Was this an emergency?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Was this an emergency?
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 11:13am
Dh & I are going to a family reunion in CA this summer, and have been planning for it since we got our finances back on track. When I lost my job a month or so ago, we decided we would use a back tax return to pay for the tickets. We waited. And waited. And waited. It still hasn't come, and the trip is scheduled at the end of June. Afraid of losing out on airfare specials, I started juggling money. I figured if it came down to it, I had enough money in my freedom accounts and savings account combined to cover it. But I sure didn't want to do that. So, first, I called up a mag who owes me for a past article and also for an upcoming one. That amount would cover more than half the airfare. I asked them to get back up to date and also advance me for the June article (the payment for which would be due June 15, but they are always late so I figured this once they could do me the favor of paying me a few weeks in advance). They were nice about it, but as always have stalled and stalled. Thursday night I was trolling for airfare specials as I've done every week or two since we started planning, and Southwest was running a fare lower than anything else I've seen. All three of us could go for $693 (coast-to-coast--we're in NC), including taxes and fees, etc. The fare was going to expire at midnight that night, and the next lowest fare I could find anywhere would have cost us an additional $600.

So I juggled. I moved money from savings to checking, just enough to cover. It left not enough money for groceries this week, but there's more money in savings and I keep hoping, hoping, hoping for those checks to arrive. I feel sick about tapping emergency savings for airfare for a non-emergency (though long-planned and rare opportunity--I haven't seen some of these family members in years, they live all over the U.S., and one set of my grandparents has never met my 2.5 year old son--when else would I be able to see all of them without taking several trips all over the country?). And the checks promised from the mag still haven't arrived, even though one of them is now almost two months past due. And I don't know when the tax check will arrive. We can survive, provided no *real* emergency crops up, like repairs or medical bills or what have you. But I hate draining my reserves!!

What do ya'll think? Was it an emergency? Should I have held out and hoped for a good fare after the funds were in place? I suppose I could have risked not getting to go at all, but then family would have chipped in and purchased our tickets for us, and I don't feel right letting them do that when we can scrape the money together ourselves. Did I do the right thing?


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-1999
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 11:29am
I think seeing family is so important. My bf has a picture or two of him when he was very little with a set of his great-grandparents--I always think how special it is when I see that picture, and how wonderful for the great-grandparents to have met great-grandchildren.

I only got to see one set of grandparents a couple of times as a child, and the other set I never got to meet, never mind any great-grandparents.

This sounds like the trip of a life-time, and I would have done the exact same thing if it makes you feel any better. Enjoy your vacation, I'm sure you deserve it!

Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 11:29am
In my opinion, even though it *technically* wasn't an emergency, it was a good thing to do it that way. You had been researching airfare so knew it was a really good deal (You didn't just decide on the spur of the moment, HEY we have X$ let's go on a trip), you had already been planning this trip for a long time and I know family reunions are few & far between in general. I think you would regret not going, etc...

Plus, if all goes well you should be able to replenish the reserves when the checks come in. You could look on the *good* side, you had the reserves to get the really cheap airfare, otherwise you would be paying an additional $600!! I think an additional $600 is worth doing that for.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 11:36am
Hmmmmmm..... I don't think I'd classify it as an emergency, but I think I would have done the same thing. I would have considered that the tax check is in fact coming to pay it back. Saving the $600 airfare costs would have motivated me to do it too. Not going on the trip wouldn't have been an option for me, considering that it's a special family get together.

So yep, I would have done same. I have done some minor juggling from savings to chequing this past winter myself.

I think the good thing here is that you explored all your options and really thought about it, how you'd do it and whether it was worth it, and it wasn't an impulsive credit card thing.

I hope the tax refund comes soon! I know you'll be antsy until it's repaid.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 2:13pm
Heather I would have done the exact same thing. Had this been a spur of the moment decision than no I would not have it done it. But you have been planning and researching airfares so it was not a quick decision on your part.

Go and have a wonderful trip and stop wondering if you did the right thing. Sometimes family has to come before money (I don't mean at the expense of yourself and getting into more debt) which you did not do!


Avatar for mymartes
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 2:32pm

don't feel bad about tapping into your savings for airline tickets. when you get your checks just make sure you deposit into your savings.

enjoy your family reunion


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 6:36pm
Thanks so much for all the feedback! This really helps me feel better about our decision. The money *still* hasn't come from the mag, and I'm getting really annoyed. I should have known better than to have them mail it--I always have better luck when I go pick it up in person, but since he said he had it ready Thursday evening and I wouldn't have been able to pick it up until today anyway, I thought mail was a good choice. But it's probably not in the mail at all, and I'll have to call tomorrow and end up going to pick it up after all, and with so much delay!!! Argh!

Anyway, thanks to everyone for responding. I really feel much better now.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 7:52am
Good decision!

Sounds like you thought it out and did everything within your power (without using credit) to make this happen. The regret you would feel now, and in the years to come, if you *didn't* go would probably far outweigh any temporary feelings of discomfort over using your savings.

Enjoy your trip!