By Miles Clyne
Heat waves, traffic congestion, line ups everywhere! Some of the summer fun we can all do without. What we can’t do without is figuring out how to make summer fantastic.
I lived in the interior of BC for quite a number of years. Heat waves were rare, so travel became essential some summers to get any degree of heat.
One thing that vacations tend to do is make you loosen your purse strings. I know I spend much more freely when I’m on a holiday than I do in my daily grind, and I’m guessing that I’m not alone. I think it’s easy to justify being free with your money for a number of reasons when on holidays; you worked all year to get away, it cost so much to get here, to not fully enjoy yourself would be a waste, you’re doing it for the kids.
Let Your Money Do The Work
I have no issue with spending money, but my preference is to spend money that my money made. The only way to do this is to get ahead of the curve. Yes, this sucks because it means getting a discipline in place in order for you to make it happen. But wouldn’t it be great to know your summer vacation, or any vacation is prepaid, every year?
If you want to give your kids something of long-term value, tell them the story about how teaching a man to fish, and then how he can feed himself forever. This is the truth about why we need to look after our finances. How many kids grow up being financially unaware? Never understanding some the basic rules to get ahead financially, and stay ahead of the curve.
Lacking The Funds For A Big Vacation?
If you have to borrow to make your vacation happen, consider the positive possibilities of a stay-cation. Be honest with your spouse, your kids and friends. Ask them for the ideas that will make your summer fantastic and not leave a deep hole in your pocket. Help everyone understand how important this is for your family’s future and get them on board. Make them advocates who support you. If they aren’t, remember this; we are most like the five people we spend the most time around. If someone close to you is on your case because you want to do the right thing, maybe the best vacation is time away from that person?
Your (Financially-Prudent) Summer Action Plan
Create your summer action plan. Check to see what local attractions are being promoted to draw travelers to where you are. Go check them out or give someone you know who lives in another community a call. Invite them to stay with you and be their tour guide, but find someone who’d you know would like to reciprocate. Get or stay active. I always believed having some reasonable cost toys around allowed me to enjoy my own back yard more. As a young guy starting out I loved to canoe, cycle, hike, and run with friends. I always felt as though I was getting away as long as there was a river or interesting trail close by. Now a not so young guy, I still enjoy these activities and most often chose them over far more expensive options.
Avoiding having to pay for accommodations and minimizing the number of meals out will do wonders to minimize your travel expenses.
Creating a great holiday plan is about you being in control of what you’d like to do at the price you’d like to pay. Make this the year where you take control.