Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by DreadpiratK, Aug 29, 2010.
Weird, isn't it? But so true.
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Afford means CASH in hand. That is I bought it, do it whatever, I don't have to reorganize my bills or not pay one. I think the word budget is miss used by many. I consider budget to be setting up a plan of action with your money. When things are being paid, whats coming out of the account when.
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?
We budget for everything. And if the vacation can be covered by the vacation budget then we can afford it.
If not, then we can't. Easy peasy...
Do we use CC? Absolutely! I love the free 1%-5% back they give out... Some years we could get up to $300 of free $.
I just don't give them any interest $ ... so banks pretty much hate me.
My dh and I have seperate checking accounts. He saves for emergencies and retirement ie IRA,401k and stocks. I put 25% of my paycheck in a vacation savings account. It works well but I usually take advantage of the 6 month interest free on mydisney visa why not its free money. Then at the end of the 6 months I pay off whatever is left on the balance with vacation savings account. I never pay more for a vacation than I have in my vacation savings account. To me that would be foolish.
I was wondering the same thing, and I think it was a valid question given the topic. When people are talking about the sacrifices they make, and someone says they haven't TAKEN a vacation in three years, that gives a very different picture than what was actually taking place. Again, given the discussion, I wonder why you didn't phrase it differently. It's kind of like someone saying "I don't even have a mortgage," when in fact they inherited the house they live in. KWIM?
I also think that most people have never been offered a vacation (or two, or three) completely paid for by another person, hense the confusion. I agree that it is noone else's business how you spend your money, but I do appreciate that you clarified the circumstances for us.
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. Money was very tight for our last trip to Williamsburg, VA. I called it the extreme budget trip and we did what we could to save money in addition to getting into Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg for free being military. Even so, we ate out one meal a day and by the end of the week, we were soooo sick of eating out. Thankfully we had a condo with a kitchen so it felt more like home and so we could cook. The way I see it, I'd rather eat 2-3 meals a day in a room at Disney (or anyplace else really) than doing the same thing at home. At least it offers new experiences and I'm not looking at the same old dining room.
My husband was stressed at first with so much budgeting on vacation but then he came to see it as a challenge like I did. He never really even made it out of the state as a kid except a couple of times and I get the feeling it was because his parents never thought about ways to do vacations cheaply. My parents did and because of them, I had seen most of the US, most of the larger national parks and been to Canada, Germany and Denmark (disclaimer: I have family in both countries so accommodations were free) before leaving for college. Some of my best memories were of stopping for lunch at a rest area with my mother and eating her homemade sandwiches and hard boiled eggs, going grocery shopping in parts of the country I had never visited and seeing the local fare and produce that was available as we were pick up stuff for breakfast and lunches and even taking turns swatting mosquitoes at night at one particularly old roadside motel somewhere in Northern Ontario that cost $10 a night. It was quite an experience and one we still laugh about 25 years later. I definitely inherited my mother's wanderlust and frugality and I'd rather go cheaply and see the world than not go at all. I certainly don't remember many of the lavish meals I've had on vacation though, so memories and miserable are in the eyes of the beholder.
Like many others, to me "afford it" means you can go without charging it to a credit card & then carrying a balance. I actually plan and save for our trips all year, saving money in a "vacation fund".
Sadly, I know what its like to NOT be able to afford to go. We started going to Disney once a year when the boys were 5 & 7..we all fell in love with DW of course! But last year we had to skip our yearly trip.. could we have charged it & went anyway? Yes..but didn't because we couldn't afford it.
I actually enjoy the planning & saving money. It makes it fun to look forward to it and means alot more when the time finally arrives!
For me it means saving up for it and not taking money from bills, necessities and having money left over for other things. Our upcoming trip was a cash purchase.
We learned a lot over the past few years. I was in an accident and am disabled now and cannot work and we were without my income for years while we did what was needed to get my disability benefits. We struggled. We racked up CC debt (from none). We were going in the right direction before that accident, but the accident sent us back a million steps. Well now we have learned even more.
