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Watch Us Commit Financial Suicide... - Page 3

post #41 of 92
Thread Starter 
Okay, hopefully this won't totally break the multiquote function of the board. I want to say in advance that I really appreciate the help. You have all given me great persepective on where we are and what we should do here, and I appreciate every single reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by umarider View Post
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.
Our kids are really little and are both still napping, so the plan was to visit Sea World two or three times in the morning and then come home in the afternoon, and spend the other mornings playing at the resort pool or visiting the Orlando Science Center (we can get in free with our membership from our local science museum). Both my kids are mad-crazy for animals -- sea animals in particular -- and we can go all week for one admission price, which is why we chose it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aircantu1 View Post
Any chance you could skip the plane tickets and drive to your destination? You'll have a rent car anyway.
I've been thinking about that. It would be $200 in gas, according to AAA and another $80-120 in hotel, and it's a 24 hour drive one way in my subcompact car with two little kids. On one hand, it would save a substantial amount of money. On the other hand, it would be tough on the kids and we'd have to worry about weather/snow/etc. both ways (we're in MN) and a delay would eat up any savings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Megan~ View Post
you can't explain this to them? Have you tried?
Yes, we really have. We don't have a very good relationship with my inlaws and they just don't get us an money AT ALL. It's a really contentious subject, for a ton of reasons -- basically, they look at me as their son's meal ticket and are offended when we can't afford the things they think we should (which they afford through consumer debt).

Quote:
Originally Posted by traceface View Post
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?
No, they planned this specifically because of our family. They would have used their resort points on something else if we weren't joining them.

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.
DH is a SAHD, so I would have no childcare for the kid(s) if he went alone. He'd have to take them both, and I'm not sure he's up to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanguine_speed View Post
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.
Honestly, I'm inclined to agree with you. While it's technically *possible* to back out, we have already committed to do this and they spent money and made commitments based on our word. And honestly, we're not talking about being unable to afford rent, bills or food, just being way more strapped than I am comfortable being. But I think there's something to the idea of making good on our word and our commitments that I've got to take into account too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by woodchick View Post
Could you share a car rental with your Inlaws? We did this with my folks on a trip to CO for a wedding. A minivan for the week was cheaper than two sedans.
We'd have to get a full-size van, I think. It's Me, DH, FIL, MIL and BIL and two kids in full size car seats. I know we can't fit all of us in our minivan, but I guess maybe one without captain's chairs in the second row..? I'll look into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtm View Post
you have no emergency fund
you have car troubles
your dh is a student
you only have 50 til payday.
you already owe money
the trip will put you on the financial edge
you can't afford this vacation.

For me its simple, sorry Mom and Dad, we blew it this year. Tons of unexpected issues have come up and we simply can't afford to join you at your time share. We do want to pay our share of the rent so you're not out of pocket but we simply can't afford to do the trip with all the extras (plane, entertainment, food etc).
The problem is that my inlaws did not pay for this trip with cash. We aren't expected to pay any portion of the lodging, but they paid for it with their RCI Timeshare Points. We can't buy them more points, and since their timeshare isn't usually at this resort (it's in CO) they had to pay a premium and lose out on other opportunities to do this with us. It makes it really shitty for us to cancel on them.

As far as your assessment of this situation, it is equally true to say that we now have a fixed car, paid tuition, a debt that has it's final payment due 6 weeks after this trip and which will be paid off by my employer, and I have four more paychecks coming in between now and this trip. We aren't in dire straits -- there is no question as to whether we'll be able to afford the basic vacation expenses I listed and rent, bills, food, etc. It's just bringing us far closer to the edge than I'm really comfortable with. I'm trying to get a good sense of whether that's because I'm psychotically conservative with money (which, I totally am. I believe that Credit Cards are a sin, for crying out loud...) or because we're really pushing it too far.
post #42 of 92
Your primary responsibility is to your immediate family not extended family. If this trip creates a hardship for your immediate family, I would cancel. You only have $50, after next payday will your situation be the same? How would you pay for the trip? Sorry if the sound harsh, but for me, no money would mean no trip.
post #43 of 92
I'm going to say differently than most here have. I think that the trip costs are largely money you've already spent.

Especially given your latest post. If you back out now, the ILs will be stuck holding the bag. You can't stiff your ILs on the cost and hassle they've already undertaken because you decided now that you can't afford it.

As I've been on their side of this, unless you have a major medical reason for not going, or a true financial crisis (not, "I don't like credit cards" or "we didn't budget well" but more like "The house was just last week totalled in a fire and insurance may not cover it at all"), backing out now will make them angry and will ensure you're never invited to any other vacation ever again.

