Saturday, October 4, 2008

Dream Vacation vs Practical Vacation

Every fall this northern soul misses her favorite season and the change of color and cool crisp air that goes with it....up north. Here in Florida, days don't stay dry until mid-October at least, and there is no real cool here unless a cold front of some magnitude comes through. Cold fronts don't normally occur until after October is over - sometimes not until December.
Last fall we visited my old home town in NY State. My husband had never been there and I wanted to show him where I grew up. It was SO wonderful for me.
This year we were going to go to Smoky Mountains Park as we've done in past years, but it just isn't feasible. The economy is too scary, there are gas shortages in the area we would be vacationing in, and - bottom line - we just don't have the money.
We have saved - for us - much more money than we have in the past - we have now amassed $5000.00, which is in a savings account at a local Credit Union - where I hope it is safe. Our monthly budget has absolutely no fat in it since we have way too much credit card debt, we owe on about 7 advance loans from my husband's retirement, and - the piece de resistance - our home mortgage is about $30,000 - $40,000 more than our home is actually worth - AND - our mortgage is an A.R.M that comes due for change in 3 years.
We would have to pile on more credit to go on vacation because I don't want to touch the cash savings we have. Plus we have about $3200. in a CD, but that is untouchable, I think.
So next week, we have already taken the time off - we're going to do some much needed work around our house and yard and we then will take a 2 or 3 day trip inside Florida. There are tons of beautiful places in Florida.
Both my husband and I are far more comfortable with the new plan, even though we would, of course, love to go to the Smokies. Actually, I'd give my right arm and a kidney to move to the Smokies, but that is another story. Besides, we couldn't sell this house in the market that exists now.
So - we've made some very stupid financial decisions over the years, some were necessary and unavoidable, but most were just dumb. God have mercy on us - and it is time we took charge of the fiasco and stopped the bleeding - and it will hurt, I must say.
We can still play the Lotto once a week - a dollar to buy a "quick pick". Meanwhile, I'll be thankful in these perilous times to hold on to my roof and enough to eat. Holding onto that roof may be a bit tricky in the next few years, and if one of us loses a job, the jig is up.


Unknown said...

All my vacations are visiting family or work related, but the last one's don't technically qualify as vacations. In Florida, its like being on vacation every day almost. The climate spoils us.

Susan Humeston said...

I grew up in the Catskill mountains in NY State, so I yearn for that in the fall, especially. But you are right - Florida is beautiful and it spoils us. When it is bleak and dead up north, we have golden beaches and beautiful weather. I bet you're happy with the extra rain we've gotten today! I know I am. It's good to fill up the water reserves before the dry season is upon us for good.