My wife and I have never been on a cruise. We know many people who have been on several cruises in their lifetime and they have enjoyed them very much. I think it would be great to take a vacation and enjoy each others company and escape reality for a while. The beaches, the ocean, the resorts, it all sounds wonderful. So why haven’t we gone yet? Well…to be honest…we just haven’t saved up for it yet. But it’s on our list though!
Right now, we have “other things” we’re saving for. Just recently we saved up the money to build our kids a huge playground in the backyard. We did the saving, we did the building ourselves, and now the kids can enjoy it to the fullest. We enjoy watching them play on it with their friends and we can bask in the fact that it’s all paid for.
But before we even built the playground, we were excited about it.
You see, once you start saving…once you put that first dollar in the jar (or the savings fund), the anticipation and the excitement can begin.
We’ve done this for a while, so when we say we’re going to save up for something, we MEAN it! Right now, we’re excited about the theme park passes we’re planning to get before the summer starts. We’ve been building the excitement in our kids about the parks we’re going to. We are ACTIVELY saving up for this right now, because it was the next thing on our list. We can keep the excitement going on and on until the day comes for us to buy them. Then we are really going to enjoy ourselves. The best part of all, is that we won’t be coming home from the theme park wondering how we’re going to pay for it all…because we already did!
Contrast that with a family who doesn’t save. Using the theme park example, the parents decide to take the kids to the theme park on impulse. They say “Surprise kids, we’re going to the Disney World!”. They go the following weekend and they pay for everything on credit. When they get to the theme park the worrying begins. The kids are having a great time, but the parents are scratching their heads wondering “how much ARE we spending?”. The father says “Let’s just go with it…we’re here to have fun!” but the mother just isn’t too sure. They can try to forget about the growing cost…for a while…but in the back of their minds they know reality is coming back soon, and this realization STEALS the joy they could be having in this moment.
I don’t know about you…but I don’t want to be worrying about money WHILE I’m on vacation! I’d rather know that the trip is already paid for and that the spending money for souvenirs, pictures, food, snacks, hotels, and transportation have already been paid for in advance. That way, I can lay back, watch, and enjoy my family having the time of their lives. When I get home…I don’t have to worry about the post-trip blues. Yes, I still have to come back to reality, but the adjustment won’t include a credit card bill!
I know it’s sounds old fashioned…but saving up for your vacation allows you to have positive anticipation BEFORE it starts…FUN while you are away…and NO BILL when you get back. The alternative is to miss the anticipation stage altogether, go on a trip and worry about money while you are away, and have a bill come in your mailbox when it’s over.
So it won’t be long before we have completely saved up for our theme park passes. We are looking forward to having many great times over the next two years with them.
So what’s next?
Well…I’m anticipating walking up to my wife with sunglasses and a Hawaiian-shirt on saying “Do you know what day it is?? TODAY is the day we start saving up for a cruise!”
Is there something you are saving for right now?