And here we go

This is a money post. And it’s not a pretty money post. It’s actually one of the worst kinds of money posts I’d ever want to make. So you know, if you’re not in the mood for that on a  Friday, feel free to skip out and look at something else somewhere else. No offense taken, seriously!

Today marks the day I am officially, totally, and completely broke. Almost every single August bill is paid for except two. I think I can cover one but I’m not sure about the second one. I get paid once a month, on the last day of the month, and that paycheck covers most of my bills. Actually it used to cover all of them but recently my car insurance and my electric climbed up so it doesn’t cover everything anymore. I have absolutely no idea if or when I will see another child support payment. Last week I’d sent him a stern email that was very polite but expressed the direness of the situation. He never replied. I actually haven’t heard a peep from him in over a week. But the kids are really excited because he got a puppy. Just this week.

I could go on. I’ve heard a lot lately about the extravagant purchases he’s been making ever since he quit the job that had an Income Deduction Order garnishing child support from his paychecks. I could tell you all about those but frankly they make me sick and really angry and it just doesn’t help me in my current situation. At all.

So I won’t.

Today is the day I start living solely on credit. I have two lines of credit that I’m planning on depending on– Target and Chase. They both have high APR’s but Target’s is lower and you also get 5% off your purchase which helps barely mitigate the APR ouchies. The Target card will be for life’s necessities that can be bought there like upcoming school supplies, certain clothes items, etc. Chase is going to be for everywhere else. Oh yeah and it’s going to be for the Orlando trip as well.

Yes. I am making a very dumb decision. I am still taking my kids to Orlando next weekend for their birthday gift. They received money for the trip for their birthdays. They got small birthday gifts to save money for it. And I did have every dime of that trip saved up for. Until the money dried up.

I can’t take it away from them. I just can’t. A friend gifted me the tickets to Universal. I have to pay for Magic Kingdom and for the hotel. I have the money that was given for the trip. And the rest is going on the Chase.

As absolutely illogical as it may sound to many, it’s worth it. I can pay for that trip for the next 18 years and it’ll be worth it. But to take it away from them? Less than two weeks away? I can’t do that. I simply cannot do that. Maybe I lack a spine. Maybe I’m just dumb. Maybe I’m materialistic and don’t really get it. At this point, I honestly don’t care.

I am in the dark as to what the future holds. School starts for me on the 22nd. Stallion starts school the 29th. Stallion is trying to get a second part time or a full time job and is willing to go to school almost full time and work more hours. I honestly sat down and considered a part time job for myself. But I don’t see how I could do it. The next four months are my busiest months of the year work-wise. People have suggested freelance writing to me. I think that is awesome, I do; but I have no clue where to start and not get taken advantage of and honestly, I don’t have that much confidence in myself. Especially right now when I feel incapable of making a good decision.

The state got in contact with me. They have enforcement orders for him. I don’t really know what that means or how that works. They mentioned something about their first step being to try and track down the employer listed but I warned them that itself is a very bizarre thing. The company has a website but it doesn’t exist in the state’s business listing. And every business in the state has to be in there. And the address for his employer is the same address as a different company that does the same thing. But at this point, it’s their turn to play detective.

The website says this about enforcement:

Some of the ways we get parents to pay are:

  • Notify the parents when they miss payments
  • Suspend Florida driver licenses
  • Take IRS tax refunds
  • Take Florida Lottery winnings if over $600
  • Take support payments from workers’ compensation and reemployment assistance (formerly unemployment compensation)
  • Tell employers to take payments from paychecks
  • Place liens on the parent’s car, boat, or other property
  • Report past due support to credit agencies
  • Place a hold and take money from bank accounts
  • Take the case to court because the parent did not do what the order says
  • Work with the court to issue a writ, also known as an arrest warrant. If you would like to see if there is a writ on your case, please use the Department of Revenue’s Writ Search Site.
  • Collect Medical Expenses Not Covered by Insurance

I don’t think he’s hiding money. I don’t think he’s making money. I think he quit a job that paid him enough for child support and living expenses plus gave him medical benefits and other perks because he didn’t like the amount that was leftover after child support. So he got the idea to go into business for himself. And I don’t think he’s doing too well. And he didn’t save up a dime to do it, he just jumped ship and did it. Maybe he got fired. Who knows?

What I do know is the income is gone. Pretty much the way I imagined it would go. It’s happened before and I have tried so hard to protect myself for when it would happen again. And I think I did a pretty good job. The last month child support was being paid regularly was in April. So I got through a few months you know? That’s something.

