Author Topic: I keep traveling!  (Read 3533 times)

texaslady22

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I keep traveling!
« on: February 25, 2016, 07:15:24 AM »
My goal isn't necessarily Early Retirement as I absolutely love my job, but I do want financial independence. I'd like to pay off my house (we owe to the tune of 170K), but we're debt free except for that and we have about 30K in the bank and 90K for retirement.

There are places in my budget we could cut back that I feel guilty about (mostly eating out and paying for a gym membership we don't use).

We're also traveling quite a bit lately. We have 3 children: 3, 6, and 9. We're going on a Caribbean Cruise for Spring Break. We're surprising them with a trip to Legoland after school gets out. We spent Thanksgiving on the beach. We're going camping on Easter.

Now, we also travel very frugally. Our Legoland trip is with free hotel points (for all 5 nights) from opening a credit card and we have free flights from all my work trips, but we are still paying almost $800 for tickets, and we will eat out often on the trip, I'm sure. We use points and miles and open credit cards and look for deals. (For example, our week at the beach just cost around $400).

Part of me thinks, just for a moment, "You could be saving that money. You could be paying off your house. You're not really frugal." But part of me knows, deep down, that if I died tomorrow I'd be glad for every trip I took with my family.

Should I feel guilty, or should I go for it?

lakemom

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Re: I keep traveling!
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2016, 07:26:17 AM »
We've always traveled with our kids even when we couldn't "afford" it.  Dh's mother died young (47) and it left a deep impression on him therefore we always prioritized time with the kids over extra cash in the bank.  Its a personal decision but as you well know, you can never get these years back with your kids so enjoy them while you can.  If the guilt flares up revisit your savings and retirement plans and see if the money will make a real impression on your time frame.  A $400 vacation seems relatively irrelevant but a 4,000 one may need to be rethought.  When we were poorer and had more kids still living at home they were more frugal vacations than we take now but we always made a couple of trips per year with them.

norabird

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Re: I keep traveling!
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2016, 09:28:44 AM »
Don't beat yourself up for not being frugal enough by someone else's standards. Your standards are what matter.

garion

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Re: I keep traveling!
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2016, 11:16:29 AM »
No worries about the travel, but don't pay for a gym membership you don't use! I mean, it's one thing if you use it, but if you don't...

jkitiara

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Re: I keep traveling!
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2016, 11:42:22 AM »
Never feel guilty about taking the time with your kids, but definitely keep being thoughtful about where that money gets spent. Legoland sounds awesome and your kids will remember it forever! Camping is great and relatively inexpensive! Caribbean Cruise...why? Is it is really mainly for you and your spouse and you could have paid for just the two of you and left the kids with grandparents? Would the kids have been just as happy with a roadtrip to a National Park?

Maybe, maybe not. Depends on your family and what you want from life. The point is to look at all your options, and think about what you want from vacation and your money, and not just say, Our friends said their cruise with the kids was perfect so now we're doing it too!

If you're asking the question, you must be a little on the fence. Don't bother with guilt, but keep examining all your vacation spending with an unemotional eye.

LovesToTravel

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Re: I keep traveling!
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2016, 12:16:29 PM »
Obviously, based on my username, you already can tell what my response is going to be :)

Don't feel guilty about it.  Travel is so enriching, and if you're doing it right (which it sounds like you are), doesn't have to be expensive.  I do the travel hacking thing, playing the credit card miles and points game, which makes travel much more affordable, and makes me feel less "guilty" about it.  But I don't ever regret any trips I have taken -- in fact, one of my biggest regrets in life is passing up the opportunity years ago when I was single to go to South Africa for 3 months for work.  I passed on it for stupid and immature reasons, and still kick myself over that.  What an experience that would have been (and on someone else's dime).  Now I never pass up an opportunity to travel, and actively seek out opportunities.  We don't have kids yet, but I fully intend to continue traveling with children (and not just to Disney world!).  There are experiences to be had and memories to be made that can only be experienced through the lens of travel.

I think your last sentence says it all...if I died tomorrow I'd be glad for every trip I took with my family.   That's your answer.  Don't feel guilty.

going2ER

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Re: I keep traveling!
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2016, 12:39:27 PM »
Being a Mustachian is about deciding where best to spend your money, it's not about not spending any of it. If travel is something you enjoy and you are comfortable with how it is fitting in your budget, then don't feel guilty. We travel alot, but rarely go to movies, out for supper (even when travelling we tend to pick up things at the grocery store) or purchase items, it is what is important to us.

arebelspy

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Re: I keep traveling!
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2016, 02:51:08 AM »
Mustachianism is about conscious consumption.

Think about the purchase, evaluate if it's worth it to you to delay FIRE, and then do so, if it is.

The spending on the gym membership you don't use seems silly to me, because that's clearly not something you value, but if travel is something you value, do it.  Just do it frugally when you do.  :)
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texaslady22

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Re: I keep traveling!
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2016, 10:19:34 AM »
Thank you all for the feedback! I appreciate it!!

Yes, paying $44/month for gym memberships we don't use is stupid, especially since there are lovely jogging trails all around us we could use to exercise (but don't do that either). We signed a year contract, which was stupid.

And we have GOT to stop eating fast food so often.

But travel? I'm so glad we're doing it. The cruise is mostly for my husband and me. The grandparents aren't in a place to be able to watch our 3 children, and we don't have any other relatives to do it, so I'm excited to have childcare options. AND we have much to celebrate on this cruise leaving in 1 week, because my husband was offered a job at a middle school right next to our neighborhood yesterday. OMG!! We've lived on one salary for years and years....I won't know what to do with suddenly almost doubling our income.


markbike528CBX

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Re: I keep traveling!
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2016, 11:01:10 AM »
...I won't know what to do with suddenly almost doubling our income.

Beware the dreaded Hedonic Adaptation.  bwwwwaaahhhh.  :-)
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 11:04:21 AM by markbike528CBX »

flyingaway

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Re: I keep traveling!
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2016, 11:31:12 PM »
Thank you all for the feedback! I appreciate it!!

Yes, paying $44/month for gym memberships we don't use is stupid, especially since there are lovely jogging trails all around us we could use to exercise (but don't do that either). We signed a year contract, which was stupid.

And we have GOT to stop eating fast food so often.

But travel? I'm so glad we're doing it. The cruise is mostly for my husband and me. The grandparents aren't in a place to be able to watch our 3 children, and we don't have any other relatives to do it, so I'm excited to have childcare options. AND we have much to celebrate on this cruise leaving in 1 week, because my husband was offered a job at a middle school right next to our neighborhood yesterday. OMG!! We've lived on one salary for years and years....I won't know what to do with suddenly almost doubling our income.

I am all for travel. But in your case, I think it is excessive, especially when you had just one income at the time of the posting, with 170K debt and 120K saving and three kids.

With your doubled income and life style, I am expecting to see more (doubled) spending in plan.

norabird

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Re: I keep traveling!
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2016, 10:26:23 AM »
Congrats on the new job for the hub!