debt to finance it. I leave in 9 days for a week at the world that will be paid for in cash. I will enjoy myself and when I get back we will get back to work.

PS - The Total Money Makeover is not only for people who live paycheck to paycheck or in a bad financial condition. We live very comfortably and have always had one years pay in the bank as an emergency fund, own a nice home, wife is a SAHM. I just want to live out my later adult years without any debt hanging over my shoulders.

Reese
09-07-2005, 09:09 AM
That we are currently paying down quickly. We didn't want to falter from our plan so what we've done is I have taken a six month full time position at work and Dh and the two oldest kids have taken a morning paper route. The money they earn and the extra I'm bringing in all goes into the vacation account. This way we are able to still keep paying down our debt as aggressivly as before and should have our cc debt paid off by the time we go on vacation. The vacation is my carrot, I need the incentive dangling in front of my nose or else I would revert back to my old ways.

I know that I could use the money to make a nice mortgage payment or pay off the cc sooner but we realized life is to short. We started planning this trip after our youngest DS was out of the Children's Hospital with a seroius illness. We wanted to make some memories and after all the bad luck the last two years have brought we thought we should do this. I just wanted to make sure that we would be putting ourselves no further behind by doing it.

I should add that we are not struggling for money but we are carrying a debt load and my goal is to have that gone.

bettyann29
09-07-2005, 10:17 AM
I wouldnt go if I was actually financially strapped.. but I do vacation quite frequently and I still have bills.. Could I use that vacation money to pay down bills, yes... but I dont.. I personally believe time spent with my family is money well spent and wouldnt have it any other way... I dont charge anything.. I save the money ahead of time.. I put money back each check like its a bill and start saving for the next..

dvcgirl
09-07-2005, 12:34 PM
No, we'd never in a million years take a vacation if we were in debt. We'd also never dip into our emergency fund. And I'll go one further....We wouldn't take a vacation unless our retirement and investment goals for the year were in line.

I understand that sometimes people need a vacation. Perhaps they haven't had one in awhile and so they skip some retirement savings, or they dip into the emergency fund...or even worse, go into debt. Every and now and again, you need a break from life. It's when that kind of "dipping" becomes a regular thing that people get into trouble.

agotta
09-07-2005, 12:44 PM
I guess my attitude is life is to short. Mind you we don't have kids yet, so if for some reason we got too deep in financial trouble, it only affects us. That said, on our honeymoon we bought into the DVC. #1 I had a huge CM discount and #2 we knew down the road it would be worth it. So this next trip of ours that we really couldn't afford....we rented our points and it is paying for the entire vacation. That way we can still put money away toward debt/saving and enjoy ourselves on vacation. Yes we could have rented out those points and put it toward a credit card, but....

etwinchester
09-07-2005, 01:23 PM
I'm working on baby step #2. I'm not planning a Disney Vacation untill 2008 and by then, I should be done with that step. I'd rather go debt free (except for mortgage) and be able to enjoy the feeling...

We do take 2 little weekend vacations per year. One is to Knoebels and the other is Wildwood. We plan for these vacations and make sure money is set aside. Big vacations will wait.

lisajl
09-07-2005, 01:27 PM
I'm working on baby step #2. I'm not planning a Disney Vacation untill 2008 and by then, I should be done with that step. I'd rather go debt free (except for mortgage) and be able to enjoy the feeling...

We do take 2 little weekend vacations per year. One is to Knoebels and the other is Wildwood. We plan for these vacations and make sure money is set aside. Big vacations will wait.


Good for you! We are on Baby step #1. As soon as my DH gets his overtime check, we will move on to Step #2. I agree with the vacation. We really wanted to go, but just can't do it.
I would rather be debt free also.

We are taking a weekend trip to Gettysburg, but we are paying cash for the hotel, etc.
Should be fun to get out of town for a while!
Lisa

carrie_106
09-07-2005, 08:25 PM
For those of you who said you would neve go into debt for a vacation that it is a luxury, here is something to think about.....a very close friend of mine lost his wife in a car accident, they had the same thought, vacations were a luxury, they would do it when they retired......they never got the chance, he now says to all his close friends, go now, you never know if you will get the chance. I am not saying be irresponsible, but once in awhile, live life to the most and if you take two months to pay off the bill, it is worth every single dime.

hsmamato2
09-07-2005, 08:35 PM
Yes, it is too short, but to be wise, it pays to balance that feeling with a lot of common sense... not trying to knock anyone here,I have my own struggles too, but sometimes life is longer than we expect it will be, and if we haven't planned/saved for the 100% eventuality that troubles will come... at some point it happens to us all...then what? That's the purpose of an emergency fund. That's the purpose of the money makeover, to get rid of debt, so you can start building a small safety net for yourself.Which includes retirement savings- A home equity loan is not an emergency fund- it just fools you into a temporary sense that the money problem is fixed, but it's not. It's just put off a little, and I personally wouldn't choose to pay for groceries or a used car or a vacation in 30 years along with mtg. payments...
Vacations are great-Disney vacations are even greater! But they're not so great if at the end all you have left is a lot of big bills, and no way out- And, there are lots of ways to have family fun without breaking the bank, if necessary- I'm really impressed by all those on this board who have put off the more luxurious vacations(yes, Disney is a luxury,no matter how budget minded you are... ;) )
BTW- Love the total money makeover & Love disney vacations!(paid for)
Just my 5 cents... :sunny: I know we're all trying to do our best, save a little money, and have little fun doing it!

whjoyjr
09-07-2005, 08:53 PM
In my case, I have decided that travel and family vacations are somewhat more important than maximizing savings or retiring debt (no CC debt, 17k on my 1 year old truck and 170k on the mortgage).

I fly about 1 week out of every 8 and who knows if / when something may happen. I was taken in for an emergency perferated gall bladder in late July. You never know when there will be no more tomorrow's. What is important to me is that my family has memories of us being a family, having fun, experiencing life. Will they care if I dropped dead and we were 6 months ahead on the mortgage instead of having taken a trip or two to WDW?

Having lost my father in 2001, am I happier that we went to WDW or that there is 20k more in the estate? Sorry, money is nice, but memories are what binds a family together.

disneysteve
09-07-2005, 08:59 PM
if you take two months to pay off the bill, it is worth every single dime.
I can't say I'd be opposed to this, but the reality is the vast majority of people who go into debt for a luxury purchase don't pay it off in 2 months. Most take far longer than that because that vacation debt is just lumped on top of other debt for other instant gratification purchases and for many it is a never-ending cycle and they never get debt free.

My DW is a cancer survivor. My dad died unexpectedly of a heart attack. My FIL died of cancer at a relatively young age. And we nearly lost DD in an auto accident 3 years ago. So I know all about making memories and living life to the fullest. But I still would not go into long-term debt for short-term pleasure.

sk!mom
09-07-2005, 09:44 PM
I agree that vacations are important and the memories made are priceless. We have taken at least one long vacation as well as weekend trips every year for all 25 of our marriage. We have many wonderful memories with our two children but a memory filled vacation doesn't have to put you in debt.

We have always including vacation savings in our regular budget. We sacrifice other luxuries to allow for more vacation spending. For instance, I don't have a cell phone and I could really use some new furniture but I put off the new furniture for this year in favor of making memories.

A Home Equity loan seems a very risky way to pay for a vacation. Home Equity loans have a low interest rate because your home is the collateral. If you had a major setback or job loss and couldn't pay then they take your home. I would not put my home at risk for anything other than an extreme emergency.

dvcgirl
09-07-2005, 09:59 PM
For those of you who said you would neve go into debt for a vacation that it is a luxury, here is something to think about.....a very close friend of mine lost his wife in a car accident, they had the same thought, vacations were a luxury, they would do it when they retired......they never got the chance, he now says to all his close friends, go now, you never know if you will get the chance. I am not saying be irresponsible, but once in awhile, live life to the most and if you take two months to pay off the bill, it is worth every single dime.

Life is too short for some people, and that is sad. But for most of us, life will be quite long. If we all live with that mindset, that life is too short, let's throw caution to the wind.....we'd be in more debt than we already are. And as a nation, that's quite a lot. And to live a life that is fiscally responsible does not mean that there is no fun involved. The trick is to find fun things to do that fit your budget.

sk!mom
09-07-2005, 11:00 PM
And to live a life that is fiscally responsible does not mean that there is no fun involved. The trick is to find fun things to do that fit your budget.


Well Said!

crisi
09-07-2005, 11:04 PM
We have great family memories of WDW. We have great family memories of camping, of going to the State Fair, of visiting Grandma, of playing Scrabble, of Christmas mornings, of Saturday mornings piled four in Mama's bed, of baking brownies (two toddlers and a box of brownie mix makes one very small pan of brownies, but two very chocolately toddlers). My memories don't come with price tags. Most of my girlfriends have kids similar in age to mine. Few of them have ever been to WDW. Their memories are no less valuable because they don't take expensive vacations. Growing up, I had graduated from high school before my family ever took a "real" family vacation (we had obligitory relative visitation taking up most vacation time), but I don't remember growing up deprived of memories.

