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Old 08-29-2010, 12:51 PM   #1
DreadpiratK
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Syracuse NY USA
Posts: 432

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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