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Old 08-30-2010, 07:21 AM   #61
Nayan
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Afford it, to me, means pay for it all with cash. If we don't have the cash we don't go or don't buy whatever it is. We refuse to put things on plastic or finance anything. Why go into debt if you truly don't have to?
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:27 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by arihillfarm View Post
Had to jump in here. If my mother had not made me "miserable" by packing lunches in the cooler and cooking almost every meal in the RV (when we had one) and checking a toaster and the cooler on a flight to CA, I would have never seen as much of the US and other countries as I did growing up. I never thought twice about it and mostly she was just being frugal, not cheap or living beyond her means.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:37 AM   #63
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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.
These are excellent points and rules to follow.

On my credit card statement it has a section that says, your balance is X and if you make the min. monthly payment it will take this many years to pay it off. Talk about an eye opener We bought our house back in April. It was under foreclosure and the bank practically gave it to us. We put several things along with some improvements on my credit card with the intention of using our home buyers credit to pay it off. Well, the IRS screwed up/lost my tax return and I had to refile. So, instead of making 1 payment with interest on my CC, as I had planned, I had to make 3. Once I got the refund in I paid it off.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:40 AM   #64
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Depends on what the non-essential is.

Right after "what does it cost" comes the question "what is the value to us."

We do not have an emergency fund. We have an open equity credit line we could tap in an emergency. If it was important enough to us, I'd tap the credit line.

Tithing is a great value to us. Line 1 in the spending plan. Offerings are negotiable.

Education is a high value. Both kids are through college. DD is paid off. DS costs us $70/month for another 8 years, payment is automatic. I consider it excellent debt.

Mental health and marital bliss are very important. We each get 20 bucks a week to spend on whatever our little heart desires. (DH blows his on random food treats and movies. I save mine for weeks and then do something big)

After these, decisions get tougher. But, "people first" is part of the equation. I would not tap the credit line for fancier flowers for our daughter's wedding. But, I might hit it when our niece marries in Sept. We've got airfare and rental car paid for but it might take another month or two to have cash for the rest. Niece gets married once. Charge it.

"How long will we enjoy it" matters. Charging a restaurant dinner we could not pay off at the end of the month is a no. Charging fixing up the house might be a yes.

Timing matters. I would wait and pay cash for a new couch. I am probably going to charge paint. We can economize by painting ourselves. But, in Chicago, if you are going to enjoy freshly painted rooms all year it is a lot smarter to paint in the fall when the windows can be open than to wait to do it in the winter.

"How soon can we pay it off" means that since both the wedding and the paint can be paid by the end of Nov. they can be charged today.

I get it, that paying interest on these items makes them more expensive than if we had the cash. But, we don't have the cash. Since we have a reasonable plan to pay them off, over a relatively short time frame, and they are valuable enough to us to pay the interest, we can afford it.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:00 AM   #65
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For us, it's simple. Regular bills/expenses are coverd by DH and my regular income. Anything I make teaching an extra class, usually online, can be spent on 'extras' like vacations.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:11 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by pattiteach View Post
WOW I am glad someone else is bringing this up. Alot of boards on here lately are asking " How do I save for my trip?" " Making extra money...". This scares me. I make a good living now, but have not always. In those YEARS that it was not easy, THERE WAS NO DISNEY. We did other things, camped in the backyard etc. If I can't go to Disney without paying cash, and I mean either putting on credit card getting reward points, and paying it off with the money saved etc. Saying, " OH what difference does it make if it takes a year or to? I am only hurting myself." Is so untrue! This is one of the reasons the nation got into the finanical situation it was and is in. Now don't get me wrong, I understand the motto "Life is short" both of my parents died very young. I battle with "you only live once" and my money situation everyday.
I will admit that I don't read those threads so I'm not sure of those posters financial situations. But I don't assume that they are flat broke and have no money and are still going to WDW. (ok, they might be but I dont' assume it!)

Sometimes we'll think of ways to make some extra cash just because I don't want to touch any sinking funds or mess with my budget for the month. Yet we'd still like to do something specific. Neither DH or I would normally do the extra as our life is pretty hectic but it's worth it for that one item/trip/etc.

So I don't think there is anything wrong with people who are looking for ideas on how to generate some quick extra cash. It doesn't worry me about our society or keep me up at night. It is however interesting to see how many different ways people can come up with to raise up extra money.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:37 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by MaleficentandGoons View Post
When it comes to vacation our budget is mostly thought of ahead of time so we know how much cash we want to carry and how much we want to just debit each day since or bank has a max on how much you can use daily. I think it's sad to see people eating every meal in their room, eating tuna fish for a week, limiting their park days.. that's just sad. How is that fun? How are you enjoying life, why are you living beyond your means for a theme park ? Why are you making your family miserable for the mouse?
That isn't the way we choose to travel now, but I can't see how it is "sad". Far sadder would be to stay home and never see WDW (or anywhere else) because you don't want to take budget trips. When I was a kid most of our vacations were packed lunches and driving long distances, and we were never miserable. We considered ourselves very lucky - we spent 2-3 weeks every summer in VA Beach and exploring the surrounding states. The food just didn't matter much compared to the ocean, the caverns, camping in Shenandoah, watching the ponies on Chincoteague, seeing the pandas at the National Zoo, etc.

I'm sure the kids wouldn't care if we did pack sandwiches and eat in our room at Disney - Dumbo and Wishes and Expedition Everest and meeting Mickey are what matter to them about our Disney trips, not the food. The nice meals out and not cooking on vacation matter to us as adults; kids don't care much about those things.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:11 AM   #68
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We always took a week vacation when our kiddos were little. However, the vacation was only whatever the extra cash we saved up was able to afford. We packed picnics, ate at cheap places & had lots of fun & made lots of memories. Arkansas was a favorite spot with us. Close by, beautiful area & fun things to do on the cheap.