Up until this month, I’d paid way higher than minimum amounts on my credit cards. And when I used my Express card for work clothes, I paid the full amount off. But now, it’s back to minimum payments only. And I’m turning off my retirement contributions to get me about $190 a month.

The light at the end of the tunnel is a dim speck in November. Because you see, I should make my very last car payment in October. So that should free up $400 a month and it should also allow me to get a lower insurance. Oh and there’s Tinsel. She’s pretty heavy and should cough up a few dollars. That might be helpful for Disney actually.

So, three months I have to depend on credit. Maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe some kind of child support will come in. Maybe Stallion will get more work. Maybe I’ll get more work. Maybe the Lottery fairy will leave me a winning ticket under my pillow.

Maybe I’ll wake up and it’ll have been a really really bad nightmare.

I know this is long. And I really don’t expect anyone to actually read all of this. I write this for therapy more than anything else. And that’s why I’m going to say one more thing.

I’m not giving up on myself and my financial goals. I’m not going to embark on a shopping bonanza to end all shopping bonanzas. I’m going to cover our needs for three months and one biggish want. It’s less than $1k so it’s ok to call it biggish, right? Whatever, it’s still a selfish want and I know that and I’m going to have to deal with it.

What hurts is knowing that three months could easily set me back three years.

And ok, yes the fact the kids’ dad is who he is and how he is hurts too.

And that I still need something from him to survive. That I am not 100% independent. We’ve been separated for three years and still… That hurts.

I appreciate all the support I’ve gotten from everyone on here in the past. I really hesitated coming here to begin writing this but I felt like if I just kept this secret, I wouldn’t be true to me. And I wouldn’t be doing anyone any favors either. Yes, here is more proof that divorce does not get easier after a few years pass. And I’m not sure I can argue it’s gotten better because it hasn’t. Communication is the worst it’s ever been. Believe it or not, now is when I get upset when my kids leave me for his house. Because before I used to trust him as a father. Now I don’t.

Would you trust a man who puts his children on a big and fast boat with no life jackets on? You should see how Daughter came back from his house a few weeks ago– her face swollen with some sort of allergy. Baby came home with sneakers two sizes too big that his little friend that lives on their block gave to him. He’s sent the boys to school without underwear. Their clothes comes back reeking of cigarettes. Baby asks every day if he’s going home with Daddy and if the answer is yes he cries and clings to me and says that no he doesn’t want to go, he wants to stay with me. And some times it’s Daughter that asks and gets very sad when the answer is yes, it’s Daddy’s turn. Eldest is the only one that seems unfazed. He actually seems hurt by his brother and sister’s negative reactions. Baby now tells me he’s going to miss me. I remember the divorce class teaching us, DON’T SAY I MISS YOU. What do I say then? “I love you. Call me whenever you want.” “But Daddy forgot your number.” “Daughter knows it. And Eldest too. They will help you.”

And all that heart wrenching knowing they are going with this man who shows through his actions how very low on his list of priorities they are.

Something’s got to give. I just hope it isn’t me.



57 thoughts on “And here we go

  1. I read it! This sounds very stressful and awful – can you turn to your parents for help instead of financing the next few months with credit cards?

    • I could but they’ve helped a lot already and help a lot during the year as is. I know they can probably help me a little bit but they can’t really support us either. And the timing is bad. They just did a much needed mini upgrade of their 20 year old kitchen!

  2. Contact me at my email address on this post. I think I have something you can use: two no expiration Park Hopper passes with two days left on them. I bought them in 2000 when I went to WDW for a business trip and brought the ex along for a weekend of fun before the meeting started. These four day passes are supposed to never expire and we only used two days on them. I know that doesn’t cover your entire family, but every little bit helps, right? And honestly if I ever get a chance to go back to WDW I can afford to buy the tickets. I’d be happy to gift them to you to lighten your burden a bit! {{{{{hugs}}}}}}

  3. *hug*

    One thing you should do at some point is contact one of the people who negotiates advertising for Yakezie bloggers and see if you can get them to monetize your blog for a cut of the proceedings. You have a lot of followers– your work should be worth something. It sounds like even small amounts would help at this point. (Alternatively, you could put up a “donate” button.)