After we settle the case for the accident our emergency fund will have well over a year's worth of the expenses saved. We will save up for everything else, like home repairs, vacations, electronics....everything in a seperate account. If it isn't in that account and I have to touch my EF....I can't afford it. If I have it put away in my account for things like that and I won't drain the entire thing...I can afford it. Make sense?
I guess I don't consider our overnighters as vacations. That's where the confusion was I guess. Going 1 hour from home for a night does not mean vacation to me. I guess it all depends on your definition of vacation. If it had not been paid for by other people we wouldn't have gone (and actually, 3 of those times was just me, not my parents). I'm just lucky that I have a younger cousin who gets to invite someone and chooses to invite me. Yes I am extremely grateful for these "trips" but in my mind, I don't consider them to have been vacations. So I still stand by the fact that we have not been on a real vacation in 3 years because we haven't had the cash for it. YMMV
For me, "afford" almost always means we don't touch our emergency fund and I don't need to charge it to pay for it.
A lot of times I think or maybe even say that I can't afford something, but really it's just "I don't choose to spend my money that way" or "it's not in the budget."
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.
This is our comfort zone.
As far as others, however, to each his own. My comfort zone has nothing to do with others. It is pleasant to be settled into this stage of our lives, but we lived through being poor college students and young parents, paying off our huge medical debt after J passed, settling back into the comfort zone, and then 3 boys in college! Life changes.
As far as budget vacations, they are every bit as good as the non budget. It isn't about money it is about time off and away together. But that is just my opinion.
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.)
Vacations are part of our itemized budget. We don't go until the money is there and we don't take from another fund to pay for it.
Now, I have no problem forgoing a few things to add to the fund. We can give up eating out as much for a few months, we can give up salmon this month and go with chicken....and sometimes we have had to do that as unexpected expenses have come up, like a new HVAC or a new appliance to replace the broken one.
I get this. We live in Tampa now, so we go to DW fairly often. My daughter is a seasonal cast member, so we get in for free and generally don't stay overnight.
Like you, I have not been on a "real" vacation in a couple years. But, if I put all the overnighters and one day trips that we have taken to DW/Universal this last year in my signature, it would look like I spend every penny I have on vacations!
I also budget for vacations, but occasionally I do take from another fund. There are times when I underspend and/or can find a little room in my budget. If all my obligations are met (retirement, college, expenses) I have been known to do a quick trip to DW on the cheap.
I sometimes come to this board to see how "savers" live and think. I don't know if it was the way I was raised or just my personality type. We as kids (2 of us) had food on the table. Both parents worked and our Granny lived with us also. She was my father's mom and lived with us for 33 yrs. LAWD. I don't know how my mother did it honestly. We lived very middle class. We NEVER lived above our means. Me oh I looove classy and usually expensive things. I am by no means a snob. I can pick out the most expensive whatever from 50 feet away. It just comes naturally. I would love to love whatever with a lower price tag but the more expensive things catches my eye and that's it. I would rather not have "it" than not get the brand I like. Suze Orman makes me sick.lol Now I bet u already guessed that. She wants u to have 8 months in an emergency fund blah, blah, blah before she "approves" you. People call her to ask can they afford something. I know I don't save but spend. Suze Orman wouldn't approve of me for one second. Because of my bad habits I don't have five or six figures in the bank. I live above my means but I live. I go to WDW. I eat out. Spending too much on my grandchildren is my favorite thing to do. My hat's are off to you that save and have a plan. It's just not me.
Well, I guess the rest of my post shows I am willing to take from another itemized budget list, but it is an expendable list, like swapping out an expensive food item for a less expensive......or extra couponing for the month, etc....there are some list items I will not take from.
We do have wiggle room in our budget though and don't have debt other than the house.
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.
Right. that's what I was saying. I do budget, but since I leave wiggle room for the unexpected, sometimes, I come out ahead. Of course at other times, we barely squeak by.
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