Disney was never in the picture back in those days. When our oldest graduated from high school about 10 years ago we saved & took our first trip to Walt Disney. This was her grad. trip & we planned for ages!

We drove from Texas, stayed off-site & had 5 day hoppers. We only ate at one table restaurant on that trip & we picked San Angel as it sounded so pretty there. Our trip was awesome, fun, paid for & we still have so many fun memories of that trip! We ate at lots of restaurants off property ..which are lots cheaper!

When our next daughter grad. we repeated the same set-up as before. Only difference was we only had 3 kiddos to take this time instead of 4. I didn't know about all the on property discount & free dining & all that I've learned about since then... so these trips were very special & very planned & saved for.

For our 25th Anniv. we traveled to Wa., Or & Ca. We ended up w/ 3 days at Disney. Again we stayed off-site & we were able to walk to the parks it was so close. We had 2 kiddos travel with us this time & saved & payed cash as we went.

Now, I know about the deals & the discounts. We've traveled & flew from Texas these last 2 Dec. & are going this Dec. for my birthday. We stay on property & I love it! I love having everything payed before we go, including dining. We carry cash to spend & if anything goes on credit we pay it as it comes in.

Debt for trips is a no-no for us. However, we love to travel & don't mind pinching pennies to save up to go somewhere. Traveling is so much fun & I love the memories you make...but I hate debt & love being debt-free too much to travel on credit.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:22 AM   #69
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I just wanted to say that lifestyle is a component in the mix too
We don't have kids so we don't have to save for the expenses associated with raising kids
This provides a little more financial freedom for us
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:42 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Disney-Kim View Post
I just wanted to say that lifestyle is a component in the mix too
We don't have kids so we don't have to save for the expenses associated with raising kids
This provides a little more financial freedom for us
This is so true. My kids are grown, and our grocery budget is less than half of what it used to be.

We used to get pizza or chinese take out at least twice a week, because I would come home from work and just not want to cook. Take out for 4 (or 6 if it was a weekend that DH's kids were with us) is obviously more expensive than eating out once every couple weeks for just the 2 of us.

Since the kids have left the nest, we estimated that we are saving:

100 a week on groceries
50 a week on takout
25 a week on not eating lunch out at work

I'm not even counting the occasional dinner at Outback or P.F.Changs, etc.

That is $700 a month that we are saving! When I actually sat down and thought about it I was kicking myself for spending that much on food and eating out all those years.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:50 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by eliza61 View Post
Ok Fabmic, I'm going to pick on you just a little. You aren't the only one who does this.

Why when someone ask a question about money or the lack of it do we feel the need to point out how many vacations they have had?

IMO, that is so annoying. First, in general it's downright rude. second, it's not anyones business.

Just my pet peeve.
See below.

This maybe your pet peeve but mine is when a person complains about something and then posts something else that is contradictory. An overnight stay at a deluxe hotel is a vacation. A vacation does not have to be a week or more.




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But that isn't what happened in this case, is it?

It wasn't a general comment about money. It was a comment that specifically said that she had not TAKEN a vacation in three years, when info in her signature line appeared to specificaly contradict that. That poster was nice enough to clear up the confusion. (I wouldn't have considered overnights paid for by someone else to be vacations, either.)
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:03 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by eliza61 View Post
Ok Fabmic, I'm going to pick on you just a little. You aren't the only one who does this.

Why when someone ask a question about money or the lack of it do we feel the need to point out how many vacations they have had?

IMO, that is so annoying. First, in general it's downright rude. second, it's not anyones business.

Just my pet peeve.
totally agree!!
The question was what do you consider being able to afford something, which she answered. Why does it matter how many vacations she went on and why do you even care?
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:09 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by fabmic View Post
See below.

This maybe your pet peeve but mine is when a person complains about something and then posts something else that is contradictory. An overnight stay at a deluxe hotel is a vacation. A vacation does not have to be a week or more.
I must have read a different post because I didn't read it as her complaining about anything. Just simply stating what they do in order to afford something.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:15 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by mamaLori05 View Post
I must have read a different post because I didn't read it as her complaining about anything. Just simply stating what they do in order to afford something.
She said they had not been on a vacation but then were at Disneyland three times during that time. It sure looked like a contradiction.

I have Sea World/Busch Garden passes. I can get in for free so I guess if I book a night stay there and go I did not get a vacation? (Damn smilies are not working) It sure is a vacation since it will come from my vacation section (as I stated before) of our budget and will reduce the amount available for the next trip. A vacation does not have to be X miles from home or Y days to count.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:32 AM   #75
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I work a job where I travel and have expenses reimbursed all the time. When they gave us the option to have those reimbursements direct deposited - we decided to deposit those directly into the savings account.

So - that has become our travel fund. We keep an eye on the balance - and when we know we are free and clear - we hit the road!

On our last trip - we came home - two weeks later the credit card bill hit the mailbox- so I went to the bank - moved money - paid the bill -and still had a good chunk of change to set off on our next adventure! Which BTW is this THURSDAY!!!!!



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We save - and cut back when we know we are feeling the urge to travel - and it has always happened that we cut back enough on our budget to have really nice padding in the checking account by the time we go - so we KNOW that even if we have an emergency we are good to go.

Good thing we did - last time we went to WDW we came back home and the A/C was out at home! So that was around a $100 repair - I would say with no sweat - but with the A/C out - there WAS sweat - but not financially!

We use the heck out of our Disney Visa as well - and we will have a nice lump sum of reward for our December 2010 trip - should be around $300 after this trip!

We may be big kids inside- but we know how to manage our finances!
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