This was a guest post I wrote last year to answer the question posed by the Yakezie blog swap, “Name a time you splurged and were glad you did.”
There are so many things that I’ve wanted to spend my money on, and quite a few that I have. Just this week, we went a little nuts when we found out that the owner of the game store near us was retiring and had his entire stock 40% off. Another time, we splurged long-term and bought smartphones, more than doubling our monthly cell phone bill.
This isn’t about those extravagances. This is about a time I splurged and was glad I did. Sure, I enjoy using my cell phone and I will definitely get a lot of use out of our new games, but they aren’t enough to make me really happy.
The splurge that makes me happiest is the vacation we took last year.
Vacations are clearly a luxury. Nonessential. Unnecessary. A splurge.
When we were just a year into our debt repayment, we realized that, not only is debt burnout a problem, but our kids’ childhoods weren’t conveniently pausing themselves while we cut every possible extra expense to get out of debt. No matter how we begged, they insisted on continuing to grow.
Nothing we will do will ever bring back their childhoods once they grow up or—more importantly—their childhood memories. They’ll only be children for eighteen years. That sounds like a long time, but that time flies by so quickly.
We decided it was necessary to reduce our debt repayment and start saving for family vacations.
Last summer, we spent a week in a city a few hours away. This was a week with no internet access, no playdates, no work, and no chores. We hit a number of museums, which went surprisingly well for our small children. Our kids got to climb high over a waterfall and hike miles through the forest. We spent time every day teaching them to swim and play games. Six months later, my two year old still talks about the scenic train ride and my eleven year old still plays poker with us.
We spent a week together, with no distractions and nothing to do but enjoy each other’s company. And we did. The week cost us several extra months of remaining in debt, but it was worth every cent. Memories like we made can’t be bought or faked and can, in fact, be treasured forever.