Disneyland or pay down debt? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums
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#91 of 111 Old 01-31-2009, 11:43 PM
 
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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.

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#92 of 111 Old 02-01-2009, 12:06 AM
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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.
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#93 of 111 Old 02-01-2009, 12:53 AM
 
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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.

Single WAHM to 5yo DD, 2yo DS, and forever 7 week old angel DD.
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#94 of 111 Old 02-01-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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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.
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#95 of 111 Old 02-01-2009, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!
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#96 of 111 Old 02-01-2009, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#97 of 111 Old 02-01-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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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.
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#98 of 111 Old 02-01-2009, 09:05 PM
 
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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!
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#99 of 111 Old 02-01-2009, 11:10 PM
 
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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.
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#100 of 111 Old 02-02-2009, 12:33 PM
 
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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.

I don't come here anymore. MDC has become overgrown with ads & useless extra forums.
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#101 of 111 Old 02-02-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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I have to agree that there are some posters on this board who have been in their saving/not spending/no debt mindset for so long, or perhaps their entire lives... That they are not very sympathetic to those who are just beginning their journey into frugality, who are just now starting to have difficulty financially, who have only recently suffered a job loss or some other financial hardship that has brought them to this board in the first place.

OP, when I first started poking around this board, I was reluctant to post because our situation felt so bad and I honestly just needed to read and "lurk" and wasn't about to put myself out there for everyone else's opinions. I am glad that you did, though, because you seem to be learning, "inspired" as you say, and there is certainly a lot to learn from the helpful posters on this board. I do hope you will stick around and let us help and support you while you commit to digging out of your hole.
I am one of those posters who has always been of the frugal mindset. We built this board years ago on being frugal and also to help each other w financial aspects of life. At the beginning, we were a huge minority and I cannot tell you how many times people IRL have rolled their eyes or LOL at me for my frugal ways. Now that its envogue they are all knocking on my door.

It used to be, someone would come to this board looking for how to "trim" their budget. It would include going to starbucks 3 times less a week and not ordering a bottle of wine at dinner- skip the appetizer and wine! Split an entree! Wow look at the difference. We had tribes of mamas GOOD (getting out of debt), frugal tips etc. Well now we have people coming here w 5 and 6 figure debt sometimes and they just lost their primary source of income. They were coming in a few years ago with only 5-15K of cc debt and didnt change their lifestyle or life just happend.

So yes, I am not going to be sympathic to her cause of going to the Disneyland style vacation when she has to put herself more in debt to do it. I care too much about the OPs here to say- go have fun! See you in a few more years when you and DP have 5 or 6 figures of debt, on the brink of divorce or losing you home etc. I am glad we can inspire or teach whatever, but in order to get these people back on their feet, all the sunshine and rainbows blown up them is not going to pay down the visa balence.

I think if we all were sitting at my kitchen table or on a patio etc talking it would sound a lot nicer then posting in black and white type. It may sound mean but if you saw my face, it would change it.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#102 of 111 Old 02-02-2009, 03:29 PM
 
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So yes, I am not going to be sympathic to her cause of going to the Disneyland style vacation when she has to put herself more in debt to do it. I care too much about the OPs here to say- go have fun! See you in a few more years when you and DP have 5 or 6 figures of debt, on the brink of divorce or losing you home etc. I am glad we can inspire or teach whatever, but in order to get these people back on their feet, all the sunshine and rainbows blown up them is not going to pay down the visa balence.
She was referring to sympathy in wording, I believe. As opposed to "what are you thinking????" (for example, no one here posted that exactly on this thread). You can tell her it's a bad idea while still saying, "I understand that it's hard to wait but you will be glad you did."
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#103 of 111 Old 02-02-2009, 03:37 PM
 
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She was referring to sympathy in wording, I believe. As opposed to "what are you thinking????" (for example, no one here posted that exactly on this thread). You can tell her it's a bad idea while still saying, "I understand that it's hard to wait but you will be glad you did."
Ahhh ok I get it now. Yes I agree, I would not post that- well I might think it!!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#104 of 111 Old 02-02-2009, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Don't worry, I'm not offended by anyone's response. I think it's good that I'm hearing almost unanimously not to do it. One thing that maybe I wasn't clear on is that I wasn't going to go further into debt taking a trip. It was just about what to do with a "windfall" if you will, whether that be a stimulus check or a big sale of some of my jewelry investment, etc. I was talking myself into a trip because I felt I needed to balance my life with recreation and fun and not just throw every dollar at the debt, but I now feel inspired to get out of debt before doing anything that rewarding, and I will enjoy it much more than with the dark cloud of debt looming over my head even in the sunniest of locales. I know it bothers me on a very deep level despite my efforts to push it away and not acknowledge the damage is really is doing. At least I have some ways to pay it down if they succeed. At the very least, we will be able to pay it off completely if we work hard at it this year and then use next year's tax refund to finish it off so I really do think we can be debt-free in one year. At that point, we can start saving the money we would have used for the debt to save for a vacation next year. One we can be proud of and enjoy.

