Disneyland or pay down debt? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-30-2009, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband I already agreed to put our entire tax refund towards paying down cc debt. We owe 17k total but after the tax refund, it will be down to 12k. : It looks like there is going to be another stimulus so we should be getting $1200 for that. We haven't had a vacation in over a year and I really wanted to take that money and take a road trip to Disneyland. We could pretty much do it for that amount of we stay in very cheap hotels, do our own food sometimes out of a cooler, and has prices should still be low.

My husband thinks we should pay down debt and skip a vacation. What would you do? My girls haven't been anywhere fun in a long time. We used to take tropical vacations but that is a thing of the past now. My oldest daughter is always asking when she will see the ocean again. I don't know. I just feel like you still have to live your life, and at the same time, this debt is such a burden.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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I would pay down debt and not go on vacation. It stinks but 12k is still a LOT to owe.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:54 PM
 
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I dunno, what's the other stimulus? I haven't been paying attention. I just filed last night and also plan to use some of the money to pay for a trip to Disney Land this summer. I'm not sure what I'd do in your situation, being in debt is a downer, but a family vacation is memories that will last a lifetime. Sorry, not helpful My DH would also say pay bills, I say let's take a trip!

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Old 01-30-2009, 04:11 PM
 
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Pay down the debt.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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Debt.

Hands-down you should pay off the debt.

 

 

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Old 01-30-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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There are no other stimulus checks in the second stimulus bill that is being tossed around in Congress right now. At best, there will be a $500-$1000 rebate that will be spread throughout the year by employers adjusting withholdings. No lump sum.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:18 PM
 
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Pay down debt.

Last summer we vacationed at home and had a great time. Disney is way out of our budget, and we don't have cc debt.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:18 PM
 
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I wouldn't personally go on any vacation in that situation.

Mom to Kira March 2009
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:22 PM
 
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If your family had never been on a vacation or something, perhaps it would be different, but if it's only been 'over a year', then....I'd wait for a bit. We haven't gone anywhere in several years now, and probably will go this summer for a weekend getaway.

4 kids under 10
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sonnenwende View Post
There are no other stimulus checks in the second stimulus bill that is being tossed around in Congress right now. At best, there will be a $500-$1000 rebate that will be spread throughout the year by employers adjusting withholdings. No lump sum.
thanks for the info!

and OP, I think I agree with all the reasonable people here. $12k is a lot of money to owe.

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Old 01-30-2009, 04:28 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. Maybe a little of Universal Studios and that I ran into the Pacific Ocean and got into trouble...other than that...drawing a blank here.

$12k really isn't that much and you should be able to pay that off in a reasonable amount of time. I'd just go to a large in-state lake if your daughter wants to go to the beach for right now.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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I would wait to go to Disney Land simply because your children are still so young.
oh, yeah. We've been to both Disneyland (several yrs ago) and DisneyWorld (this past summer). I do think that if it's a once in a lifetime type of thing, waiting until they are 8ish or so is the ideal age to go. My DD doesn't remember anything about DL when she was 3, but DH and I remember her face lighting up and the fun that she did have.

ETA: I was typing as you were editing out my quote sorry!

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Old 01-30-2009, 04:32 PM
 
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yeah, there's not going to be another stimulus package that just sends out checks, at least not anytime soon.

I definitely wouldn't go to Disneyland if I had 12k of CC debt left, either.

-sarah-
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:50 PM
 
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I just think this is a very personal choice, dependent on many factors. First of all, $12,000 in credit card debt sounds like A LOT to many people on this board... But to some, doesn't seem so bad. I think it depends on your income level, your interest rates, whether you get a bonus each year, how soon you will have something else paid off that you can then tack on to your credit card payments... Depends if you are paying only minimums the rest of the year or if you are sending a big chunk, etc. etc.

$12,000 @ 5.99 = I would go on a FRUGAL vacation.

$12,000 @ 24.99 = I would stay home and send it ALL to credit cards.

Feeling very stable in your current job situation = I would go on vacation.

Feeling at all shaky about your job situation = I would wait until cc paid off.