    Here’s one of Scalzi’s how to freelance posts, start at #6:

    Don’t go too overboard on the credit cards– you’re using them in an emergency situation as emergency cards and you will pay them back down as soon as you are able to. (One of the things it notes in Willpower is that sometimes when you’ve “drawn a line in the sand” and then you have to step over that line, you end up binging just because you’ve lost that willpower… keep that in mind and draw a new line.)

    Good luck! You will pull through this eventually. We hate the way you keep getting hit down, but you keep crawling back up and we know you’re going to succeed in the end.

    • Thanks. I’ll look into Yakezie. My dad has been looking into blogs as well and offered to help me get set up for that. I’ll read the Scalzi too, he’s really clever. And thanks for your constant support. You guys have been there from the start.

    • I’ll second that. And put Adsense on your site. You won’t make much on it — FaM makes about $150 a month. But that’s $150 a month more than nothing.

      Contact Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. She and her DH run an ad agency for bloggers. Your page rank is the same as mine and so you should be able to attract advertisers. Be a little careful, because some of the strategies can get you in trouble with the Big Brother of the Internet; however, when Crystal comes through, one ad will double my blogging income.

      And I’m afraid I agree with other commenters that now is not a good time to take a trip. Feeding the kids is more important than entertaining them. Unless you can get a relative to lend you the money for the trip at no interest (another not-very-good-idea), it might be best to pull the plug on that plan. Your children do need to understand their circumstances. I would not put them in the middle of the unhappiness between you and their father, but…kids are not stupid, and they’re not so fragile that they can’t understand and cope with adversity.

      Freelance writing is poorly paid under the best of circumstances. To make anything resembling decent money takes a lot more experience, expertise, and hard work than most people realize. You would be infinitely better off to wait tables a few hours a week. It’s menial work, but pay is better than one would think (because of the tips and because so much tip money is retained under the table) and it’s as a second job or for people going back to school, because hours are usually very flexible.

  4. I went through this myself but I was the payor and 12 years of child support went to booze and crack and I eventually got custody. Your child support division of you state attorney’s office becomes your advocate at no fee. In Florida he gets a job or sits in jail to think about it. Then he must continue looking and must show the court proof of the effort. Here it is also work release time while living in jail if person a flight risk. Income tax return is garnished. If unemployment awarded him part of that is garnished. It is a long process. Takes stamina.

    As an aside you cannot deny visitation or alter shared parental rights even though he may not be providing the required responsibility under law. Never pit the children against him or rage at him in front of them. They will understand later in years and respect you for your courage and reject him as he was not a providing father. Kids have a way of figuring these things out with a wisdom way beyond their years and are governed by a clear sense of right and wrong. If daddy is living luxuriantly and they are eating p & j sammiches at home- they get it.

    You are managing and planning without expecting to get anything and that is prudent. I would never argue or even send email or letter. Let the courts work it. Showing records negative income balance records important. Keep tabs and update yourself on process. There are support groups that provide additional advocacy. You empower yourself by turning it over to God some advise. I supposed that’s OK but I would also turn it over to the state attorney office anyway. Just in case God is a little busy as I imagine he must also get overwhelmed by our self made problems. Some divorced will wage war forever and I will not judge that but a man must realize he does not “get even” by not supporting his kids.

    • Thank you Carl! I recently did turn it over to the State Attorney and that’s pretty much marked the end of me mentioning it anymore. I’m keeping records as well. Let the numbers speak as it were.
      Thank you for your advice. And thank you for relating. Your experience sounds way worse. But I’m glad you made it out in the end, and your child too..

  5. I’m pretty new to your blog, so I don’t really know your back story. But jeez, these are some tough times. I second Nic and Maggie – I would recommend Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff for negotiating ads.

    My favourite freelance writing blog is Make a Living Writing. There are a few more writing resources in my blogroll, under Career.

    • Thank you. I remember Crystal! That’s a great tip. I’ll look her up again. And I’ve never heard of that writing blog, I will definitely look at that one and your blogroll. Fantastic advice!

  6. You will not break. Please remember that. You are stronger than you think.
    Your ex will try your patience and make you contemplate murder (I speak from experience) but you will rise above it because when all is said and done you are a great mother and those three beautiful faces that greet you make it all worthwhile. It will be tough but someone wise once said “it is always darkest before the dawn”. Better times are coming unfortunately I can’t tell you when. Stay strong.
    For what it’s worth, the mother side completely agrees with you on going to WDW.
    I am so sorry that you have to go through this.

