Tomorrow my family is going to Disneyland – known as “The Happiest Place on Earth” – translates to “The Most Expensive Place on Earth” @ $70+ a ticket! Southern California Residents offer a plan – fund an annual Disneyland pass by making monthly payments (the Disneyland terms are really reasonable, too). I was actually seriously considering this option!
Fortunately for me three things happened to me within the last couple days that deterred me from this offer:
- A good coworker friend of mine said, “if you have to pay a monthly amount to fund a Disneyland pass then you don’t deserve to go anyway”. Straight forward, no games. If you have to pay a monthly balance then you don’t have the money in the first place to buy an annual pass.
- I decided to regroup my finance spreadsheet, check the balances, rediscover the atrocious bad-debt-to-income-ratio (ouch), and see how gosh fricken much I owe on my student loans. Financial tip: don’t take out a student loan unless you absolutely need it! Trust me, it will save some un-necessary pain later.
- I read Adam Baker’s current post at Man vs. Debt. Him and his wife, Courtney, have their rules/values in place.
- 1.Never do anything that requires the use of NEW debt.
2.Never let our emergency fund dip below $5000.
3.Always at least pay the minimums. None of that â€˜deferring’ student loan crap.
4.Travel and experience the world as frugally as possible.
5.Build a mobile income of at least $3000/month. (It’s no secret I plan for MvD to be a big part of this)
6.Have at least one of us staying home with Milligan.
7.Pay extra on student loans.
And I thought to myself, “Mr. SeaDog & I need our own rules!”. And so I copy and revised Adam’s rules to fit my our needs. This is a rough draft, but here it is:
1.Never do anything that requires the use of NEW debt.
2.Never let our emergency fund dip below $1000.
3.Always at least pay the minimums. None of that â€˜deferring’ student loan stuff.
4.Build a mobile income of at least $1000/month.
5.Pay extra on car loan (car loan upside down $2,800 and I want out of my $400 monthly payment ASAP)
- 1.Never do anything that requires the use of NEW debt.
Monthly payments for an annual Disneyland pass clearly violate #3’s event, priority #1 – Never do anything that requires the use of NEW debt. *saved*
So with that… what financial priorities define your list?
We took the kids to Disneyland last week for their fifth birthday. Although not as cheap as the famed Disneyland On $19 day we did last Spring, we did manage to be fairly frugal.
A dear friend excitedly told us about the monthly plan that day and I laughed out loud. “We don’t borrow money, man.” was all I could say. His response (and justification) was typical of our old thinking.
Congratulations on setting your financial rules in stone. I love ’em.
My husband told me to stuff the kids on food before we go! LOL. But the mom in me saved the day as I told him that I am loading snacks and water in the backpack. Of course, I will still be feeding them a hearty breakfast in the morning.
We always eat what we pack and then splurge on dinner. Although we don’t plan on getting there until 11am I am hoping they will have dinner reservations available for the Blue Bayou restraurant (they have a really good Cordon Bleu).
And I like your remark to your friend. But I have to say that $10 a month for a So Cal pass is not bad. (rather tempting). I think I am going to have to post the rules throughout the house as a constant reminder. 😉
Good question! I’m going to think on this for a bit b/c I think it’s a very valid question. Plus, it lays a good foundation for a plan. I like it! THANKS! Great job!
Thank you! I know that Dave Ramsey has his steps to achieving a debt free lifestyle but sometimes we need those mini steps to achieve the first step; mantras and guidelines. Especially true for me because my mind likes to think in a zillion directions at once. 😉
Wouldn’t hurt to have those financial priorities to maintain your debt-free lifestyle, too. I hope you’ll share your list if you create it.
Thank u for stopping by!
i’ll have to put some thought into my new set of guidelines now that i’m on to another chapter in my financial life. i’m definitely going to stick with rule #1 that you and Adave have. that’s a good start for me, don’t do anything that will require new debt.
Definitely a good start. 🙂
If you come up w/ guidelines, please share. I’d like to hear the thoughts of a debt-free gal. 😉
1. Debt is anathema.
2. Saving is best.
That’s … about all I have right now. I’m in between things, so I’m a little in between goals. 🙂
But on the point of the Disneyland tickets: I think they have an annual deal where if you buy a regular ticket, and pay an extra dollar, you can get the annual pass. I would look out for that next year.
LOL. #1 – checked & true. if only I thought that way before I obtained it!
For the Pass, I haven’t heard that one yet. I will look into that next year. You really can’t beat that deal for a pass (and there is no monthly fee – woo hoo).
Ah I just have my family to thank for setting an ugly example of debt.
Don’t I know that one ALL to well. LOL. (I may laugh on the outside, but behind the scenes I am pulling my hair in frustration with this debt) *chuckles*
Ah, I should have some rules laid out as well…
We have decided to forgo any kind of vacation, etc. this year. Savings, and kitchen appliances are on the top of the list.
Student loans can be debilitating, my daughter graduated from college without any, and so will my second daughter. Although we pay for their tuition, room and board, they pay for everything else…spending money, clothes, toiletries, books, etc. My oldest is able to save alot of money because she doesn’t have any student loans. I hope we are able to help out the younger two as well, but they will be a year apart…it will get VERY expensive.
And you are doing a great job on savings! Congrats on the light bulb moments and increased account. 😉
That is so cool for your daughter not to be burdened after graduation with student loans. And I can kind of understand your concern for college costs. My son will be going to college in a couple of years and his sister will follow his steps. Am I ready? HECK NO!
It can be tough to find that balance between saving for milestone expenditures and living life with a little fun. But I trust with lots of time and effort we will find the common ground (I hope). 😉
I too love Adam’s rule, not bad financial rules to live by!
They are great rules. The economy could be much better if we all took head to follow this advice. 🙂