Summer is my favorite time of year. The days are longer, the fruit is better, and this is the perfect season to make those family memories that will bring about nostalgia for many years to come. Conquering summer with a toddler is a balancing act however. There are very small windows between heat tantrums and nap time tantrums to make outings enjoyable. This toddler friendly summer bucket list takes into account their “lengthy” attention spans, but is also easy on your wallet so in the off chance a mission has to be aborted, it won’t be a budget strain.
Last week Christine talked about the summer camp mom guilt she felt when looking at the prices for the programs her daughter wanted to attend. While my little isn’t quite there yet, I’m already mentally preparing and saving for summer camp. Friends and family have already shared some of the costs for kids activities so I know I’m going to have a good sized cushion!
While the price tag may seem daunting, there is hope to making saving for summer camp both a feasible and family affair. Again make this process a FAMILY AFFAIR. It’s never too early to not only teach your children about money, but the importance of savings. Delayed gratification and patience are essential to learn in our world that wants everything instantly. Here are a few tips to teach your children while enrolling them in the summer camps that their little hearts’ desire:
IDENTIFY THE TOP 3 CAMPS
Look at the summer camp catalog from local recreation departments, schools, and churches. Talk to your children about the cost of each. For older children, have a cap on the amount to be spent so they can understand how to make decisions with limited resources. You won’t feel like the bad parent for saying “we can’t afford this”. Pose questions like “Will space camp and basketball camp both fit in your budget?”
FIGURE OUT THE SAVINGS PLAN THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU
Pinterest has tons of creative money saving challenges. These I highly encourage because they do not require huge shifts in your budget immediately:
- Envelope Challenge: Number the envelops from 1-25. The number on the outside of the envelop is what should be deposited. 25 envelops = $325; 50 envelops = $1275
- Penny Challenge: Day 1 deposit $0.01, Day 2 deposit $0.02, Day 365 deposit $3.65. After making 365 deposits, total savings $668
- 30 Day Challenge: If you are on a time crunch and want to save quickly, Day 1 save $1, Day 2 save $2, Day 30 save $30. Total Savings $465
Keep in mind, the right savings plan for your family can be a hybrid of any of the above, or make adjustments to meet the goal amount for summer camp.
LASTLY, MAKE SAVING FUN!
Draw a thermometer, create a shadow box, make deposits at your family meetings. You want to keep everyone encouraged and excited about what you’re working towards. Having a physical representation showing where they are in saving for summer camp can help a lot!
Do you have family meetings about the money impact of your children’s desires? What money saving strategy do you think your kids will engage the most with?
Everyone knows someone is real estate. There’s a very low barrier to entry and when done correctly, it’s such a profitable business. In Georgia, you take a 75 hour course either in person or online; take a test; find a broker. I completed the entire process in six weeks and paid less than $1,000. Competing with thousands of other agents who were much more experienced than I was intimidating but back in 2013, I was single and without a child so taking a chance on myself was a no brainer. Two months after decided to go full time as an agent, I found out I was expecting and the inconsistency I was working my business was not an asset to my young family so I put my dream career on hold.
Saying Yes in Business is Uncomfortable
Fast forward four years, I received a call from a potential client looking to buy a home within a month. He asked if I could represent him and I said yes without hesitation even though I was not as prepared to take on the work as I appeared to be. At the time, my bank account said he was a God-sent…it was also saying you do NOT have the funds to reactivate your license and pay brokerage fees.
As small business owners, this is the daily management see-saw we ride. We are constantly determined the best use for limited resources. As a mompreneur, there’s an additional Maslow’s Hierarchy effect. Family always comes first because they are at the base; the basic needs that need to be met. Launching or expanding the business may be viewed as a “self-fulfillment need” or an afterthought. What do you think would happen if you said yes to you this one time before saying yes to your family?
Saying Yes Is Rewarding
For me, saying yes to my client and my business equated to a $4,000 commission check. I could have held on to that $200 I used to reactive my license and spent it on about ten different things for my daughter but look at the greater opportunity I would have missed. Sure my story had a happy ending but doing this transaction also provided valuable lessons to represent future clients. We were all placed on this earth with dreams, talents and ambitions. It’s Small Business Week and a time to celebrate who you are and all that you could be in your business. I challenge you to say yes to one thing this week you have be deferring. Invest in you, invest in your business. I truly believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
Are you a Small Business owner? What are you “Saying Yes” to?