Why I’m Doing Without a Big Vacation this Summer
I’m the first person to say that, of all the things we spend money on, vacation is the one we shouldn’t feel guilty about. Ordering out too much? Bad. Getting your kids trinkets every time they ask? Not a good idea. Buying more clothes that you won’t wear? Don’t do it!
But vacation is necessary. The scientific evidence is pretty conclusive that you’re a buffoon if you don’t embrace its mystical powers.
But it’s not happening this summer for us. My family is, pretty much for the first time, 100% debt free after working hard to pay it off. Every summer, vacation adds an extra four figures to our credit card debt and this year, I’m not going to do it. Couple of thoughts:
- This feeling of not having any debt feels so good, I need it to last.
- We paid off our debt without being severely disciplined – imagine how much we could actually save if we went further.
- The time has come to make one real sacrifice – to exercise our frugality muscle, as Mr. Money Mustache would say. This is what going further means.
- This doesn’t mean we can’t take time off work and enjoy life together.
As much as I love – I mean really love – vacation, there is an aspect to it that is stressful to me – where I succumb to my busyness tendencies, and my decision and to-do anxiety really kick in. Not to mention if I have to get on a plane, my whole fear of flying stress sets in about two weeks before we go.
In some ways, not taking a big expensive vacation that requires all manner of planning is a relief. We can still visit my husband’s relatives in the summer friendly state for Rhode Island (score!), or my relatives with beach houses and pools in Long Island.
We can enjoy NYC when it empties out (a particular pleasure) and park wherever the hell we like. Seriously, my 8 and 4 year olds both have stress about parking the car – poor kids.
Finding simpler, less expensive ways to unwind isn’t the end of the world. I wouldn’t recommend it forever, but it’s one way to stay out of money trouble this summer at least. My goal: to save for a nice vacation next summer.