Which would you do?

Toni_KYMay 3, 2003

Let's say you have the dreaded credit card debt. (Yes, you were stupid at one point in your life, but now you are committed to paying off your debt and will be debt-free in 15 months, using Mary Hunt's Rapid-Debt Repayment Program.)

Do you go on a small, very budget-friendly vacation this year or do you hold off and go after your debt is paid off, using your vacation money to put towards your debt? (Postponing vacation would only get you out of debt maybe one month earlier and the difference in interest charges is very small.)

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windchime

I thought: pay off debt......until I read the last line. Go on vacation. Just be sure not to spend more than you budgeted for your vacation. :)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2003 at 8:58PM
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Momma_Bird_OH

Go on the vacation. My favorite book on this subject, "How To Get Out of Debt, Stay Out Of Debt, and Life Prospersely", has great advice. If you deprive yourself of EVERY luxury (like vacation) to get of dept, you will feel poor. That might cause you to rebound spend. The author advocates giving yourself some little luxuries while getting out of debt. A great read, I highly recommend it.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2003 at 8:59PM
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joyfulguy

Hi Tony KY,

Is the major message summed up in the last line?

Your KY message seems to be - that you seem to have convinced yourself that doing without a vacation this summer would be a real downer.

Maybe.

How about arranging to have the best of both worlds?

Do you have a relative/friend whom you haven't visited for a while and who would be glad to see you (for three days) whom you could visit at vacation time?

Maybe overstay your welcome a day or three. Bring in some groceries and pay for some local attractions that you visit.

If they don't have room - no problem.

My wife and I took her mother to Montreal for Expo67 (just before she went to summer school that culminated in her getting her M.A.).

We visited my first cousin, twenty miles from the city, who, a trained nurse, was a stay-at-home Mom, and with her husband, an engineer, and their teen-aged daughters.

Grammy (name our kids used for her) stayed in their guest room (or maybe one of their teens' rooms while the teens doubled up - I forget) while Sue and I slept in our tent in the back yard.

I think that a good time was had by all.

Our kids, under 6 and under 3, stayed home. Unfortunately - I'm sad that Expo didn't take place a few years later, when they would have been old enough to enjoy it: they'd have had a ball.

Perhaps you can even stay home and take in some of the inexpensive attractions nearby that you probably haven't visited for some time.

Arrange some barbecues, and other gatherings with friends. If they're at work all day, they'll appreciate your doing the work to prepare.

You'll go to bed tired - but happy.

The retailers via their ads on TV keep assuring us that we can't have a good time without spending money.

That's a load of bull-crap.

Just think out of the box: see how innovative that you can be.

And how you can have a great time while spending ...

well, peanuts.

More or less.

But - look on it as a challenge, an adventure, not a drag.

If you're going to end the summer feeling resentful - too bad. You need to feel that you've achieved something interesting, fun and worthwhile - not that you'd decided to cheat yourself out of a proper vacation.

Attitude makes all the difference (well, almost all).

Good wishes for a happy summer - and a revitalized person/family come the end of it.

ole joyful

P.S. We used to work for 40 years - and retire for 10.

Now we work for 35 - and retire for 25.

Many people spend more time planning their vacation than they do their retirement.

Play now - pay later?

Many who choose to play now - can't pay later.

As a (somewhat "former", being now more or less retired) financial advisor, let me assure you that living several years of one's retirement in penury is not fun - I've seen quite a few reduced to that.

"Too soon old - too late smart", as the old German saying goes. oj

    Bookmark   May 4, 2003 at 1:34AM
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talley_sue_nyc

You go on SOME kind of vacation! Says the woman who didn't go on one for two years, and was in a MAJOR funk, and lost all her energy for saving money!