And the list goes on.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:53 PM
 
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What about doing a road trip vacation in the local area? Camping or seeing local sights (like the things you never see until relatives from another country come to visit, and you have to do stuff with them) would still be fun but not as expensive as Disneyland.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:55 PM
 
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I think a good measure of just how big a debt is for an individual is to ask how long it will take to pay off.

If you can pay off that cc debt in a few months, then you only have to wait that long plus however long it takes to save up the money for the vacation to go on vacation.

If it will take years to pay of the debt, then you simply can't afford to go on vacation.

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Old 01-30-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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You would all get more out of Disney if you waited a couple more years... I know it's hard to see big chunks of $ just disappear to pay down debt, but, you'll feel better in the long run! Try a local vacation this year, your kids will remember more about the good times you have being together rather than where you go...

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Old 01-30-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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Maybe there is a compromise between a disney land vacation and just paying off debt? Like maybe 80% does to debt and 20% goes to a nice long weekend?
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thanks for all the responses! It's put things into a different perspective for me. I'll address some of what was said:

1. Yes, having not vacationed for one full year is not so bad, and yes, we could go camping this summer, decide to invest in a tent and sleeping bags for a very small fraction of what it would cost to do Disney even on a budget.

2. Yes, my kids are still very young. It would still be fun to watch them enjoying themselves but they probably wouldn't remember it, especially my 2 year old. I'm also a little selfish in that I'd like to go for myself as well, but then, it is not so great to not be able to go on rides with my husband. If we waited, we could probably plan it better and get the grandparents to go.

3. Our cc debt IS huge and it is going to feel GREAT to make that almost 5k payment towards it. That should inspire us to do anything to keep it going down as fast as possible.

4. The card is at 23.99% If there is no stimulus rebate as someone mentioned, then nevermind, but if there is, then that $1200 would cost a lot more in terms of how much interest I would pay on the $1200 I chose not to pay down instead.

5. Good things come to those who wait, right? I am going stir-crazy being unable to afford a decent vacation, but I should be grateful for what I have and know that next year, maybe, we will be debt-free and be able to pay cash for a vacation, and therefore enjoy it that much more.

I think I've made up my mind. It's hard but I think any money we get from anywhere is just going to be dedicated to the debt until we are free. Nothing is better than that freedom! Thanks again!
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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Oh my heavens.... pay down the debt!!! This is very much a no-brainer.

Come summer are there public pools you can go to? There are other ways to have fun than go on vacations.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:27 PM
 
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Pay the debt. It'd be different if you only owed $2000 but $12000 is still a lot. We have never been on vacation in 11 yrs of marriage nor have my kids. We have fun in other ways!
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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The card is at 23.99%
Oh, wow. You have $12,000 @ 23.99%

If you pay only your minimum payment (I figured 2% of balance), this will be paid off... NEVER. No, seriously. NEVER. I just did a calculator, and that is what it said. (Meaning, not in your lifetime. By the year 2108 the balance would still be $7465.84.)

Edited to add: I just figured out what the number "6001" meant on that page. It was 6001 MONTHS to pay off that loan... approximately 500 years.

Whew. That changes the picture. Stay home and pay off that debt! (I know, you already said this...)

Is there any way you can get that balance transferred? That is a really, really, bad interest rate -- especially for that amount of debt.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:37 PM
 
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Come join us on the no-spend thread.

We'll help you pay down on that debt.

 

 

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Old 01-30-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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h and I haven't been on a vacation since our honeymoon 8+ years ago because we have been paying down debt and building up savings. By May we should be debt free and we may plan a cruise with the kiddies for the following year.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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First of all- can you transfer that debt to a card that will give you a zero or really low APR on balance transfers. Seriously, that cc debt is set up to be a never ending cycle.

Secondly, I would get really creative and skip Disney. Especially with the kids so young.

We have *tons* of fun taking really great day trips to cool swimming spots with a big cooler full of food, a ball, kite etc. We make very little on the books but we feel like we live a very high quality of life. I think it's because we make everyday trips extra fun. We aren't staying at fancy hotels so we can afford to get great food, some wine for the grown-ups etc. Last summer we bought one of those bike trailers and really went exploring with the kids. It was so fun.

