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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

That Great Feeling When A Vacation Doesn't Follow You Home

A Vacation Paid in Cash

One of the reasons I brought some debt into our marriage was because of some of the extravagant plans I had made for our honeymoon. I was eager to impress my new bride and so I scheduled some hotel reservations that cost a little bit more than I should've spent.

I was also spending some money I had earned through some photography jobs before I had actually earned it. As luck would have it, one of those photography jobs fell through, and as a result I got stuck with a larger credit card bill than I was hoping for. I ended up bringing more debt into our marriage.

Plus, it wasn't all that pleasant when I was on our honeymoon to pull out the credit card and wrack up more debt, knowing that even though I was making life fun for the moment, it was going to be hell later on.

"Vacations would be completely different if they didn't follow you home," is something Dave Ramsey said this week during Financial Peace University.

I remember hearing this the first time we took the course last year. Dave advocated for saving your money and paying for a vacation out of your own pocket, not taking out a loan or using a credit card.

This prompted Dani and I to establish a vacation budget. We began setting aside a little bit of money every month until we had a pretty good chunk of change. Then, this past summer, we loaded up the car and went camping at Old Orchard Beach in Maine. It was a relatively cheap vacation—I don't even think we used half of our vacation money—but it was such a different experience than our honeymoon because this time the vacation didn't follow us home.

I think Dave's right about going back to old-school ways of doing things. All these cool new "book now, pay later" vacation schemes are just ripping people off. You don't need a loan or a larger credit limit to have a good vacation. You need some patience and a little self-discipline. It worked for our grandparents. I'm sure it can work for us too.

Keep pinchin' :-)

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