If you choose to afford great family vacations in order to create memories, that's great (regardless of if you do it while still having debt, or if you don't have so much as a mortgage - as long as you aren't going to go into bankruptcy or leave your estate in debt, I don't care, doesn't effect me). Don't belittle the memories of those that don't choose to create their memories in that fashion. Perhaps on my deathbed I'll wish I'd spent more time with my family - but whether I do it at WDW or over a box of brownie mix at Grandma's house seems unimportant in the greater scheme.

Nik's Mom
09-07-2005, 11:26 PM
We save for our vacations, and also save for emergencies and to pay down debt. For us, it's not a problem to handle all three. It doesn't bother me to have some debt, like mortgage and student loans. I would like to pay off the student loans though, and that is my goal. But we are also saving for vacation too.
I don't pass judgement on anyone because they choose to take a vacation. It is not my business to tell someone not to or that they should save, etc. Sorry, but I have enough worries without having to tell people I don't know on how they should spend their money. :confused3 That's their problem. When I read of a fellow Dis'er going on vacation, I'm happy for them and just assume they can handle the $$$.

Belle5
09-08-2005, 12:22 AM
We have great family memories of WDW. We have great family memories of camping, of going to the State Fair, of visiting Grandma, of playing Scrabble, of Christmas mornings, of Saturday mornings piled four in Mama's bed, of baking brownies (two toddlers and a box of brownie mix makes one very small pan of brownies, but two very chocolately toddlers). My memories don't come with price tags. Most of my girlfriends have kids similar in age to mine. Few of them have ever been to WDW. Their memories are no less valuable because they don't take expensive vacations. Growing up, I had graduated from high school before my family ever took a "real" family vacation (we had obligitory relative visitation taking up most vacation time), but I don't remember growing up deprived of memories.

If you choose to afford great family vacations in order to create memories, that's great (regardless of if you do it while still having debt, or if you don't have so much as a mortgage - as long as you aren't going to go into bankruptcy or leave your estate in debt, I don't care, doesn't effect me). Don't belittle the memories of those that don't choose to create their memories in that fashion. Perhaps on my deathbed I'll wish I'd spent more time with my family - but whether I do it at WDW or over a box of brownie mix at Grandma's house seems unimportant in the greater scheme.

There is a ton of wisdom in what you are saying here,Crisi!

disneysteve
09-08-2005, 08:26 AM
We have many wonderful memories with our two children but a memory filled vacation doesn't have to put you in debt.

We have always including vacation savings in our regular budget. We sacrifice other luxuries to allow for more vacation spending.
I couldn't agree more. I'll be the first to admit that we spend a lot of money on vacations. We've just made that a family priority. As a result, we make many other sacrifices to allow us to take the vacations we want to take while still maintaining our emergency savings and building college and retirement funds.

Chicago526
09-08-2005, 10:31 AM
I'm using many of Dave's methods to get us out of credit card debt, but I'm not following his advice chapter and verse, as it were. If we were just a paycheck away from bankruptcy, it would be different. But all we have is credit card debt that we'd like to get rid of, even with the cc debt we can make more than the minimum payment, so we are by no means in trouble. But we want to nip this in the bud now, so we never GET to that point!

Our upcoming trip is our honeymoon, so we feel it is justified. We will not take another major vacation until the debt is paid off, hopefully in about a year or so. We will take small weekend getaways here and there, but nothing major, and those will be paid for in cash.

sap1227
09-08-2005, 06:34 PM
The cruise we are taking next week and the cruise we took last September were all on "found money". I did focus groups and surveys like crazy, sold some baby stuff on Ebay and used our credit card rewards (the credit card was a 0% AmEx card, so we were not paying interest or an annual fee) for our cruises. Yes, I could have put that money towards our debt but I think vacations are important and since I was able to go without any money from our normal income I was happy.

My DH and I were just talking about this, our next cruise will probably not be until Jan 2007 so we will have plenty of time to "find" some money.

We also have DVC, obviously a "want" not a "need", but as locals who love the beach, we use it and love it! My grandparents, parents and an uncle are also members and we love to meet at Vero for a week in the spring each year.

Christy

RoyalCanadian
09-08-2005, 08:49 PM
I don't pass judgement on anyone because they choose to take a vacation. It is not my business to tell someone not to or that they should save, etc. Sorry, but I have enough worries without having to tell people I don't know on how they should spend their money. :confused3 That's their problem. When I read of a fellow Dis'er going on vacation, I'm happy for them and just assume they can handle the $$$.

I like the way you have set your priorities for saving and spending. You seem to have struck a fine balance in setting and achieving financial goals. We do need to remember that holidays can be a part of our financial goals and budgetting. Each year we designate how our income tax refunds will be spent. Some years it has gone towards vacation spending; other years towards home renovation projects.

However, I can't in good conscience sit idly by while others share their proud stories of continued and projected financial mismanagement. All too often the Disboards, and particularly the Budget Board, have encouraged people who simply cannot afford any sort of vacation, never mind a Disney World vacation, to take that time away and spend the money because [Insert favourite excuse here]:
you need to make the memories while the children are young.
you need to make the memories now while the grandparents are still alive.
you need to make the memories now before you die in a horrible airplane crash.
the bills will still be waiting when you get home.
you can always look for another job when you get home from Walt Disney World.
the car repairs can wait until you get home.
the house has gone without a driveway or a fence for over a year, that can wait until you get back from Disney World.
it's nobody's business but your own how much money you may owe on your credit cards, mortgage, student loan, home equity loan, line of credit, car loan, etc. Go ahead, charge more money -- you can always pay it off.


I was made to be the village punching bag over a year ago when I questioned the financial wisdom of a member of this board who was taking their fourth Walt Disney World vacation despite having been unemployed for nearly a year. Said person had also taken a Disney Cruise Line cruise in that period of unemployment. It was the collective wisdom of many on this board that this person, who hadn't worked for nearly a year, deserved yet another vacation onsite at Walt Disney World.

I just can't be a part of the process that might lead a person into serious financial straits. So, I will heartily congratulate those who have made sound financial decisions regarding their next Disney World vacation, but I will seriously question those who do otherwise if the Disney World (or land, for that matter) vacation is a wise decision considering their own financial situation.

loles
09-08-2005, 08:50 PM
Hey folks, I read everyone's input, and can't remember who had the original question (which I had myself!), but it looks like the bottom line is the same - do what is most important to you. Yes, life can be short for some, and tomorrow can take care of itself, or whatever your outlook is. The important thing is to take the time.

Also, if you really add it up, non-WDW vacations can be just as costly. So plan, save and use every discount you can find, and go make those memories. :banana: :goodvibes :rotfl:

Danemom
09-08-2005, 09:11 PM
First off, I agree to disagree. :flower:

This post is full of abnormally financially responsible people. It is great that you all have everything in order but most of us aren't financially perfect. Seriously, a YEAR'S salary in the bank? That's great but I'm sure 99.9% of the population can't say that!

I have a little debt, a middle class income, and the best I can do is Disney every couple years. Our trips are under $2000 and I scrimp and save every way I can to pay for them. On occasion I've had to charge part of it and pay it off as soon as I can. :earseek:
For me, every two years a vacation is a necessity, not a luxury.

RichNKatHolly
09-08-2005, 09:46 PM
Sorry, but I can see how you would become a punching bag for questioning someone's trip. People come here to go over how happy they are to travel, etc. I don't think anyone should rain on their parade. It's not my business what you do, and not yours what I or anyone else do. I certainly don't think that reviewing signature lines to question people's vacations is a good idea either.

Mind you, we will not charge a vacation ever again, but I have nothing to say to people who do unless they ask me.

Not being mean, just my opinion. I have also been wondering if this thread would get nasty. Hasn't yet, but I'm waiting.

I like the way you have set your priorities for saving and spending. You seem to have struck a fine balance in setting and achieving financial goals. We do need to remember that holidays can be a part of our financial goals and budgetting. Each year we designate how our income tax refunds will be spent. Some years it has gone towards vacation spending; other years towards home renovation projects.

However, I can't in good conscience sit idly by while others share their proud stories of continued and projected financial mismanagement. All too often the Disboards, and particularly the Budget Board, have encouraged people who simply cannot afford any sort of vacation, never mind a Disney World vacation, to take that time away and spend the money because [Insert favourite excuse here]:
you need to make the memories while the children are young.
you need to make the memories now while the grandparents are still alive.
you need to make the memories now before you die in a horrible airplane crash.
the bills will still be waiting when you get home.
you can always look for another job when you get home from Walt Disney World.
the car repairs can wait until you get home.
the house has gone without a driveway or a fence for over a year, that can wait until you get back from Disney World.
it's nobody's business but your own how much money you may owe on your credit cards, mortgage, student loan, home equity loan, line of credit, car loan, etc. Go ahead, charge more money -- you can always pay it off.


I was made to be the village punching bag over a year ago when I questioned the financial wisdom of a member of this board who was taking their fourth Walt Disney World vacation despite having been unemployed for nearly a year. Said person had also taken a Disney Cruise Line cruise in that period of unemployment. It was the collective wisdom of many on this board that this person, who hadn't worked for nearly a year, deserved yet another vacation onsite at Walt Disney World.

