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171 Past Due – Should I Delay Debt Freedom To Be A Best Man?

by Derek Sisterhen on September 5, 2011

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Past Due: Radio 171 – Should I Delay Debt Freedom To Be A Best Man?

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BJ and Sylvia wrote in from Germany looking for guidance on a dilemma: Do they attend BJ’s brother’s wedding (BJ being the best man, by the way) and delay debt freedom, or continue with their plan to become debt free and disappoint their family?

Talk about a can of worms! But hey, that’s life and money, isn’t it?

Because of the cost of travel back to the U.S., recent unexpected expenses, and changes in income, this is no little decision. Add to that the pressure of family expectations, and you have a recipe for major stress.

Today, we helped BJ and Sylvia by:

1) Discussing that there is an opportunity cost of getting out of debt – all those opportunities we have to say, ‘No’ to – and that we must assess just how much that cost weighs in our current strategy toward debt freedom.

2) Covering the four lists that everyone should make upon committing to getting out debt and controlling spending:

  • List of goals for the next 6-12 months
  • List of current expenses
  • List of reasons to use emergency savings
  • List of reasons to suspend the debt snowball

3) Unpacking the other areas where family and money tend to intersect – like Christmas, wedding and baby showers – and how to set the appropriate boundary so that you invest in those relationships without short-changing financial goals.

If you have a specific question, I’d be happy to answer it and further cultivate the wisdom of the Past Due Radio masses. The experiences of our listener base provide plenty of insight we all can learn from; don’t hesitate to ask – I’m happy to help!

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  • http://twitter.com/JWFinCoaching Jonathan White

    Great advice Derek, BJ and Sylvia really need to make this trip even if it delays their getting out of debt date. They really can not afford not to go, your brother only gets married once and they won’t be able to replace those memories any other time. If they just wanted to visit family I would probably advice waiting until they are debt free. But to me, attending your brothers wedding is worth the extra 3-5 months that it will take to get debt free. Fun topic.

  • http://pastdueradio.com/ Derek Sisterhen

    Hey Jonathan – thanks for your comment and affirmation!  I agree that if this was just a family reunion (not a wedding of a sibling), BJ and Sylvia should focus on dumping debt, and then catch up with everyone at the holidays or next year.

    One big factor in my recommendation was that they would be paying cash for the trip.  If they told me they didn’t have the money on hand, then I probably would’ve recommended they start a polka troupe and begin dancing in the village square.  You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes!

    Thanks!

  • http://www.YourStrongTower.com Christine Luken

    This is definitely a case of when the “baby steps” should be interrupted!

  • http://pastdueradio.com/ Derek Sisterhen

    No doubt, Christine.  I feel for BJ and Sylvia because some Kool-Aid drinkers out there might beat them over the head for this; the fact that they even asked for guidance on this shows how far over the top and militant some people have gotten with those Baby Steps.

    Thanks for the comment!

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