Over the weekend, we returned from a very enjoyable vacation. We spent the week aboard the Disney Magic* and we had a great time touring the Western Caribbean. While this is undoubtedly a rather extravagant vacation, a big part of our enjoyment came from the fact that we planned for this expenditure, and paid for it completely out-of-pocket. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone…
One evening early on in the cruise, my wife and I sat down at the bar to have a drink and unwind. Shortly thereafter, a fellow passenger sat down beside us and struck up a conversation. As it turns out, he and his wife and daughter are regular cruisers. So regular, in fact, that the bartender seemed to know him quite well.
During the course of our conversation, he talked at length about things like the high-end staterooms that they always stay in, how much he had spent at the Disney art auction on their last cruise, and the “great deal” he had gotten on his watch while shopping in one of the ports – he paid “just” $1, 600, which was apparently about $600 off retail.
He went on like this for a few minutes before he eventually trailed off. At that point, the bartender ribbed him a bit about his spending habits, which prompted him to say something that spoke volumes about their lifestyle:
“Man, it took forever to pay off that last cruise.”
He went on to joke that he better not drink too much before the art auction, or it might be even worse this time around. While he tried to laugh it off with a devil-may-care attitude, it was actually kind of sad. How relaxing can it be to go on a vacation knowing full well that you’re spending money that you don’t have, and that you’ll return to the “real world” even deeper in debt?
I’ve argued previously that it’s okay to spend money — and not just on needs, but on wants, as well. That’s the whole point of having your finances in order, isn’t it? But… No good can come of spending money that you don’t have.
*Note: This was actually our second time onboard the Disney Magic. In case you’re curious, I wrote up a Disney cruise review following our first trip.