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Old 09-13-2010, 12:29 PM   #196
LovableGluttons
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Originally Posted by DSNY4ever View Post
My husband has tried to correct me from using the phrase "we can't afford that" to "it's not in our budget right now" because he said it makes people think we don't have any money.

We have no debt (other than our mortgage, obviously), we pay off our credit card 100% every month and we live on a budget that we have set that allows us to put $ into saving every month. If we cut down on our budget and don't have any large, out of the ordinary, expenses coming up, then we "can afford it" and we go! But we travel a lot of other places too and our budget usually only allows for one big trip a year.
I am just the opposite. I use the "I cant afford it" line because I don't often want to readjust my budget to accomodate an unexpected purchase.People assuming I am poor makes me feel good.

If I haven't budgeted for it, then I cannot afford it.
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:29 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by LovableGluttons View Post
I am just the opposite. I use the "I cant afford it" line because I don't often want to readjust my budget to accomodate an unexpected purchase.People assuming I am poor makes me feel good.

If I haven't budgeted for it, then I cannot afford it.
I'm sure you don't do this... however I have this one friend that i don't speak to anymore because she cried poverty all the time. She would do things like come out to hang with us then say she couldn't afford to have a drink, then one of us dummies would buy her one out of feeling bad she was sitting thr while we enjoyed our drink.. later down the line we found out she was actually in a much better money situ then any of us.. she would just say " i can't afford it/ I have no money" which is fine... till you start accepting gifts from other people under false statements..
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:50 PM   #198
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Okay, NOW I have read through all the replies. Just some thoughts...

1. Why is it comical that people claim to pay off their credit cards in full each month? I don't see everyone claiming they do. A far higher number carry a revolving balance, but don't admit it. Laughing about someone being responsible with credit is silly to me. We have never paid a penny of interest on a credit purchase, and I don't intend to unless something truly devastating happens and wipes us out completely, God forbid.

2. I also believe that tithing and giving offerings is important. When we made a decision as a couple to pay a full 10% of our gross income to the church, we were more blessed financially, spiritually, and emotionally than we had been when we didn't tithe or only gave a bit here and there.

3. I don't consider a quick trip to WDW a vacation either, only because I live 2 hours away and rarely stay overnight. I consider a vacation a trip that takes us away from home for several days and requires no cooking or cleaning on my part. So my single night at Sports in January was a just a jaunt for me, although it was more a vacation to my teenage brother and sister who I took to celebrate birthdays.

4. Like others here, I don't come from a rich family, but I am lucky in many regards- health, brain, opportunities. I was shaped by my faith, my family, and my generation (80s baby), but I worked hard to get to where I am, as did my husband. I did very well in school and got a now-defunct scholarship that paid 100% tuition to the in-state school of my choice, and I worked 3 part-time jobs at the same time while carrying a full course load to pay for my rent, insurance, gas, and groceries. My parents had 5 kids and one lower-class income and sacrificed a lot to be able to take us to WDW (one day only, driving home the same night) 4 times during my childhood. We carried in frozen bottles of water and shared counter service meals, and enjoyed every second.

5. Affording anything to me depends not only on my current resources, but on my interest or desire. We have a brand new home (purchased in 2008) with a mortgage less than 18% of our income that will be paid off in 13 years, 4 older cars with high mileage but no payments (one is DH's hobby, not currently driveable), and no kids yet (although baby #1 is coming in April!!!). Our only debt besides the house is a $5K privacy fence that is on a Lowe's card, being financed at 0% for 12 months, and will be paid completely before 10 months pass.

This year, after tithes and bills are paid, money is put away each month into TSP, money market, IRA and other savings, we have been able to "afford" the following: dinner out 5 times a month on average, a quick trip to WDW and a night at Sports, a long weekend out of town for a women's church retreat, attending 2 out of state weddings and staying overnight, a new camcorder, throwing my best friend's baby shower, the $500 deductible for fixing my car after it got into a fight with a 5 point buck last week, and later this year a trip to CSR and Cirque with dinner at RR for my birthday, a surprise party for DH's 30th that will run me about $600, and a 5 day cruise for our anniversary. We are also considering buying a flatscreen TV, and DH will likely have a second spinal surgery before the year is up.

