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#1 of 92 Old 12-29-2008, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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. )

Spending all of my money and time on this wild, wild life.
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#2 of 92 Old 12-29-2008, 11:43 PM
 
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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 **** 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.

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#3 of 92 Old 12-29-2008, 11:50 PM
 
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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

Married to the love of my life, mom to DS :
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#4 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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Any chance you could skip the plane tickets and drive to your destination? You'll have a rent car anyway.
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#5 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 12:08 AM
 
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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.

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#6 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 12:09 AM
 
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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.
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#7 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 12:26 AM
 
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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.
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#8 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 12:40 AM
 
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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.
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#9 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 12:42 AM
 
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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.
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#10 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 12:43 AM
 
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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!
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#11 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 12:48 AM
 
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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?

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#12 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 12:49 AM
 
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you can't explain this to them? Have you tried?

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#13 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 01:03 AM
 
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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.
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#14 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 01:10 AM
 
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Do you know anyone who is military? Sea World is free for us and our guests (up to 4 people each).
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#15 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 01:20 AM
 
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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.
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#16 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 01:22 AM
 
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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.

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#17 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 02:01 AM
 
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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.

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#18 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 08:16 AM
 
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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.
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#19 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 10:41 AM
 
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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
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#20 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 10:51 AM
 
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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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#21 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 11:00 AM
 
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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
I have to laugh at this one. That would Sooo happen in our family.
Last year we went to FL for 10 days, and rented a car, and ooh - I just looked it up, it was $385 for 10 days. You got a good deal.
This is a useless post - I thought it was much less. We did wait until the last min. to reserve it and the cost kept going down each day or so as we got closer.
Good luck. I'd probably go for it by the way. We are in a similar predicament regarding a wedding of some very close friends. It's out of state, and with airfare, cabs to and from the airport, tux rental, gift, etc, we will be out of pocket over $1,000. And that's with staying at a rental house with family and leaving the kids here with my in-laws. This is a destination wedding for everyone, and it makes me MAD that they expect everyone to just suck it up and go along with it. But anyhow....we can't really afford it either but are putting the relationship first. (Groom is dd's godfather, etc)

Katherine mother to DS 8/03 and DD1 9/06 and DD2 6/10
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#22 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 11:34 AM
 
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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
Sorry. Dh and I are 100% on the same financial page so things like this do not even enter my mind.
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#23 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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You can back out. You can. I'm sure your ils will be disappointed, but if they could read your post, surely they would understand. Could you tell them exactly what you wrote? I can't imagine parents not being able to understand something like that. Won't they be able to enjoy the vacation even if they're disappointed that you're not there?

ETA: If it were me, I wouldn't go. I'd be really, really apologetic, but I wouldn't go. This is a vacation, not a home, food, clothing, medical care. Thank goodness.
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#24 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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Dude, liberate yourself from the burden of this supposed vacation. It's not like you'd be able to enjoy yourselves anyway. They will forgive you, and honestly, most parents would want to see their adult children choosing financial responsibility over a vacation any day.
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#25 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 12:33 PM
 
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You are going to Orlando? Why not go over to the orlando tribe area and see what you can dig up for free/cheap to do. Daytona Beach is close by and its fabulous. (Or even better, New Smyrna Beach is less crowded and touristy. )

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#26 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 12:40 PM
 
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I would definitely skip Sea World. Let the ILs know that things are extremely tight financially, and that's why you have to skip Sea World this time. Even if you don't go to Sea World, you still get to relax and enjoy time with family. Maybe the ILs will offer to pay for the (older?) kids to go to the park with them and you and DH can get a break at the resort.

When my family goes to DisneyWorld, we don't get tickets to the park for every day. Half the time we just hang out and walk around the grounds and spend time with our family and relax.

And you CAN always back out completely, even though it would be difficult. Bottom line is, you're going to have to level with your ILs whether you like it or not-- because you won't be able to hide the fact that you have NO discretionary budget once you're there.

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#27 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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Anyway your ILs could front the money and you pay them back when things are better?

Try Priceline name your own price for the rental. I once got a 2 week midsize rental for about $10ish/day.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#28 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 01:13 PM
 
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Just a couple thoughts:

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.

Is the $200 for groceries extra or what you would normally spend at home? Maybe you could skimp a little...

I'd skip Sea World for the week. Maybe go one or two days and then find other things to do. AAA books often list local parks or hiking/nature trails that you could do. Or take a drive to the beach or bring some games and books and hang out by the pool.

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#29 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 02:48 PM
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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). We love you and we are very sorry. Repeat as much as necessary but stay firm. Don't mortgage your future by touching your 401, taking a loan or going deeper into debt for this.

oh and edited to add, do your ils have anyone who could take your place? Siblings, friends, etc?
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#30 of 92 Old 12-30-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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If the vacation will really be financial suicide then don't go. You will hate every minute of it and will regret it later.

Tell them you are sorry but unless they can help you out financially you will not be able to go.

I'm so sorry.
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