My mother has wanted to go to Alaska for the last 8-10 years. Why, I do not know. Starting in late spring she would occassionally leave land and sea cruise brochures where she knew I would see them. I finally broke down and decided for her upcoming 85th birthday I would take her on an all-expenses paid Alaskan land and sea cruise. That was almost 3 months ago and mom is still smiling and talking about her trip. In addition I decided to take my nephew on a weekend trip, he wants to be an historian, so I decided to start him off with a trip to Washington, DC. He too has not stopped talking about his "DC adventure". Unfortunately for me my finances have taken a major hit. I know i probably should have waited till next year (in April 2015 I will finish paying off a loan I took out for home repairs) but they are happy and except for my bank account I am happy for them. Now, however, with winter looming and with it the dreaded heating bills I find myself in dire straits. In January I will receive a much needed and long overdue pay increase that will improve my situation but till then it will be a fierce struggle to cover all my monthly expenses. I need help and would greatly appreciate any assistance you can provide.