I just can't be a part of the process that might lead a person into serious financial straits. So, I will heartily congratulate those who have made sound financial decisions regarding their next Disney World vacation, but I will seriously question those who do otherwise if the Disney World (or land, for that matter) vacation is a wise decision considering their own financial situation.

disneysteve
09-08-2005, 10:18 PM
People come here to go over how happy they are to travel, etc. I don't think anyone should rain on their parade.

I have nothing to say to people who do unless they ask me.
Just in case we've lost sight of the original question:
"Is a vacation necessary enough to go into debt or spend emergency funds in order to go?"

RichNKatHolly - I agree that it is generally inappropriate to question someone's financial situation unless they have asked for our opinion (although there have been many times I had to sit on my hands to keep from typing something I knew I'd regret).

RichNKatHolly
09-08-2005, 10:35 PM
Just in case we've lost sight of the original question:
"Is a vacation necessary enough to go into debt or spend emergency funds in order to go?"

RichNKatHolly - I agree that it is generally inappropriate to question someone's financial situation unless they have asked for our opinion (although there have been many times I had to sit on my hands to keep from typing something I knew I'd regret).


True. I will agree with the OP and would not spend emergency funds to go on vacation. Of course, I don't have much in place right now and am working on that, but also will not go into debt for my vacation. In the past, we had charged vacations and that led to problems. We don't want to go back there.

I sat on my hands too with several threads entitled something like "just inherited $xxx, what should we do." At least 50% of the people recommended DVC. I could think of 1 million other things to do with the $$ before purchasing DVC.

Again, just my opinions. And, to clarify my post above, I was just stating that I was not surprised someone would take critisism on the boards for questioning someone's personal decisions, not necessarily criticizing the person who did so.

Happy discussing all!

jgates
09-08-2005, 11:59 PM
Emergency Fund? What's an emergency fund? :rolleyes1

Normally I always had $$ to pay for our vacations. I was always very proud of that. However, this last year and a half has not been pretty budgetwise due to DH's job change, 8 months of super high ins prem's-copays& deductibles, college savings used up, etc. Bummer. But we did keep going places - nothing long or involved. The disney trip DD & I did last year was already planned & plane tickets booked so we went anyway. Brought back some debt from that. Took DS to Badger Bowl game - brought back a small amount from that (most paid from profit bonus, whew). Couldn't convince DH to skip a couple of car shows - DEFINITELY brought back debt from that. DH & I took our FIRST vacation alone together in 24 years to Rapid City (10 days - about $1200 to 1400) this summer - he asked if I had the $ to pay for it - Nope - Ok - just wanted to know. Now with gas prices on the rise and the hurricane destruction he is convince a recession is coming in about 6 months - now it has become his idea to skip a few of his car shows (whew!!!). DS was approved for more student loans this year so I had him take them all - its about time in year 4 that he contributed a bit - so little if no subsidizing from us!! Now it is time to catch up. Time to tighten our belts and really work on decreasing the CC debt. This last month was the first month I had paid off more than charged in many months (remember - DS was charging too - food, housing expenses, books, gas, etc). This month is also headed for a decrease in the monthly total. YEAH!!! I have already purchased several Xmas gifts so I won't get smacked upside the head at Xmas time and I am planning on just taking my Xmas Club $$ and putting that towards the credit card debt too. I get one more 'mini' vacation as I have a conference in Vegas for a week. I'm going out 2 nites early and staying at the same hotel a girlfriend is (she is with DH so we can't room together) and hopefully we will have a good time on not a lot of money. My out of pocket expense will be those two nites, food for two days and whatever I lose in the slots :rolleyes: . Flight & other nites paid by work for conference.

Where am I going with all of this rambling? Probably nowhere constructive, LOL. Just overtired and chatty.

However, yes, the last few years we have gone into debt although not all for vacation. I don't like it, in fact I hate it. I have set aside my separate eBay account to save for a Disney trip in 2007. Should I be putting that on my debt also? Dog-gone right, but I am saving it separately. Vehicles will be paid off by e.o.y. and hopefully those $$ will go towards either reducing CC debt or Home Equity (which has been helping with college). But I am also one of those people who have a priority to do things now. I am diabetic and a healthy one, but my dad died of an aneurysm - wham, you are gone. My almost step-father died of bone cancer - gone. Just too much stuff can happen and as long as we can do it & not put ourselves in a position of NOT being able to pay it back, then I will still go ahead and go for it. If it were putting me on the verge of not being able to make payments or minimum pyts only, then I would seriously change fast.

dvcgirl
09-09-2005, 11:11 AM
I like the way you have set your priorities for saving and spending. You seem to have struck a fine balance in setting and achieving financial goals. We do need to remember that holidays can be a part of our financial goals and budgetting. Each year we designate how our income tax refunds will be spent. Some years it has gone towards vacation spending; other years towards home renovation projects.

However, I can't in good conscience sit idly by while others share their proud stories of continued and projected financial mismanagement. All too often the Disboards, and particularly the Budget Board, have encouraged people who simply cannot afford any sort of vacation, never mind a Disney World vacation, to take that time away and spend the money because [Insert favourite excuse here]:
you need to make the memories while the children are young.
you need to make the memories now while the grandparents are still alive.
you need to make the memories now before you die in a horrible airplane crash.
the bills will still be waiting when you get home.
you can always look for another job when you get home from Walt Disney World.
the car repairs can wait until you get home.
the house has gone without a driveway or a fence for over a year, that can wait until you get back from Disney World.
it's nobody's business but your own how much money you may owe on your credit cards, mortgage, student loan, home equity loan, line of credit, car loan, etc. Go ahead, charge more money -- you can always pay it off.


I was made to be the village punching bag over a year ago when I questioned the financial wisdom of a member of this board who was taking their fourth Walt Disney World vacation despite having been unemployed for nearly a year. Said person had also taken a Disney Cruise Line cruise in that period of unemployment. It was the collective wisdom of many on this board that this person, who hadn't worked for nearly a year, deserved yet another vacation onsite at Walt Disney World.

I just can't be a part of the process that might lead a person into serious financial straits. So, I will heartily congratulate those who have made sound financial decisions regarding their next Disney World vacation, but I will seriously question those who do otherwise if the Disney World (or land, for that matter) vacation is a wise decision considering their own financial situation.

Well, I couldn't agree with you more. And I've gotten myself in a little trouble around here for opening my big mouth. I do feel though that if people are going to ask for advice, that it's okay to answer truthfully. However, what I've learned is that when *most* people ask questions such as "hey, my husband just got laid off, but we really, really need this vacation....do you think we should go?" The only answer that they really want is "yes". "Life is too short" is another phrase that you see all the time around here.

Someone said in this thread that those of us who have a year's salary in cash for an emergency fund are in the minority...that 99.9% of the population doesn't have that. Well, yes, we are in the minority (we also have that put aside) however, that doesn't mean that it's not something to shoot for. I don't think a year is absolutely necessary, but six months is definitely necessary. I think that so many Americans are in debt, that many just think that everyone must be like them, and so they just continue to overspend.

Here's an article written about Americans vs. the rest of the world when it comes to spending and savings...and not that since it was an on-line poll that lower-economic folks probably weren't represented...so the numbers are probably worse....it's frightening.



Americans more likely to live paycheck to paycheck

NEW YORK (7/5/05)--Brother, can you spare a dime? Many Americans can't, according to a new ACNielsen survey of consumers in 38 markets. The U.S. is No. 1 when it comes to not having money left over after covering essential living expenses (ACNielsen June 13).

More than one-quarter (28%) of Americans claimed to have no spare cash at the end of the month. After Americans, those most likely to live paycheck to paycheck were from Portugal (24%), Brazil (23%), and Chile (21%). Surprisingly, only 5% of Russians said they had no spare change after covering living expenses.

There's more bad news. The U.S. still ranks near the bottom (33rd) of all 38 countries surveyed when it comes to investing for the future.

One cautionary note: The poll of more than 21,100 consumers was taken online in May 2005 and reached only consumers with Internet access. Researchers speculate that people on the lower end of the economic scale weren't proportionately represented in the survey results.

Financial planners recommend these tips to get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle:

Establish a spending plan and stick to it. Identify spending leaks and avoid impulse purchases.
Plan ahead for periodic expenses such as real estate taxes and insurance payments.
Have savings automatically deducted from your paycheck before you have a chance to spend the money.
Contribute to your employer's 401(k) because pretax contributions lower your taxable income.
Reduce high-interest debt and shop for loans and credit cards with favorable rates. Consider working with a credit counselor to consolidate debts and develop repayment plans with creditors.

FredS
09-09-2005, 01:34 PM
No, we'd never in a million years take a vacation if we were in debt. We'd also never dip into our emergency fund.

Are you (and a few others with this same type of statement) saying that you have no debt whatsoever -- mortgage, car loan, etc. -- and would not vacation if you did?

Beck's mom
09-09-2005, 02:28 PM
If I didn't take a vacation til I had a year's worth of salary in the bank, no debt, my house was completely remodeled and there was not one other thing I felt I needed to spend the money on, I wouldn't NEED that vacation - I'd already be living in Fantasyland!!!! :rotfl2:

disneysteve
09-09-2005, 04:01 PM
Are you (and a few others with this same type of statement) saying that you have no debt whatsoever -- mortgage, car loan, etc. -- and would not vacation if you did?
I'll give my answer just in case I was misunderstood. I would not go into debt to take a vacation. In other words, I wouldn't take a trip if the only way I could pay for it was to charge it and take more than one month to pay it off.

