Guest Blog: How to Fund a Family Vacation (aka Time to Spoil the Grandkids!)
Looking for ways to save up extra cash and spend more time with the family? Vacations are such a great way to get everyone together and they don’t have to break the bank! Here is a great idea for a way to save up for a vacation, and it comes from our Senior Vice President, Janet.
My daughter owns a salon and shared an idea that one of her clients shared with her. Here’s how our conversation began: “Mom, one of my clients does a family vacation with her grown kids, and they fund it by having each family contribute an equal amount monthly into a joint account during the year. Then they use those funds to pay for a vacation and each family takes a turn planning it. I think WE need to do that!”
“What?!” I said. “My kids actually want to spend time with Mom and Dad? Or, is this a ploy for Dad and me to babysit so you adult kids can play? Either way, I’m all in!”
So at our next family gathering, we discussed this idea and decided to give it a whirl, but we’re doing this every OTHER year instead of annually. We opened a separate checking account at Central National Bank and each family contributes $50 a month for a total of $600 a year. I have three kiddos so when you add in their contributions times two years, we have $4,800 to spend on a fun little trip! ($600 per year x 4 families = $2,400 per year X 2 years = $4,800) I get paid twice a month so $25 of each paycheck automatically goes into this account. Two of my children bank with Central so they set up auto transfers monthly and my other child sends money using a bank-to-bank transfer option. And just like that, the money is saved and ready to spend! Whoever is in charge of planning for the year gets a debit card on the account and takes care of getting things booked and paid.
The first year was my turn to plan so we rented a cabin in Branson for a long weekend, spent a day in Silver Dollar City, took the grandkids to see Dolly Parton’s Stampede and hung out together in the cabin, enjoying cooking together (who knew all the kids would get along so good as adults?!) and spending some great quality time enjoying each other.
The next time, due to a recent move and new jobs for my son and his wife, my oldest daughter planned a long weekend in Wichita. We rented a really cool castle (for real! My granddaughter told everyone she was a princess and, of course, we think she is anyway!). We visited a game arcade, the Discovery Center, found some fun places to eat, and celebrated a birthday – what a special time it was!
Our third adventure was planned by my second daughter, and we carpooled to the Ozarks. We rented a condo and a boat. She ordered t-shirts for each of us with special sayings that fit each personality. Mine was “Boat hair. Don’t care.” My husband, who doesn’t swim, wore a t-shirt that said “Rule #1 don’t fall off the boat”, so we all kept a close watch on him! The t-shirts made for some really fun pictures and great memories. And, once again, there were many great places to eat and explore.
This is my son’s year to plan, but since we’re in the midst of a pandemic, we’ve all agreed to wait another year. With another year’s accumulation of funds in the account, we’re thinking we may be able to spring for someplace really cool like Disneyland! We’ll see!
All I know is that this simple way to save has given all of us some wonderful family time together and, of course, includes one night of Grandma and PaPa babysitting (aka spoiling) the little ones so the big ones can spend one night out on the town. It is SO worth it!
Isn’t that a great idea from Janet? We definitely think this should be on your list of savings tips for vacations. Try it with family or even trusted friends!
And, if you’re looking for other vacation tips during this pandemic, don’t forget to check out our promotion on RV and Boat loans. Spending time with your family on the water, or traveling the roads with a private bathroom on board is a great, safe, way to travel this year. And we’ve got a special rate from now until August! Visit with your local banker to find out the details or get quoted for a loan.