I have to tell you this was one of the toughest things I’ve ever said no to. I have changed so much over the years, but the one thing that has never changed about me is my desire to travel and see the world. I know that is something many of us want to do, but for me I would be perfectly content living on the road constantly. I can picture myself waking up in a new town every few days and being perfectly content to call the world my home. But the one thing I haven’t had much opportunity as I would like to travel. I will say, that I have been fortunate enough to travel to many of the 50 states in the US, have been to Mexico, and many of the Virgin Islands. Don’t get me wrong, I value each of these experiences greatly, but I’ve always yearned to see and experience more, and the number one place on my list is Italy. (this post may contain affiliate links, which means I would earn a small commission if you purchase something through my link, and it doesn’t cost you anything)
I tell you this, because it makes it easier to understand why saying no to a $650 trip to Rome, Italy was such a struggle for me. I love Groupon and I am tormented every week by the amazing trips they offer on their site. Especially the ones that include round-trip airfare and hotel stays. This $650 trip to Rome was such a trip. My husband and I would have paid $1300 total for us to both to fly to Rome and back, stay in a hotel for 4 nights (6 days) while in Rome. Breakfast would also have been included. When you put this into perspective, that’s basically $130 per day for each of us. Now I’ve never been to Europe but I felt like this was an amazing deal.
Now I get excited about trips I find on Groupon all the time. But whenever I ask my husband if he would like to go, he usually says no out of concern for our finances. (Isn’t that funny, he’s now the one telling me not to spend our money). But for this particular trip, he said yes and that it sounded like a great deal too. My jaw literally fell open. I couldn’t believe he said yes. So I used the chat service Groupon offers to ask some questions about the details of the trip and put the trip for 2 in my cart. I mean it’s literally sitting there, the money is in our account and my husband agreed to the trip and I was about to purchase a trip for us to go to Rome together in a little over a month. The excitement was literally overwhelming. I was jumping all over the place and grinning from ear to ear.
But then, I decided to stop moving so fast. I told myself to let the trip sit in my cart for a little bit while I thought through this decision. I knew we had the money, but I also knew that we have BIG financial goals for this year. We are about two months away from paying off another loan that would put $200 back in our pocket every month. We have goals to buy a house in 2018, and we want to hopefully pay off my car by the end of the year that would put another $220 back into our pocket every month. So, my practical brain told me to wait, to calm down and think.
I thought about how much I would love to go to Rome. How I value traveling and experiences over anything else. How we have been working ridiculously hard to pay off so many of our debts last year and we deserved a nice trip just the two of us. I thought about how time is never guaranteed and our health could change before we ever got another chance to go. And then I decided to post my predicament to Facebook and ask for feedback on what I should do. Everyone said to take the trip. Every single person who commented on that post, told me to go on the trip and that memories and experiences were far more important than paying back money I owed to someone else. That is the moment I knew for certain I had to say no to this amazing trip.
I remembered how my husband and I are working to build a life we don’t want to run away from. How the steps we are taking now could make traveling as often as we liked a reality for us. I thought about how our financial decisions in the past impacted our reality now, and I desperately don’t want that reality to continue. So I ultimately said no to this incredible dream of a trip. And some of you will probably still disagree with me. I understand. I value experiences and making memories over anything else in this world. I truly value this life I was given and I want nothing more than to live out this human experience as much as I possibly can.
So while I said no for now, this motivated me to start thinking of ways I could be earning money to cover the cost of such trips in the future. Now I don’t mean my side hustles, I mean ways to develop a passive stream of income that could become my source of funding for future travels. And while I haven’t found an answer to this yet, that is now the goal. Instead of spending the $1,300 on the trip (and the money we would have spent on food and taxis and tours) I kept that $1,300 tucked away and will pull it out only when I find something to invest it into that will make money for me. That is now the goal.
Funny isn’t it? How a trip to Rome could cause so much excitement, then disappointment, and ultimately inspiration. I hope you are finding similar forms of inspiration in your everyday lives and are looking for opportunities similar to the ones I am looking for in my own life. Please feel free to comment below and share something you have said no to in the pursuit of meeting your financial dreams.