When I was in High School, I really used to look forward to Summer Vacation. I don’t know why– I rarely did anything. I guess I just liked the freedom of not having to go to school. Once I started working, Summer Vacation meant less for me. Who cared if I didn’t have to go to school, I still had to work, didn’t I?
I just went on a vacation with my wife and her family. For them, it was a family vacation. For me, it was a great way to celebrate my fourth anniversary with the person I love most (and my wife, and her family). In the beginning of the planning stages, we were both a little concerned about the cost, and that we were spending too much money. The trip was pretty expensive, and realistically, a luxury that we could have avoided. At the same time, my car was acting up and needed a lot of work. I think we were both expecting the worst.
The reality is, we easily were able to afford both, and I congratulate us both for making the obviously smart choice. The choice I’m referring to is the choice to start saving for things before we even know we need them. We save for emergencies (the car), and we also save for fun (vacation).
I think young people should also take a vacation, if they are at all able to. Financially, there is no reason not to be able to, as long as you plan it out far in advance, and understand that saving for a trip somewhere means less savings for something else. This is where it comes to prioritizing your expenses. Many PF “experts” will tell you that its foolish to make a vacation a high priority. They will try and convince you that its smarter to save for retirement or buying a house.
There’s nothing wrong with saving for these things, in fact I think its smart to do so. The reality of it is, if all you are doing is saving for something that may never happen, with no satisfaction today, you will get bitter, and eventually you will fail to save anything. We just aren’t built to deprive ourselves of all fun. Conversely, if you are able to enjoy the fruits of your saving in moderation, you will be encouraged to save for other things since you now see that it works.
We used to do this as kids. We wanted a new skateboard, so we would save until we had enough to buy it. Sometimes, we would decide we wanted a bike more. We’d keep saving. So, take a vacation, or buy that new toy, as long as you can afford it, and as long as you have the foresight to save well in advance for the fun!