Would I go if I had other unrelated debt? Sure. I've got a mortgage and a home equity loan. I used to have student loans but they're done now. And yes, we still travel.

Would I go if I had other debt and zero savings? No, I wouldn't. If I didn't have a comfortable emergency fund in place, I would not travel even if I had the cash in hand to pay for the trip. I just wouldn't personally be comfortable doing that.

hsmamato2
09-09-2005, 04:08 PM
I think the original question was can you do the money makeover and go into debt to go on vacation? Instead of paying off debt or building a real emergency fund- I guess the answer is,"not really.." :blush:
If you don't have the "gazelle intensity" then you're not really doing the program wholeheartedly.
Does this make one who chooses to go slower, carry debt, and burden themselves further in the future with debt a bad person? Of course not!
If you're really `100% faithful to the Dave ramsey plan, you won't spend a penny till you're all set. AND...you will never have another credit card! I have, and I know a lot of people here use reward cc's- pay off balance each month, and don't overspend. I still adhere to a lot of what D.R. says, it just makes sense. There's no need for any nastiness, but if someone asks a question(and someone did) then wouldn't it be smart to answer as honestly as possible?
My bid question in all this is, if we spend money which we don't have, and continue to do so, who will pay for if we can't? Things happen, life gets in the way of the best laid plans- So balance is necessary, have fun, but do it within your REAL means. :umbrella:

DMRick
09-09-2005, 04:16 PM
Just what he said. For us, because of the cheap airfare and usually inexpensive hotel rooms, we can go to Disney for less money than the local tourist area. When we had three small kids at home, most of our memory making vacations were camping..an inexpensive way to vacation. We had 5 trips in 15 years back then, to Disney. Memories can be made in lots of ways. We've now made about 30 trips (I'd have to call and ask Disney..they actually keep track and tell me when I call LOL), but we probably can take 10 of them, for what some people spend on one.

Doris
Upstate NY

I'll give my answer just in case I was misunderstood. I would not go into debt to take a vacation. In other words, I wouldn't take a trip if the only way I could pay for it was to charge it and take more than one month to pay it off.

Would I go if I had other unrelated debt? Sure. I've got a mortgage and a home equity loan. I used to have student loans but they're done now. And yes, we still travel.

Would I go if I had other debt and zero savings? No, I wouldn't. If I didn't have a comfortable emergency fund in place, I would not travel even if I had the cash in hand to pay for the trip. I just wouldn't personally be comfortable doing that.

RichNKatHolly
09-09-2005, 04:56 PM
Just what he said. For us, because of the cheap airfare and usually inexpensive hotel rooms, we can go to Disney for less money than the local tourist area. When we had three small kids at home, most of our memory making vacations were camping..an inexpensive way to vacation. We had 5 trips in 15 years back then, to Disney. Memories can be made in lots of ways. We've now made about 30 trips (I'd have to call and ask Disney..they actually keep track and tell me when I call LOL), but we probably can take 10 of them, for what some people spend on one.

Doris
Upstate NY

OK Doris. I keep bumping into you. :sunny:

Kind of OT, but I should say that the only reason we have done 2 vacations this year is because of the outragous good deal we got in January. What a great month to travel! Huge discount on the cruise, excellent air, and then we did a timeshare presenatation and got a $99 3-day land vacation which included one day in WDW.

If I had had to charge or borrow for that vacation though, we would not have gone. We won't charge or borrow for the upcoming trip either. I'm sure the money would be better off in the bank, and this will be our last trip for some time (well, until we have 3 months salary in the bank). I just wouldn't tell someone not to go on vacation because I thought their signature lines looked "full." If they ask and give details for an opinion, I may post mine, but in most cases would run from that thread for my life. Unfortunately those threads seem to go bad very quickly!

While I never did post a thread asking if I should or should not take a vacation, I did post one regarding taking a non-Disney cruise in place of my currently scheduled one. Got a lot of great advice and no nastiness! The other ship was much older though and had a casino, so we decided to stick with Disney.

RichNKatHolly
09-09-2005, 04:57 PM
Doris. OT here. I grew up in upstate NY and was wondering which part you were from. My mom still lives in Warwick (Orange County).

dvcgirl
09-09-2005, 05:14 PM
Are you (and a few others with this same type of statement) saying that you have no debt whatsoever -- mortgage, car loan, etc. -- and would not vacation if you did?

We have no debt whatsoever, but I know that's a rare thing. I'm not saying that I would not vacation if we had debt. It would depend on what kind of debt we're talking about. When I was in my early to mid-20s I had a car payment and a couple of small student loans. And we still took a few vacations during that time. But my 401K was maxed out and my IRA was as well.

I met my husband in my mid 20s (10 years ago) and we both had very similar financial goals. We began saving and investing for retirement. We vowed to never ever get into credit card debt. We had saving and investment goals for each month/year and if they weren't met we didn't go on vacation. That kind of discipline served us well as we started to make more money becuase we learned to live beneath our means. Due to the beauty of stock options we were able to pay cash for our first home, and have never had any debt since.

I think that people aren't saving enough in the country...I don't think it....I know it. I think if you have a mortgage, a couple of car payments but have an emergency fund and are able to meet retirement and savings goals ....and there's extra....then you have enough to go on a vacation. If you have the mortgage, car payments, emergency fund and *aren't* saving for retirement or saving too little...you probably shouldn't be spending money on vacation. If you have the mortgage, car payments and no emergency fund then you definitely can't afford a vacation. And putting a vacation on credit cards...well, that can lead to financial ruin.

sk!mom
09-09-2005, 05:46 PM
I'll give my answer just in case I was misunderstood. I would not go into debt to take a vacation. In other words, I wouldn't take a trip if the only way I could pay for it was to charge it and take more than one month to pay it off.

Would I go if I had other unrelated debt? Sure. I've got a mortgage and a home equity loan. I used to have student loans but they're done now. And yes, we still travel.

Would I go if I had other debt and zero savings? No, I wouldn't. If I didn't have a comfortable emergency fund in place, I would not travel even if I had the cash in hand to pay for the trip. I just wouldn't personally be comfortable doing that.


What he said! ;)

crisi
09-09-2005, 08:29 PM
There is the concept of "good" debt and "bad" debt. A first mortgage used to buy a house is good debt. School loans are often considered good debt. Good debt is making an investment that will pay you back with financial benefits (not emotional ones) later.

Bad debt is debt used for consumables. Paying for dinner on a credit card is bad debt. Its gone before the bill arrives.

Some debt is kind of inbetween. Credit card debt to get a new washer when yours breaks - well, ideally you'd have had an emergency fund for that, but that isn't really bad debt. Getting out of college and racking up a few thousand on the Visa for a work warddrobe and the necessisties of furnishing an apartment....arguably good debt. So credit card debt isn't always bad. Likewise, mortgage debt isn't alwasy good - if you refinance your home to pay off your credit card bills that you incurred on dinners out and clothes that went out of fashion last year, that isn't good debt.

When I was younger I was married to a man who was financially irresponsible. We did things (I knew better but didn't stop him), like taking vacations on credit cards. After the divorce I spent several years crawling out from the hole - fortunately for me it was a small shallow hole - maybe $5,000 (plus a house and a car, but that was "good debt"). I'd like to say I've been perfect since then, but we carried credit card debt for an adoption, we carried it for new furniture, and we carried it when we moved into our home. But I have never spent money on a vacation while carryng credit card debt since my first marriage. I have taken vacations while still having a mortgage and even a car payment. But like DVCgirl, my 401k was maxed and I have several months in a liquid emergency fund.

disneysteve
09-09-2005, 08:40 PM
Never mind.

RichNKatHolly
09-09-2005, 08:48 PM
In relation to TMMO, there is not good credit card debt at all. I believe he says that debt free except for the home (and that should only be 1st mortgage, no home equity, etc.). Not saying I agree or not, just stating what the TMMO is in regards to the OP.

He says, first put $1000 in the bank, then pay off ALL credit cards and CUT them up never to be used again. Third would be 3-6 months pay in the bank and 4th would be saving for retirement.

I am new to his philosophy and will start out on the $1000 in the bank. I don't believe though it stopping our 401K contribution during this time. We don't have debt so then will move on to step 3. The plan will not work perfectly for everyone. I will personally tailor it to meet my needs. I will NOT ever use a credit card again. Bad past experience. We've been on a cash only system for the past 6 years.

DMRick
09-09-2005, 10:00 PM
I'm 15 miles from to Albany. Isn't Orange County downstate closer to NYC?

Of course we keep "bumping" into each other..we both like to spend frugally LOL. Doris. OT here. I grew up in upstate NY and was wondering which part you were from. My mom still lives in Warwick (Orange County).

sk!mom
09-09-2005, 11:54 PM
Vacations are very important to me but I wouldn't take one that I couldn't comfortably afford without dipping into my emergency fund.

What do others think? Is a vacation necessary enough to go into debt or spend emergency funds in order to go? or Should vacations only be taken with true "extra" funds?

