Is it irresponsible to take holidays when you can’t afford to?

I wrote a post last week where I described holidays as discretionary spending, and essentially said that if you can’t afford it, don’t go. As a follow up, I received an e-mail from a disgruntled reader of the site complaining that “who are you to determine whether people go on holidays or not?”

Let me clarify. If anyone out there wants to go on holidays, feel free. However, if you can’t afford going on holidays, I think it would be a good idea to hold off until you have the spare cash to do so. I come from a family where you only did things when you could afford to do so – if you wanted something special or extra, like holidays, you saved up for them – you didn’t go into debt.

Which is why I think this article in today’s Irish Independent Personal Finance section, and the research behind it, is a little dangerous. At times when loan interest rates are increasing, and as a country we’re experiencing the collective financial belt-tightening, it doesn’t really seem like a good idea to be encouraging taking out loans to go on holidays.

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