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Old 08-29-2010, 12:51 PM   #1
DreadpiratK
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Question What do you mean by 'afford it'? Seriously..

I don't mean in terms of a specific dollar amount, but in terms of your overall finances? Several threads on here have gotten me thinking about this today, especially as we are only 5 days away from leaving for our big Disney vacation, our first in 5 years.

So, whether you are talking about a Disney vacation or some other non-essential (please lets not dive into how Disney is an 'Essential' in your mind, if you won't go hungry or homeless without it, it's not an essential) how do you determine if you can afford it in relation to the rest of your financial life?

For us, in years past affordable = available credit, then we crashed and burned, as everyone who lives that way eventually will.

Then it was, well, if we can do it and not get too far behind on the bills, i.e they won't turn of the lights or anything. That only works for so long, and it minimized our ability to enjoy things because of the stress it induced.

After some terrible financial times, and I mean real bad, we've grown up a lot, and for this trip and going forward our definition of affordable has been:

1: We don't touch our normal monthly budget at all.
2: We don't touch the emergency funds
3; We haven't stopped our planned savings for retirement
4: We don't stop or reduce our tithes and offerings, in fact we increase them.

We decided that if we can meet all of these criteria, and pay for a trip (to Disney in this case, but could be anything we want but don't need) we could go. I actually wrote this down when we first started planning this trip about 8 months ago.

Now, on the verge of leaving on this trip, I'm looking back and seeing how we did with our criteria.

How do you decide if you can afford something like Disney? I'm really very curious to know!
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:00 PM   #2
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Afford it means that you have the "cash" to either by via cash, or charge it & pay off the charge bill in full when it comes.. that is afford to me.. if I have to take from a savings, unless a special vacation savings, then you cannot afford it.. I have lived by this rule all my adult life. I pay off my charge bill in full every month.. only time I have taken from savings was to pay homeowners insurance, but then again, I put my income tax check in there to pay the homeowners insurance when it arrived..
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:08 PM   #3
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For me being able to afford something means I have saved the money in advance to pay for it. If I haven't saved the money for an extra then I can't afford it. And just because I have money saved for extras does not mean I have to go out and spend it.

I am hoping to go to Disneyland in November. I could afford to stay at a nicer hotel, eat at more expensive places but I would rather stay at a basic hotel and eat at counter service to save the money so that I can afford other things too.
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Mickeyfan View Post
Afford it means that you have the "cash" to either by via cash, or charge it & pay off the charge bill in full when it comes.. that is afford to me.. if I have to take from a savings, unless a special vacation savings, then you cannot afford it..
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:08 PM   #5
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Afford it means the money for the item/vacation/whatever is sitting in my bank account before I buy it. The only exception is a house and then it's a matter of looking at my husband's income and making sure no house will make us "house poor".
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreadpiratK View Post

1: We don't touch our normal monthly budget at all.
2: We don't touch the emergency funds
3; We haven't stopped our planned savings for retirement
4: We don't stop or reduce our tithes and offerings, in fact we increase them.

We decided that if we can meet all of these criteria, and pay for a trip (to Disney in this case, but could be anything we want but don't need) we could go.

How do you decide if you can afford something like Disney? I'm really very curious to know!
All of the above AND we can pay for it without charging it. Yes I put it on the credit card for the protection and miles but we are able to pay for it when the bill comes. And we don't owe anything on the credit cards before the trip or special thing.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:10 PM   #7
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Didn't you know here at the Dis, EVERYONE pays their cc off monthly. NOONE carries a balance, lol.

Afford to me means we bring in more than we spend each month. I do not insist on having cash for a vacation that may cost $5K or more. If it takes me several months or even a year to pay it off, so what? We have stable jobs, plenty of savings for retirement, an emergency savings acct of 3 months' income. How I choose to pay for my vacations doesn't impact anybody but me (my family) so why does it matter?
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by disney4us2002 View Post
Didn't you know here at the Dis, EVERYONE pays their cc off monthly. NOONE carries a balance, lol.

Afford to me means we bring in more than we spend each month. I do not insist on having cash for a vacation that may cost $5K or more. If it takes me several months or even a year to pay it off, so what? We have stable jobs, plenty of savings for retirement, an emergency savings acct of 3 months' income. How I choose to pay for my vacations doesn't impact anybody but me (my family) so why does it matter?
I'm not implying that it matters, in the sense that how you do it impacts me at all, but, having paid more than my share of stupid tax, I'm simply interested in continuing to grow in my understanding of matters financial , and so am curious about other peoples approaches to budgeting. From reading this board for a while now, there seems to be quite a variety of positions. No judgment was intended or implied.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:23 PM   #9
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I no longer use credit of any type so afford it also means for us that it can't come out of emergency money or the regular budget.. unless I can shave the regular budget (put away our monthly mad money or shave grocery costs e.t.c).
I don't judge anyone who can charge a trip and pay it off.. it's absolutely their choice. I just hated paying off things that had already come and gone. It was way harder to do it that way rather than saving up and being excited.
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by disney4us2002 View Post
Didn't you know here at the Dis, EVERYONE pays their cc off monthly. NOONE carries a balance, lol.