I'm the OP and I wanted to point out the original question and opinion. I wasn't saying that a person should be completely debt free in order to vacation. DH and I had student loans after college and we still vacationed. We just didn't take on additional debt by charging the vacations.

By "comfortably afford", I meant able to take care of all obligations, be saving for retirement, have an emergency fund, and vacation with the left overs. In years when there wasn't much left over we took modestly priced vacations.

I would also point out that obviously we are all comfortable at different levels when it comes to debt. DH and I are uncomfortable with anything except a reasonable mortgage and from time to time one small car payment. We wouldn't be able to relax on a vacation that was putting us in debt.

Another point is that the lower your debt obligations the higher your disposable income. We choose to use a large portion of our disposable income for vacations. Others we know choose to use it for newer cars, trading up on their house, or new furniture. We live simply and happily plan vacations.

One final point, this is after all a discussion board. If a thread is too "judgemental" for you, you don't have to participate. ;)

WendyMichaelJohn
09-10-2005, 12:23 AM
Hmmm, we did things backwards. Had heard about Dave Ramsey, but didn't look into the plan. Paid for our WDW vacation in cash. Everything will be paid for in cash. No debt incurred at all, not even the tiniest amount. Looking back, it would have been really, really easy for us to start the emergency fund.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course. But now we have a vacation paid for and can't look back. We're starting the plan effective immediately (well, as much as possible considering we have a trip in 75 days or so.)

We only have student loan debt and no other, and we're consolidating that debt, so we're in pretty good shape debt wise. We don't buy a thing on credit, ever.

So here's to our next step after the trip!

Shel

WendyMichaelJohn
09-10-2005, 12:31 AM
Hmmm, we did things backwards. Had heard about Dave Ramsey, but didn't look into the plan. Paid for our WDW vacation in cash. Everything will be paid for in cash. No debt incurred at all, not even the tiniest amount. Looking back, it would have been really, really easy for us to start the emergency fund.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course. But now we have a vacation paid for and can't look back. We're starting the plan effective immediately (well, as much as possible considering we have a trip in 75 days or so.)

We only have student loan debt and no other, and we're consolidating that debt with a great low interest rate, so we're in pretty good shape debt wise. Once that consolidation is done, we'll only have one payment. We don't buy a thing on credit, ever.

So here's to our next step after the trip!

Shel


Okay, I take that back. We buy modest cars from time to time, but quickly pay those off.

:)

I'm SO thankful for this thread, because I had heard so much about Dave Ramsey and I finally decided to look into it. It really does seem right for us. :)

Shel

Pat
09-10-2005, 12:43 AM
I am one of those very lucky people who are retired and have no debt. But, one of the reasons I am in this situation is that I did not live extravagently for many years. My house was a decent house, but the payments were very low. I did not buy new cars all the time. We had our summer cabin, but it was not expensive. I used to foot part of the bill for our WDW vacations, but some things have changed for my kids. If I had to wait until they could comfortable afford to go, it might be quite a few years until we went. My kids cannot afford some of the vacations, so grandma tells them she is spending some of their inheritance when I can enjoy it with them. They like that idea.

stemikger
09-10-2005, 03:13 AM
I am a huge fan of personal finance books. My two favoriates are Dave Ramsey and David Bach. David Bach is the author of Automatic Millionaire
and his program is a little more relaxed then Dave Ramsey's. Both are great programs. But even though both programs are excellent (I think that you can tailor them to your personal situation). As Dave Ramsey often says personal finance is in fact "personal" and David Bach says: any program that forces you to budget is like a strict diet, eventually you feel deprived and eat everything in sight. So I took the best of these two great books and made them fit my lifestyle and personality.

As far as going in Debt for vacations, I am fortunate that since I have been married we have gone away on one vacation a year. My daughter is 10 and she has been to Disney three times so far. Recently we just went this past August and it was our second year in a row. As much as I love Disney I would not go into debt to go. I simply wouldn't enjoy it that way. If I can't pay for it in cash, I'm not going.

After my dad passed away at the young age of 52, I watched my mom lose her house to foreclosrue and there is nothing more stressful then watching someone lose everything but the shirt on their back. I vowed it will never happen to me. As David Bach says: Money dosen't buy happiness, but lack of it can sure make you misrerable. I learned from my mom's lesson, unfortunately I have an older sister that didn't and I'm watching her go through the same stresses. So I say, be responsible when it comes to money and enjoy the little moments with your family every day, not just on vacation. Remember whenever you leave to go to work tell your family you love them.

RichNKatHolly
09-10-2005, 07:47 AM
I'm 15 miles from to Albany. Isn't Orange County downstate closer to NYC?

Of course we keep "bumping" into each other..we both like to spend frugally LOL.

LOL - yes, to you it would be downstate. I always call it upstate since now I live in NYC. You are much further UPstate. We go through Albany on the way to Lake George. Used to stop in BJs off the highway.

I'm not all the way to the frugal yet, but I'm getting there. Just started but willing to learn and keep it up!

I appreciate threads like this to reinforce that it can be done.

disneysteve
09-10-2005, 08:41 AM
After my dad passed away at the young age of 52, I watched my mom lose her house to foreclosure and there is nothing more stressful then watching someone lose everything but the shirt on their back.
Thank you so much for sharing this. This is what many people don't seem to understand when they say you should live for today because you might die tomorrow. It's true. Something could happen and I could die tomorrow. But I think any fond memories of family vacations that my wife and daughter have would quickly fade if I left them faced with stacks of bills and no savings with which to pay them. We need to plan for the future because it is definitely coming, possibly not for us then at least for our loved ones.

MrsPete
09-10-2005, 09:12 AM
What do others think? Is a vacation necessary enough to go into debt or spend emergency funds in order to go? or Should vacations only be taken with true "extra" funds?I think time together as a family is important, and vacations are a great way to reconnect in a relaxed atmosphere. But they don't have to be expensive. If we were to fall on hard times, we'd go camping, visit relatives, or take short trips to inexpensive places.

I don't think anyone should go into debt or neglect important retirement/college savings for vacations. However, I understand that I"m in the minority here. The majority of Americans have no desire to become debt free (which gives such freedom, once it's accomplished) but instead prefer to live for today.

MrsPete
09-10-2005, 09:22 AM
Sorry, but I can see how you would become a punching bag for questioning someone's trip. People come here to go over how happy they are to travel, etc. I don't think anyone should rain on their parade.I disagree. If a person asks, "Should I take a trip in this financially shakey situation", I'm going to say NO. I don't think these are supposed to be "Yes boards" that'll always tell us to go, spend, have fun! regardless of reality. Instead, I think that when someone asks a question, it should be answered honestly, even if that means "raining on their parade".

MrsPete
09-10-2005, 09:30 AM
There is the concept of "good" debt and "bad" debt. A first mortgage used to buy a house is good debt. School loans are often considered good debt. Good debt is making an investment that will pay you back with financial benefits (not emotional ones) later.

Bad debt is debt used for consumables. Paying for dinner on a credit card is bad debt. Its gone before the bill arrives.

Some debt is kind of inbetween. Credit card debt to get a new washer when yours breaks - well, ideally you'd have had an emergency fund for that, but that isn't really bad debt. Getting out of college and racking up a few thousand on the Visa for a work warddrobe and the necessisties of furnishing an apartment....arguably good debt. So credit card debt isn't always bad. Likewise, mortgage debt isn't alwasy good - if you refinance your home to pay off your credit card bills that you incurred on dinners out and clothes that went out of fashion last year, that isn't good debt.Crisi -- I almost always agree with your posts! We think the same way.

However, I'm iffy on student loans. Sure, for some people it's literally the only way they can get a college education, which will increase their future earnings. However, it seems that many college students borrow more than they really need to borrow. I remember lots of people from college who lived alone in nice apartments, who didn't work, went to the beach for spring break -- how? They were borrowing against their future incomes. I, on the other hand, lived in the dorms, worked constantly, and was always broke. But I graduated with a blank slate financially. I can see borrowing for tuition while working for your living expenses; a person who's young and healthy can do that.

MrsPete
09-10-2005, 09:32 AM
I am one of those very lucky people who are retired and have no debt.I suspect you're not telling the truth. Few people are in this situation because of LUCK. Most people achieve your very admirable position in life through HARD WORK and FINANCIAL PLANNING.

crisi
09-10-2005, 10:19 AM
Crisi -- I almost always agree with your posts! We think the same way.

However, I'm iffy on student loans. Sure, for some people it's literally the only way they can get a college education, which will increase their future earnings. However, it seems that many college students borrow more than they really need to borrow. I remember lots of people from college who lived alone in nice apartments, who didn't work, went to the beach for spring break -- how? They were borrowing against their future incomes. I, on the other hand, lived in the dorms, worked constantly, and was always broke. But I graduated with a blank slate financially. I can see borrowing for tuition while working for your living expenses; a person who's young and healthy can do that.

Actually that's one of the reasons I'm not absolute on what kinds of debt are good and what kinds are bad. Student loan debt and mortgage debt is not always "good debt." And, in my opinion, credit card debt is not always "bad debt." You gave a good example of why student loan debt isn't always good, I gave one for mortgage debt. Credit card debt, which people like Ramsey can be inflexible on, does give a great deal of flexibility. And if its $75 in interest over six months, or $100 at the laundrymat plus the time and hassle, the interest is well spent.

