Financial Advice Please

9 Replies
Jamie - October 21

Okay, here's the deal. My husband and I live in Germany; our families live in the U.S. I have never met my in-laws, and no one has met our daughter. We were planning to go home in January, but it's about $2,000.00 for 3 round-trip plane tickets. (I'm insisting on buying a seat for the baby, because it's a 14 hour flight and I don't want to have to hold her for the whole time.) We have the money, we were just waiting for my husband's leave to be approved before buying the tickets. BUT, our car just died - so now we have to buy a new car. We're faced with - either buy a new car, or buy plane tickets home. My opinion is, a safe car is WAY more important; but the families are b*tching about not having seen us or met me/the baby. Anyway, I guess what I want advice on is, is it rude to ask our families to pitch in on the plane tickets? If our parents were to contribute, it'd make it a heck of a lot easier on us.


karine - October 21

Well....explain them that your car un expectidly broke and you need a new one, and that the money you saved for the plane, has to mostly go on the car. Ask them to try to pitch in half. or to come down themselves. and you can pitch in a little too. if they arent happy then tell them that you just cant go, as you need a car! i know what inlaws are beleive, me dont let them run everything! i did at first and it was horrible, i learnt to put my foot down, and we have a healthy relationship now


Jamie - October 22

Well, we bought the new car no trip home. :(


car - October 22

theres no question which choice to make. you are a new parent and your child's safety is priority. family will need to understand. they would have done the same thing if they were in your shoes. who buys plane tickets over a safe car for the baby? good luck!


klmr - October 22

You made the right decision. Is there any way some of the family could come & visit you?


Bohnwin - October 22

By saying that your husband's "leave" is waiting to be approved, I am a__suming that your hubby is in the military. In that case, you can get a "hop" from Germany to the US via Baltimore, MD. It should only cost about $12.00/ person. I took a hop from Baltimore to Azores, Portugal about 3 years ago, and that is what it cost me. The flight was continuing on to Spain, and Germany. If you are not sure how to proceed, talk to your hubby's First Sergeant (if he is in the AF) or his supervisor. Also, the military has special programs where you can take a loan and pay it back interest free. I'm not sure if this would apply in this situation, but it may help with buying a new car. I hope this helps. I'll be watching this post to see if you write back.


Jamie - October 23

Yes, Bohnwin, my husband is in the Army; we considered the hops, but the problem is - they only go to certain locations; NOT the locations we're trying to get to. Also, there is no set itinerary, so we could go to Rammstein and *hope* to get on a flight, but they're first-come, first-serve, so there's no guarantee. We wouldn't be able to get connecting flights to our final destination, because there's too great a risk of missing the connecting flight. Also, the loan program the Army offers is the Army Emergency Relief Fund...for emergencies. With a separate savings account, we don't qualify for a loan, since we DO have money for one or the other.


Bohnwin - October 27

Jamie, I'm glad you opted for the safe car rather than the trip home. "Car" was right, in that your responsibility is for the safety of your baby. I know the Army doesn't have quite the same programs as the Air Force. Still, please talk to your hubby's supervisor, or your Military Personnel Flight (wher you get your ID card), or your Finace Office for options, if you want to go see your parents. They may offer you some options. Sometimes if you can prove that it's a morale issue (this is for the AF) for your husband, they will send you home free of charge. I'm sorry I couldn't help you out more. I know where you are coming from. When I took my hop from CONUS to the Azores, I met a lady who had been put on hold because she was a dependent, and traveling alone. This put her in a priority below A) Active duty traveling on orders, B) Active Duty dependents traveling on orders, and C) Active Duty traveling on Leave. She had been stuck in Baltimore, MD for 3 weeks, trying to get to Germany. When does your family come state-side?? I know the Army tours are considerably longer than the AF tours. I think your respective families should understand the constraints put upon you by the military. (If it makes you feel any better, I've been in the AF for 7 1/2 years, and my dad has never met my 2 year old daughter because I'm stationed in Louisiana, and he lives in Washington St.) Tell them that you will see them when you return CONUS. In the meantime, invest in a camera that can take pics and video. (I bought one at AAFES BX/PX for about $300.00. Considerably cheaper than a plane ticket.) Send them lots of e-mails. That's what I do for my parents, and my hubby's parents, and we live on the same continent. Sad, huh??? I wish you the best of luck. Let me know what's going on.


JKL - October 27

I know if it was my family, they would be more than happy to help fund the tickets if it meant they would see their grandbaby. It doesn't hurt to ask.


Jamie - October 28

Bohnwin, the Army is VERY different from the Air Force, in that the Air Force cares about its soldiers. If I were to talk to my husband's chain of command, my husband would end up having to go to financial counselling cla__ses, etc, and it would look bad on his record. The Army basically says that they "allow" my husband to have a wife and child, and that's about all they're gonna do. I do have a camcorder and digital camera, and constantly use them; I also put my daughter on webcam every day - so the grandparents have "seen" her, but they want to "hold" her. My dad did say just this past weekend that he will buy at least 1 plane ticket for us, which helps. I also might bite the bullet and make my husband hold the baby for the duration of the 14 hour flight. But, I just checked with the Pa__sport/ID office, and we won't have the baby's pa__sport til the first of the year, so we can't fly before then anyway. We're stationed here until October 2007, which is 3 years. After that, my husband will have another 2.5 years left in the military; he's probably going to extend here, and then just go home when his enlistment is up. He's definately NOT re-enlisting. (I have mixed feelings about that, though, cause had it not been for the military medical coverage, we'd be in debt over our eyeb___s; I was hospitalized for 5 days after a c-section, and also several times during my pregnancy - there's no way we could have afforded that on our own, and if it happens again, without the medical coverage, heh...)



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