Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Budget Board
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read





Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-29-2010, 12:51 PM   #1
DreadpiratK
Mouseketeer
 
DreadpiratK's Avatar
 
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!
DreadpiratK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 01:00 PM   #2
A Mickeyfan
DIS Veteran
 
A Mickeyfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: 148 miles SW of the world
Posts: 9,759

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..
__________________
RIP Lightning 9/20/2007
A Mickeyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 08-29-2010, 01:01 PM   #3
Hannathy
When I stop laughing I will answer you
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 15,040

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.
Hannathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 01:08 PM   #4
disneychrista
BL6 Red Team Captain
Disneyland is my Home
Birthdays are for kids of all ages
I have always been a big Kermit the Frog Fan
 
disneychrista's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Northern California
Posts: 11,408

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.
disneychrista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 01:10 PM   #5
disney4us2002
Tagless by choice!!
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 5,815

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?
__________________
Carla

disney4us2002 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 01:22 PM   #6
DreadpiratK
Mouseketeer
 
DreadpiratK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Syracuse NY USA
Posts: 432

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?
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.
DreadpiratK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 01:23 PM   #7
pigletto
DIS Veteran
 
pigletto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 9,200

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.
__________________

Last edited by pigletto; 08-29-2010 at 01:30 PM.
pigletto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 01:23 PM   #8
CleoPahd
Mouseketeer
 
CleoPahd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 401

I'm sure we're probably in the minority, but for years we went without and really skimped and saved to make sure we had a comfortable amount put into savings. There was a point in my life when I literally had just about nothing to my name. My life got a little sidetracked when I had my daughter 1 year into college. It was a huge sacrifice, but I've never carried any credit card debt. Credit card debt was the first thing I made my husband pay off before we got married. He never really realized how much he was paying in interest and that his payments were never actually touching his debt. It was a struggle for a few years of not buying anything on impulse...no fancy electronics, but looking back it was completely worth it. When we reached a certain larger number that was our "goal savings", we decided it was ok to splurge a little on vacations every other year. We do have a mortgage & a car payment, but we also bought what we felt we could comfortably afford in that department too.

I really like Suze Orman and I think she makes a lot of valid points, though we made these decisions long before I heard of her. We have managed over the last few years to maintain at least one years + worth of salary in our savings. When we get our tax money back it goes right into the savings. Having a high interest bearing savings account has also helped because in the past when the interest rate was really high, the interest alone on our savings would almost pay for vacation. We also both have money in retirement accounts, but don't consider that our money...it's like it's there, but we don't think about it.

We're finally at a point where we feel comfortable. We're certainly not loaded by any means, but we're doing ok. My daughter was 8 the first time we could afford a trip to disney as a family. Now we vacation every year, sometimes more than once. She's now 15 and she gets it. She says she didn't really ever understand why everything had to come from the clearance rack when she was little, but is glad now because now we can do things that many of her friends can't do. She has seen family members and close friends lose their homes, but saw them spend money on brand new big screen tv's, cable tv packages with all the bells and whistles, eating out all the time, etc. I guess what I'm getting at is it all worked out and I don't think my kid suffered because we waited to do things until we could "afford" it by our reasoning in what affording meant.
__________________
CleoPahd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 01:47 PM   #9
BridgetBordeaux
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta GA
Posts: 1,999

We live beneath our means. We drive old cars, buy the house brand at the store when we can, use coupons, visit the thrift store about every month or two, cut our own grass and trim our own bushes, pay our CC bill off each month and it is a rebate card.

We are within driving distance and now stay off site in order to keep the cost low.

While there, we bring picnic type lunch items in the park and use counter service if needed.

When we hit Mickey D's, we eat off the value menu (same for Wendy's)

All of these efforts help us afford a trip to WDW a couple times a year on our AP. We get to drive the whole way, so transportation costs are low for us...about 100-120 bucks round trip.

We could not justify the costs if we had to pay for airfare.....unless it was one of those crazy/super cheap fare sales.
__________________
Fort Wilderness 1972, 1978
Honeymoon 1993 offsite
Shades of Green Sept 2000, April 2006, June 2008, Sept 2008, June 2009
POP Dec 2009, June/Sept 2010, June/Sept 2011, May/Sept 2012, May/Sept 2013, May/Sept 2014

Last edited by BridgetBordeaux; 08-29-2010 at 01:48 PM. Reason: typo
BridgetBordeaux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 01:48 PM   #10
fabmic
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 76

We can afford it if it is paid in full (room, tickets, transportation) before we leave, we have the money to pay off what we will spend on vacation, we are funding our retirement, we have no consumer debt, we have a fully funded emergency fund that will not be used to pay off what we spent and we are not behind on any bill.

