It’s summer, it’s hot, and the kids are home from school. The big question in many families is: What are we doing for vacation? I remember as a child, vacation meant long car rides to a destination with my siblings as I crammed into the station wagon…the 70’s version of a minivan but way smaller. My mom would pack the ice chest with enough food to feed an army, my dad would make sure the car had a full tank of gas and was ready for the road. Why did we travel this way? Because it was the budget friendly way to travel with 5 kids. I don’t think it was the intention of my parents to “make memories” but in their ordinary, everyday parenting, they created long-lasting memories.
Once I had my own family, I wanted to be intentional about making memories with my children. One special memory that my now adult children still call the BEST VACATION EVER was our Disney cruise. Disney World is pretty amazing but the cruise takes it to the ultimate. However, beyond the obvious Disney experience, one of the best and long-lasting memories of this trip was not about the trip at all.
Managing my “teacher salary” budget to afford such an adventure taught us three life principles about money. First, deciding to spend it now or later requires wisdom (Prov.21:5, 20). Second, investing in the future requires planning and patience (Luke 14:28; Prov.13:11). Finally, it’s important not to take your eyes off the goal and squander money (Luke 12:15; Prov.6:6-8).
Giving your family the best possible experiences and memories doesn’t have to be extravagant or cost a fortune. What is does require is remembering God owns it all, being a good steward of what He has provided, and wisdom and patience to live with God’s will and timing.