It’s time for this month’s #askrachel! This was a great one from Facebook about budgeting for vacation (or any other fun expense for your family). Make sure to send me your money questions on Facebook or Twitter using #askrachel!
This is something I struggle with still being in debt. I understand your advice when the average is 18-24 months to get out of debt but for me its going to take much longer probably around 4-5 years and I just cant pass up that time with my kids 5 years is a lot of time to not take that special time with my kids. That being said I am not talking about 5k vacations either more modest ones for us but I just cant give up that time with my kids when I work a job and their father works two we need that time to refresh and spend time with each other.
My husband and I are still in debt too but we do things on a smaller scale for vacation. It is important to have a break and regroup but you can do stay-cations or small trips that don’t cost a lot. Recently I went to visit a friend and did it all by cash. I stayed with them instead of getting a hotel and did not rent a car. We did a few things that didn’t cost anything but gas and food so therefore we were all able to stay within our vacation budgets. The thing I am learning is that you need to have a budget and the vacation cannot get in the way of you paying down debt. You have to still be able to make the payments on your debt so you can get that snowball effect going.
I wonder about what to do when family lives overseas? My kids grandparents live in South America and the Caribbean. We field questions about visits at least twice a month if not more… most times it’s from those who have just gone to visit or are planning to visit. I was born here but my husband hasn’t been back home in about 5 years (since arriving to the US). Sometimes relatives make it seem like we don’t care since we aren’t visiting or attending the reunions or 80th birthday celebrations (which just feels horrible). So far what we’ve done is worked it out with parents to pay for their travel visas and help with their tickets so they can visit us… we are blessed to have them stay with us and our kids for a few months in the year. There is a cost associated with food etc… and activities we wouldn’t normally do plus without their visiting we’d probably live in a two-bedroom instead of a three. We are working out way out of debt on one income… no vacations in the near future. How do we tell folks to lay off the questions and the guilt trips?