(and congrats on paying off that debt! I know you're not there yet, but you sound like you will be)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2003 at 8:23PM
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jamie_mt

Well, when I was paying off those credit cards, I decided against any "going away" vacations. Instead, I took a week off from work (paid vacation), and stayed home, sleeping late, doing yardwork or whatever I felt like doing for an entire week. It was *wonderful* - better than most "trip" vacations I've ever had, because at the end, I was rested, recoperated, and "restored" (unlike going away, which generally finds me tired, crabby and in need of a vacation when I get back LOL). Now I make it a point to do that once a year (mine is coming up soon - May 19-23), and keep the "trips" to short, 3 day weekend trips here and there (not too many of them).

I'd say don't deprive yourself - if you've budgeted for it, and you enjoy taking a yearly trip, then go for it (you never know if something will happen to postpone it even longer, so take it while you can). But I'd urge you to consider whether you really find long trips that restful, or if you wouldn't benefit more from just taking a week off work and staying home "bumming around". Not only is it cheaper, you might find it's less stressful. :-)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2003 at 12:52PM
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waddles

Toni -

I vote going to Iowa

    Bookmark   May 19, 2003 at 3:37PM
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budster

Well, OK I will go against the trend here...for ME and I'm only saying ME...I would pay off the debt and do some fun things in my general area..take a vacation at home...but you see I would enjoy the feeling of getting out of debt ASAP. That is ME...... WHO enjoys being home...and is never bored...and HATES to owe money. To each his own....so don't slam the door in my face. It is MHO.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2003 at 6:59PM
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joyfulguy

Hi all,

Let's all wish Jamie MT a happy week.

Have a glorious week - and return to work refreshed, girl.

Find something new and fresh to do.

Find a new friend. Or build on an old one.

Start a new hobby - get going on some field of interest that you've thought for a while that you'd like to pursue - some time..

Do some charity work.

Add a new string to the violin of your life - a multi-faceted life is more fun.

And keeps our mate from finding us boring.

Again - have a great week.

Affectionately,

ole Ed

    Bookmark   May 20, 2003 at 4:30AM
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CindyBelleZ6NJ

Take a modest vacation if you can make sure the difference is only one month. Be sure to plan and not be tempted to spend more than that. A respite is crucial from time to time and helps one function better. Since none of us knows what the future holds I think it is important to do some of the things we want when we have our health, etc. No, I've never been in major credit card debt, it's very unusual for me to have a balance on a credit card, etc. But you have to live.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2003 at 8:05PM
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kittiemom

I'll chime in with the others - take a small vacation if you're sure it'll only make that small a difference, but be very careful not to overspend, or the month could turn into six. It's so easy to do!

I'm with Jamie, I enjoy "home" vacations. I enjoy having time to work on my house, etc. for large blocks of time. DH & I have found that if we do go somewhere, it's better to come back a couple of days early to get things unpacked & rest up from the trip.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2003 at 11:32AM
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cynic

Not knowing what kind of vacation you like, it can in actuality be both. The "stay at home" vacation and visit friends/relatives (or some of both) are my vote. Aren't there some local attractions you haven't seen? I know there are in my area. How about some day trips of 50-75 miles to see things?

Personally, I'm also one who enjoys vacationing at home. You might stay at home and dine out? (frugally) if you don't like cooking or have it delivered if that's what you like. Maybe have someone over and entertain? Maybe that's a vacation for you?

I think you're on the right track, you seem to realize how important it is to not overdo it. You'll make the right decision for you. Good luck!

Ken

    Bookmark   May 26, 2003 at 12:26PM
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intherain

I'd say go on some kind of vacation. It does not have to be expensive!! Money was tight last summer (gee, it will be this summer, too!) so we took the kids up north for a couple of nights at a hotel in a major city. They just loved being away from home, staying in a hotel, seeing the town. (We got a great deal on the hotel.) We didn't do anything fancy while we were there. When the childen go back to school in September, the big question always is, "What did you do this summer?" Even though our excursions haven't been necessarily big, our children love to tell of our "vacations." We had planned to go to Disneyland this summer, but tight finances have led us to a decision to take a much cheaper route. I am sure the kids will have a great time regardless.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2003 at 3:05AM
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