Money fun
Debt

Does having debt mean you have too much money fun?

Money funFUN MONEY STILL COSTS YOU

 

Having fun and having debt is no laughing matter but not everyone sees debt through my eyes.

Sometimes debt is just a piece of paper that comes in the mail for someone who says oh look it’s gone up again and heads out for a night on the town.

My theory is you need to earn money before you can play the cash out game depending on what you are spending it on though. Keep in mind not all debt happens because of having fun.

Debt for some might mean they go to the grave owing people money and they don’t have a care in the world. Those are the people who live in that financial la la land that I talked about earlier. Learning about money saving habits and paying off debt first is not easy for some people and for others it’s a no-brainer.

My friend at My Money Design talks about why it is important to save money and now and when he says “because things will happen” he’s nailed it. Not only do things happen most of us will continually want more stuff over the course of our lives and if we don’t have cash to pay for it, well you guessed it. More debt.

Others like myself cringe at hearing the word debt or having to owe someone money whether it’s friends or family or a credit card bill that couldn’t get paid in full due to student loans, car loans, mortgages.

It’s not like I sit around counting money all day, but I don’t want my hopefully early retirement years mired with debt I haven’t paid because I was too busy having fun or buying things I didn’t need watching that debt grow bigger and bigger.

 

Fun with someone else’s money

 

It’s true, some people feel sorry for themselves because they had fun before they paid for it and now they are really paying for it. It doesn’t matter what happened to get you where you are because in the end debt is debt.

I’m pretty sure you know someone who doesn’t have lots of money or any at all and when they come into money they are happy as a pig in muck. They think they have hit the jackpot and they can go out and live large with that money and have tonnes of fun.

The problem is there are so many things that need to get done around the house, debt that needs to get paid, repairs, etc. yet they seem to forget all about it. Most times the windfall that comes into their hands is in the form of a lottery win, bingo win, loan from a bank, loan from a friend, found money and it’s gone before you have a chance to sit on it and think.

Those who struggle with paying down debt year after year may mean they are having too much fun with someone else’s money or they simply don’t make enough to pay down the debts with the money they were loaned or from products purchased.

Either way it has to be paid back so putting fun on the back burner to get debt priorities and other important tasks completed should be at the top of the list.

Should you be going on vacations, buying new vehicles, new clothes etc. when you have a pile of debt already? Well if you ask me you know I’ll tell you no you should be getting rid of that debt first unless you crave the debt explosion.

I also think that you need to be realistic about what you are spending your money on when you have debt. No one says you can’t have fun but if you are already struggling to stay afloat why would you drown yourself?

If you ask someone else, their opinion may differ but their opinion of sitting on debt probably isn’t as important as it is to me. I prefer to get up in the morning not worrying about money and debt where others seem to fluff it off as if they gave up on themselves.

Others might not care because they think they will never pay it off so why stress about it. If we have this mentality you can bet you will never pay it off because everything else that is fun will become a priority over paying off debts you already have.

Your choice though, it’s your life you’re right but you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t want to find a way to get out of debt. In fact I don’t know many people who celebrate the fact that they have fun and have debt and don’t care about it.

 

Take care of your stuff

 

I have an acquaintance who bought a used truck which was great for work a few years back and owes about $15,000 on it. Well his new to him truck turns out that he’s paying more in mechanics bills then he can afford on general repairs that are common to just about every vehicle owner.

So what does he do?

He goes out and gets another bank loan for another used truck because he can’t afford the bills on the first used vehicle he bought. I wish everything in life was like that. When something breaks down just toss it aside and buy a new one.

The problem?

He still owes thousands of dollars on the first truck. I hope he had some fun in the first truck because it sure will cost him some cash unless he can sell it to recoup some money. As we know vehicles depreciate and it’s not always fun when you have to pay to get your vehicle fixed but that’s life.

I don’t know many vehicles that don’t make its way into the mechanics shop at one time or another, it’s reality. Things break down and need replacing so like having a mortgage and a house needs repairs as does your vehicle.

If you can’t even pay for regular maintenance on your vehicle don’t be surprised if your vehicle won’t be nice to you when it comes time to get it repaired.

Some people are shocked at the bill but if you take care of what you own for the most part you should have a vehicle that lasts you a long time. One of our vehicles is 11 years old and is in mint condition because it’s well looked after and yes that costs money just like everything else in life.

 

Debt defined

 

What is debt? Debt is owing money to someone in the simplest of terms. If you have received a service or product and you haven’t paid for it in full you now have debt because you owe money to someone.

There are many reasons why debt comes knocking at our doors and honestly many people can say they had too much fun and probably could have done without and others well debt just kind of fell on their lap.

You see not everyone is out to splurge on buying items. Let’s look at a couple in a relationship where one spouse is a spender and the other is a saver or a couple where one spends but hides the debt from their partner.

It’s after they get caught or the relationship breaks down that all the debt secrets come to the table and the non-spenders are left with paying half the debt if not all of it.

