Two years ago, I was eagerly planning a wedding. I was a senior in college and at the helm of the student newspaper. Funds were low, to say the least.
We were preparing for a rapid set of life changes: graduating from college, getting married two weeks later, moving 400 miles away right after that, and starting new jobs a few days after we arrived in town. It was apparent that if we wanted to have a honeymoon, we’d need to wedge it in before we made our Pittsburgh debut.
The only problem? We had no money for any sort of honeymoon. Our limited incomes were devoted to regular living expenses and wedding costs.
Still, we wanted to go on a nice trip somewhere.
A cruise to Alaska seemed to be a wonderful choice. But how to pay the $2,000 or so that it would cost?
Between Shane and I, our credit cards were each approaching their limits. We wouldn’t be able to use our current cards to fund the trip.
Shane applied for a new card and was denied. That should have been a clue that hey, maybe we shouldn’t do it.
I applied for a 0% interest card and was granted a $2,300 credit limit. Perfect.
I booked a 7-night round-trip cruise from Seattle to points in Alaska, as well as our flight to Seattle and a few nights of hotel rooms in the city for before and after our trip.
It was the classic, “I deserve this, and I want it now,” mentality.
I figured that we’d be able to pay it off before we started accruing interest six months later. After all, Shane had landed a great job and I had a paid internship waiting for me. Surely money wouldn’t be a problem, right?
We went on our incredible cruise and had the time of our lives.
Fortunately for us, we were able to pay off the card quickly, though we did end up paying some interest.
I consider ourselves extremely lucky. If we had tried to pull that stunt last year or this year, I’m certain that neither of us would be approved for a new credit card. It could have been such a disaster. Shane could have lost his job (his company has reneged on offers to new hires to his initial position this year because of the economy).
Had we said, “Let’s be realistic — we can’t afford this trip. Let’s book an affordable weekend at a nearby bed & breakfast instead,” we could have paid off all of our credit cards much sooner.
I don’t regret our honeymoon, but I wish we could have come up with a better way to pay for it. I mean honestly, who takes out a credit card for the sole purpose of going on vacation, since no other funds are available? I did. I won’t do it again.
[All photos taken by me. Isn’t the scenery amazing? To view more, you can visit my album here.]
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