How to handle large upcoming expense?

There's a wedding in the family and I'm a bridesmaid! I'm stoked--but now that I'm using YNAB (for a few months now), I'm thinking about the expense. This wedding is out-of-state. I've weighed my options, and driving appears to be the best bet.

Pet sitting, gas, airbnb, and other costs included, I need to chalk up about $2,700 in the next 7 weeks...YIKES! 馃帀

I've been working to pay off debt with about $20k to go, I'm putting that on pause until I can cover this expense. In the meantime, I've been working to build my true expenses, and it would be so sad to take money out of those categories because, well, that's how I ended up with debt to begin with!

The wedding is end of September. I have September's bills partially funded. I'll need to set aside October's bills before the trip, as they mostly fall on October 01. Anticipated paychecks minus September/October expenses, not counting the wedding, I'll have very little wiggle room. 

I dread the thought of adding to the CC debt I've been working to pay off.  I dread even more the thought of stealing from my savings (I just reached 1 month expenses + $500 emergency fund). Any advice? 


Thought I should add, if I take the full amount out of my existing savings, I'll have about $1,200 left in savings. 

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  • What is the current job of the money in your savings account? Are those jobs of higher or lower priority than the wedding? When are the time lines on those jobs? Can they be delayed?

    Some will say it is better to use savings first in any case instead of debt. Because normally the debt costs you more money (interests) than the savings gain you. You may end up with the same debt at the end if the jobs of the savings were just as important and can't be delayed but you may also not. You may decide to forgo some expenses because your savings pot is down.

    And don't forget the gift! 馃帀

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    • Ceeses For sure the gift is factored in, too! 馃槈

      These savings represent a $500 emergency fund and the rest is set aside as "income replacement" or "one month's expenses" -- basically a cushion in case I were to ever lose my income, got in an accident and couldn't work for awhile, etc.  

      I'm very timid to take from these savings because I do like a good cushion (I've been self-employed for the past eight years). On the other hand, it's so disheartening to add new CC debt after all my hard work. 

      I've run and re-run the numbers and I can potentially get the $2,700 down to $2,300. In either case, if I put it on a card in September, I can have it fully paid off again within 90 days (so, December at the latest). 

      I know there are some wise spenders here, so what would you guys do? Drain savings to $1,200 and spend out-of-pocket or put it on a card for a few months? TIA 馃憢

      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 5 mths ago
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      Pink Tugboat spend your savings. If you can pay back the CC debt in 90 days, you can rebuild your savings in less time since you won't be paying interests.

      If you think there is a high risk that you would need these savings for income replacement during those 90 days, then don't go to the wedding. If not, I don't see why you wouldn't Use your savings for such a short time frame.

      Like 3
  • When I was in your situation (getting out of debt) the answer was simple: don't go.

    • CPA Budgeter As much as I hate debt, being the wedding of my one and only sibling, it's very important to me and her that I'm there, so it's worth the expense to me. 馃槉

      Like 4
  • While I鈥檓 sure it鈥檚 not the largest expense, is there any option to bring your pet(s) if the Airbnb allows? It may be more trouble than it鈥檚 worth, but if your pet(s) are OK to stay alone for most of the day, you could try to take them out during any downtime. Do you have a plus-one or could you add a plus-one to split the costs, if you haven鈥檛 already factored that in?

    As painful as it is, I would pull from the savings before tacking on added credit card debt鈥攅specially if you鈥檙e putting your debt repayment on pause until after the wedding. Like you said you鈥檇 still have $1,200 left in savings, which is a decent chunk in the event of a true emergency. And with less debt, you鈥檒l be able to repay your savings in due time.

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