How we’re keeping on budget this summer without sacrificing the memories

18 summers. Has that blog post made it’s rounds again yet this year? It’s been a couple years since I read it for the first time and I remember how much it tugged at my heartstrings. It reminds us that we only have 18 summers with our kids and to make the most of that time.

The first time I read it I immediately thought I wasn’t doing enough. We certainly haven’t taken enough vacations. They haven’t met enough characters at theme parks. They haven’t jumped on enough hotel beds. They haven’t done enough summer camps filled with arts and crafts. I’m pretty sure my kids are scarred. They’re definitely going to need therapy.

Guilty much? Guilty that our financial goals were somehow going to leave them feeling like their childhood summer memories were lacking.

I re-read that article just the other day. This time when I read it, I saw it through different eyes. What I read this time had nothing to do with spending money, but creating experiences. Isn’t it interesting how, when we take the guilt out we see things differently? I’m at a place of contentment that’s taken me a long time to get to. Many years of guilt, questioning, doubting, and worrying has turned into gratitude, contentment and faith.

It kind of feels like those movies where the hopeless frumpy girl gets a makeover and she somehow doesn’t just look different but she sees the world differently too. A more confident version of herself.

What does this have to do with summer plans, you ask? The old Krista would spend money she didn’t have to “treat” her kids to a day trip, or even a few day trip, because she thought she had to. That’s what good moms do right?

The new Krista knows that my ability to create experiences and lasting memories for my kids has nothing to do with how much money I spend. It has everything to do with intentional time. Time for them to be kids. Popsicles dripping, running through the sprinklers, staying up late and sleeping in kids.

So this summer you can find us spending practically $0 and still rocking this memory making thing. I created this summer bucket list filled with things that cost very little to nothing and we will be spending our summer crossing these experiences off our list. But don’t worry, I’m sure I’m somehow still scarring my kids, just not because of their summer experience 🙂

<3 Krista

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