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Disneyland or pay down debt? - Page 5

post #81 of 111
Someone might have mentioned it above, but the current stimulus plan does not include $1200 checks. It includes funding for extended unemployment benefits, infrastructure, medicaid, etc, but there is absolutely no reason anyone should be banking on a windfall "stimulus check." It is not even on the table.
post #82 of 111
Thread Starter 
Good advice. I think one of the reasons I wanted to do this trip is because we took a lot of roadtrips when I was growing up and I miss that, and when gas prices went up so high we didn't go anywhere (we have an SUV), but now I think to myself that these low gas prices might not stick around very long and might never be seen again. Still, if that is true then that would mean harder times ahead for everyone and means I need to get in better financial shape even more. It did have a lot to do with that though. I just feel very restless lately. Maybe just getting out of town, even somewhere nearby, would help out with that. Maybe just a weekend trip a couple hours away. I definitely changed my mind about Disney though. Not unless and until we get free from cc debt. I think I just miss a good roadtrip.
post #83 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post
On a completely different note, I would seriously consider my husband's feelings in this matter. If he is working hard and feels deprived, that is going to negatively impact the entire family. It is my opinion that everyone can feel abundant regardless of the actual monetary situation. I would work on the spiritual side of feeling abundant on a daily (hourly) basis and see what miracles can transpire. Whatever your beliefs, I feel confident abundance can be found somewhere... a gratitude journal, thanking DH for his work each day, visualizing an abundant life, donating a little to others, placing a $5 bill in DH's wallet with a love note, etc.

Best wishes!!!
I this advice!
post #84 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccohenou View Post
Someone might have mentioned it above, but the current stimulus plan does not include $1200 checks. It includes funding for extended unemployment benefits, infrastructure, medicaid, etc, but there is absolutely no reason anyone should be banking on a windfall "stimulus check." It is not even on the table.
I am no longer banking on a stimulus check since there doesn't seem to be one on the way, but someone mentioned a possible forgiveness of payroll taxes? I did hear Obama mention people who don't make enough to pay taxes but pay payroll taxes getting some form of "assistance"? Anyway, I was expecting some income from other sources so the question is still valid for me. I would have been thinking about the trip if I were to sell some of the things I have lined up to sell here in the next month or so. Fact is, I have been making excuses as to why we NEED a roadtrip, particularly to a sunny locale. In our case, I think we just haven't earned it, as much as that pains me to say. I need to pay for my mistakes first.:
post #85 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccohenou View Post
Someone might have mentioned it above, but the current stimulus plan does not include $1200 checks. It includes funding for extended unemployment benefits, infrastructure, medicaid, etc, but there is absolutely no reason anyone should be banking on a windfall "stimulus check." It is not even on the table.
I believe this is the text of the bill that passed the House. I'm not sure if this is the full and final draft, though.

http://waysandmeans.house.gov/media/pdf/110/sbill.pdf
post #86 of 111
While it's important to "make memories" for your children, and it can be acceptable to borrow a small sum to do so, I second the notion that they are actually too young for Disney. We were a Waldorf-type no-media household, and went to Disney in Orlando when dd was about six. We had a wonderful, wonderful time (though we only went because dh was working there for a few days and had a free room), but I don't think any younger than 6 is a good idea- we're waiting until our youngest (4 1/2) gets a little older before we even consider that kind of expensive vacation again.

If you need a break, go on a short trip not too far from home, and negotiate a good rate if it's somewhere off-season. There are actually a lot of really good deals out there right now, and although paying off debt is a priority, we aren't talking about vast sums of money.

You can also take a few bucks a week to squirrel away for a small vacation come spring or summer, too.
post #87 of 111
If you love amusement parks, you could always try a smaller local place, like sesame place, dutch wonderland, six flags, etc, or whatever's near you. Even a county fair! It'd be so much cheaper and probably as much or more fun for little ones.
post #88 of 111
I grew up pretty poor and now we are well off (with zero-little debt). But I'm a big believer in enjoying all the wonderful FREE things in the area.>>>>

I cant agree more. Although it never is really free. we love to visit a local castle (Hammond Castle), we go to beaches, Boston zoo's. So instead of one trip that would cost us $5000K we can take 3-4 small day trips and spend less than $500.

As for Disney with young kids, when we went years ago, my kids where 11,7, and just barely 2. If I had just my 2 youngest we would have waited. I really went for my oldest.

It is so hard being a parent, the constant struggle to make our families happy and to keep the finances in check...
post #89 of 111
debt hands down.
post #90 of 111
I haven't read the whole thread, but I would suggest to GO ON VACATION
AND
PAY DOWN DEBT.