I think you could cut the sea world tickets to 1 adult pass instead of 2. It means one of you doesn't get to go, but it would also make it 50% cheaper, right?

Definitely look at car sharing

Look at cheaper groceries if at all possible. It might be cheaper there than where you are, and you could do cheaper sandwiches, etc. than ususal.

Any chance of you doing some work while you're there if it would benefit you financially? Maybe if your DH has the pass to Sea World and takes the kids in the mornings, you can work a bit?
post #44 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belleweather View Post
We'd have to get a full-size van, I think. It's Me, DH, FIL, MIL and BIL and two kids in full size car seats. I know we can't fit all of us in our minivan, but I guess maybe one without captain's chairs in the second row..? I'll look into it.
I bet the rental company has a car that can manage it. In fact I think even my parents' Sienna can hold that many.
post #45 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belleweather View Post
Both my kids are mad-crazy for animals -- sea animals in particular -- and we can go all week for one admission price, which is why we chose it.
Can you check and see if they have any zoos in the area instead? Some zoos are free and some require an entrance fee, but it should be cheaper than $180!

OR...and this is kinda branching out there. But are the tickets transferrable? Because if so, maybe you could split the cost with another mama here? (This probably can't happen though. )

Otherwise, I agree with the pp that mentioned military. You could see if a mama here has that option and then you could meet them and go together.





Also, if you don't get along that well with the ILs, I don't know how fun that would be in general. And if the ILs spend money less wisely than you, I would be afraid that they would pressure you to go out to eat more than you want to.

Is there anything that you or DH could do in the mean time to maybe get a little extra cash in the mean time? Babysitting, shoveling snow, selling off extra stuff on e-bay/amazon/craigslist. (Bonus, you would be decluttering in the mean time!)

Is there any way you can do a bunch of the grocery shopping in MN where they are probably MUCH cheaper? For instance, if you could buy the dry ingredients and mix them together in MN, you would have spent less money.



*I* would not go, personally. But from your update, it sounds like you feel you have no choice. So you really need to either find a way to cut costs, or earn more money in the meantime.
post #46 of 92
Another thing with the car- who cares if you have to take 2 trips? the grown-ups who don't make it in the first trip can hang out for a half hour and wait for the driver to come back and fetch them. Depending on how far away you are from SW this may be doable.
post #47 of 92
I just wanted to add that the military thing is ONLY good once a year. The military member and dependents can go pretty much whichever day they choose for free, but they only get in free one time each year.

That's why even though DH is a Marine I have a seaworld membership.
post #48 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I bet the rental company has a car that can manage it. In fact I think even my parents' Sienna can hold that many.
The Sienna (at least, the one we rented in September) has THREE captain's chairs in the middle row (at least, I think they are... they don't swivel, but they each recline independently). I think the back row also seats three. We installed a carseat into two of the middle-row seats and I sat comfortably in the third seat. We also put two tweens in the backseat, and they practically rattled. So, five adults and two kids in a Sienna is easy.
post #49 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belleweather View Post
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. ::::
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belleweather View Post
I'm trying to get a good sense of whether that's because I'm psychotically conservative with money (which, I totally am. I believe that Credit Cards are a sin, for crying out loud...) or because we're really pushing it too far.
You're not being psychotically conservative. You don't have the money to go. That's not being conservative - it's just logic.

Reading your update though it kind of sounds like you want to hear that you should go?
post #50 of 92
Quote:
We don't have a very good relationship with my inlaws and they just don't get us an money AT ALL.
Why the heck are you considering putting yourself in a financially shaky position for people you don't even have a good relationship with?!?
post #51 of 92
I read your updates saying that this would be a contentious issue for the ILs for you to back out. I understand that because there are certainly certain issues with my MIL and other issues with my mother that are just really tense and emotional and all that icky stuff. If we backed out on a trip with MIL you can bet fur would fly (not so much with my mother, but she has other issues).

Where does your DH stand in all of this? Sorry if you mentioned already. If it were my DH he'd probably take the stand with his mother (and I'd be all stressed about it, even though I would NOT want to go). But if my DH wouldn't take the stand, I don't think I would. I guess I'd feel like DH handling this would cause a rift between us and the IL's but a potentially reparable one. But if I was the one saying We're Cancelling, and DH didn't back me up, I'd be afraid about long-term repercussions in my marriage (due to IL's angry influence on DH, and also direct resentment between me and DH).

