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How can you afford all these trips?


robbalvey
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^ I'm kind of in the middle on this one. The upside is - the tax write off resulting in the nice refund check each year pays for my summer TPR trips. The downside is, I have a 100 year old house (which I love) which requires TONS of maintenance. If I were still renting, I'd probably be able to budget the big summer trip each year, plus additional bashes.

 

When something particularly "catastrophic" happens at the house - I ALWAYS wish I was renting again .

 

I have, however, learned how to budget since purchasing a home and it has helped to ensure that I get a TPR trip each year - so all's good with the American Dream / Nightmare.

 

D

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  • 4 weeks later...
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^There have been a lot of articles lately about how the 'American Dream' of home ownership has ruined a lot of American Dreams! The new reality is that you don't have to own a home, and it's not a bad thing to rent!

 

I've been trying to tell our friends this for a while! I even tried telling them, when they were all buying overpriced homes and condos. Now we're in a much better spot that a lot of people because we chose to rent.

That's really interesting. I'm still very young, but I'm also very bad at money managing. I already have a long list of things I want to do "whenever I get a job and earn some money". I have a one week job set up for the last week in June, and I already have the money pretty much all spent before I even got it! I really need to learn how to save better. >_> and on top of that, I smoke (I've managed to keep it down to one $5 pack a week in the last few months though, but that's still $20 a month that I need to reserve to cigarettes) and I'm turning 21 this year (which means I'll probably want to drink on occasion, which is more $$!).

 

However, my parents are really good at money managing. With a family of 6 it's certainly not easy to go on any vacations, but we still manage to go on a few vacations every year. It's never far away trips, we've never flown on a plane as a family before, we always take car trips.

 

I've always wondered how you guys were able to take so many trips, now I know! I hope I can learn to be more conservative when it comes to money by the time I finish college and find a steady job! Either that, or I just need to be super rich.

 

Here's to working my butt off to get become a NY Times best-selling author with Hollywood movie producers lining up to make my books into movies!

/unrealistic dreaming.

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^ Good luck with that.

 

The only regret I have with buying a house is now I can't really sell mine, or I'd buy a more expensive one.

 

 

-Jon, who is great at starting DIY projects, but not so good at finishing them

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  • 2 months later...

Yeah I agree that buying a home is a good thing when the situation fits it. Of course I sold my home in the top of the market and came back and bought when things were lower, but I think ownership is a good thing. The way I afford things is by not overspending. I own two cars outright and have a house payment that is less than $600 per month because I didn't buy a house that I can afford, but one that I could pay for while also saving a lot of money. Having low expenditures = freedom. This is something that a lot of people fail to realize.

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  • 2 months later...
^There have been a lot of articles lately about how the 'American Dream' of home ownership has ruined a lot of American Dreams! The new reality is that you don't have to own a home, and it's not a bad thing to rent!

 

I've been trying to tell our friends this for a while! I even tried telling them, when they were all buying overpriced homes and condos. Now we're in a much better spot that a lot of people because we chose to rent.

 

I could not agree with you more here Elissa! I rented apartments for 4 years and I had a blast having a place to call my own. I loved that if something broke I did not have to put any money out to fix it. The only downfall that I could find with renting was the rent goes up every year - at least here in Baltimore. It was only about $12.00 a month though. With renting it gave me the freedom to up and move it I wanted/needed to. When you are buying a house it is a lot harder to just up and move.

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^ I would agree that recently buying a house was not a good short term move. But buying today could be a good while the market is down. While you are paying rent, I'm paying on my mortgage. In another 15 years I'll own a house that has value and you'll still be paying rent. I know what my mortgage payment will be in 10 years, do you know what your rent will be then?

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^On the other hand, you have a ton of extra expenses that us renters don't have and you'll continue to have even after you've paid off your house...

 

HOA Dues

Maintenance/Replacement Fees

Homeowners Insurance

Property Tax

etc.

 

For example, the AC just died in our rental house...would have been thousands of dollars to replace if we owned the place. Just called the landlord and it was replaced within three days at no cost to us!

 

Now, I'm not saying home ownership is bad...in fact at these insane prices we're even looking into it right now, but there are a lot of 'hidden' costs to the whole thing.

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^ I would agree that recently buying a house was not a good short term move. But buying today could be a good while the market is down. While you are paying rent, I'm paying on my mortgage. In another 15 years I'll own a house that has value and you'll still be paying rent. I know what my mortgage payment will be in 10 years, do you know what your rent will be then?

 

I also could not agree with you more either. But say I buy a house now and the furnace goes up - I could NEVER afford to get it fixed.

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^On the other hand, you have a ton of extra expenses that us renters don't have and you'll continue to have even after you've paid off your house...

 

HOA Dues

Maintenance/Replacement Fees

Homeowners Insurance

Property Tax

etc.

 

For example, the AC just died in our rental house...would have been thousands of dollars to replace if we owned the place. Just called the landlord and it was replaced within three days at no cost to us!

 

Now, I'm not saying home ownership is bad...in fact at these insane prices we're even looking into it right now, but there are a lot of 'hidden' costs to the whole thing.

 

 

It is the 'hidden costs' that kill people. To many people assumed that paying $1,000 rent was like a $1,000 mortgage payment. People have got into houses they can't afford and as soon as something goes wrong. The're screwed.

