If I could spend all my time doing one thing, it would have to be travelling. Sure, long layovers suck, getting stranded in LAX overnight and having to sleep in a chair wasn’t fun, but hey, I’ll take it if I get to see cool places and experience amazing things. That’s why cancelling a trip to the UK is a sheer act of dedication towards my finances and the challenge I’ve set forth for 2015.
I had planned to travel to the UK this fall, as I haven’t been since 2006 and am missing the beautiful English countryside. I adore the Peak district, not to mention I’m an insane Jane Austen fan and I’d be attending the festival. Or, was that is.
I thought about my primary goal for 2015, and after two weeks of indecision, finally came to the (sane) conclusion that a $5K trip to the UK would be one of those epic money mistakes and completely undermine my no spend challenge and plans to eliminate $34K of debt in one year. Duh, eh? Epiphany reached, brain has achieved financial awakening.
The Real WHY for Cancelling
In a word? Dedication.
In two? Financial Dedication.
Suddenly, I feel like the female version of James Bond…
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or an MI6 agent) to figure out that if I’m focusing the majority of my income on debt repayment, a trip to the UK that has not be saved for would be sheer stupidity to follow through on. In simpler terms, a HUGE financial mistake.
Another good reason? I don’t want to feel anxiety for taking a vacation I know deep down would derail my debt repayment plans. Vacations are meant to be enjoyed, not spent in hours of anxiety ridden agony over whether you can afford the conversion rate to British pounds, or if an extra ride on the London Underground is going to blow your vacation budget.
Financial disaster adverted! Then the CORRECT financial thought pattern emerges…
Wouldn’t it be an amazing idea if I postpone this trip to 2016 and it could be a fantastic debt repayment reward AND a wonderful 40th birthday present? My brain agrees, great idea. And yes friends, I will be 40 in 2016.
I couldn’t stand another minute of being in debt if I turned 40 with debt. I equate it to being a cougar with training wheels, or 40 with a crazed monkey that won’t get off my back.
If there’s anything on a Top 40 to do before you’re 40, I’d put Get out of Debt and Achieve Financial Freedom repeatedly over and over all 40 times.
Did it cost anything to cancel?
As with anything vacation related, you MUST read the fine print BEFORE you make any kind of plans. Thankfully, I had gone into this trip wondering whether it was a good idea or not to begin with, and had done my research ahead of time.
I had only booked my accommodations and nothing else at this point and both establishments have a “Cancel with at least 72 hours notice or more”. Well, I gave them many months more, which, when I emailed them, they were happy I had done so and NO CANCELLATION CHARGES! Score!
In this case, letting logic and my brain override my feelings and desires to travel were a good thing. I used my new mantra for 2015 of attaching a feeling and visual to things, and this vision was a tripocalypse of epic financial failing.
I envisioned two scenarios: 1. Taking the trip this year or 2. Taking the trip in 2016 after saving more money. Guess which one was the better of the two? Yep, the latter, taking the trip in 2016 with substantial savings behind me (and more time to get a better exchange on UK funds).
In the end, the overwhelming feelings of guilt, shame, and the disgrace of possibly failing at another year of debt repayment were too much to bear. I couldn’t do it again; I couldn’t take feeling like a financial fraud again. Not only to all of you who hold me accountable, but also to family and myself.
2015 is the year of fearless. No more hiding behind debt and stuck where I don’t want to be. I’m upping the level of dedication.