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Is a Vacation a Good Idea When You Have Unpaid Debts?

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Borrower-shaming became somewhat of a trend on social media, wherein people would publicly call out their friends who owe them money, but apparently never paid them back. They went on vacation instead and posted their photos, as though not financially indebted to anyone.

Some people applauded the lenders for such a bold act, but some are also unimpressed. And their disapproval is coming from a good place, because if professional debt collectors are forbidden to publicly shame borrowers, then that makes ordinary people even less entitled to do the same.

But it’s not fair to chastise people for wanting their money back, either. After all, they also worked hard for it and were promised a repayment. So naturally, they’re going to be upset when they see their friend enjoying an expensive vacation instead of paying them back first.

If you’re the one indebted to a friend, you’re probably also tempted to travel, but the possibility of being publicly shamed is holding you back. Even if you’re confident that your friend won’t go to such lengths, the fact that you owe them money is still an obstacle. Not just between you and your dream vacation, but also between you and your friend. So is a vacation still a good idea in that case?

Everyone Has the Right to Enjoy Their Money

Just because you have debts doesn’t mean that you’ve lost the right to enjoy your money. If you have a job, pay the bills, and put food on the table, then you’re just as entitled to spend as anybody else.

But a vacation can be a different story. If you’re indebted not only to a friend, but also to a mortgage lender, car loan provider, student loan provider, and credit card companies, then spending money for leisure might jeopardize your credit. It may also thwart your long-term plans, such as retirement or your kids’ college education.

Surprisingly, though, many people still choose to travel despite their mountainous debts. They may reason out that the world is big and life is short, or that they don’t want to miss out on exploring different places. Plus, if their credit scores decline, there are bad credit personal loan deals available anyway.

Furthermore, an enjoyable and relaxing vacation doesn’t have to be pricey, to the point that you’d decrease your ability to repay your debts. It doesn’t to be a first-class cruise or a three-week European tour. A short trip for a just few days is already enough. It will also take your mind off things, stimulate positive thoughts, and rejuvenate your spirit just as well as a luxury vacation.

Traveling Can Motivate You to Pay Off Your Debts

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Spending money to motivate yourself to satisfy your debts may sound absurd, but to life coach Katrina McGhee, this approach is effective. Despite her hefty student loans, she still traveled the world and found the motivation to pay off her debts as a result. She says that to achieve your goals — part of which is to repay your debts — you should not only work on reaching them, but also make your current life better and happier. So if you enjoy traveling, by all means, go for it, as long as you’re making progress in reducing your debts.

When a Vacation is a Bad Idea

Depending on your financial situation, a vacation may be a downright bad idea. If you owe money to a friend and promised to pay them back at a certain time, they’ll expect you to fulfill that promise, even if they don’t remind you of it.

If you still chose to travel regardless, upsetting your friend would be an inevitable consequence. Whether they shame you or not is beyond your control, but if they do, you have the right to complain, but you can’t entirely blame them for doing it, either. After all, you broke your promise and made it worse by showing off how you enjoy your money. Even if upsetting them wasn’t your intention, your social media photos still sent the wrong message.

What To Do When You Can’t Repay Your Friend

In usual cases, people shame their fellows not simply for a broken promise of repayment, but also for escaping them and acting as though they never borrowed money in the first place.

When you can no longer pay off your friend, running away should never be an option. If you really value your friendship, come clean to them and tell them about your financial situation. Negotiate a new repayment plan, such as an installment basis, for example. If they want the money back sooner, propose payment-in-kind. You can make an electronic gadget or any other item with the same value as the debt as collateral.

Hold off your grand vacation plans until you can repay the debt. Short trips here and there are fine, but acting as though you’re on a lavish excursion isn’t. Fulfill your promise first, and you can go on any vacation you’d like without guilt holding you back.

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