I'd say start calling family meetings with a big blank notebook and start brainstorming of all the fun things you guys can do in everyday life. YOu would be surprised.

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Old 01-30-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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oh, yeah. We've been to both Disneyland (several yrs ago) and DisneyWorld (this past summer). I do think that if it's a once in a lifetime type of thing, waiting until they are 8ish or so is the ideal age to go. My DD doesn't remember anything about DL when she was 3, but DH and I remember her face lighting up and the fun that she did have.

ETA: I was typing as you were editing out my quote sorry!
Hehe, I wasn't sure why I ended up quoting you. You had a point, but then I ended up talking to the OP and it looked confusing to me to have you quoted. My mind rambling.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:49 PM
 
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You haven't been on vacation "in a whole year"? Oh, please. I haven't gone on any kind of family vacation (that involves an overnight stay in a hotel) since before DS was born.

We do go on day trips occasionally- things that cost no more than $25 for the whole family for the day (or occasionally up to $100 for something REALLY special). The concept of spending thousands of dollars on a vacation is just a foreign idea to me. There's no need to feel stir-crazy because you can't afford a super-expensive vacation- I'm not sure what area you live in but I'm sure there's fun stuff to be found!

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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You haven't been on vacation "in a whole year"? Oh, please.
Once again, I think it depends on your situation.

I could go into details about my life and WHY we spring for a vacation each year, but my whole point would be that we all have unique situations.
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, wow. You have $12,000 @ 23.99%

If you pay only your minimum payment (I figured 2% of balance), this will be paid off... NEVER. No, seriously. NEVER. I just did a calculator, and that is what it said. (Meaning, not in your lifetime. By the year 2108 the balance would still be $7465.84.)

Edited to add: I just figured out what the number "6001" meant on that page. It was 6001 MONTHS to pay off that loan... approximately 500 years.

Whew. That changes the picture. Stay home and pay off that debt! (I know, you already said this...)

Is there any way you can get that balance transferred? That is a really, really, bad interest rate -- especially for that amount of debt.

It's bad alright, and our total household income is 25k a year so it's REAL bad. Dh was unemployed for 8 months last year and so we survived on the cards. I forgot to mention that $3800 of that debt was transferred to another card with 0% interest until June, so our focus will be on the $8200 left on the other card with the 23.99%, at least until the other one shoots back up to 28% and then we will transfer that back to the 23.99% one. Here's the thing, we can barely afford to make the minimum payments. I did a bad mistake and I bought 7k worth of jewelry I was supposed to be able to sell for a 3-4k profit (don't ask details). I am stuck with quite a bit of gold rings, all 14k or 18k. I sold some on Ebay and the rest, though beautiful, have just not been selling, even when I lower the prices, so I am going to try again now that gold is up. If I can even get 5k back I will be happy with that, so I am going to focus on selling that jewelry and put every cent towards debt.

Secondly, I may have a real estate commission coming if I can sell a relative's property. I have shown it a few times so far and it is well-priced, but it's still a tough market so who knows. That would give me 6k. I have also looked for a part-time evening job to no avail, and we were turned down for a 10k heloc on our home to pay off the cc because the cc debt is too big.: Short of the above things, I don't know how we are going to tackle this monster. I am definitely going to join the no-spending tribe and get rid of the credit cards. I must admit I've used them to put $10-20 worth of groceries on them at the end of the month when we are broke but I need to stop doing that!

On our income, if we paid cash for everything, we wouldn't really be able to spend because we just barely get by. We realize our debt is way huge for our income and we tried to sell our house last year but had no luck. We want to try again next month but lower the price 10k. If we sell it, we can pay the cc off because we do have some equity in it. If not, well we need to work really hard to get out of this hole, however we can.
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:26 PM
 
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Debt.

And perhaps save a hundred and do an "at home" vacation. Order in food, watch movies, putter around your neighborhood...Take yourself out of your normal everyday routine but do it cheaply.
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