What becomes bad about revolving credit is that you go charge dinner and a pair of shoes and a trip to Target, and before you know it, you don't know if you are still paying for the washer - which may have been justifiable, or the shoes - which probably weren't. And you dig a hole.

dvcgirl
09-10-2005, 10:53 AM
Actually that's one of the reasons I'm not absolute on what kinds of debt are good and what kinds are bad. Student loan debt and mortgage debt is not always "good debt." And, in my opinion, credit card debt is not always "bad debt." You gave a good example of why student loan debt isn't always good, I gave one for mortgage debt. Credit card debt, which people like Ramsey can be inflexible on, does give a great deal of flexibility. And if its $75 in interest over six months, or $100 at the laundrymat plus the time and hassle, the interest is well spent.

What becomes bad about revolving credit is that you go charge dinner and a pair of shoes and a trip to Target, and before you know it, you don't know if you are still paying for the washer - which may have been justifiable, or the shoes - which probably weren't. And you dig a hole.

Oh, you're so right....especially in saying that not all mortgage debt is good debt. These "interest only" mortgage loans out there now that mortgage lending sharks are pushing are a nightmare. And many view home equity loans as good debt, but it all depends on what you're using the money for. Home equity loan for Walt Disney World trip? Bad debt.

And yes, some credit card debt can be okay...if you're buying a large purchase on a credit card with zero percent interest and get reward miles out of the deal. We bought our DVC membership with our American Express card and got a free flight out of the deal.

RichNKatHolly
09-10-2005, 01:17 PM
I disagree. If a person asks, "Should I take a trip in this financially shakey situation", I'm going to say NO. I don't think these are supposed to be "Yes boards" that'll always tell us to go, spend, have fun! regardless of reality. Instead, I think that when someone asks a question, it should be answered honestly, even if that means "raining on their parade".


That is true, but I don't believe the prior poster said the person was asking for opinions.

Never did I say it should be yes boards. I've seen great positive and negative reports. I also would not assume someone's debt/financial status just because they have or haven't several trips on their signature line.

One more thing, I didn't say in my post that I would use the other guy as a punching bag, I'm just not surprised by it. I've seen way too much of this nastiness on the boards and I HATE it, but I'm never surprised. But, if the other person was not asking, he shouldn't tell them, especially "question the financial wisdom" of that person. That is just rude. Sorry, my opinion.

Lisa loves Pooh
09-10-2005, 01:35 PM
I personally think that what caused all this was a very judgemental opinion of the OP.

Looking at a board and at people's siggies and assuming that their situations meant that they were encountering debt to take trips--was pretty judgemental. I am very glad that my siggie had been cleared b/c of the judging that would take place.

However--for the fun of it...here's our upcoming trips--judge away...we are/will be doing total money makeover--have come to realize we have LOTS of debt...NO savings...but a pretty respectable retirement fund and college tuition paid for one child with teh other in progress....and my upcoming trips....drumroll please.....


New Mexico 2.5 weeks for Christmas
Disney (parks tba, not sure yet) for Disney Marthoan weekend in January
Hawaii in October 2006 future trips unknown and not planned yet....

but London 2012 is on the table.

Hmmm....I wonder, how might all this be possible?

And yes that is sarcasm--b/c unless a person asks point blank for an opinion whether a trip paid for by this method with this financial history on the table...it really isn't anybody's business whether or not they go on it.

Now is it?

And for the record--a good portion of all three trips are paid for by someone other than my family and/or supplemented with complementary items that help reduce the budget by lots.

Not that I need to justify it or anything ;).

RichNKatHolly
09-10-2005, 02:11 PM
Lisa Loves Pooh - I commend you for your convictions. We were very deep in debt some time ago, but I never regretted any of our travels (most did not include WDW). I am glad to not have the debt now though. We did what we could to get out of it, but did still take some trips during it. We too have found some excellent ways to save on WDW and other trips that make it about the same price most people would pay for a long weekend locally.

In any event, I hope you have the BEST time during your travels!

I am now going to dig a bunker and hide from the fallout!!

Lisa loves Pooh
09-10-2005, 02:25 PM
I am now going to dig a bunker and hide from the fallout!!

No worries--we are not accumulating additional debt--New Mexico is to actually visit my husband...he is getting overtime, he is getting a bonus---we will be shedding lots of debt making a good dent into it as well as paying the remainders of said trips/vacations that we are not already covered by something complimentary or by someone else.

Again--not that I have to justify it--but I'm ready for anyone to bring it on ;).


Just shows you cannot judge a book by its cover. And essentially--by reading people siggies and not making judgements but wondering about why they are doing XYZ when ABC is going on their lives--that is exactly what is happening.

RichNKatHolly
09-10-2005, 03:06 PM
No need to explain to me at all. I know how it is and like to let everyone live THEIR life. I'm glad you are getting that nice trip! I definately try not to judge anyone ever. I used to be like that (years ago) and have learned some valuable and tough life lessons since then.

Enjoy your trips and I will see you again on the TMMO and grocery game boards!


No worries--we are not accumulating additional debt--New Mexico is to actually visit my husband...he is getting overtime, he is getting a bonus---we will be shedding lots of debt making a good dent into it as well as paying the remainders of said trips/vacations that we are not already covered by something complimentary or by someone else.

Again--not that I have to justify it--but I'm ready for anyone to bring it on ;).


Just shows you cannot judge a book by its cover. And essentially--by reading people siggies and not making judgements but wondering about why they are doing XYZ when ABC is going on their lives--that is exactly what is happening.

sk!mom
09-10-2005, 06:00 PM
[QUOTE=Lisa loves Pooh]I personally think that what caused all this was a very judgemental opinion of the OP.
QUOTE]


So let me get this straight, I shouldn't make judgements but it's fine for people to judge me. :rolleyes:

Actually it is fine with me- This is a discussion board which wouldn't be nearly so active if people quit posting opinions. If you disagree with me- judge away!!!!!

It seems that a few people are getting really defensive about this issue. Again, not me, I'm comfortable with my decisions and feel no need to defend or justify them. I just thought that this would be an interesting discussion for a budget board.

dvcgirl
09-10-2005, 06:26 PM
[QUOTE=Lisa loves Pooh]I personally think that what caused all this was a very judgemental opinion of the OP.
QUOTE]


So let me get this straight, I shouldn't make judgements but it's fine for people to judge me. :rolleyes:

Actually it is fine with me- This is a discussion board which wouldn't be nearly so active if people quit posting opinions. If you disagree with me- judge away!!!!!

It seems that a few people are getting really defensive about this issue. Again, not me, I'm comfortable with my decisions and feel no need to defend or justify them. I just thought that this would be an interesting discussion for a budget board.

I don't think you were judgemental skimom. You just started a conversation. People tend to take things personally around here and think that an entire thread pertains to their own personal finances. Like Lisa loves Pooh said...everyone knows their own finances...it's their business. But like other posters here, if someone comes in and openly asks a financial question or a budgeting question....I'll answer honestly. That doesn't mean that I'm judging someone. Just giving an honest answer...the same answer that any decent CFP would give them if they asked the same questions.

When it comes to living without debt, and still having fun while leaving beneath one's means...I feel that I can honestly help in that area. Because that's how I live my life. I think that a lot of people who participate in these threads are really trying to get there. Again, I believe that many people live with a fair amount of debt, and that they're surrounding by friends and family who are in debt. So it's easy to believe that everyone must be living the same way. I think it's okay for myself and others to stand up and say....we're not living that way. It's not bragging...as some have said or hinted at. The only pride that I hold in living debt-free is all the hard work it took us to get here, and the restraint and good financial judgement it takes to remain here.

FredS
09-10-2005, 07:09 PM
Again, I believe that many people live with a fair amount of debt, and that they're surrounding by friends and family who are in debt. So it's easy to believe that everyone must be living the same way. I think it's okay for myself and others to stand up and say....we're not living that way. It's not bragging...as some have said or hinted at. The only pride that I hold in living debt-free is all the hard work it took us to get here, and the restraint and good financial judgement it takes to remain here.

I consider "debt free" to be exactly that -- you owe zero to anyone. That means no mortgage, no car loans, no credit card debt. There is a bigger picture and a balance that can be found in one's financial life.

It would seem foolish to charge an expensive vacation while you lack the funds to pay for your housing and current debts, but it would also seem foolish to hoard every penny and never make a purchase unless you pay cash for it. It isn't an insistence on instant gratification to reasonably want to get certain items and pay for them over time. Someone mentioned laundry as an example. It would be better to buy a washer and dryer on credit and pay off in a few months than to spend a lot of extra time and money at the laundrymat until you could finally afford to pay cash for them. Few people would wait to purchase a home until they could pay cash for it. It would be a bad idea in the long run to rent, but by the "totally debt free" mantra that would be better than having a mortgage?

