This morning I was reading old blog posts to get menu plan ideas for the coming week. One theme that really stood out for me was how many years we have saved for big expenses, and how we actually achieved them over time. New siding, basement bathroom, trip to England and Ireland. Done without taking on debt, but with a good amount of budget focus week after week.
We are still at it too!
This spring we had an unexpected opportunity to go to Europe, and when we came back, we just wanted to travel MORE! It lit a fire under the budget process we have used for years and made us want to be a bit more mindful to come in under budget whenever we can so we have more more to put towards future travel.
So this Sunday we are home, waiting for it to snow (Spring, where are you?!), and eating from the pantry. I’ll work up a meal plan for the coming week and we will see if we can save some money this coming week.
Travel wish list: Scotland, Denmark, Germany via river cruise.
It feels good to breathe some new motivation into the budgeting we have been doing for 25 years.
What is your current financial focus?
It’s going to be hard to top our trip to Santa Fe…
I admit it… we are usually already discussing our next vacation on the way home from a vacation. This fall when I returned to work we found a new way to involve our daughter, age 8, in our budget process. We decided to have her be able to observe the saving process for our next vacation.
We use the money I earn from part-time work to fund various “wants” and my husband’s check does all the heavy lifting… insurance, retirement and college savings, taxes. Grown-up stuff! When I get paid, we now convene the family around the glow of the MacBook and fire up our spreadsheet. How much did mom earn? How much of that can we deposit into the vacation fund? It has been a great, simple way to see the process of making a plan for our money.
We stumbled into another teachable moment regarding money as a result. My daughter was interested in an after school art class ($125.00 plus additional fees for only 5 one-hour sessions)! Normally we budget way ahead for any special classes she might take in summer. This one sprang up as a surprise. We told her she could take the class, but that the next deposit to the vacation fund was going to be a lot LOT smaller. She decided it wasn’t worth it. Had the class been $40.00, I would have just written the check and carried on, but given the expense, it was the absolute truth that enrolling in the class would mean little to put towards our vacation fund in that pay period.
We don’t know where our next vacation will be just yet. Usually we start planning in January after the holiday excitement fades and there is still a lot of winter to roll through. The planning and imagining is all part of the fun!