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Orange on Green: Can You Afford to Get Away?

Orange on Green: Can You Afford to Get Away?
The trick to enjoying your weekend getaway is actually to get away from your stresses. Our new financial columnists help you avoid taking your debt on vacation with you.


Editor's Note:
"Orange on Green" is Cincy Chic's newest column by Brad and Tom Cunningham of Orangefinancial. This weekly column will help you take control of your money and become financially literate. To submit topic ideas, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Too often we hear about people taking a trip to get away from the stresses of everyday life. For the majority of people today, the biggest stress that weighs on them is related to money. Today as a country, we are saving 4 percent of our household income, according to the 2010 OECD Factbook.

 

Yet, Americans will justify taking that trip, spending money to get away, which in turn, adds to the predicament — DEBT. We plan, schedule, take and return from the trip, and the problem is still there, often times bigger than when we left.

 

As this is our first column, allow us to share that we feel very strongly about financial literacy. Most people in society today are not educated on how money works. As a result, most of society is financially illiterate. It is important to get to the heart of the financial issues in our American households today. We easily could share with you our thoughts on the cheap ways to take the weekend getaway, how to cut corners here and there, but let's be honest, before we go, don't we all do our research on flights, hotels, meals?

 

Let's get down to the most critical question first: Can I afford to take the trip?

 

It all really comes down to financial balance. And to figure out if you are staying on that financial balance beam, you need to ask and answer some important questions: Am I taking the necessary steps to allow myself to enjoy a trip, free of the financial stress associated with paying for it? Am I saving for my future? Am I sticking to my debt reduction plan? By taking this trip am I adding to my debt problem?

 

Before you start planning your next trip, hold yourself accountable. Ask yourself the question: Can I afford it? If not, it really isn't so bad to hold off on taking it. Waiting a little bit and structuring the trip appropriately from a financial perspective will allow the trip to be even more of a success. It has been the experience of us and of those within our community that this is just the case! The trip ends up being more relaxing and more memorable when you know you have financially positioned yourself and can afford the weekend getaway.

 

So what should you be saving then to reach a financial balance if the average American is at four percent? As a general rule of thumb, we advise our community members to save 20 percent. Look to see how much you allocate toward the future. If you are not at 20 percent, is the trip truly justifiable right now? If you are and/or have taken the necessary steps to put yourself in the position to take the trip, enjoy your weekend getaway!

 

If not, try taking the weekend to solve the stress rather than avoid it. Assess your financial situation, review your current finances, calculate your savings rate, discuss your debt reduction, and challenge yourself on expenses. By figuring out your finances, you really will be able to get away from debt, and it may just be the best weekend getaway yet!

Tom And Brad Cunningham -

Tom and Brad Cunningham are Cincy Chic's financial columnists, and they are the co-founders of Orangefinancial. If you want to share your comments or inquire for more information, e-mail them at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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