Post # 1
My husband and I are in a difficult situation with his family…again. After the previous incidents (see links below), things have somewhat calmed down over this summer, mostly because we haven’t seen too much of them.
My in-laws have been planning this family trip since last winter. They want all of the kids to go, along with significant others, and all we have to do is pay our airfare. That is totally fine by us, but when we started looking for plane tickets, we were told that my MIL would take care of booking them for us and we could just pay her back. We were told she’d be buying the tickets a few months back (the trip is in October) and we’d square up with her. She called by husband last night and told him she is trying to book tickets now, a lot later than she had planned, and our tickets were going to be $2000 total. If she had booked a few months ago, as was the original plan, it would have been around $1000 or a little less.
The problem: finances are very tight for us right now. We could have swung $1000 and still felt pretty guilty about spending that kind of money, but we honestly can’t justify spending $2000 on these plane tickets. We have the money in savings, but we were really hoping to keep that as a “rainy day fund” for this winter. The bigger problem is in regards to my in-laws. We know that if we back out of this trip now, it will be horrible. They were terribly upset that we missed a family dinner last month, I can’t even imagine how upset they will be with us if we back out of this trip. With everything we’ve gone through with them in the past few months, this would be the icing on the cake, and we’re sure it will be unforgivable in their eyes.
My husband and I do want to go on this trip, we honestly do, but we are caught between spending money that we really don’t have or losing the already-shaky relationship with his parents that has deteriorated rapidly since the wedding.
How do we keep this from blowing up in our faces?
Post # 3
I would suggest looking for a better deal, maybe on another airline. Say something along the lines of, “that sounds great, but there’s a much better deal on this airline – would you mind if we flew there by ourselves?” $2k is a LOT for airline tickets, but you really do need to go. Even if it breaks the bank, this could be the deciding factor on your relationship with them for the rest of your lives.
Post # 4
Could you wait a little longer to purchase the tickets? When I was researching my honeymoon, I found that 6 weeks out was ideal for purchasing tickets because they open up another flight if the other flights are booked already. Our ticket prices dropped from $1500 per person to $1500 for both of us.
I would have your FI explain how tight money is, and that you can spend [X] amount on the tickets. Tell her that you will keep your eye on the prices as the trip approaches, but if the tickets are over [X] amount you will be unable to attend. She should have bought them in the first place, but if SHE is buying everyone’s tickets for them, I suspect she has accrued a lot of “miles” that she can cash in for your tickets. If she really wants you to come, she’ll figure out how to help you.
Post # 5
@afbacher: We looked on other airlines (pretty much everywhere) last evening, and that actually is the cheapest ticket around. And she will not entertain the idea of us flying separately. They believe family trips are togetherness from the beginning to the end, including flights. Is it really worth breaking the bank and putting ourselves in a not-so-great financial situation to spend a week on vacation with his parents? We agree that we need to go to keep the peace with the family, but it just seems like a REALLY high cost, you know?
Post # 6
@MightySapphire: My husband tried to have that conversation with his mom last night, and it didn’t go well. She explained that money is tight for them too and she was really counting on us coming. I’m scared if we wait any longer to buy the tickets, we will only see a further increase of prices instead of a decrease, and that isn’t a gamble we feel comfortable taking right now. She called again this morning and said she needs an answer by tonight, so I have a feeling if we don’t give a yes answer tonight, everything is going to hit the fan.
Post # 7
I think if they really love you that they will either help or understand if you don’t go.
ETA: I’m so sorry! That really sucks that she is being so inflexible when SHE is the cause of all this. I still don’t think you can say yes if your money is tight. It’s not right for her to expect you to break the bank for a VACATION. If it was to see a dying relative? Then yes. But for a luxury? Something unneccessary? It’s not logical to expect you to say yes.
Post # 8
@5292010: honestly? if you can’t afford it, say so. be upfront and honest about that and just say you can’t go because you don’t have the money.
if they cannot respect that and understand, then THEY are the ones being selfish and the relationship isn’t worth it.
hope you get this solved smoothly!!
Post # 9
If you aren’t comfortable with your budget / savings / etc spending that much money – DON’T GO! It s absolutely not worth spending money you aren’t comfortable with. Continue watching the flights and if they drop to a level you ARE comfortable with, book them and join. Otherwise, its your MILs fault for waiting so long to book the tickets.
Post # 10
farecast.com is pretty reliable about telling you if ticket prices will go up or down
Post # 11
I agree with MightySaphire. Whether your mother in law likes it or not, you saying you can only afford $X is reasonable and not debatable. If the tickets drop, then great. If they don’t, then it just wasn’t in the cards. If she is a good mother she would not want you guys to spend money you dont have or would try to help you. Plus, it’ll probably be a shitty vacation anyway.
Post # 12
Wow – I didn’t even pay that much to fly from Ohio to New Zealand!! Are you sure you checked everywhere? Can you be flexible with the days you travel? I would be more than happy to help you research cheap flight options! (It’s a big hobby of mine!) But if you’d like to just take another look, at least check out farecompare.com! Even if you just play around with the dates (leave on a Thurs. instead of a Friday or leave a day early etc.) or try leaving from a different airport (it may be 2-3 hours away, but it also might be $100-$500 cheaper!) or you might find a special going on soon. It just depends on when you have to fly and from where to where!
Sorry to hear you’re having so much going on! I hope it all works out for you! If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know!
Post # 13
I wouldn’t go. I wouldn’t even entertain the thought of trying to convince them of reason b/c they aren’t that kind of people.
Post # 14
My first instinct was pretty much what @mightysapphire said. Tell them you have a strict budget of x amt and you’ll keep an eye out for tickets that fall into that budget, otherwise you can’t make it. I don’t understand why she waited this long to buy them or why it was left up to her to purchase. If its your money, you should’ve kept control of the ticket purchasing. Are you all flying from the same location, or just meeting there?
I think since she dropped the ball by waiting to buy the tickets she should pay whatever the difference is if she really wants you go to. If she can say that money is tight for them, then she should understand that it is for you as well, and that she screwed this up by not securing the tickets before prices doubled.
Post # 15
@MightySapphire: Your advice was greatly appreciated! My husband called his mom last night and told her if the tickets dropped to X amount, we would buy them, but if not we won’t be going.
@LGenz: THANK YOU! I went on yesterday and it told me to wait because the fares would be dropping…they dropped over a hundred dollars overnight!
@staceynrick: We actually can’t be flexible on the days we’re flying, which is the hard part. Our flight days are over the weekend, which is always the most expensive. I checked into the other airports (up to 5 hours away) and our original choice was actually the cheapest, which is good to know! Thanks for the advice!
Post # 16
OMG don’t go! Why would you sacrifice your savings – your savings you need for if someone gets made redundant, or the car breaks down – to spend a holiday with people who hate you
By the way, I read your other post about being ambushed by his family over threat of starving your dog… They have NO right to invite you over and tell you off. You are NOT their daughter, and you are NOT 10 years old.
I hate to sound harsh, but you need to grow up and realise that you and your husband are a family, and you don’t need to please his parents. Be kind, remember birthdays, attend dinners, but don’t ever let them tell you how you are flawed, or pick on you, or tell you how to live your life. If that happens – walk out. Stand up for yourself. The only person you’re responsible to is yourself.
Start out as you mean to continue 🙂