What do you mean by 'afford it'? Seriously..

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by DreadpiratK, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Nayan

    Nayan DIS Veteran

    Jan 19, 2010
    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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  3. LovableGluttons

    LovableGluttons See Ya REAL Soon!

    Jan 12, 2007
    I could have written this!

    One of my fondest memories is eating Chef Boy Ardee ravioli heated over Sterno in a tent in Spain with my family.

    Those budget campgrounds had no toilets! Just a hole in the tile floor!:scared1:
  4. Chuck65

    Chuck65 DIS Veteran

    May 20, 2006
    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 :scared1: 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.
  5. annsteere

    annsteere DIS Veteran

    Dec 24, 2000
    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.
  6. mdvlprof

    mdvlprof DIS Veteran

    Feb 7, 2010
    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.
  7. delmar411

    delmar411 DIS Veteran

    Jan 25, 2007
    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.
  8. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2007
    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.
  9. MagicalMawMaw

    MagicalMawMaw DIS Veteran

    Sep 30, 2009
    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.
  10. Disney-Kim

    Disney-Kim DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 1999
    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:teacher:
    This provides a little more financial freedom for us
  11. Virgderon

    Virgderon DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2009
    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.:eek:
  12. fabmic

    fabmic Mouseketeer

    Aug 22, 2010
    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.

  13. mamaLori05

    mamaLori05 DIS Veteran

    Feb 4, 2008
    totally agree!! :thumbsup2:thumbsup2
    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?
  14. mamaLori05

    mamaLori05 DIS Veteran

    Feb 4, 2008
    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.
  15. fabmic

    fabmic Mouseketeer

    Aug 22, 2010
    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.
  16. csharpwv

    csharpwv DIS Veteran

    May 30, 2009
    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!!!!!


    Gotta love the dancing banana!!!!!


    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! :wizard:
  17. mamaLori05

    mamaLori05 DIS Veteran

    Feb 4, 2008
    alright, well, I see you as someone who is trying to cause problems, so I am done responding to it.
  18. hopeandtink

    hopeandtink Mouseketeer

    Jan 30, 2009
    TE=fabmic;38024578]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.[/QUOT

    I think the definition of vacation is different for each person. I personally do not think that an overnight stay is a vacation (maybe a quick getaway). Our vacations at least a week with no cooking or cleaning for me.:cloud9:
  19. Anthony1971

    Anthony1971 DIS Veteran

    Mar 11, 2005
    To afford something you need to be able to pay for something with out having an effect on anything else....
    the best examples are if you need to eat lesser quality food at home for a certain period, not use you AC as much, Walk to work instead if drive etc. Things that have a direct effect on your normal life.
    This is not to say that people will not sacrifice one thing for another but once you sacrifice your normal quality of life then the question of afford comes in......
    If you were to truly follow what you are suppose to be saving for the many expenses in life I think Disney would be pretty empty
  20. lattemomof3

    lattemomof3 DIS Veteran

    Apr 6, 2008

    yep, this:thumbsup2
  21. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

    Feb 25, 2002
    I'm not sure about this. We have the air set at 78, heat set at 64. We don't have cable tv. To me, these are optional things, and things that I don't really want to spend money on. Would 74 be more comfortable in the summer - yep, but not worth the difference in the electric bill that can be used for other things. Would we like cable - once in a while we really miss it, but generally, we don't - it isn't worth $70 a month to us. Those sorts of things are just "normal life" choices that you value or you don't value - and different people value those things differently.

    And yet I doubt anyone who looked at my finances would say that making those sacrifices means I can't afford it - those are things we choose not to afford.

    We do choose to afford other things - dining out, nice bottles of wine, vacations, MMORG subscriptions, pets, books...my husband has a thing for shoes.

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