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Watch Us Commit Financial Suicide...

post #1 of 92
Thread Starter 
Ugh. So I recently switched jobs. My old job had a nice, reliable bonus that was paid out in early February every year. We tracked our incentive comp, so there wasn't any surprise as to what the bonus was going to be, and it was something we could count on. So, based on the idea that I'd be getting this bonus we went ahead and planned a week of vacation with my in laws at their timeshare in mid-Feburary.

Then, I ended up having to switch jobs. I got a 20% pay raise, so I figured we'd probably be okay with the vacation... Except, I had to take a loan from my mother for moving expenses, then she needed me to pay her back faster than we'd planned, we still haven't gotten our deposit back from our old apartment and it looks like we're going to court over it, we had car trouble, I had to pay DH's tuition and well... life happened.

So, now it's 6 weeks before this supposed vacation. The inlaws have reserved the condo and bought their plane tickets. It's too late to back out now. And we? Are SO. PAINFULLY. BROKE. We have $50 until next paycheck. We've got some bills we need to pay off. And just a very basic vacation is going to cost basically ever uncommitted cent of the money we have coming in between now and then... and that just covers airline, groceries, car, and one small side trip, leaving us no wiggle room on either end.

I really, really wish we could back out of this trip. The money we'd be spending could be so much better spent to pay down half of our one outstanding debt and rebuild our emergency fund. But it would cause serious, serious family strife. Yet to go forward with the trip without being on the edge financially we'd probably have to either take a "refund anticipation loan" from our tax refund or cash my small 401(k) that I'm supposed to be rolling over -- both of which are stupid, reckless and basically financial suicide. ::::

(Because I know someone is going to ask, here's our proposed vacation budget. If you can find anything to cut, have at it:

Airfare: $525 (2 adults, 1 child, 1 lap baby, one ticket paid through frequent flier miles)
Rental Car: $186, through Kayak, best rate I can find for 7 days
Hotel: In laws are paying for the room
Food: $200 for groceries, we'll plan on packing a lunch where ever we go and eating lunch and dinner at the condo. This also includes swim dipes for the kids, which are required at the condo pool, sunscreen, etc.)
Entertainment: $180 - this is for two adult week-long passes to sea world. )
post #2 of 92
The snarky unhelpful side of me says I wouldn't take a vacation with anyone who doesn't understand that life happens. The more helpful (but stil pretty unhelpful) side says to just back out as matter of factly and add a tone of sadness that you can't go. You can't afford it=you don't go.
post #3 of 92
What a hard place to be in. I always vote on the side of relationships but I have credit card debt to show for it
post #4 of 92
Any chance you could skip the plane tickets and drive to your destination? You'll have a rent car anyway.
post #5 of 92
Personally, I'd skip Sea World.

I just cannot bring myself to pay money for entertainment unless it is something ds really wants to do. Half the time, dh and I split up so only one of us goes and we only have to pay for one adult. I suppose a day pass is something crazy like $50... Sometimes with young ones, it's like paying to take a kid to the zoo and finding out the best part for the kid is chasing pigeons. My ds would enjoy being someplace new, going in the pool and other free things.
post #6 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belleweather View Post
It's too late to back out now.
It actually isn't, and of course you know that. Here's my take on it:

Finances are a pretty black-and-white thing. You either have the money or you don't. You either can afford it, or you can't. You can sit down and keep track of every penny on spreadsheets like I do, and there you have it -- in black and white.

Emotions, on the other hand, are pretty complicated. There is no black and white, there are actually many shades of gray. Problems arise when we make emotional decisions about financial things. I know, from experience.

In your situation, I would have to tell the in-laws, you know what? I'm really sorry. I thought everything would be okay for this trip when we agreed to go, and I haven't told you before because I didn't want to let you down and was really hoping it would somehow work out, but it just isn't.

Then the ball is in their court. If they want you to go badly enough, they will offer to help with your financial burden of the trip. How badly you want to go, is only something that can be measured *by you*, and will determine whether you take them up on the offer or not.

If no offer is made, but rather family strife develops because of your honesty about your situation, then I would have to seriously consider why I would want to go on vacation with such people in the first place.

Good luck.
post #7 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenelle View Post
It actually isn't, and of course you know that. Here's my take on it:

Finances are a pretty black-and-white thing. You either have the money or you don't. You either can afford it, or you can't. You can sit down and keep track of every penny on spreadsheets like I do, and there you have it -- in black and white.

Emotions, on the other hand, are pretty complicated. There is no black and white, there are actually many shades of gray. Problems arise when we make emotional decisions about financial things. I know, from experience.

In your situation, I would have to tell the in-laws, you know what? I'm really sorry. I thought everything would be okay for this trip when we agreed to go, and I haven't told you before because I didn't want to let you down and was really hoping it would somehow work out, but it just isn't.

Then the ball is in their court. If they want you to go badly enough, they will offer to help with your financial burden of the trip. How badly you want to go, is only something that can be measured *by you*, and will determine whether you take them up on the offer or not.