Consider a fun cheap vacation. As a former Anaheim, CA resident, I can tell you there are many, many extras you must pay once you get to Disneyland. Parking, for one. Being weighed down by a swamp cooler for food isn't ideal.
You mentioned your oldest daughter wants to see the beach again.
Could you camp on a beach in California?
Last year, I went camping at Dana Point State Beach. The campsite is $12 a day. We rented a tent from REI for $40/wk (it was waterproof. Pay extra for waterproof!) $20 for cook-out supplies. Healthy organic food from the local Trader Joe's. We even saw wild dolphins nearby.
post #91 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by freespirited View Post
Some of you suggested paying off the 0% card first, but I am not sure why. $3800 at the 24% rate is $456 in interest for 6 months. The difference in interest rates between the cards (28% and 24%) is only 4%. 4% of $3800 is $152 annually. I would be saving, minus the $100 transfer fee $356 dollars between now and June. The difference between the 28% and 24% is not that big on a $3800 dollar balance. I can't see paying that one off first being a better deal than throwing all my money at the bigger one, kwim? Please explain if you have a different POV. Keep in mind that I *think* I might be able to pay these cards off, if market conditions work in my favor, in one year. I can't see it taking more than two years.
I'm one of the ones who suggested that. There are several reasons why I'd do it that way.

1) You cited credit card debt that's close to half your family's annual income. That's huge. It never even crossed my mind that you might have a way to pay the card off in two years, let alone only one. I never plan anything based on thinking I might be able to pay something off. If I don't know exactly where the money will come from, it's not a planning point.

2) Many introductory 0% offers charge retroactive interest on the whole amount, if the full balance isn't paid off at the end of the introductory period (usually six months). That would be six months of interest on $3,800 at 28%, if the card isn't paid off completely in time. That would really hurt, and I'd want to completely eliminate any possibility of it happening.

3) I would never carry a balance on two different cards at all. I have two cards, but the second one was opened for a specific purchase, and has had a zero balance for about a year - the purchase was paid off immediately, and I don't use that card. The only reason I haven't canceled it is because an occasional vendor takes one of the "big three", but not another. I find it cleaner and easier to keep things under control if there's only one card in use.

Basically, if I were sure I could pay off the 0% card before the new rate kicks in, then I'd probably put the $5,000 on the card that's already carrying interest...but I'd have to have the exact source of every penny of the $3,800 figured out before I'd do that.

Everybody does things differently, though. I'm very debt-averse. Until Aaron died (we both kind of lost it for a while), I only used my card in the first place, so I could get the cashback bonus. It was paid in full days ahead of the payment due date every month. I hate carrying debt - always have.
post #92 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnt_mommy View Post
I haven't read the whole thread, but I would suggest to GO ON VACATION
AND
PAY DOWN DEBT.

Consider a fun cheap vacation. As a former Anaheim, CA resident, I can tell you there are many, many extras you must pay once you get to Disneyland. Parking, for one. Being weighed down by a swamp cooler for food isn't ideal.
You mentioned your oldest daughter wants to see the beach again.
Could you camp on a beach in California?
Last year, I went camping at Dana Point State Beach. The campsite is $12 a day. We rented a tent from REI for $40/wk (it was waterproof. Pay extra for waterproof!) $20 for cook-out supplies. Healthy organic food from the local Trader Joe's. We even saw wild dolphins nearby.
She lives in Idaho so traveling to CA alone would be very expensive.
post #93 of 111
Pay down the debt.

That said, I just came back from a week at Disney World paid ENTIRELY - food, hotel, tickets, souvenirs, the whole shebang - with rewards from my Disney credit card and other rewards programs. I have no debt, but very little income. However, my 3 year old deserved that trip for everything she's been through, and she had an absolute blast (I think it's the perfect age...), and it definitely lifted my spirits, which have been down lately. However, I wouldn't have done it if I had to spend actual money, and/or if I had any debt.
post #94 of 111
I don't know if my story might make you feel any better...

Throughout my childhood money was a source of stress in my home. We always had food on the table, new clothes, and a nice place to live, but there was always a palpable level of stress about money. Creditors would call, my mom would often buy things we couldn't afford, my parents would fight about it. Every year my dad would get a bonus and take us on a road trip to Disney. They are some of the happiest memories of my childhood. : But I'd trade those trips in a heartbeat to have grown up without money being a source of stress and worry. It's been a struggle to develop healthy attitudes about finances (um, still working on it.) You can do so much more for yourself and your children by paying off the debt, living debt-free, and enjoying what you can afford.

ETA: I'm not implying that your kids are suffering in any way, or that your family has unhealthy attitudes about money. I just meant that I LOVED Disney as a child, but I'd still make the choice you are making about not going this year.
post #95 of 111
Thread Starter 
We won't be going to Disney this year and if we do take a roadtrip, we need to keep it shorter. One possibility is the Oregon coast since it takes 8 hours vs 16 hours to get to SoCal. I know there are nice beaches there, campgrounds, there used to be a baby animal place that my girls would love so if that's still around they can hold baby tigers and skunks, etc. We could probably do that for $500 if we budget carefully, and that would be for a four-day trip. That said, it wouldn't be until June or July so that would give us time to put a special fund aside for the trip, and if we do get a stimulus check or a commission, that would all still go to the cc. I'm sure now that $1200 wouldn't really pay for much of a vacation. Why go if you have to watch every single penny? I'm starting to imagine how deprived I'd feel once inside the park and not being able to buy my girls souvenirs or candy or whatever, and not being able to take them to the cool restaurants inside. For all that, I think we need at least $300 just for one day at Disney for tickets, food, etc. We will definitely wait.

