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!