Monday, September 27, 2010

Guilt Free Vacations

Are you feeling bogged down with debt? Don't worry, you are not alone. However, you CAN rise up and take that dream vacation. It's not just a fairy tale. Lots of people are finding out how and sharing their stories with us.

I read an article today over at Yahoo Finance: "Staying out of debt leads to first affordable vacation in years."
The article explained how an average couple found themselves, "in a continuous cycle of borrowing from this week's paycheck to pay last week's bills and desperately wanting to catch up and get out of debt."
However, they "finally had to sit down and ask, "Where's all our money going?""
Once they did that, they were able to prioritize their spending. Rather than just throw money away on things that didn't have value to them, they consciously spent or saved their money for things that did. The end result?

After climbing out of debt this year, my fiance and I were able to take our dream vacation to New Orleans. Everything was paid for outright, without any interest charges. We were able to enjoy the trip to its fullest, without wondering how it would be paid for.
This is my idea of a dream vacation! Paris, France.
Paris Exposition: Champ de Mars and Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, 1900

Photo Courtesy of Flickr, Brooklyn Musuem
It seems that a common thread lately from personal finance bloggers is chronicling the personal success stories. JD at features a weekly Reader Stories, Trent Hamm at TheSimpleDollar features numerous Mailbags where he answers individual readers questions with his own opinion, Ramit at IWillTeachYouToBeRich also has featured success stories entitled Master's of Earning More.

It makes sense - that is how their own blogs were started. They were reporting on their own personal finance journey. Once they achieved their own success and continued to prosper with their new foundation in personal finance, they have all started showcasing the personal stories of other fellow readers.

This isn't a new tactic. Personal finance books have always included snippets of success stories from people that have been helped by following the proposed program or principles. In some ways, reader stories serve as a further testimonial that what the author is spouting out really does work and more importantly, that it works for more than one type of person.

Take heart in the success stories and realize that you CAN achieve your dreams, too. Others have done it. Look at their stories and try to identify what was their turning point. Identify what things worked for them and try to apply some of the principles and ideas into your own life. Not everything will work all the time, but there is a lot to learn from the experiences of others.

Stop dreaming and start sailing!

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