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Bonus and Borrowing

October 13th, 2012 at 07:22 pm

Ok, it's been almost 2 weeks since I've blogged and it's time to catch up.

The biggest news is...we found out we are getting a bonus (unexpected) in December and it will be about $7500 after taxes. Woohoo!

We've been trying to decide where to put our small windfall and after having changed our minds a bunch of times, I think we've reached a conclusion.

First, we are going to take $5000 and put it into savings as a "slush fund". Our emergency fund balance is where we want it to be for 6 months of living expenses, but on top of that we want a cushion to pay for things like car repairs, car registration, unexpected vet bills or medical bills, etc. So, boring as that sounds, that's where it's going.

Now the next part is a little more exciting...we are taking $1900 and going on a Disney Cruise in February! Can't remember if I mentioned this or not, but last summer we went on our first Disney Cruise. It was probably our favorite vacation, ever. The kids had a blast and DH and I got some alone time. It was hugely expensive, though, and we had to save up a long time for that. We had planned on going on another cruise in 2014.

Well, that was until Disney decided to offer some big discounts on their cruises that sail out of Galveston (about 6 hours from where we live). I saw those sale prices online from our travel agent, and I called DH out of the blue and said, "Hey, don't think I'm crazy....but there are some really good prices on Disney Cruises coming up in early 2013!" I thought he would say I'm crazy, but he was more for the idea than I was! So we booked a cruise. We will have to pull our oldest son out of school for 4 days, but I believe that as long as he's doing well in school and he's young enough, it's no big deal (we did it last year too).

So now, we are no longer going to San Antonio in the Spring, we will do the cruise instead. So my mturk earnings will go towards spending money on the cruise. My goal is to earn $200 before February.

We also got $200 in onboard credit from our travel agent and from using our Disney Visa, so almost all of our tips are paid for. And we're using DH's hotel points to stay closer to Galveston the night before.

We haven't told the kids yet--I think we will surprise them at Christmas. I still can't believe that we are going on another Disney cruise so soon after our last one--but the price is less than half of our cruise last summer!

We will take the rest of the bonus and divvy it up to some charitable causes.

Which sort of leads me to talk about another "charitable" cause we are dealing with...friends who keep asking to borrow money. They are actually the reason I started this anonymous blog, because blogging about us trying to save up for an emergency fund made me uncomfortable with them asking us for money.

These friends are going through a hard time--they've asked us twice to borrow money and they asked us for a 3rd time today. We gave them $100 the first time--I guess it was more like a gift than a loan. I'm sure we will never get it back.

The second time, we said no, but we bought them some things to help out their household. Another $100+ of stuff.

And now they've asked us again for this latest emergency--one of their cars was towed away for nonpayment and they have to pay to get it out of impound plus the amount they are overdue on.

My mother-in-law told us that once you give someone money, they will keep coming back to you and asking you again and again. She was right.

The thing is, this couple has made some horrible financial decisions. They are both college educated and had good jobs (one was laid off). I'm trying to stay out of the situation completely. But part of me would like to tell them some practical things they could do instead of asking everyone around them for money--like sell their iPads and Kindles. Get rid of their smart phones. Do some work on mturk or anywhere to get some extra money. Have a garage sale. But I think suggesting any of those things would just piss them off.

So we've decided we just can't give them any more money. Because there will always be the next "emergency" and although I feel bad for their kids, they have got to learn how to get themselves together.

Anyone have friends like this? Do they ask you to borrow money? How do you respond?

6 Responses to “Bonus and Borrowing”

  1. Momma and the boys living on budget Says:

    That is great about the bonus and the Disney cruise! I love Disney

    As far as the friends, I would not lend them any more money. If they have gadgets, have them sell those. I haven't had any friends borrow money from us. I do have a couple of girlfriends that were extremely close until one loaned money to the other. I don't discuss money with friends and family only on message boards lol

  2. laura Says:

    Yay on the bonus! Nay on the lending! I've got a best friend who is such a poor money manager that her cries for help have landed on my deaf ears for the last time. I gave her Mary Hunt's Debt Proof Living and said that it was the best portrayal of practical advice I've seen and it has helped my house get our money in order. We have bought her groceries when she was broke, and I'd let her stay with me for if she was ever homeless. I know too much of her poor spending habits to give her anything else than support (and even that has dried up!)

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Great plan on the money! Enjoy the trip.

    I have not lent to friends, they have not asked. I do have many relatives that seem to ask other relatives for money all the time, so I know it can be a big problem. I would guess they will stop asking, if you keep saying no and gently give advice on where they could find money in their own home.

  4. Looking Forward Says:

    That is awesome news about the bonus! The cruise sounds like a blast. Smile
    Very occasionally I'll have a friend who will ask to borrow a few bucks until payday. She has always paid me right back on payday. My MIL has borrowed from us a few times, but she has always paid right back too. My SIL has asked DH for loans before, but he tells her no. Other than that I haven't had anyone else ask. If I did have friends that handled money like yours I wouldn't be giving them any of mine.

  5. Ima saver Says:

    Yah for the cruise, Nay on loaning money! I don't do it. I have a friend who asks me from time to time. She has all the gadgets too. If I can live without them, why can't she??

  6. Wino Says:

    I don't lend money to anyone, but I will give it away on occasion. I think that you can possibly turn this into a learning experience if you have the time and the patience. Tell them you'll give them (or lend them) another $100, but they'll have to take some positive steps such as using their ipads to get iTunesU and do the personal finance course from the U of Missouri (it's on the front page, so I used it for an example). Likewise, you could purchase a copy of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace or sign them up for a class nearby. It might cost more up front, but hopefully, it will make them more financially astute. Who knows? They might even end up paying you back if they actually attend the class and do what it takes to take control of their spending. Of course, you could also just say, "No." They are not your responsibility, but in no case would I give them anything unless they did something positive to prevent them from needing money again.

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