Live Now, Live Later, or Live Forever

Sea shell

I want to be clear on something I feel is important. If you can be responsible with your money there is no reason you can’t enjoy it now and enjoy it later. Responsibility is, and always has been, the key to this equation. When you get a job you are asked to be a responsible steward of your company. When you are asked to babysit you must be responsible for the care of someone else. The same thing goes for how you manage your money.  It is possible to both live well and responsibly.

If you are up to your eyeballs in debt then you need to keep your spending in check and focus on the task at hand. But so many finance writers focus on saving, retiring, and debt elimination. When is the last time someone told you it is OK to spend your money? I want you to know that it is OK when you plan it out and pay in cash.

It doesn’t do you any good to collect a lot of money and sit on it like Scrooge McDuck. If I had a tower of money I could swim in it, it wouldn’t be as much fun as some of the things you can do with it though. I don’t advocate being irresponsible with your money but I want you to enjoy it and your life now and in the future.

The reason I  bring the subject up is a vacation we are planning on taking later this year. It is to one of those all inclusive deals in the Caribbean. I could certainly find cheaper places to go but this is one of our dream vacations. We aren’t talking about chump change either. In all for me, my wife, and two kids we are looking at around $7,500.00 for one week vacation at an all inclusive resort. That includes the food, drinks, activities, and airfare.

A lot of people would balk pretty quickly at a $7,500 vacation. I mean hell most people in the finance community  wouldn’t pay that much for a car let alone a vacation. I am sure there will be some interesting comments about my choice but to me it is worth it. We are going to pay cash for the vacation without affecting our current savings, retirement, or other obligations. Having eliminated the last of our consumer debt it is a great way to reward ourselves for the last several years of sacrifice.

So you tell me would you be willing to pay $7,500.00 to go on vacation and enjoy the now or would you sock it away for the hope of something you might be able to do later?

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura@move to portugal March 30, 2010 at 8:56 am

Yes I would, happily; it’s no good putting off your life, who knows what could happen. If you’re debt free and responsible with money then to me it’s no problem.
We’re taking two more holidays this year, Lisbon and Vancouver; not cheap but worth every penny.

Have a great time :-)
.-= Laura@move to portugal´s last blog ..April To Do List =-.

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2 Kyle March 30, 2010 at 10:12 pm

I couldn’t agree more, there is just no point in putting off your life. Live now and enjoy life.

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3 Evan March 30, 2010 at 10:22 am

I am not one of those crazy frugal PF Bloggers, $7,500 if planned for is a good amount for a family of 4 to do up an all inclusive.

Congrats for being in the position to be able to do that for you AND YOUR FAMILY.
.-= Evan´s last blog ..What is Valuable May not be Worth Anything – Which Do you Want? =-.

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4 Kyle March 30, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Now I never called anyone crazy, and in a lot of cases it is a good decision to put off these kinds of purchases. I just want people to realize they aren’t necessarily being irresponsible by enjoying their money. That is what it is for isn’t it.

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5 Evolution Of Wealth March 30, 2010 at 11:03 am

It’s disheartening at times to read most of the pf blogs. They focus so much on debt. They talk about not letting money rule their lives but they focus on it non-stop. What looks to be happening to me (from the outside) is that people are letting money and debt rule their lives. They might call it frugality or some even say it’s being cheap. The sad thing to me is that a lot of them have seem to come to terms with it. It is definitely important to do some basic things in regards to saving but you can’t change the future today. Do the things you must do then enjoy your life a little bit. Have a great vacation!
.-= Evolution Of Wealth´s last blog ..Mortgage Acceleration Experiment – Full Picture =-.

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6 Revanche March 30, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I am one of the crazy PF bloggers but I wouldn’t say ye nay. You have no debt, you planned, budgeted and saved for this, and it’s important to you and your family.

You didn’t just decide on the spur of the moment to take on debt to do something you don’t actually really care about as a lot of people do: you’re taking a vacation that means something – you said it was a dream vacation.

What are we saving for, if not to live the dream? Live the dream, Kyle, and have a few drinks for me!
.-= Revanche´s last blog ..The Big Car Question Answered =-.

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7 Kyle March 30, 2010 at 10:15 pm

I can assure you that they didn’t have me or my liver in mind when they decided on all you could drink beer. And did I mention daytime babysitters for free..

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8 LeanLifeCoach March 30, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Personally, I would not be able to enjoy it knowing it cost that much. But that’s me. I’d rather take 3 $2000 vacations to less exotic places over a couple years and put the other $1500 aside. But that’s me and my money. Some time ago I saw a great quote that implied that Personal finance is just that, Personal!
More power to you Kyle. I hope, I am sure, you and the family will have a great vacation. If its your dream, dive in with both feet.
.-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..Financial Intervention With Aging Parents =-.

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9 Monevator March 31, 2010 at 8:10 am

I’m with LLC, but maybe that’s because of sticker shock. I’m a single guy, so I’m not used to paying for four. And you’re in dollars. It’s about £1000 per person, which I guess isn’t so unreasonable.

But then your post is speaking directly to someone like me. I’m definitely more Scrooge McDuck than Donald Trump, and I do need to try hard to actually loosen the purse strings once in a while for the good stuff. ;)

Enjoy your vacation – dreams don’t come true often!

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10 dusty March 31, 2010 at 11:51 am

If you are budgetting for it, then what’s the problem? Its your money, after all!

I personally think $7500 is a lot. But, I’m not with kids. My wife and I just went to Antigua Guatemala for 3 weeks for $2k (including airfare, apartment, food, drinks, etc…). But, we stayed in a studio (kitchen in the bedroom). Good for us, but would be too cramped for kids. Nevertheless, we could have got a couple bedrooms and kitchen for a about $300 more for the three weeks.

Are you going always be eating and drinking inside the all-inclusive? I’d be interested if you’d follow-up and let us know how it goes with that. I’ve always been a little skeptical of all-inclusive deals and if they really are a deal. Will you let us know what your total costs are when you get back? $7500, $9k, $10k, etc..?

Thanks for the post! I love that you are paying for this trip in cash. Awesome.

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11 Gary Cebulla March 31, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Caribbean all inclusive offerings are generally as advertised, however there isn’t much to do unless you’r a beach lover, otherwise drinking and eating are the major activity. If I had 7k and a family, I’d choose Disney tons and tons more to do with great activities non stop. Save all inclusive for you and wife
kids won’t much enjoy it, also be prepared for all sorts of nudity, it abounds in the Caribbean resorts…just thought I’d make you aware,it may be shocking to you and kids, also wife.

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12 Tony April 5, 2010 at 9:27 am

You should probably call Suze Orman and ask her: “Can I Afford It?”. She would probably say: “DENIED”. LOL
I agree we should enjoy life, but for me, being debt free is just the beginning of a journey to financial freedom, not the end. Financial Freedom for me is being able to live with the money generated by my investments. Once I get to that goal (I think I’m about 6 years away), I will loosen up a bit and start spending more money on vacations, entertainment, etc. In the meantime I’m focused on the goal.

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