  7. Get Baby in therapy. It will come out what is happening. It is not really therapy, just child advocacy seeing from the child’s actions and hearing from their mouths or drawings or play therapy what is going on. They will get the tools taught to them so the will not suffer. I think your husband is trying to break you financially, while making it fun for the kids by getting the puppy. As me how I know. If he can make the two older happy enough to want to live with him, the courts will give them the choice of where to live, and make the litte one go too in order not to separate the children. Yes, it happens.

    My daughter was in a similar situation as you, but her almost-ex was injured on the job. He had the money to pay her, would promise her $300 instead of $450 and hand her a check for $150 as he talked on the cell and walked away and drove off. She resorted to cc with Chase. Eventually, the bill was $32K. I called time and again for her, and finally talked to someone with a heart. When they heard of threats and no money, the reduced the cc charge by $5 short of $20K, leaving her with $12K. I wrote her and told her I just gave her a $20K gift. She, coworkers, friends were amazed I could do that. I can do it for you. She allowed me to just pose as her, and talk as though I were she.

    You need to tell the courts/DHR all you said in the first paragraph. You will not get an attorney/advocate. The state will assign one for the children. You will need to get your own attorney.

    Get help from churches or Community Action for utilities. Get school supplies free from places giving them out. Go to food banks and get food stamps. Maybe you do all of this. I don’t remember and have not followed your blog for long.

    Is there a reason you have not divorced? You may have said before I started following you.

    He is now making money under the table or has a girlfriend supporting him. I promise you this! He really needs an attitude adjustment.

    Try to help yourself with agencies. They are very sympathetic to mothers with children and deadbeat husbands. My friend goes to a church that makes appointments for women to have oil changes free at the church. Little things like that can help save a budget.

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  9. I don’t know if there is a social worker at your children’s school, but if so…talk to them. They can help the kids with the transitions between the households. I know you only want what is best for them. And if it gets to a point where you feel that sole custody is the only option….that may be something to explore.

    We have been at a point in the past where credit paid for gas, food, etc. Our income covered the mortgage, utilities, and a few small things. Of course our income didn’t qualify us for any assistance (we made too much to get help, but not enough to cover our expenses).

    Tough love time…..not sure the vacation is a good idea. I know the kids are looking forward to it. I know that you all need to get away. But if you are actually at a point where there is NOTHING left, this really isn’t the best idea. I know you already said you know this. Maybe there is a staycation you can do. Or postpone it. But it will be very easy to overdo it, especially when you are in an emotional state.

    You are the only one who knows what is best for your family, and you will do what you need to do. No judgement (cuz we all know that we all make decisions that we know aren’t the wisest, but we do it anyway), but I just want you to really think about this trip and what it is going to do to the over bottom line.

  10. Wait! How do you want your kids to handle disappointments in life? This is a teachable moment. Your family cannot afford to take a fun trip now…there is no money even for food! In past generations the kids’ birthday money would have gone to buy food or pay bills if the family had no money. Teach your kids how a responsible person deals with challenges by not taking the easy way out. Model how one faces and overcomes adversity. The truth is, the trip must be postponed. Your kids will survive, they will ultimately be stronger people who can adapt to changing circumstances. They may surprise you by giving you their money to help pay bills. You can do this.

    • I agree with zz!

      And, if they ask, they are old enough to know the father is not paying what he owes. I agree you should not start a rant. But, don’t take the brunt of the blame. That does no one any good. The children may have anger, but you don’t have to be the bad one.

      Plan a little excursion–zoo, Imax, or a party where they can invite their friends and held in your yard/parents yard/friend’s yard, anywhere that is not a paid venue. Serve cheap food (nutrition be damned), turn on the hose, bring out games or borrow. Oh, no friends at zoo or Imax.

      I would not use a school counselor. Use one from the agency handling the child support or one of their choosing. That way, everyone will be apprised of the problems without having to have your child pulled from class and people talking all over school. You will stigmatize them. Besides, they don’t need to be upset in school. You can privately tell the counselor what your children are going through so that if they act out of get weepy, people will know what is in the background.

      Is boyfriend you mention helping you at all? Just my opinion, but he should. Men I refused to date have helped me in a rough spot, and still not expected me to sleep with them as repayment.

      Report that boat ride to counselor before kids get help. And, don’t tell kids you told.