We know a couple this happened to where the marriage broke down and she found out he had credit cards that she had no idea about. If you start to see your spouse coming home with new or even used stuff and you don’t see these expenses on any bills you might want to question where the money is coming from.

If you are in one of those relationships where my money is mine and yours and is yours remember if you are common law in the eyes of the law, it’s still your debt if you’ve lived together for x amount of months (depending on where you live check the laws) so be cautious.

Best of it is she just paid the credit card debt because she didn’t want to fight with him about money. Some people are like that and would rather suck up the debt and move on instead of trying to pull money out of thin air where there is none available or likely will never be.

Below are some other ways that having too much fun might mean we carry debt. How do you combat creating debt with your expensive hobbies and holidays?

 

Expensive hobbies

 

There’s at least one house on our road that has a boat residing on a trailer waiting to go in the water. It’s not just the cost of the boat that’s the expense here but insurance, licence, maintenance, fuel for both car and boat and any launch costs or mooring fees.
Having a boat and all the associated costs that go with it aren’t the only expensive hobbies out there though.

Photography if you take it seriously enough can cost you a small fortune. Once you get past the throw away snapshot cameras and into DSLR’s or Medium Format cameras the camera body is a separate item from the lens and prices increase dramatically.

Lenses go into the thousands of dollars and then there’s a plethora of filters, remotes, flash units etc. as well as editing software such as Photoshop elements 12 which I just bought for half price regular $150. That’s just the little guy though if you want the cream of the crop Photoshop can run you $700- into the thousands.

Some people manage to make their hobby pay for itself by advertising their services but most amateur photographers do it for the art aspect.

Restoring classic cars used to be a hobby that aging men get into reliving their youth but these days restoring a V8 Muscle Car isn’t exactly what you’d call cheap.

There are a few classic cars in our area, most of which haven’t set foot outside of the garage since we moved here. I’m not sure if it’s because the men that bought them had less mechanical skills than they thought or they suddenly realized how expensive that hobby really is.

Motor-homes can be very expensive to buy and maintain and yet they seem to spend most of their lives living on a driveway. I suppose that if used often enough it can provide slightly cheaper domestic holiday experiences that you have complete control of.

The problem with this is that do most people have all that extra time to use the motor-home? If you’re only going to use it a handful of times then that’s an expensive piece of kit just sitting around, depreciating faster and faster.

 

Holidays

 

From the versatile motor-home to hotels abroad, whatever style of holiday you like there’s always going to be cost associated with it. I’ve already talked about the motor-home, so the next item on my list is the cottage or static caravan/park home.

There is always this big exodus to the cottage when the first decently warm weather turns up and people enjoy a weekend away.
I’m just not seeing it myself though.

How do you enjoy a weekend away to a cottage that you have to pay for year round through a second mortgage and have to spend money and time maintaining so you can go there for a few weekends during the year? Not everyone rents out their cottage in the off-season although that does help.

You could have probably gone somewhere different every weekend and stayed in a hotel for the same costs.
Now we haven’t been on a holiday abroad yet, although we’ve had some time away in Ontario.

I have been to many foreign places over the years but we concentrated on getting to where we want to be financially now by sacrificing such luxuries as a holiday abroad.

Where I used to work years ago in the UK there were plenty of people who used to go away twice may be three times a year. One particular person went to Cuba, which from the UK is more expensive than going there from Canada.

They spent two weeks in a resort without even seeing anything of Cuba as a country. Surely you could have the same experience in Spain which from the UK is cheap. It always amazes me that people will spend thousands to go on holiday to a far-flung place, boast about it and yet never set foot outside of the resort.

Look at what you want from a holiday and adjust your expectations to match, it will probably save you a lot of money and will mean you can afford the same holiday again later in the year.

So if you have debt and many people do ask yourself if the debt you have is because you are spending too much money having fun. If creating debt is because you are having too much fun and you are struggling to pay off the debts and keep adding more debt on top it’s time to dust off the budget or prioritize how you are spending money and paying down debt.

How do you keep debt low while having fun?

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4 Comments

  1. I no longer can afford to have fun with other peoples money. My goal in life is to only have fun with my own money. Using other peoples money is like borrowing a couch. Is not yours but it sure looks good in your living room.

  2. When we are planning to go for a vacation, we must see to it that we do have a right budget for that one. I know someone who has a pretty large amount of debt because he always avail of the promo package trip but even if it is a promo STILL he uses his credit card to pay for his trip.

  3. This is so true! The 2013 Chevy Cruze that we trade in a 2013 Traverse is a perfect example of this. I hate myself for doing it – i was having fun with someone else’s money! I will always keep this in mind in the future!

  4. I try to stick to fun I know I can afford. For instance, I’m going to Europe next week. I know I can afford it because I’m sharing the cost of the trip with my boyfriend who I’m going to visit, I was able to rent out my room while I’m away, hotels out there are covered by his company, and I got half the flight reimbursed by credit card rewards. Without taking care of those things, I wouldn’t be able to afford my fun.

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