So, okay, say you think that it is okay to have a mortgage but not credit card debt. Well, is it better to have a $250k mortgage on your $300k home and have no credit card debt, or only owe $100k on your home and occasionally use a low-rate credit card for purchases? Or, like I do, have a couple of credit cards on which you charge nearly everything possible to get rebates and rewards? Do I just keep charging without paying off? Of course not. Credit cards are not inherently evil, nor is ever having any debt. There are lots of examples of variables, and few hard-and-fast rules which is why I very much dislike the fiscal preachers who tend to oversimplify and can actually lead people down the wrong path if you don't use your head and think about the big picture.

One of the few major regrets I have is that I did not travel more when I was younger. I was one of the worst hoarders of money ever. I slowly realized that it was not a good thing to deprive myself and that I was probably never going to have enough money to feel 100% secure. I have my children's college needs covered as well as my retirement. But I wish I had relaxed a little earlier and maybe splurged a bit more.

For me, if you can't make ends meet, going on an expensive vacation is just not worth the long-term damage. If you are meeting your obligations, and have a nest egg for emergencies and future expenses, but perhaps don't have 100% of the total cost of the trip already set aside, then that is your decision if you want to scrimp a bit after the trip to get it paid off quickly.

RichNKatHolly
09-10-2005, 07:12 PM
Very well stated. I guess there is no black and white way to do things.


I consider "debt free" to be exactly that -- you owe zero to anyone. That means no mortgage, no car loans, no credit card debt. There is a bigger picture and a balance that can be found in one's financial life.

It would seem foolish to charge an expensive vacation while you lack the funds to pay for your housing and current debts, but it would also seem foolish to hoard every penny and never make a purchase unless you pay cash for it. It isn't an insistence on instant gratification to reasonably want to get certain items and pay for them over time. Someone mentioned laundry as an example. It would be better to buy a washer and dryer on credit and pay off in a few months than to spend a lot of extra time and money at the laundrymat until you could finally afford to pay cash for them. Few people would wait to purchase a home until they could pay cash for it. It would be a bad idea in the long run to rent, but by the "totally debt free" mantra that would be better than having a mortgage?

So, okay, say you think that it is okay to have a mortgage but not credit card debt. Well, is it better to have a $250k mortgage on your $300k home and have no credit card debt, or only owe $100k on your home and occasionally use a low-rate credit card for purchases? Or, like I do, have a couple of credit cards on which you charge nearly everything possible to get rebates and rewards? Do I just keep charging without paying off? Of course not. Credit cards are not inherently evil, nor is ever having any debt. There are lots of examples of variables, and few hard-and-fast rules which is why I very much dislike the fiscal preachers who tend to oversimplify and can actually lead people down the wrong path if you don't use your head and think about the big picture.

One of the few major regrets I have is that I did not travel more when I was younger. I was one of the worst hoarders of money ever. I slowly realized that it was not a good thing to deprive myself and that I was probably never going to have enough money to feel 100% secure. I have my children's college needs covered as well as my retirement. But I wish I had relaxed a little earlier and maybe splurged a bit more.

For me, if you can't make ends meet, going on an expensive vacation is just not worth the long-term damage. If you are meeting your obligations, and have a nest egg for emergencies and future expenses, but perhaps don't have 100% of the total cost of the trip already set aside, then that is your decision if you want to scrimp a bit after the trip to get it paid off quickly.

MrsPete
09-10-2005, 10:10 PM
It would seem foolish to charge an expensive vacation while you lack the funds to pay for your housing and current debts, but it would also seem foolish to hoard every penny and never make a purchase unless you pay cash for it. .What I"m hearing you say is that we should strive for financial balance in our lives. We should not spend like there's no tomorrow, but neither should we hoard every dollar as if another one may never come along. That makes sense.
One of the few major regrets I have is that I did not travel more when I was younger. I was one of the worst hoarders of money ever. I slowly realized that it was not a good thing to deprive myself and that I was probably never going to have enough money to feel 100% secure. I have my children's college needs covered as well as my retirement. But I wish I had relaxed a little earlier and maybe splurged a bit more.Looking at my own life, I can't say this. When my husband and I married, we had $200, a just-purchased house, and one car between us. We scrimped and saved like crazy. But the plan worked! About ten years into our marriage, once our incomes had increased past "starting salary" and our house was well on its way to being paid-off, we realized that our retirement accounts and college accounts were growing nicely . . . we DID feel secure. We are not "done" by any means, but we are very comfortable with our savings rate, and since we paid off our house two years ago, we are splurging more on ourselves.

We're really glad that we did it this way: we never went anywhere much in our early married years, but then we never wanted to go without the children, and it was so much easier to stay home with babies and toddlers. Now that our children are 8 and 11 and our finances are comfortable, we travel frequently. By building our savings early, we have plenty of money with which to do it, and we feel that this is "prime time" for us to travel with our children. They can appreciate it, and they're able to do so much for themselves.

dvcgirl
09-10-2005, 10:13 PM
I consider "debt free" to be exactly that -- you owe zero to anyone. That means no mortgage, no car loans, no credit card debt. There is a bigger picture and a balance that can be found in one's financial life.

It would seem foolish to charge an expensive vacation while you lack the funds to pay for your housing and current debts, but it would also seem foolish to hoard every penny and never make a purchase unless you pay cash for it. It isn't an insistence on instant gratification to reasonably want to get certain items and pay for them over time. Someone mentioned laundry as an example. It would be better to buy a washer and dryer on credit and pay off in a few months than to spend a lot of extra time and money at the laundrymat until you could finally afford to pay cash for them. Few people would wait to purchase a home until they could pay cash for it. It would be a bad idea in the long run to rent, but by the "totally debt free" mantra that would be better than having a mortgage?

So, okay, say you think that it is okay to have a mortgage but not credit card debt. Well, is it better to have a $250k mortgage on your $300k home and have no credit card debt, or only owe $100k on your home and occasionally use a low-rate credit card for purchases? Or, like I do, have a couple of credit cards on which you charge nearly everything possible to get rebates and rewards? Do I just keep charging without paying off? Of course not. Credit cards are not inherently evil, nor is ever having any debt. There are lots of examples of variables, and few hard-and-fast rules which is why I very much dislike the fiscal preachers who tend to oversimplify and can actually lead people down the wrong path if you don't use your head and think about the big picture.

One of the few major regrets I have is that I did not travel more when I was younger. I was one of the worst hoarders of money ever. I slowly realized that it was not a good thing to deprive myself and that I was probably never going to have enough money to feel 100% secure. I have my children's college needs covered as well as my retirement. But I wish I had relaxed a little earlier and maybe splurged a bit more.

For me, if you can't make ends meet, going on an expensive vacation is just not worth the long-term damage. If you are meeting your obligations, and have a nest egg for emergencies and future expenses, but perhaps don't have 100% of the total cost of the trip already set aside, then that is your decision if you want to scrimp a bit after the trip to get it paid off quickly.

Personally, we're 100% debt free. We don't hoard every penny either. We're lucky in that respect...we have two nice incomes, and few expenses. We take one long vacation a year, generally to another country and a few shorter 3-4 day trips. I understand that we're not "the norm" with respect to what we have in savings, especially at our age. However, we do know lots of people who *could* have had what we have...and then some....and they spent it...it's gone. Because as they made more money, they spent more money. Bigger job, bigger house, nicer cars....very expensive vacations and very little in the bank. We chose to not go down that path.

Before we were this fortunate income and savings-wise, we would not take a vacation unless we had met our savings goals for that month/year. It's very easy to say..."oh, just this *one* time..." because then it leads to another time and another time...on and on. I'm not advocating people never traveling or vacationing. I'm only saying that IMO, paying for a vacation with a credit card, which is gone the second it's over...is never a good idea...unless you can pay it off immediately or in a month or two at the most.

We also use reward credit cards for everything, and pay it off each month. I can't remember the last time that we had to pay for a flight, so we love the reward cards.

Lisa loves Pooh
09-10-2005, 10:33 PM
[QUOTE=sk!mom]

I don't think you were But like other posters here, if someone comes in and openly asks a financial question or a budgeting question....I'll answer honestly. That doesn't mean that I'm judging someone.


I actually said the same thing.

Lisa loves Pooh
09-10-2005, 10:42 PM
So let me get this straight, I shouldn't make judgements but it's fine for people to judge me. :rolleyes:

Actually it is fine with me- This is a discussion board which wouldn't be nearly so active if people quit posting opinions. If you disagree with me- judge away!!!!!

It seems that a few people are getting really defensive about this issue. Again, not me, I'm comfortable with my decisions and feel no need to defend or justify them. I just thought that this would be an interesting discussion for a budget board.

Not straight at all---to say you aren't judging--when you are looking at siggies and assuming that debt is being used to pay for these vacations based on their posted responses...

I'm just glad I deleted my siggy.

Yes--people should not overextend themselves to go on vacation.

Does speaking on a thread about Dave Ramsey and having a siggy full of past, present, and future vacations an indication that they vacation on debt or using the emergency savings fund...no it isn't.

If someone posts and asks should they go on a vacation when they are in debt up to their eyeballs, can't make next months mortgage payment--but by golly this opportunity for free this that and the other is just too good to pass up..should they go.

Blast away--I don't like the "gve me a blessing so I can feel better about my poor decision threads" either.

