What do you think? (Not strictly MS)

Hi All,

I’m usually very cautious and conservative (with a small ‘C’), especially with money. But I’m expecting to pick up a redundancy cheque in a couple of weeks, and I’m feeling torn.

It will be a generous settlement, by modern standards; fortunately, my contract was written back in the 80s, before Ts & Cs got so mean.

However, in this economic climate, having spent at least the last ten years stagnating careerwise, and at 46, and ill, it’s by no means certain I’m going to walk in to another job before the redundancy runs out. And after that it’s over to savings, of which I also have some.

The dilemma? I’m tempted to blow part of the severance on a luxury holiday. Now bear in mind this could be my money for food and utilities - although I don’t have a mortgage.

Would it be reckless and silly to blow part of my pay-off on a holiday, when I don’t have another job to go to? Or is it time I was reckless and silly, just once? One part of me is thinking now is no time to be thinking about holidays, let alone luxury ones. I should be preparing for a long stint without income, and trying to eke out whatever nest-egg I’ve got for as long as possible.

But the other part of me is feeling really conscious that the clock is ticking. Progression is only subtle at the moment, thank God, but the likelihood is I’m going to get sicker. If I wait util I’m more secure again financially (assuming that ever happens), I may find I’m by then too sick to take the holiday.

So, should I just stick two fingers up to the future, and splash out on a holiday, while I’m still well enough to go?

A further complication is that a friend and her husband have offered (I didn’t ask) to decorate my living room and kitchen. I’ve already explained that, whilst I will pay for all the materials, I can’t pay them for the work, because I shall be unemployed. So what are they then going to think, if they know I’m jetting off on holiday? Of course, I know I don’t always have to be quite so honest. I could choose to say nothing at all about the holiday, and hope they won’t miss me. We don’t see each other that often, so they might not notice I’d gone. Or I could just let them assume I chose to spend some time at Mum’s.

I realise, ultimately, it’s not up to them how I spend my money. I didn’t request they did decorating - they offered - and I made clear from the start I wouldn’t be paying, except for materials - otherwise I might as well hire a professional. Of course, I’m willing to take them out to dinner or something, as a thank you - but keep it informal, like that.

But I would still feel guilty if I then went on holiday, having refused to pay for the decorating. It looks hypocritical, doesn’t it?

So I suppose two dilemmas, really. Should I be thinking about expensive holidays at all, in the circumstances? And, if that’s OK, is it a cheek if I still won’t pay for the decorating?


Hi Tina Even though you are not on benefit now, you may apply in the future. They would take this capital into consideration. If it is declared you may have to account for spend greater then £250. They call this degradation of capital. They are looking for ‘non essential’ luxuries. You will also have to be aware of the cash in bank thresholds if benefit is claimed. The last time I was made redundant I had to explain away 5k I paid towards uni tuition fees for my daughter. Her bank statements showing cash in, my bank statement showing cash out, receipt for fees from uni. They don’t make it hard they make impossible, Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but that’s how they are. Either way enjoy our cash, good luck Mike x

Personally I’d just go for it. Everyone is entitled to a good holiday and you’ve worked long enough and I’ll bet hard enough. Life has dealt you too many blows - so you fully deserve it. Worry about the other ‘sensible’ things later - life is just too short! I imagine your friends will be glad for you too.

I really hope you do it

If your friends are good they’ll understand.I’d suggest a cruise 'cos then everything comes to your bedroom.Do silly things,laugh loads and take many photographs.Spend a few bob on entertaining your friends on your return and bore them stupid with photos in your beautifully decorated home.


go for it tina! have a blast!

I once had that dilema, so thought long and hard, me and kiddies hadnt had a break for years, had done without lots, so decided (instead of paying off mortgage at that time) to splash out on a holiday, no holds barred and buy them some clothes (their chosing) treat my parents, then live off what was left. I knew after the holiday I would be fully rested as I took my mother to help me with the children. Therefore we had memories, a good time was had by all, then we could carry on a good few more years knowing we were entitled to let our hair down as everyone else around us (none being in our position for so long).

Let those friends who offered to decorate your home know that youve not been feeling very well for some time and you feel you need respite. Im sure theyll understand - plus they dont need to know all your financial dealings. Im sure theyll honour their promise and youll have a lovely house to come home to.

Life is too short to wonder what if. With government cuts in the future I would spend some on yourself, then worry about the future when you too come home rested with a smile on your face. After all youve worked jolly hard to this point, and are dealing with ms. I dont think you need an excuse to splash the cash for a while, youve earned it.

take care,



Hi this christmas a great friend of mine, gave my husband, two kids and myself the money and paperwork get passports I thought maybe we could save to go to France, my friend thought Disney land but not Paris, Florida, we could never afford this I’ve not worked for 8yrs and my husband hasn’t got the best paid job, my friend is paying for a large amount of the trip and we still need to raise £4000 for flights and days out, but I think it will be worth the going without for a while, I might not be fit enough in the future to go, I believe in live for today you never know what’s around the corner, go on holiday and enjoy. Jane

Thanks folks, I still haven’t fully decided yet, but I think sometimes I’m a bit over-cautious, and can end up missing out. To be clear, I’m not thinking of blowing half the money, or anything like that. But maybe 10%, and still keeping 90% for the bills. I’ve already begun applying for new jobs, albeit not with much enthusiasm or success so far, it must be said. But it suddenly ocurred to me that IF I got one, I might end up straight back on the treadmill again, without a gap. This is one of those rare times in life when I might have both a lump sum AND no work commitments that would stop me going on holiday. So I’m really tempted, before I get too poor, too ill, or too bogged down with work again. T. x

Go for you only get one chance at this life, live it and enjoy. Good luck with your decision

Hi Tina, I say go fot it! Go and have a jolly good holiday. You have had a very tough time and deserve it. and like you said health wise it would be best to experience things now. Your friends offered, and then you made it clear that you would not be able to pay them so there shouldnt be an issue. Like you said you can treat them to a meal out or home cooked or what ever you feel is appropriate. In terms of benefits ect I don’t know the answer but it is your money, and if your not clamping benefit when you actually spend it I don’t see what benefit angancy can do. Go for it enjoy! Ppx