Morton Arboretum. Looks like England, Not Chicago Suburbs.
In January we begin thinking about summer vacation plans. We add money to our vacation fund every week, year round when we come in under budget with our weekly expenses. We try to hone in on our plan in January to make sure we have money to pay in full for our fun. (Bring home memories, not debt!)
This year we tossed around a number of ideas… Another train trip out west, or a trip to Montreal? Rent a summer lake house? We felt like we needed to come up with some sort of “legitimate” vacation, but we weren’t really feeling any of the ideas. They all sounded like work for mom and dad!
We came up with some driveable regional options that would give my husband lots of long summer weekends, good food, no travel stress, and time together doing new things. Two-thirds of us are excited to be going to the Madison Children’s Museum American Girl doll benefit sale this summer, but we hooked my husband in with snazzy accommodations and hiking at Devils Lake State Park. Minimal planning, packing and stress, and something for everyone to enjoy.
We have saved up enough to fund our summer plans, and plan to keep on saving so that next year we can contemplate a bigger trip if we are up for it. We would love to get to England in the next few years, but right now that level of planning seems daunting, and the cost to travel as a family seems like a lot of money for a week or two. That doesn’t mean we won’t ever do it, but if we can build up a nice vacation fund, it may not seem so painful!
Santa Fe Cactus, 2013
Wowee, what a week. It’s such a blessing to be home all summer with my girl, but such a rude awakening when it is back to work and school. This was our first full week of school and work. By about Wednesday my daughter was longing for a vacation to Washington, DC. I find that when we have the urge to go on a vacation, what it usually means is: “I miss living life without so many obligations.”
We did decide that we could take some money from my checks and put it into a vacation fund that we can watch grow. This might be a good introduction to our budget process for our daughter.
Today we are taking it easy as we are under orders from Laine’s teacher to “recharge our batteries.” This is advice near and dear to my heart. The next best thing to a vacation is being home without a massive to-do list and errands all over the place.
Meanwhile, we had a good week with our budget. I wasn’t enthusiastic about cooking some of the nights this week, but having a meal plan really helps. It is important that I continue to cook most meals at home or my checks will be used up in dining out costs! I continue to monitor Quicken to make sure that my working isn’t causing a rise in grocery spending due to lack of meal planning.
On a humorous note, my most interesting google search that brought someone to my blog this week was ‘getting laid at home’. Pretty sure they didn’t get to the page they were looking for, but maybe they stumbled on a good Jamie Oliver recipe as a result.