If no offer is made, but rather family strife develops because of your honesty about your situation, then I would have to seriously consider why I would want to go on vacation with such people in the first place.

Good luck.

This sums up how I feel.
post #8 of 92
With the rental car have you considered using Priceline or Hotwire? I use Priceline all the time. I research the going rates for rental cars (or hotels) and then offer 30% less for the exact same size car and dates. I don't think my offers have ever been refused for rental cars. And I've gotten some really good deals!

Maybe you can check around for some discount tkt deals for entertainment? I agree w/ a pp that perhaps just your dh can go to Sea World w/ your dc and in-laws. Since you have a baby (under 2) then you can use that as an excuse for you not going.
post #9 of 92
gotta add that a week is way longer than I would spend at Sea World. After 1 day we've usually hit everything of interest.
post #10 of 92
You could cut Sea World. Just not do it. Or you could have one adult do it and not the other. You could cut the rental car, maybe it might be cheaper even to split a mini-van with the in-laws if they are renting rather than rent two cars.

Also you could shorten the vacation to a few days. Last year, I unexpectedly had to start a new job when a two-week trip to visit FIL had already been planned. We were able to shorten the trip to one week and no one's feelings were hurt. So if you only go for three days instead of a week, that will automatically cut the groceries in half, reduce the rental car bill (especially if you split it with the in-laws), and cut down the Sea World cost if you decide one or both of you wants to go. You can explain it's because of money and life happening, and they probably won't be hurt since they will get to see you. Good luck!
post #11 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
You could cut Sea World. Just not do it. Or you could have one adult do it and not the other. You could cut the rental car, maybe it might be cheaper even to split a mini-van with the in-laws if they are renting rather than rent two cars.

Also you could shorten the vacation to a few days. Last year, I unexpectedly had to start a new job when a two-week trip to visit FIL had already been planned. We were able to shorten the trip to one week and no one's feelings were hurt. So if you only go for three days instead of a week, that will automatically cut the groceries in half, reduce the rental car bill (especially if you split it with the in-laws), and cut down the Sea World cost if you decide one or both of you wants to go. You can explain it's because of money and life happening, and they probably won't be hurt since they will get to see you. Good luck!
Just FYI, we recently did some car rental searches and discovered that a one-week rate was always cheaper than a 3 day or 4 day rental, due to the discounts you get when you rent for a week. So honestly, I'm not sure how significant the savings would be. Plus, groceries will be an expense whether at home or on vacation.

I do think the whole situation is crappy. Any chance your inlaws would be able to help share some of your expenses?
post #12 of 92
you can't explain this to them? Have you tried?
post #13 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by polyhymnia View Post
Just FYI, we recently did some car rental searches and discovered that a one-week rate was always cheaper than a 3 day or 4 day rental, due to the discounts you get when you rent for a week. So honestly, I'm not sure how significant the savings would be. Plus, groceries will be an expense whether at home or on vacation.
In some locations, 3-4 days can be cheaper-- it just depends.

Since the OP was using $200 as a travel expense, I assumed she meant that was in addition to whatever she would spend at home.
post #14 of 92
Do you know anyone who is military? Sea World is free for us and our guests (up to 4 people each).
post #15 of 92
Is this trip something that your in-laws were doing anyway, or did they plan to go to this place only because your family was going to join them? I mean, if they have a time-share maybe they go there regularly. if that's the case I wouldn't feel as bad backing out.

I kind of think you should back out.
post #16 of 92
I had to do this....
My Mom expected DD and I to take the train down (450 miles away) and stay for 2 weeks....we didn't have the money, and I said so. Mom didn't like it....but accepted it.
post #17 of 92
I would just back out. Life happens. I can't imagine your IL's not understanding that. But, if they don't ... then, well, frankly - tough.

You don't have the money. Ergo, you should not be going. It's really that simple. Don't get into more debt just to appease the IL's.
post #18 of 92
This is probably not going to be helpful, as I'm sure your ILs want to see the kids... what if just your dh goes with the frequent flyer miles? Or the oldest to go with him if you are comfortable with that.
post #19 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
This is probably not going to be helpful, as I'm sure your ILs want to see the kids... what if just your dh goes with the frequent flyer miles? Or the oldest to go with him if you are comfortable with that.
That depends on what kind of a spender her DH is. If she's the money-manager of the family, saving on her airfare but then letting him spend unchaperoned might end up costing more. Snacks and lunches at SeaWorld, etc.

Aven
post #20 of 92
I understand that backing out is an attractive option, but I do sort of see this as something you've already bought. You told them you would go, they have already put themselves out financially for this trip with your family--it's money already spent, IMO.
Maybe next time save the money up before committing, or let them know in advance that you might not be able to come, depending on financial circumstances since you don't yet have the money put aside.
Yes, you can still back out, but I would personally be very hesitant to do so at this late point. Even though they have a timeshare, they may have otherwise booked it to earn income, and they probably would not have booked a flight. If you don't go, I wouldn't expect them to be completely understanding. I'd expect them to be polite and respectful, but I would understand their disappointment or frustration.
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