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by Abigail Van Buren

Sibling On A Budget Is Priced Out Of Costly Family Vacation

DEAR ABBY: I incurred a big mortgage two years ago by choice. As a result of the larger payments, I have had little discretionary income to spend.

Both of my parents went into the hospital recently. Fortunately, they were discharged after only a few days. My sister has now decided we should all go on a family vacation, mainly because we don't know how much longer our parents will be alive.

I am all for going on a family vacation, but the one she wants will cost more than $7,000 for my family of four. When I told her I can't afford it, she laid a heavy guilt trip on me. She said I made a bad mistake incurring a big debt, and accused me of not caring about my parents. It has gotten so bad that I don't want to talk to her anymore because she will continue to harp on it. What should I do? -- FRUSTRATED IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

DEAR FRUSTRATED: You're handling this about as well as can be expected. The debt has already been incurred. Because of your current financial obligations, you can't afford the vacation your sister has in mind. Either Sissy will have to plan something more affordable, or your family will be unable to participate. That's reality.

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