Stop the Snowball For the Wedding?

Miles's son is getting married in February, but the wedding is in China. Miles and his wife are in an investment club with $15,000 in it. Should they take $5,000 out to go on this trip?

QUESTION: Miles in Kansas City is on Baby Step 2. His son is getting married in February, but the wedding is in China. Miles and his wife don’t want to go into debt to go to the wedding, and they’re in an investment club with $15,000 in it. Should they take $5,000 out to go on this trip?

ANSWER: If I were in your shoes, I would.

What we’re doing is we’re slowing down your rate of getting out of debt by $5,000 for you to go to your son’s wedding. Yes, I would do that. But would I borrow the money? No. I’d find some other way to do it, which you have done.

We’re not even pushing pause on this. We’re just saying we’re going to go to China as economically as we can to see the wedding and a couple of other things while we’re there and then head back home. We’re not going to stay at something that’s $10,000 a night, obviously.

Obviously, there are a lot of reasons to do this, but here’s the thing: Any time I do something like this in my life, what I want to say is after 30 years of marriage, for one month, you’ve been focused on cleaning up your financial act, right? So if you’re going to take this little side step, so to speak, you have to really just internally—for your sake—you want to say when we come back, we’ve got to hit it that much harder. We’ve got to sacrifice that much deeper. We’ve got to work that much more to get out of debt just to offset the fact that we’re doing this, but it is the right thing to do.

I want you to break the back of this 30-year habit pattern. That’s what I’m most concerned about, and as long as you do that, if you spend $8,000 on the China trip, it doesn’t matter because $3,000 is no longer your problem or $5,000 is no longer your problem because you’ve addressed the habit patterns that we are now completely committed. And you and your wife are holding hands and saying, “We’re going to do this, but when we come back, it’s game on, baby!” As long as you’ve kind of got that attitude, then I definitely would do it, but I definitely think you should go to your son’s wedding. Yeah, definitely.

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