My wife and I sat down tonight to plan our summer. My wife is a school teacher and classes will be out in about 2 weeks, so it was time for us to think about our upcoming vacation, family events, etc. Basically, I used Calendars That Work to print out calendars for May, June, July, and August. (I’m amazed at the amount of awesome, easy-to-use, free resources which can be found online.)
We will be going to Saint Augustine, Florida, in early June. We’ll spend a week at a friend’s condominium. I love the beach. My kids are excited about making sand castles and picking up seashells. The condominium has an awesome pool which overlooks the beach.Â Later in the summer, I’ll be coordinating a church camp for some of our local churches and my daughter will be competing in gymnastics at ‘nationals’.
In the past, it was extremely easy to overspend during the summer, because we would impulse shop, using our credit cards while on vacation, and buying items that we did not need. Now, we use a budget, with built in ‘entertainment’ and ‘fun’ categories. I’ll never forget getting a cash advance one year, the week before going on a vacation that we could not afford, because we did not have enough cash in our checking account to buy gas to get to our vacation destination! Seriously. We went on vacation, even though we had no money, no cash, no savings, and no plan. Sound familiar? We took a vacation because we felt we deserved a vacation. In reality, our vacations became sources of frustration, guilt, and needless interest payments. (There’s nothing like making a payment in November for a vacation you went on the previous June!) Now, we budget for our vacations, refuse to use credit cards while on vacation, and actually enjoy “blowing” a few bucks on the things we like.