Do you ever watch Suze Orman? She includes a segment at the end of her show where she “denies” or “approves” purchases based on an unknown algorithm. I’ve been thinking on whether it’s ethical for me to encourage someone to spend on a trip that he arguably can’t afford. Yes, he could throw the trip on credit cards, but I don’t want a few days on white sandy beaches to turn into years of indebtedness. Conversely, life is short. And if you’ve ever seen a retiree try negotiate the steps of Prague Castle, you know you don’t want to save your most adventurous traveling for your financially solvent, but psychically feeble golden years. I know some of my more affluent girlfriends might opt to pay a larger share of the bill just to keep everybody happy, but something about that doesn’t sit quite right. That sort of imbalance breeds resentment over time.At a minimum, before splurging, you gotta have a year of living expenses saved up, a maxed IRA contribution, no credit card debt, and the money for the splurge saved up separately. Without those basics in order, approval for the purchase must be DENIED. But then again, who am I to tell someone else how to spend his money? If I limit my social invitations only to folks that fit into that aforementioned category of preparedness, I would be engaging in most activities alone. It’s your money and ultimately you must decide how to negotiate the tightrope walk between adventure and safety net.
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