You brought up the signatures on the original thread--I almost stepped on their to defend myself b/c you did bring it up which indicated to me that you were reading more than necessary into posts...and then I realized my siggy was deleted. So I escaped the judging.

I read your post to my hubby and he is the voice of reason in my household--and saw no problem with your post.

But I did have the impression that you are judging a book by its cover....and just wonder. That's all.

I didn't judge you--I observed. I don't disagree with your opinion per se..I disagree with your assumptions about other posters on the DIS who do take the time to post on a budget board for any number of reasons in particular--the original thread in question re: Total Money Makeover.

Nik's Mom
09-11-2005, 12:06 AM
Not straight at all---to say you aren't judging--when you are looking at siggies and assuming that debt is being used to pay for these vacations based on their posted responses...

I'm just glad I deleted my siggy.

Yes--people should not overextend themselves to go on vacation.

Does speaking on a thread about Dave Ramsey and having a siggy full of past, present, and future vacations an indication that they vacation on debt or using the emergency savings fund...no it isn't.

If someone posts and asks should they go on a vacation when they are in debt up to their eyeballs, can't make next months mortgage payment--but by golly this opportunity for free this that and the other is just too good to pass up..should they go.

Blast away--I don't like the "gve me a blessing so I can feel better about my poor decision threads" either.

You brought up the signatures on the original thread--I almost stepped on their to defend myself b/c you did bring it up which indicated to me that you were reading more than necessary into posts...and then I realized my siggy was deleted. So I escaped the judging.

I read your post to my hubby and he is the voice of reason in my household--and saw no problem with your post.

But I did have the impression that you are judging a book by its cover....and just wonder. That's all.

I didn't judge you--I observed. I don't disagree with your opinion per se..I disagree with your assumptions about other posters on the DIS who do take the time to post on a budget board for any number of reasons in particular--the original thread in question re: Total Money Makeover.

I have to agree with you hear. Some people are really making assumptions just by reading sig lines. You can't assume that people go into debt just because they take vacations.

To answer the op's original question, no I wouldn't pull money from an emergency fund to pay for a vacation.

Now, on a side note. I totally agree that we as a nation do not save enough for retirement. And we are only hurting ourselves. I just had to take my Mom in a few months back when my Dad died. There was no way she could afford to live on her own with just social security. She was left with credit card debt from having to charge medication and co-payments for my Dad's cancer treatment. And they didn't save for retirement. They were poor and just didn't have the money. But there's a lesson there for all of us. I know that I am definitely putting more money into retirement.

disneysteve
09-11-2005, 08:23 AM
This post is full of abnormally financially responsible people. It is great that you all have everything in order but most of us aren't financially perfect. Seriously, a YEAR'S salary in the bank? That's great but I'm sure 99.9% of the population can't say that!
Some of you who have been following this thread might find a thread I started last nite to be interesting. It was inspired by the above comment.

http://***************/showthread.php?t=908391&page=1&pp=15

RichNKatHolly
09-11-2005, 09:21 AM
Some of you who have been following this thread might find a thread I started last nite to be interesting. It was inspired by the above comment.

http://***************/showthread.php?t=908391&page=1&pp=15


I like the new thread. I'm glad to see you included retirement savings in that percentage. Most, including me, will find that you have more than you thought. I also forgot the three 529 plans we have for the kids and my sister. Makes me feel a little better. Will still work on that emergency fund though!

mh1973
09-21-2007, 10:23 PM
ok, this post seems to be from about 2 years ago, just wondering if any of these posters are still around and if you have paid off your debt......

sk!mom
09-22-2007, 12:07 AM
Wow- BLast from the past!

OP, here, I was surprised to see my name on a thread until I saw the date. I've slept since the original date so I don't remember it well.

But I will say that I am still debt free and still going on vacation as often as possible.

stemikger
09-22-2007, 02:28 AM
Originally quoted by Freds
consider "debt free" to be exactly that -- you owe zero to anyone. That means no mortgage, no car loans, no credit card debt. There is a bigger picture and a balance that can be found in one's financial life.

It would seem foolish to charge an expensive vacation while you lack the funds to pay for your housing and current debts, but it would also seem foolish to hoard every penny and never make a purchase unless you pay cash for it. It isn't an insistence on instant gratification to reasonably want to get certain items and pay for them over time. Someone mentioned laundry as an example. It would be better to buy a washer and dryer on credit and pay off in a few months than to spend a lot of extra time and money at the laundrymat until you could finally afford to pay cash for them. Few people would wait to purchase a home until they could pay cash for it. It would be a bad idea in the long run to rent, but by the "totally debt free" mantra that would be better than having a mortgage?

So, okay, say you think that it is okay to have a mortgage but not credit card debt. Well, is it better to have a $250k mortgage on your $300k home and have no credit card debt, or only owe $100k on your home and occasionally use a low-rate credit card for purchases? Or, like I do, have a couple of credit cards on which you charge nearly everything possible to get rebates and rewards? Do I just keep charging without paying off? Of course not. Credit cards are not inherently evil, nor is ever having any debt. There are lots of examples of variables, and few hard-and-fast rules which is why I very much dislike the fiscal preachers who tend to oversimplify and can actually lead people down the wrong path if you don't use your head and think about the big picture.

One of the few major regrets I have is that I did not travel more when I was younger. I was one of the worst hoarders of money ever. I slowly realized that it was not a good thing to deprive myself and that I was probably never going to have enough money to feel 100% secure. I have my children's college needs covered as well as my retirement. But I wish I had relaxed a little earlier and maybe splurged a bit more.

For me, if you can't make ends meet, going on an expensive vacation is just not worth the long-term damage. If you are meeting your obligations, and have a nest egg for emergencies and future expenses, but perhaps don't have 100% of the total cost of the trip already set aside, then that is your decision if you want to scrimp a bit after the trip to get it paid off quickly.

I couldn't have said it better myself. I have been struggling with this for the past 10 years. I got so into saving money, that I was rushing my life away, because I wanted to have no mortgage and a nice fat 401K. However, I'm slowly trying to achieve balance in my life and not think about money so much. It has been hard to follow this path and appreciate every day at the same time, but I'm slowly trying to get that right balance.

I take a nice two week vacation every year and I don't charge it. However, I don't agree with not having a charge card at all. I agree with being responsible, but not living for 20 years down the road. You never know what life will bring you, so enjoy the small stuff every day, but save like you are going to live forever.

Aristomommy
09-22-2007, 08:56 AM
I think every person and their situation is different. We have not gotten into more debt because of our vacations (Disney or others) but we have taken vacations while still having debts. Our children are little only for a time and having great memories is important to us. We do not spend money frivolously and bargain shop in every aspect of our lives. Our 10th anniversary trip was a splurge in many ways, but I thought it was fine considering our circumstances. I feel that we were able to pay off our debt BECAUSE of the occasional splurge or trip. It rejuvenated us to keep going and pay down our debts. We didn't do Dave Ramsey in particularly although I am familiar with his plan. We did some of the baby steps, but some didn't apply or make sense to me so we did what worked for us. We never got into debt because of credit card misuse or impulse buying. Ours was from medical and layoff from work so it may be different for us in that regard as well.

blanq
09-22-2007, 11:29 AM
Hey, this is a blast from the past! Two years ago, my family had started our first budget ever. Although not horribly in debt for our income level (we had no credit card debt at the time), we did owe $8K on my car and $3K on a HELOC. We also had very little savings. Fast forward to today and we only have our mortgage and have built an emergency savings account to cover 6 months worth of expenses. That said, we have recently decided to take out a 2nd mortgage to do some major renovations on our home, but we feel okay with that as our mortgage is pretty tiny (less than what we earn in a year) and our home is worth 2.5X what we owe on it. I have to admit that we continued to travel during our budget reorganization, but 2006 was a lean travel year for us compared to past years. We are back to our more typical travel patterns (3-4 trips per year). Implementing a budget was one of the best things we ever did.

roadtripper
09-22-2007, 05:55 PM
If I didn't take a vacation til I had a year's worth of salary in the bank, no debt, my house was completely remodeled and there was not one other thing I felt I needed to spend the money on, I wouldn't NEED that vacation - I'd already be living in Fantasyland!!!! :rotfl2:

Awesome! Laugh out loud funny!:thumbsup2

HeatherC
09-22-2007, 06:19 PM
Definitely agree that it is NOT a good idea to go into debt over a vacation. If you have the money to pay it with no other debt then I say go for it.

I am a firm believer in saving for retirement and down the road. But...I am also a huge believer in living for today but also paying for it today and not tomorrow.

DH's Dad died a few years ago at the age of 58. He struggled with brain cancer for over 15 years and we saw him go from being a vibrant, active man to one who's life was slowly taken away day by day. He was an incredible person who taught me many lessons.

I think the main one was....DO NOT PUT OFF UNTIL TOMORROW WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY....because you may not get tomorrow. This is truly my mantra on how I live my life.

So...I totally agree....do not get into debt to take a vacation. But....CARPE DIEM!!! Seize that day and treasure every minute you get. And that doesn't mean you have to take an expensive trip for that to happen.

If we are lucky enough to become old and gray, I think we will be happier with the memories we have made along the way rather than the things we have accumulated in life.

So happy living to everyone!! :flower3:


HeatherC