We had talked about going to the US for Christmas for the longest time. After reflecting on our financial status, we made the decision not to go. The sad part is breaking the news to J's family who was looking forward to it. :(
To enter US soil the 3 of us will have spent roughly $7k, and that's only to get to the west coast all the way from NZ and fly back. J's family resides in the east coast so that would be another US$700 or so. J also would really love us to go to his hometown in Portland and see friends in San Francisco, New York, and Vermont. So you can just imagine how much that would have cost us just on air fares.
We estimated that we'd need at least $15k to get around from NZ to US west to US east to US west to NZ. We could've done it, even considering discomforts along the way, but because of our toddler we can't just backpack our way to the US and back to NZ. Maybe when he's a little older to understand the joys and annoyances of traveling we can try that route. It's funny when you have kids because you just can't risk getting them uncomfortable.
J and I have our long-term goals in mind that's why we had to make this decision. It just doesn't make sense financially although I would support it because I'm all about family. With that decision made, I have regarded J as becoming a gazelle in our quest for murdering our debt. :) Gosh, that sounds criminal. Haha!
We made this decision after booking our flights to Auckland to get my visa and register our baby's birth. It still will help us to do a getaway, see friends, and get the applications sorted out. We're hoping that I get a multiple entry visa to last me a few years to save on money. Maybe at some point in the future we'll get me residence in the US, but that can wait as we're staying in NZ for who knows how long.
When I told my parents not going and why, they understood because they're Mr. and Mrs. Frugal and Wise. I remember not having trips out of town as a kid because they just can't afford it and won't get into debt. My parents did not have a credit card until I was in my late twenties! And they only got one so that they can earn air miles by using it to pay bills and buy stuff that they pay off all the time.
J and I will be that good and we're working on it - one debt at a time!