Dh is happy. He wasn't in favor of a trip. It's more of a sacrifice for me than him, but it motivates me to really get my butt in gear this year and be very aggressive about selling my "investments" and getting the debt paid off. It also motivates me to pinch every penny and put every saved penny towards the cc. I think it's always harder to forgo something you've gotten used to, rather than foregoing something you never really had. We were blessed with annual vacations to Costa Rica to see dh's family and relax on the beach and I now have to come to terms with those trips ending, sadly, not only because we had financial issues that affected us, but so did dh's parents so they could no longer help us as they used to once we had arrived. It just created a feeling of being stuck, but I just need an attitude adjustment I suppose, and hope for better days in the not-too-distant future. Facing reality sucks, but it's healthy too.
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#105 of 111 Old 02-02-2009, 06:04 PM
 
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Thanks for posting. We thought about going on vacation this year for about a second. We decided to do a camping vacation instead and put everything else we have into paying off debt. It was good to read the posts.

Wendy - mom to dd1(11), dd2(7), dd3(3)
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#106 of 111 Old 02-02-2009, 09:04 PM
 
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Seriously? You actually have to ask this question?

Pay down debt.

My kids have never been to Disneyland. It doesn't have to be a rite of passage.
Amys1st, I was replying in reference to this post in particular, and I was not the only one who thought it was kind of... not helpful.

The people who were following the thread regularly (and the OP in particular) knew where my comment was coming from. I am sorry if you took it wrong because I didn't use the quote function.

Also, if you had read all of my posts, you would most certainly see that I am NOT in favor of the vacation, in any way. I was the one pointing out to her that it would take about 500 years to pay off her credit card if she only paid the minimums.
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#107 of 111 Old 02-02-2009, 09:20 PM
 
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DEBT!

Your kids are still WAY young and the youngest won't remeber going to Disneyland!..Pay down debt for the next couple of years and take them when they are both old enough to REALLY enjoy it!

mommy daddy son daughter = our family
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#108 of 111 Old 02-03-2009, 12:25 PM
 
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It's hard not to be a little curt b/c at face value it does sound like a no brainer question, imo. That being said, I think many of us have been in the situation where we feel like we deserve something, we should be able to have something, and everyone in American society is encouraging you to have it...but truthfully you really can't afford it. I think we all know how easy it can be to feel comfortable with debt. It's a bad feeling to have, especially in this economy. I think having a little truth verbally slapped at you might at times wake you up more than gentle suggestions. I don't have debt, and no vacation is in our future. It's too bad, but that's reality. We have enough to be grateful for, and yes there are sooo many creative things we can do with our kids for "staycations". I'm not a DAve Ramsey follower really, but I did just read one of his books (very quick read) and I really liked his take on debt.

oh and OT: but re Disney, I agree about the age thing. I dislike Disney, but am pretty sure my kisd would love Disneyland or Disneyworld, and I would like to take them someday. However I will likely wait til they are much older than 5, 3, and 1.
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#109 of 111 Old 02-03-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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re: "staycations".

I just want to mention something. Vacations of any kind were few and far between when ds1 was little (very little money and no car). If my stepdad didn't own a cottage on a local island, we probably would have taken a total of one vacation from the time ds1 was born until he was about 8 or 9. DS1 did join my sister's family for a few weekend camping trips, though.

One of ds1's favourite memories of his childhood is our "picnics". I used to take ds1 and my nephew out for a walk. We'd take a thermos of hot chocolate, and an apple and a PB&J sandwich each. We'd also take our umbrellas and a large garbage bag each, as it was usually pouring. When we found a nice spot, we'd slip into the garbage bags, and sit down...usually at the side of the creek. We had some lovely picnics with the rain pouring down all around us, while we sat together in our garbage bags under our umbrellas and enjoyed hot chocolate. I added some verses to an "I love ds1" song I started when he was 2, and I also made up an "I love my nephew" song along the same lines. It's one of ds1's favourite memories...no vacation, or even "staycation" necessary...

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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#110 of 111 Old 02-03-2009, 05:28 PM
 
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Amys1st, I was replying in reference to this post in particular, and I was not the only one who thought it was kind of... not helpful.

The people who were following the thread regularly (and the OP in particular) knew where my comment was coming from. I am sorry if you took it wrong because I didn't use the quote function.

Also, if you had read all of my posts, you would most certainly see that I am NOT in favor of the vacation, in any way. I was the one pointing out to her that it would take about 500 years to pay off her credit card if she only paid the minimums.
Got it! I was wondering and then I read the other replies. I want to be helpful in this area and even though I have always been of the frugal mindset, this area has helped me tremondously. I didnt want anyone to think we are looking down on someone who is considering a vacation (which she does need in a way) but needs to dig out of the debt first.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#111 of 111 Old 02-04-2009, 12:36 AM
 
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One possibility is the Oregon coast
I was going to suggest this, because you might be able to see some whales this time of year! And it's so much less crowded.

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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.


You're not alone. This country would not be in the situation it is if you were. Myself and my family included here, not judging!

Mommy to kids

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