I can afford it because I use coupons at the grocery store and save 30-40% each trip, book vacations with discount codes, shop year-round for birthdays and Christmas, buy big-ticket items on sale, keep the lowest plans for satellite and cell service, and plan as far ahead as possible. I can afford to buy a new car, to stay deluxe at WDW, to get Category 1 seating at Cirque, or to go on a longer cruise, but I choose not to spend my money on those things when the ones I have chosen will make me just as happy. Besides, our next trip to WDW probably won't be until this baby is about 4 years old... I'd like to do a week at CBR and go all out. Here's looking at you Rewards Dollars!
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:41 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by rockundergirl View Post
I'm sure you don't do this... however I have this one friend that i don't speak to anymore because she cried poverty all the time. She would do things like come out to hang with us then say she couldn't afford to have a drink, then one of us dummies would buy her one out of feeling bad she was sitting thr while we enjoyed our drink.. later down the line we found out she was actually in a much better money situ then any of us.. she would just say " i can't afford it/ I have no money" which is fine... till you start accepting gifts from other people under false statements..
I had a friend who was like that, except at the time (right after college) none of us really had any money. We just stopped inviting her places because we knew she'd show up to dinner or wherever, then claim she didn't have any money & sit there drinking water & looking pitiful until one of us offered to buy her something. Not inviting her was easier & less awkward than saying, sorry we can't afford to buy you dinner.

I also have friends whom I have to just not talk to sometimes because they are so irresponsible with money it drives me nuts. They have an 8-month-old DD, and the one of them who was working full-time lost her job a few months ago & hasn't been able to find another full-time position yet. They both have some part-time work now, but not enough to replace the lost income. They also have no savings. Yet they still go out to eat, order take out, go to Starbucks, etc etc. Then cry that they can't afford to buy their DD a new car seat! It takes all my willpower not to say, "Well maybe if you stopped going to Starbucks every day you'd have money to buy the seat." I've tried suggesting gently that they need to keep better track of their spending & cut back on some things until she finds another job, but there is always an excuse for why they need to buy lunch out, etc etc. So I've given up. Thankfully they live in another state so I only talk to them on the phone/online & its easy to ignore the complaining about not having money. (P.S. - The grandparents gifted them the money to buy a new car seat, so they did get one.)
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:39 PM   #200
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I had a friend who was like that, except at the time (right after college) none of us really had any money. We just stopped inviting her places because we knew she'd show up to dinner or wherever, then claim she didn't have any money & sit there drinking water & looking pitiful until one of us offered to buy her something. Not inviting her was easier & less awkward than saying, sorry we can't afford to buy you dinner.

I also have friends whom I have to just not talk to sometimes because they are so irresponsible with money it drives me nuts. They have an 8-month-old DD, and the one of them who was working full-time lost her job a few months ago & hasn't been able to find another full-time position yet. They both have some part-time work now, but not enough to replace the lost income. They also have no savings. Yet they still go out to eat, order take out, go to Starbucks, etc etc. Then cry that they can't afford to buy their DD a new car seat! It takes all my willpower not to say, "Well maybe if you stopped going to Starbucks every day you'd have money to buy the seat." I've tried suggesting gently that they need to keep better track of their spending & cut back on some things until she finds another job, but there is always an excuse for why they need to buy lunch out, etc etc. So I've given up. Thankfully they live in another state so I only talk to them on the phone/online & its easy to ignore the complaining about not having money. (P.S. - The grandparents gifted them the money to buy a new car seat, so they did get one.)
I cut ties with a friend like this as well. The husband quit his job while they had 2 kids and were pregnant with number three because it was, and I quote, "Boring." Yeah... so state health care and food stamps were apparently more exciting to them than working. Now they are still both only working part-time, on the verge of forclosure, still on Food Stamps and state health care and THEY HAVE A MAID and their kids are in private school. I can't be around that kind of... lack of priorities. Sigh... (I'm sure that the private school is due to low-income scholarship, but the maid? There's no excuse for paying a maid and accepting food stamps when there are THREE able-bodied adults in the house... they took ina roommate to help pay the mortgage).
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:52 AM   #201
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We don't use credit cards. We pay with ca$h for everything...if we don't have the ca$h, we don't buy it. Seems like "old times" but I have burned with credit cards and therefore won't do it again!

But - what I did do was something I thought was smart for our situation...I dedicated a specific bank account to our Vacations - and each paycheck a certain amount is deducted and put into that account. We then watch it grow and plan our vacations - this way, we can take regular vacations knowing what our budget is each year.

It has worked for us so far and utilizing almost EVERY discount out there - our vacations can be LONG or SHORT depending on what we do on them!