Last edited by fabmic; 08-29-2010 at 01:56 PM.
fabmic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 01:54 PM   #11
neatokimmo
DIS Veteran
 
neatokimmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,464

Now keep in mind, I've been super slacker girl this year, not tracking my spending as I should. But I've not bought crazy expensive stuff either so its all worked out.

In previous years, and next year, I'll have a budget broken down into sections (have to have, want to have) and categories (utilities, toys, clothes, car maintenance, eating out, vacations etc..). I can afford it if I have the money left in that column. If I want something that isn't on my list, like say a laptop, I'll take the money from a fun section. I won't steal from "have to have" to get a "want to have", does that make sense?

So if excel says I can have it, I can afford it
__________________
neatokimmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 02:13 PM   #12
TnTWalter
DIS Veteran
 
TnTWalter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Indy
Posts: 2,905

We have sinking funds for vacations, new to us cars, etc.

It's truly amazing the difference when the only person you owe is yourself. Our money doesn't go to Ford, Capital One, Sears Credit.....it goes to kids' college funds, vacations, new to us vehicles, household repairs, Christmas, etc.


put in the smileys so my son could see them.
__________________

April 2011 Offsite @ Bonnet Creek
June 2009 Offsite @ Windsor Hills followed by Beach Week @ Anna Maria Island
October 2007 Hawaii @ POLY
January 2006 Connecting Rooms @ POP 50s Sect.
TnTWalter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 02:39 PM   #13
QVCshopper
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,587

Well, I think that people have many different levels of income. Some people make a lot of money; others make less. What really matters is how you spend what you have. I see this every day with my BIL, who is a dentist but also a bar tender and college professor to pay for his fairly lavish lifestyle.

Not everyone has to scrimp and save to go to Disney, or anywhere for that matter. For us, we don't have a mortgage, car payments, etc. We're not rich and have never made an incredibly large amount of money (we're in the 15% tax bracket), but we watch our money and save as much as we can.

I could *afford* to shop retail Gymboree, Gap, etc., but I choose not to. Instead, I just got a fabuluous Gymboree sweater (never worn per owner) for $2.50. So, it's really about making choices.

Honestly, I don't save for a specific goal per se. We save for college, retirement, cars, and pay our bills and credit card off every month. Everything else goes into a money market for savings.
QVCshopper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 02:50 PM   #14
Marionnette
Wishing On A Star
I stop in the middle and make others step over me while pretending not to understand English
 
Marionnette's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Pleasure Island
Posts: 6,992

For us its simple. If there aint money in the bank to pay for it then we cant afford it. We even paid cash for our house. We have car loans. But there is money in savings to pay for them right now if we had to. But with zero percent financing why would we? Anything we put on a credit card. The kids dont have student loans for college. They would be at community college if we didnt have the money. I know that were not like most people. We arent rich but we are comfortable. But we always had this philosophy. Even when we were starving college students.
__________________
Opinions, suggestions and comments are based on my own experience and should not be regarded as the absolute and only possible outcome of any situation.
Your mileage may (and probably will) vary.





Marionnette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 03:14 PM   #15
Disney-Kim


Always planning our next trip !!
 
Disney-Kim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 5,057

For us it used to be the exact same as you ....available credit = afford it. and we crashed/burned same as you.

We now live cash only and have learned to live on a budget...this was a huge change for us. But we have been successful in changing our financial ways.

so to us...affording it means being able to pay cash for it.

We can not go to WDW tomorrow if we wanted...it HAS to be planned. All trips are planned in advance and we have to save towards them.

Vacations are important to us and we save towards them specifically.
We also Ebay to help fund them.
__________________
** Official
DVC - VWL Owners **


~ WDW Boardwalk Inn May 13 ~Disneyland GCH Sept 12 ~ Disneyland GCH Nov 2011 ~ CBR May 2010 ~Polynesian Sept 09 ~ POR May09 ~ VWL May08 ~ Polynesian May07 ~ BCV May06 ~ VWL May05 ~ VWL May04 ~ BWV May 03~ Yacht Club Concierge Sept 02 ~ Polynesian Concierge for our Honeymoon May 02 ~ Beach Club 09/01 ~ CSR, POR, POFQ, and CBR on our previous trips back to 1992~
Disney-Kim is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:49 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.