Afford to me means we bring in more than we spend each month. I do not insist on having cash for a vacation that may cost $5K or more. If it takes me several months or even a year to pay it off, so what? We have stable jobs, plenty of savings for retirement, an emergency savings acct of 3 months' income. How I choose to pay for my vacations doesn't impact anybody but me (my family) so why does it matter?

The DIS is the only board where everyone has lots of cash laying around for a trip to WDW whenever they want or they have recieved several trips for "free"
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:59 PM   #11
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For vacations, it means we pay in right out (cash/debit). We do not under any circustance use credit cards on a vacation. We save credit card use for more important things such as medical bills, new car (result of a car accident), emergencies, etc. We used to put vacations on our credit cards but not anymore.

And, no. We dont have this money "lying" around as some people have implied here. We just save and wait until when can afford it. It's been 3 years since we have taken a vacation . Since our last vacation, we have moved across the country and paid about $50,000 in medical bills. We easily could have said we will put in on our credit cards but to US it is more responsible to wait to pay it out right because vacations are not a necessity. But JMO. Everybody pays for things the way they see fit and as long as they can pay off their bills, it doesnt matter to me.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disfan07 View Post
For vacations, it means we pay in right out (cash/debit). We do not under any circustance use credit cards on a vacation. We save credit card use for more important things such as medical bills, new car (result of a car accident), emergencies, etc. We used to put vacations on our credit cards but not anymore.

And, no. We dont have this money "lying" around as some people have implied here. We just save and wait until when can afford it. It's been 3 years since we have taken a vacation . Since our last vacation, we have moved across the country and paid about $50,000 in medical bills. We easily could have said we will put in on our credit cards but to US it is more responsible to wait to pay it out right because vacations are not a necessity. But JMO. Everybody pays for things the way they see fit and as long as they can pay off their bills, it doesnt matter to me.
You have not been on a vacation in 3 years but you have three listed in your signature (2008, 2009 and 2010). Aren't they vacations?
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by disfan07 View Post
For vacations, it means we pay in right out (cash/debit). We do not under any circustance use credit cards on a vacation. We save credit card use for more important things such as medical bills, new car (result of a car accident), emergencies, etc. We used to put vacations on our credit cards but not anymore.

And, no. We dont have this money "lying" around as some people have implied here. We just save and wait until when can afford it. It's been 3 years since we have taken a vacation . Since our last vacation, we have moved across the country and paid about $50,000 in medical bills. We easily could have said we will put in on our credit cards but to US it is more responsible to wait to pay it out right because vacations are not a necessity. But JMO. Everybody pays for things the way they see fit and as long as they can pay off their bills, it doesnt matter to me.
Just meant as a friendly, helpful tip, but check out car loans via the dealer or banks. Most of the time the interest rates on car loans are a lot lower than putting it on your CC. Might save you some money!!!
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disney4us2002 View Post
Didn't you know here at the Dis, EVERYONE pays their cc off monthly. NOONE carries a balance, lol.

Afford to me means we bring in more than we spend each month. I do not insist on having cash for a vacation that may cost $5K or more. If it takes me several months or even a year to pay it off, so what? We have stable jobs, plenty of savings for retirement, an emergency savings acct of 3 months' income. How I choose to pay for my vacations doesn't impact anybody but me (my family) so why does it matter?
Im glad that works for you. But I would prefer to take my vacations knowing that everything is paid up or covered before I step on the plane. To each his own. Ill collect interest. You can pay it.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:50 PM   #15
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Funny, DH and I were just having a conversation about what "afford it" means. We just ordered a new Expitdition and someone else had an Eddie Bauer Edition Expedition and DH said we "couldn't afford" that. I said we "choose not to spend the extra money" on that edition.

We are savers, not spenders, and are on track to fund college for our 3 children and retirement. So... we "could afford" most anything....but choose to spend our money on other things, or save for other things. The bank says we "can afford" or qualify for a loan on a house that is 3 times what we feel we "can afford" or are willing to spend.

I think it is more socially acceptable to say "we can't afford it" rather than "we choose to not spend our money on that," but I feel they are sort of mixed up.

Interesting topic!
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