Thanks for starting this thread - it's been very interesting.
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:04 AM   #202
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This was avery interesting post to read. I think evereyone is different with how they feel about affording things. For me, honestly, I would never be able to go on a trip if I had to rely on what I can "afford" to do. But personally I feel, like a lot of other people, that I only live once and I want to enjoy things while I can. I do everything I can all year to save what I can out of each weeks check. If that means not buying something or getting less groceries to me then I can live with that. Sometimes its a struggle but I wouldnt trade my annual vacation for anything.
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:28 PM   #203
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We budget for vacations, so whatever we need for a future vacation goes in that box prior to the trip. We were not always so responsible and racked up a decent debt on our honeymoon that we are still paying off, but we are three months from it being gone and I am excited how it will impact our future savings and habits. I don't regret our honeymoon or the debt. It was all we had at the time and the experience was something I would never give up. We probably could have paid off the debt a few months earlier had we not continued to save for vacations, but we have very demanding jobs and I think we would have gone off the deep end if we hadn't gone to Disney last year for our 1 year annivesary. It is a personal preference and it worked for us. I commend those that literally spent nothing on fun stuff to get where you wanted to be.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:01 PM   #204
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I got to page 11 and then I decided to stop reading. It's amazing how many thrifty Dis'ers there are contributing to this thread.

For the rest of us, life looks different. Can my family afford to go to WDW this year? NO. But then again, can we afford to do anything according to the stringent standards of others? Not really, except maybe sit at home in the dark reading library books by candlelight.

So we are going to WDW, it will be a first trip for DH41's and DD6. We may have tons of debt: car loans, student loans, credit cards etc. and we are so far underwater on our house that every day is a deep-sea diving adventure. But, we work hard, my DH works REALLY hard and my DD will only be able to experience WDW as an innocent child for small window of time so we are going.

My parents both died relatively young. I was only 16 when my dad died. I would have loved to have had spent more time with him and had happy family vacation memories, but it didn't happen. Vacations were not a priority for my parents, my mother didn't camp and vacations were not deemed a worthwhile expense.

My husband and I may never be out of debt or have enough to retire on or even pay for our DH's college tuition. But, I also may drop dead tomorrow. So as long as we are up to date on our payments and have some cash in hand, we can afford go on vacation.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:52 PM   #205
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I got to page 11 and then I decided to stop reading. It's amazing how many thrifty Dis'ers there are contributing to this thread.

For the rest of us, life looks different. Can my family afford to go to WDW this year? NO. But then again, can we afford to do anything according to the stringent standards of others? Not really, except maybe sit at home in the dark reading library books by candlelight.

So we are going to WDW, it will be a first trip for DH41's and DD6. We may have tons of debt: car loans, student loans, credit cards etc. and we are so far underwater on our house that every day is a deep-sea diving adventure. But, we work hard, my DH works REALLY hard and my DD will only be able to experience WDW as an innocent child for small window of time so we are going.

My parents both died relatively young. I was only 16 when my dad died. I would have loved to have had spent more time with him and had happy family vacation memories, but it didn't happen. Vacations were not a priority for my parents, my mother didn't camp and vacations were not deemed a worthwhile expense.

My husband and I may never be out of debt or have enough to retire on or even pay for our DH's college tuition. But, I also may drop dead tomorrow. So as long as we are up to date on our payments and have some cash in hand, we can afford go on vacation.
Thanks for 'keepin it real' Those on the budget board are generally here because they are good budgeters, they are not the 'norm of America'. Nothing wrong at all with all of these people doing such a great job at saving and budgeting either but I think what you wrote is about the 'norm' for most Americans. Reading these boards can make 'the rest of us' feel horrid sometimes.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:35 PM   #206
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I had debt in my 20s - credit cards and student loan. I met my future DH and he is from a farm in Montana where they believe in cash only and no debt. I couldn't grasp it but was so jealous of how he didn't have debt - he even paid for his car in cash! So after years of dating we got engaged and I vowed to pay off my debt before we got married. I paid off everything and we went into our marriage with a mortgage as our only debt.

That was 10 years ago and I will never carry a balance that accrues interest on credit cards but I use credit cards for EVERYTHING. I don't pay any fees to have a credit card and I take advantage of the cash back cards. I use that extra cash for Christmas presents so that doesn't take a toll on us at the holidays. We put 15% of our income into retirement, we have beyond an 8 month emergency fund, and we track every single $1 that leaves our checkbook - every day, in a spreadsheet. That way, we can see how much everything costs and if we spend too much, we know where we need to cut back.

So how do we afford Disney? I scrape every penny I can! We have a monthly budget and I'll forgo my dining out or movie or whatever so I can save that money for a vacation. I do have a vacation budget amount each month too so it is already built in to the budget but we watch our finances like a hawk - and there is nothing wrong with that.

