No Vacations? No Thanks, Dave Ramsey!
Create a vacation fund today and travel the world, if that’s what you want to do!
-Peerless Money Mentor
Annual Summer Vacations
When I was growing up, my father made sure he saved up money for our annual family summer vacation. At one point, we went to Biloxi, Mississippi two or three years in a row. I did not mind the monotony because I enjoyed going to Wet Willy’s water park. Right next door to Wet Willy’s was a small amusement park with go karts, bumper boats, and other fun rides! I really loved those bumper boats; they were so much fun! We had a blast every year we went, even though the cost of the vacation was not very much. To save on costs, we would stay at the same Motel 6 every year. After visiting the same place for a couple of years, we eventually graduated to better vacations. My father probably got a raise or a new job but I cannot recall what happened.
When I was in middle school, my father and I traveled to Chicago. It was my very first plane ride and I remember chewing my gum rapidly upon takeoff. During our plane’s landing, we had to circle around the landing zone multiple times. We hit a bunch of air pockets and this made me chew my gum more rapidly than before. Eventually we would have a successful landing and I would be excited to see what the windy city had to offer! My father and I are huge basketball fans so one of our first stop would be The United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls!
The United Center
I believe we checked out the United Center our first day there. The year was 2000 so I would not get to see Michael Jordan play. But I would get to take a picture in front of his statue and that was enough to satisfy a kid like me. We would end up going to see the Chicago Bulls and Spurs play later that night. I cannot recall what the final score of the game was but I know for a fact I was a happy little kid. On a scale from 1 to 10, my happiness rate was at 1,000! The following day we would visit Navy Pier.
Navy Pier sits on the shoreline of Lake Michigan and has a ton of fun stuff for visitors to do. Although I do not recall visiting any of the attractions or shops, I remember staring out at the beautiful, greenish, blue water and enjoying the serenity it offered. I have an old picture of me at Navy Pier but I think it is too blurry to share. My father and I had an amazing time that weekend and I could not imagine a life without taking a few vacations. So that is why it is incredibly shocking to me that Dave Ramsey recommends putting vacations on hold while getting out of debt.
Dave Ramsey’s No Vacation for 10 Years Revelation
Dave Ramsey’s response to the question above is, “I think you should put vacations on hold while you are trying to get out of debt.” That was shocking to me but it does not end there. “My family and I didn’t go on vacations for more than 10 years while we were getting out of debt.” Can you imagine going ten years without taking a single vacation? I applaud his determined effort to knock out his debt but what about burnout? Paying off debt is tough and I recommend rewarding yourself along your journey to becoming debt free. Dave goes on to recommend that you save up cash for a vacation if it is needed. I totally get that but not taking a vacation in ten years is insanity. Taking an affordable vacation while in debt is doable and I will show you how!
Ways to Build a Vacation Fund
- Create a vacation fund by automating your savings. I used Capital One 360 account to create an account called “vacation fund” For example, if you set aside $25 per pay period if you get paid bi-weekly, you will end up having $625 to spend on vacations during the year.
- Join the SaverLife program program I recommend in my article titled SaverLife Savers Program. SaverLife Savings Program, formerly Earn savings program, is a non-profit organization that help families save and invest to build wealth. The program lasts six months and for every month you save $20, a $10 reward is set aside for you to redeem when the program ends.
- Pickup a side hustle to bring in some extra cash! Read my article The Five Side Hustles to Help You Achieve Financial Independence. Also, check out FinancialPanther.com and Sidehustlenation.com for more side hustle ideas.
- Read ESI’s article titled How to Grow the Value of Your Career by 50% and take the actionable steps listed!
- I know Dave Ramsey doesn’t recommend using credit cards but if you have good credit, try travel hacking! Choose FI has a great episode on this titled Travel Rewards: How to Travel the World for Free (The Easy Way). I only recommend taking this step if you are able to avoid credit card interest.
- If you have an HSA, try using my HSA travel hacking strategy. I actually called into the Choose Fi Podcast and they played my voicemail on episode 56r Choose FI Nation!
- Choose a cheap destination like Biloxi to start and work your way up to better vacations like my father did!
My Choose FI Voicemail
The Importance of Taking A Vacation
Using Your Credit Card like a Debit Card
Dave Ramsey is against using credit cards for any reason but I doubt he knows or care about Debitize. According to a review on Rockstarfinance.com, “Every time you make a purchase with your credit card, Debitize will automatically transfer that amount of money from your bank account to your Debitize account.” To read the full review, click here!
Special Shout Out
I recently read and article featured on Rockstarfinance.com titled Live The Life You Want Now: Don’t Wait Until Retirement. It was a thought-provoking piece written by Melissa Brock at Moneylogue.com. The main message of the article was to enjoy life now while saving for retirement because you never know when it will be your time to go! Her post really inspired me to write this article. Keep up the good work, Melissa!
My name is Jerry, and I am just a personal finance nerd who writes from a bottom to top perspective. I believe anyone can improve their finances by adopting certain habits/strategies taught by the financial independence community.
In my popular post From Broke Phi Broke to Financially Woke I wrote, “While I am not 100% debt free yet, I hope the financial independence community welcomes me with open arms.”
Since writing that article, the financial independence community has embraced me as one of their own. I have even gotten a chance to do some amazing things like write for Business Insider.
Well, enough about me. I want to hear from you. Feel free to reach out to tell me your million dollar secrets 🙂