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In the end, whether renting or buying, living above your means is the problem for many people.

 

It really is that simple, yet so many fail to grasp this essential life skill. I feel for people brought to bankruptcy by an unavoidable and uncovered medical expense or this or that catastrophe, but the people for whom it's self-inflicted? You dug your own hole.

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In the end, whether renting or buying, living above your means is the problem for many people.

 

It really is that simple, yet so many fail to grasp this essential life skill. I feel for people brought to bankruptcy by an unavoidable and uncovered medical expense or this or that catastrophe, but the people for whom it's self-inflicted? You dug your own hole.

THIS! Both quotes, really.

 

Couldn't really be better said.

 

People that live above their means, I don't even want to hear from them. It's your fault if you spend more than you make. It will always, ALWAYS come back to bite you in the end.

 

And to those people who DO live either below their means (which is what we do), or break even, you make choices. I hear from people all the time "Oh, I'd love to do a TPR trip, but I just don't have the money", and I tell them "But I saw on your Facebook page that you spent $100 last week going out to eat and then going out drinking....in fact, I believe you've done that like 3 or 4 times this month....that could have been a deposit on a TPR trip..."

 

You pick and choose the things that are important to you, however I feel sometimes if people realized how much some of the "little things" added up, like smoking, going out drinking, going out to meals, having a Starbucks every day, etc, you really could save a lot more, and do other things with that money. It's all about "choice."

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^Exactly.

 

For the Europe Trip next year I'm saving £200 a month. This goes into my savings account the day I get paid. I also pay all my bills straight away, so rent, car repayment, light & heat, council tax, TV/Phone/Internet. Then I assign a certain amount for any food shopping for the month and other predictable expenses, and then put some away for unexpected bills. Whatever I have left is what I have to spend, end of story. If it's not enough to go out for a meal, we don't go out for a meal. If we haven't enough to go drinking, or to the movies, then we don't go. It's as simple as that really.

 

But most of all my girlfriend and I don't miss out. Instead of a meal at a restaurant we'll cook something really nice and have a night in for a fraction of the cost. Instead of going to the movies we'll watch something on TV. But those small sacrifices mean I'll be able to go on a roller coaster tour of Europe next year! Easily worth it.

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Were in a weird situation where we both own houses that we bought before we met, but currently live in a rental. This is a great situation for us, as we make money off of the renters, but have a place that we don't have to cover the maintenance on. In the end though, what really helped us is that we don't buy something (with the exception of the houses) that we dont pay cash for. We also keep contingency funds to pay for those "unexpected" expenditures on our houses.

 

All in all though, i think what this all boils down to, is dont live outside your means. If you spend the time to budget your money, you wont have the long term problems.

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Its been great to us, but we have been very lucky in that we have always had great tenants. I have definitely heard some horror stories out there of people trashing houses when they move out, so there is a lot of risk to it.

Hope you don't even consider giving back the deposit till you get the keys

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  • 10 months later...

Another great idea is if you do travel for business try to get the same airline and the same hotel chain for your business trips. I have done this to get at least a free one way flight not only for myself, but for family when they have needed it. Also with the hotel frequent, try to stick to one chain that gives out good perks like Hilton or Marriott. Its great to know that you have a free place to go to at a nice hotel which actually saves money on trips in the future. My situation is that I frequently travel for my work and my food budget (which I grocery shop) gets reimbursed up to a certain limit. In regards to the airlines with the free flight situation, also remember alliances that certain airlines are with.

 

In my case I am based out of Charlotte which is a major hub for US Airlines. I have a UNITED Frequent Flyer Account. I am able to use my UNITED FF account for US Airways flights because of their alliance within the Star Alliance Network. Delta and there SkyMiles program is part of another multi airline alliance where the airlines will recognize the Delta FF account. Same with American and the oneWorld alliance. Just depends on where you are going to try and get as many airline miles so that you can pay as close to nothing as possible.

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Great thread, even if a lot of the posts are dated.

 

My two biggest spending vices are eating out and video games. But I am slowly getting better with both of these, and much better with putting $ into savings. I really need to get into the habit of packing a lunch, it saves so much money, and even fuel in the long run. For video games, I highly recommend gamefly, it's basically netflix but for games.

 

But I do well in many of the other categories. don't smoke, drink very little (only socially now and then), RARELY go to a movie (I haven't been to one in maybe 3 years), I don't buy music or DVDs, (one word: torrents). I buy the vast majority of my clothes from target and stay the hell away from the big box stores. I'd rather be judged for cheap clothes and a bigger bank account than the reverse. I also buy store brands from the supermarket whenever possible.

 

As many have said, its all about individual priorities. Would like to attend a TPR trip someday, but for now me and my fiancee are planning some smaller trips on our own.

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I found that once I'd adjusted my spending habits to save for my first big trip, it became much easier to keep doing the same thing when I got back. I probably save $1000 a month more than I used to simply because I had to cut out a lot of unnecessary expenses the first time around.

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  • 5 months later...

If anyone who lives in a state with a Suntrust, I have a way to get tons of frequent flyer miles very easily. I don't want to explain it on here, but send me a PM if you are interested.

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