I also lost a parent when I was young (Dad was in an accident when I was 8 then in a coma for 5 years and died when I was 13) and I completely agree with spending time as a family together. Vacations are treasured times for me and my family knowing we are having fun and building memories. But I would never teach my children to go on a vacation and spend money if we didn't have it. They must also earn money to go on vacation and we remind them all the time that we are able to afford it.

If you truly are that far in debt, take your vacation time and have all members of the family find 'free' things to do and stay at home. You are much better off teaching your children that lesson and having them carry on smart money management as they get older.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:34 PM   #207
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If you truly are that far in debt, take your vacation time and have all members of the family find 'free' things to do and stay at home. You are much better off teaching your children that lesson and having them carry on smart money management as they get older.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:43 PM   #208
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I think it also depends a lot on where you are in your life. I got married and had a baby at 19, and we made a LOT of poor financial decisions - two new cars when we were barely making enough to pay the bills, lots of times we'd let a utility payment ride until the next month because we wanted to buy something "fun", etc. We never racked up credit card debt but we didn't spend wisely, either.

At 31 I married for a 2nd time to a man who was 37 and a LOT more financially responsible than I am. In the five years I've been living with him we have never made a utility payment late, never carried a balance on a credit card, and only financed things we got at 0% interest. It's a whole different world, and while there are times when I'd like to have the "latest and greatest" of something, there's also so much peace in knowing that there's money in savings if the car breaks down, there's money in savings if something happens at the house.

We aren't taking a vacation this year because we're saving up to go next year, and we can't afford to go this year. Could I fall over dead tomorrow? Sure thing - my dad died when I was 11, I know how that is.

But I also know that my dad always made sure I had a roof over my head and food to eat, no matter what, even when he was dying of cancer. And I'll take that kind of stability as a kid over having gone to Disney World before I was 34.

Obviously, that's just me. But I think the older you get the more you start realizing that you have to worry about the future, and things just won't "work out", and while sure, I was irresponsible in my 20's, I'm not willing to do that in my 30's or 40's.

And DD16 has not suffered because she didn't go to Disney til she was 15. We took a lot of weekend trips and daytrips and those are just as special to her.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:54 PM   #209
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I got to page 11 and then I decided to stop reading. It's amazing how many thrifty Dis'ers there are contributing to this thread.

For the rest of us, life looks different. Can my family afford to go to WDW this year? NO. But then again, can we afford to do anything according to the stringent standards of others? Not really, except maybe sit at home in the dark reading library books by candlelight.

So we are going to WDW, it will be a first trip for DH41's and DD6. We may have tons of debt: car loans, student loans, credit cards etc. and we are so far underwater on our house that every day is a deep-sea diving adventure. But, we work hard, my DH works REALLY hard and my DD will only be able to experience WDW as an innocent child for small window of time so we are going.

My parents both died relatively young. I was only 16 when my dad died. I would have loved to have had spent more time with him and had happy family vacation memories, but it didn't happen. Vacations were not a priority for my parents, my mother didn't camp and vacations were not deemed a worthwhile expense.

My husband and I may never be out of debt or have enough to retire on or even pay for our DH's college tuition. But, I also may drop dead tomorrow. So as long as we are up to date on our payments and have some cash in hand, we can afford go on vacation.
I love your humor! I also could not imagine missing vacations, I live to plan them and look forward to our trips all year. So if I was in similar circumstances, then I may do the same thing.

Fortunately, I heard some fantastic financial advice before we were married that set us on a great path... we're not wealthy, but we're comfortable and debt free, except for the house, which will be paid off very soon, 18 years early.

We have not had horrible things happen to us, but we've certainly had "bumps in the road" and we've been able to weather them well. My Dad died when I was 7 and my mom died when I was in my 20s. I think, like you, that has contributed to my desire to do and see everything possible now, because you never know if you can in the future. But it also makes me need financial security, as I don't know what my mom would have done with 3 very young children if she was left with no savings and lots of debt.

I attribute our financial comfort to alot of things, including blessings, luck, and discipline... whatever the "bumps in the road" life has brought you, I hope you're able to turn the ship around soon. There are lots of great resources like Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman... it's never too late. I hope you can find some relief from your debt and financial stressors (stress will kill you early for sure!) and then vacation carefree... for a very, very long time!
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:24 AM   #210
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I grew up on Disney. I am grateful that my parents feed the addiction that they created when I ended up a single mom at 21. My oldest is now 15.....and has two other siblings. I'm still a single mom....put myself through college and can afford to do Disney once or twice a year. No credit cards....or paid off in full when the bill comes. Disney is more that a vacation for me...it's an essential of life.
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