  11. sorry to hear what is happening. I think you are doing the right thing taking the trip. Just do it, enjoy it and then you can tackle the bigger problems when you get back. I went through very similar family crap as a kid and it sucks, but you are good mum and you will be OK. does your workplace have free counselors for staff ( employee assistance programs?) if they do I would see one, just so you have a place to let off steam.
    Also monetize the blog, you could do freelance writing at elance – this got me through a really tough period a few years ago, there is plenty of work and it’s fast money. You could also advertise writing services over on the warrior forum. Don’t be too cheap though, there are people who will pay well.
    all the best

    • You know, we do have EAP and I had totally forgotten about it. That is a good one! I should look into it for sure.
      I will look at elance, and the warrior forum as well. Thank you so much!

  12. Sorry to hear how desparate things are financially. You can’t depend on your ex. Your children depend on you to make responsible adult decisions for your family’s well-being. Your kids sound great, they have close loving contact with all of their immediate and extended family; kudos to you for arranging all of that. Thanks to your hard work, your kids already have everything that matters in life: you, family, love, security. If you must depend on credit cards spend only what is absolutely needed for survival, i.e. food, $ to get to work etc. I don’t understand how personal finance bloggers who write about getting out of debt can encourage you to use credit for a non-essential trip and worry about it later. Don’t jepordize the good life you’ve built by going more into debt. Sometimes it sucks being the adult.

  13. I read this post a couple minutes after you first posted it, but I’m still at an absolute loss for words. I want to smack your ex husband around. When you get a chance, could you fire off a quick e-mail to me?

  14. I liked over from nicole & maggie’s blog. I just wanted to say that I’m so sorry this is happening for you. It’s easy to be “good” at personal finance whent things are simple, but you don’t have any easy solutions here.

    I agree with those who say postponing the trip is the best idea, but I can see why you want to do it anyway. life shouldn’t be so hard for little kids.

  15. Just got this link from Nicole and Maggie, and I’m very sorry this is happening to you. I’m a student at the U of Central Florida in Orlando, and we can get one-day one-park Disney tickets at a discount for family and friends. Please email me if you choose to go and hopefully I can help with tickets.

  16. Any way you can post an affiliate link to Amazon? In that way, people could click through that link if they are going to buy something in Amazon, and you’d get a small commission. I may not be much, but could help you with back-to-school items or other things.

    • I’ve done Amazon in the past, but I’m not very good at it. I have a lot of work to do with that aspect of the blog. My dad is volunteering to help me with that as well. He’s been reading up on it quite a bit!

  17. *hugs* Echoing the others here: The kids can’t be, and shouldn’t be sheltered from the realities, though they don’t need to shoved down their throats either.

    You’re handling it here in an adult forum with grace, it won’t harm the kids to see that there are difficulties and that the family can navigate them with work and grace together so they can learn from this. Many families go through such trying times and pull closer together for it, with an example to follow, and that by itself points up the problem with the negligent parent without needing the providing parent to point out the other’s failures.

    I’d suggest that it’s more important for them to know that you’re always there for them, as you are, then it is for you to go into further debt for a big vacation. The big flourishes aren’t necessary, they’re nice but not necessary.

    And counseling now for all of you would go a long way to keeping you on track. Best of luck.

  18. You are a brave one Muta. I know youre going to get through this, cause from reading your stuff for nearly a year now, youre one of the most capable people I’ve ever read (despite the bouts of self-doubt, but hey even I get those, and I’m totally amazing :P). You know what I really admire, that you’ve shared the story with us. I know its hard to to lay out the shitty bits of life for other people to read (I’ve held back on a lot of posts, cause frankly I’m just too scared to post them) and I know, its just my opinion, but taking your kids to Orlando despite your circumstances, doesn’t mean your spineless, dumb or materialistic. You love and adore your kids, plain and simple. And you shouldn’t beat yourself up about that. Trust me, you’re awesome 🙂

  19. I had an ex like this and it was very, very difficult going for many years. I got NO child support from him despite the fact that he is/was a physician (whom I put through med school to boot) . I had to sell our home, move into a tiny apartment and beg the parochial school where they were enrolled to let me pay them later o as not to disrupt ny kids lives further. The parochial school said no. It was very desperate for awhile. As my ex was a self employed physician, he under reported his income and being self employed the state of Florida was unable to garnish his pay. We lived hand to mouth for several years. It was hard.
    And yes, I did take them to WDW on credit for the exact reasons you want to. I’ve never regretted it, though it set me back A LOT. My kids suffered a lot during our separation, due to their dads extreme indifference. My daughter Jen didn’t invite him or his wife to her wedding and my son Carlos lives in LA and speaks to him max once a year. It’ll pass, it’s called karma. They will realize eventually what a s#*t their dad is and will remember everything you did or them. TRUST me on this. Although I see why others disagree as a Cuban American mom I took them to WDW and they still remember. They also remember the hundreds of promises their dad made and broke. I wish you well, but you WILL get through this. ((((hugs))))

    • Thank you Terry for sharing your story with me. The one thing I find sad is how many people can relate to what I’m going through. As helpful it is to draw on that support, it just should not be that way.

