I've got to admit, I do wish I traveled quite a bit more. My wife and I just got back from about a week of vacation (did you miss me?), and I REALLY needed it. Coral planned the entire trip without telling me where we were going, and it was freaking awesome.
We ended up flying to Tampa Bay and then driving to Anna Maria Island (highly recommend) off the west coast of Florida, where I worked as little as possible and recharged my batteries.
I know a lot of you like to keep track of what I'm doing on a day to day basis, and admittedly I've been pretty bad at that. One thing I realized while I was on vacation is that I need to show you even more about my life (as if my income wasn't enough, right?) and the cool things that my online business and hard work I put into my student loans allows me to do now.
So – go ahead and follow me on Instagram really quick (@genymoneyman) and I promise you that I will post regularly AND you can see my recent vacation photos. 🙂
Vacations and traveling are fairly new for me
One of the most interesting things that I've noticed about millennials and vacations is what I'll call the “justification effect.” There are a lot of people that I know personally and through the site that go on incredible vacations all the time.
Then, they come to me and complain about being broke or how their student loan debt is so daunting.
If I mention the glaringly obvious “borrowing money for vacations” thing, I get something similar to:
“I just want to live while I'm young.”
“I deserve it; I'm stressed.”
“I'll have it paid off soon, it's not a big deal.”
Do you want to know why I have zero debt and a career 99% of people in the world would want?
I didn't take vacations. I didn't borrow money for crap. I put in the REALLY hard work and sacrifice when I was super young so that now, at 28, I can do nearly whatever I freaking want to and write a check for it.
Related: Life After Debt
This hasn't been mentioned on M$M in a while, mostly because I wanted to soften my tone a bit as the site grew. But I've got to say it: we don't deserve crap, and you'll still be the same person 30 years from now wishing you had taken your loans more seriously when you had the asset of time to work for you.
My wife and I make $200,000k(ish) a year and are JUST getting comfortable with traveling, because well…it's expensive.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't ever travel if you have debt…
My wife and I were extreme about being frugal in our early 20's, and I fully understand that most people don't want to do the things we did (even though our lives are pretty incredible now).
But honestly, if you have a ton of student loan or consumer debt and don't have a real plan for getting it knocked out in the near future, you literally can't afford a vacation. I'm sorry. If you take that statement personally and are offended, you need to learn how to separate money from your self worth (also sorry).
Related: Afford – A Dangerous Word
There are a lot of things we all want in life. I get it. But that doesn't mean we get to have it. It's a bummer.
However, if you have a real debt payoff plan and actually budget vacations in – go for it.
Here's an example:
I have two very good friends that are working on what used to be about $100,000 of student loan debt (they have paid off over $50,000 in the last two years or so).
They are both teachers, and make a $3,100/month loan payment by being extremely smart and diligent about their budget. It's incredible. I can't WAIT to feature them on the site when they make the last payment.
If they want to set aside some money to go on a vacation, they can and should. They WILL hit their goal of debt freedom, it just becomes a matter of exactly when, not “if.”
Vacations do have intrinsic value
Now that my wife and I are starting to travel more, I definitely see the value in getting away much more than I did before. But, I don't regret the years that we didn't take big trips at all.
I can guarantee you that it's a great feeling to go on vacation without having to keep paying the bill long after the trip is over.
Here's a tip from someone that has walked the walk:
If you're heavily in debt and still feel like you HAVE to get away – try taking a mini vacation instead (that link will take you to 1,000+ ideas for three-day trips).
Obviously doing a weekend trip somewhere in-state won't feel like a week in Cabo, but you'll probably find that it gives you juuuust enough of a mental break to keep grinding away at your debt.
(BTW – the featured pic is from our recent vacation!)