I do have things to sell to pay down the debt but it's been hard in this economy. Early last year my sales were very good but it's changed a lot even since then. I'm a powerseller but I'm about to lose my status, I think, if I don't start selling again soon. I'm hoping that sales will pick up with people getting tax refunds. If I can clear my inventory this year I should be able to pay off almost all my debt!: If I sell my relative's rentals then I will definitely be able to due to a decent-sized commission. It will feel GREAT. Thanks for your support/advice/wisdom/ideas/inspiration. I'm sort of a newbie here. It's a great forum!
post #96 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Think of Winter View Post
I don't know if my story might make you feel any better...

Throughout my childhood money was a source of stress in my home. We always had food on the table, new clothes, and a nice place to live, but there was always a palpable level of stress about money. Creditors would call, my mom would often buy things we couldn't afford, my parents would fight about it. Every year my dad would get a bonus and take us on a road trip to Disney. They are some of the happiest memories of my childhood. : But I'd trade those trips in a heartbeat to have grown up without money being a source of stress and worry. It's been a struggle to develop healthy attitudes about finances (um, still working on it.) You can do so much more for yourself and your children by paying off the debt, living debt-free, and enjoying what you can afford.

Sounds like my story in some ways. My mom was terrible with budgeting and we always had money issues growing up. I remember her crying one day because she'd spent $100 on groceries (this would have been in the late 70s). I was only 4 but I never forgot that. For some reason, despite working hard to educate myself and never spending very much on myself, money has always been an issue in my life as well. I really do not spend, I just make bad investments, I mean, every single effort I've made to multiply our money has turned out disastrously, so I am done with that. I don't know why exactly that I have been cursed, but if I am, it started with my mom and I definitely want to break it so my two dds can grow up differently and have a better life. One example of how we are seemingly cursed is that we bought one of the cheapest houses we could find and poured blood, sweat and tears into remodeling it. By the time we were done two years later, the market had crashed. We had put all our money we had into the downpayment like responsible people. Like 30% downpayment. Now we will be lucky if we sell it and take a 15k loss. That is after nearly divorcing from the stress of remodeling an entire house ourselves. We also learned that when remodeling you never have enough money even if you think you do, some some of our cc debt even last year was due to still buying materials for this money pit.

It's been an nightmare! If we had just stayed renters we would be living so much better. I know we're not alone, it's just crazy how every single thing we've done to make money has backfired. I have to wonder if there is something deeper going on. After all this, the only thing I want is to be debt-free and then just save, and saving is a very foreign concept to me so I will have to "learn" how to do that and be comfortable with it, strange as that may sound. I've literally never had a savings account, ever. Lots to learn for me.
post #97 of 111
I also wanted to say I think you're really brave for even posting this thread here, and hanging out to read what everyone has to say.
post #98 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by freespirited View Post
We won't be going to Disney this year and if we do take a roadtrip, we need to keep it shorter. One possibility is the Oregon coast since it takes 8 hours vs 16 hours to get to SoCal. I know there are nice beaches there, campgrounds, there used to be a baby animal place that my girls would love so if that's still around they can hold baby tigers and skunks, etc. We could probably do that for $500 if we budget carefully, and that would be for a four-day trip.
First, I'm really glad you've gotten good suggestions and have been so receptive to advice! That said, I'm a little concerned that you still seem to be planning well beyond your means. A $500 trip (which will likely cost more than that once you add in all misc. things and travel expenses) isn't something you should be considering in such a precarious financial spot.

I would spend all of my energy trying to come up with a workable budget that allows you to pay down that debt (meaning you'll have to come up with well more than minimum payments). Selling your house and living with family sounds like a great start!

Have you checked into Dave Ramsey's plan? He has some great, easy to follow advice for folks looking to become debt free.

Bottom line, we're all bound by our choices and circumstances. Being a SAHM on a small income generally means forgoing out of state vacations and other luxuries and that's fine! It sounds like you have gotten some great advice on how to have fun locally and on a budget.

Again, I think you will make so much more progress if you address everything in a very strategic way and commit to a plan on paper.

Best of luck to you!
post #99 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by freespirited View Post
I know we're not alone, it's just crazy how every single thing we've done to make money has backfired. I have to wonder if there is something deeper going on.
I'm sorry you're in this situation. Most entrepreneurial ventures don't succeed, so you are most certainly not alone. Big returns always come with big risk, which is why it's best if you use excess money or savings to invest in get rich quick schemes, not your grocery money or credit.
post #100 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonnenwende View Post
I would wait to go to Disney Land simply because your children are still so young. I went to Disney Land at 5 years old and I couldn't tell you a thing about it. I barely remember going to California at all and then nothing about Disney Land.
Me too. Disneyland will still be there later, and your kiddos will be able to enjoy it more when they are a little bigger, and you'll be able to enjoy it more without that debt hanging over your head.
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