  20. Oh and sorry to o on but YEARS later, he was forced to retroactively pay me child support and all attorney fees as well! It took him years to financially recover ( he has already but who cares, my kids are grown) Karma baby 😀

  21. Oof. Here via the Grumpies. I am sorry you are dealing with this. I’m empathetic to the “take the kids on the trip” anyway approach, though I can of course see arguments for and against. Assuming you do decide to go, I hope you all have a lovely time.

    I’m no practical help on most of this stuff, but I do notice you mention stopping contributions to a retirement account for a bit. I know that is among the “never do this!” items of all PFers everywhere, but am wondering whether borrowing against the account (a specific amount for a finite interval) might be a better strategy than using cards (and not being able to pay them off). You wouldn’t need to act immediately — you could use the cards (as minimally as possible to meet your needs) and then borrow against a 401K or 403B, depending on the rules of the account and your circumstances. Maybe not a great idea, but a possible option that may be worth looking into.

    Count me among those out here rooting for you, for whatever that’s worth.

  22. I also wandered over from the Grumpies. I would never presume to offer you advice re: the trip, but I have to say, I totally get why you want to take them anyway Of course, teaching kids how to deal with disappointment gracefully is very important. I’ve spent a lot of time lately re-reading my Little House on the Prairie books which weirdly always make me think deeply about parenting and the kind of values I want my kids to have. (they got a penny and a piece of candy on Christmas! It was the best Christmas ever!) On the other hand, you and your kids are going through something really difficult. The trip isn’t just about giving them something, it’s about giving yourself something too, at a time when maybe you need to give yourself something (the light of joy on their faces, the reassurance that you can provide them with happiness and fun not just stress and money-minding, a promise that everything will be okay eventually). The trip isn’t just a vacation, it represents something powerful to you, I’m guessing. It would tear out my heart into a thousand pieces if I had to send my kids to a place where I didn’t have confidence they were being cared for properly, with my baby crying and clinging to me. It takes so much strength to be you, every day, holding everything together for yourself and for them. Whatever you choose, it will be the right choice for you and your kids.

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  24. The year I went gung ho on paying off the last bit of my mortgage, I stopped almost all excursions to “expensive” places one summer, like the zoo and carnivals and theme parks. We spent every weekend at the little lake beach down the street, the public playgrounds or the Y (which we were already members of). My kids didn’t even notice that we were spending a lot less money. They had just as much fun for free as they did when we did the road trips. We just went camping this week and to the inlaws that live near the beach. We only had 2 expensive days in a hotel and that totally could have been cut out. It cost almost nothing and my kids thought it was one of the best weeks ever. It’s so not about how much money a vacation costs. It’s about the time you have together. I’m sure you can pull together something amazing without stressing about the cost of it all. I loved the little house books too. You should reread them. They are such a great read in times of turmoil. Takes you back to simpler things and remembering the real basics of where you need to prioritize your spending.

    Your gut will tell you what the right thing is to do regarding your vacation. Listen to it. If it makes you sick thinking about how much debt you will rack up, then do something equally fun but cheaper. I can’t offer the perspective of why you should go even though you don’t have the cash. My parents didn’t have credit cards when I was growing up, so it wasn’t even an option to entertain but I presume your gut can tell you how you feel about that too. One choice will prevail and whichever it is, I doubt you will regret it.

    I’m rooting for you. You will make the right choices and stay strong, I’m sure of it. Take care.

    • Thanks Sandy. I don’t think I’ve ever really read the Little House books. I’ll look at them for sure. It’s been a struggle but I finally decided to do a half trip.
      And yes, I understand very well about the true value of vacations and the time being together being the most important.
      Someone mentioned camping at Fort Wilderness and that is something we did as children I’d like to do with the kids.
      I like simplicity but I guess I just never equated Disney with fancy. Weird huh?


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