Is this kind of what you're feeling?
post #52 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_McG View Post
You're not being psychotically conservative. You don't have the money to go. That's not being conservative - it's just logic.

Reading your update though it kind of sounds like you want to hear that you should go?
I can't believe so many people are telling her to destroy her whole family's relationship with the ILs. I would agree that canceling is a good idea IF it were a trip she were just considering doing for fun with her immediate family.

However, she's committed to the ILs to go and they have spent considerable money based on that commitment. Bailing out now sticks them with a lot of expenses.

In this case, the OP needs to look at it as if she's already spent the $ IMO. As if she sent it to the ILs to pay for all the things they've already paid for on her behalf. The ILs can't back out now with the condo share. The OP shouldn't either.

I've been the one to book a site at a resort for a group, where you can cancel the whole reservation, but not the portion for 1 family only. And then closer to the event, had my brother decide not to go because he "needed to work." It had been booked for nearly a year. I was just out the money (thankfully the other 2 families who went paid 1/3 of his share too, so we all lost money, not just me.)

That was 5 years ago, but I still won't book a reservation involving him again. In October, we went somewhere and I gave him info on the closest hotel, but I did not offer to book something with my credit card as I did for my parents. It could be canceled up to the day of the trip, but I don't trust my brother to do even that now.

The only acceptable way to not go IMO is to feign something major like a kid too sick to fly and to pay for the ILs to get their regular condo share back or the equivalent cost of a hotel suite in the same city for the same length of time IMO. And even then, it will probably make the relationship even worse.

Sorry, but you should have set the money aside when you committed to it, and you should go IMO.
post #53 of 92
That's what I'm reading too.

I would also try to sell something, yes.
post #54 of 92
After reading the new information, I agree that you should consider this money already spent and use it as a learning opportunity for the future.

But I also don't think you are being too financially conservative in your thinking. Your misgivings about the trip are reasonable and next time you can do things differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I would also try to sell something, yes.
GOOD idea. Time to liquefy some household assets. Have any fancy china sitting around? A nice bedroom set you could sell? Any recreational vehicles or bicycles? Expensive kitchen appliances? I know it's no fun but you need the money.
post #55 of 92
You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time. :silly:

Check out the aquariuim in Tampa, and the one in Kissimmiee for cheaper admission. Sea world is a marketing genius but that doesnt make it better.

There might be something in Daytona as well.

Flex your google muscle.
post #56 of 92
I agree that you should just think of it as money you already spent. It's a learning experience--next time hopefully you'll be able to pay a little more comfortably, and hopefully you'll have fun. We have been there--we do an annual vacation with my IL's where they pay for lodgings and some activities and we pay for our transportation and food, and some years it's been tight but it's super important to them so we just find a way. I'm always glad I do it, my kids have a blast and get to spend a ton of time with their grandparents, and it's actually been good for my relationship with my MIL--we have really learned how to get along with each other a lot better while in one condo together for a week!

If you are super careful with your next four paychecks, will that help? Like try to set aside $50 from each check? And what about your tax return...are you getting a large enough return to help out, can you file right away when you get your W-2's?

FWIW, I think your idea of Sea World is a good one. $180 for entertainment expenses for the whole week for four people sounds good to me, since you can technically afford it (you said it will just be tighter than you are comfortable with, so that's what I'm going on). I think there are other museums in that area that have that reciprocal membership thing, do you have the whole list? I want to say when we were in that area we also were able to hit a children's museum and maybe something else as well as the science center using our museum membership from up here. That would give you a few more options.
post #57 of 92

One more idea

Dont know the ages but one more idea:

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2068

That is about an hour from Orlando. Maybe less from the Disney area.
post #58 of 92
Personally, I would not go. Vacations are very expensive, you almost always spend more than you planned anyway. So knowing that I have no money would make it that much harder to relax and enjoy.
post #59 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belleweather View Post
We aren't in dire straits -- there is no question as to whether we'll be able to afford the basic vacation expenses I listed and rent, bills, food, etc. It's just bringing us far closer to the edge than I'm really comfortable with .
One thing you could try is to look around the house for a few things to sell on Craigslist (toys no longer played with, outgrown clothing, etc) Would a hundred bucks spending money make you feel better about the trip?
post #60 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionTigerBear View Post
After reading the new information, I agree that you should consider this money already spent and use it as a learning opportunity for the future.

But I also don't think you are being too financially conservative in your thinking. Your misgivings about the trip are reasonable and next time you can do things differently.
I agree with this.
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