Traveling Pennies

First, an announcement: the Idiot Quilts are almost done! The first was mailed a couple of days ago, the next will be mailed on Monday, then again on Friday. 🙂 The quilt for Coach’s online fund raiser is 50% complete. Yay! for being productive. (We won’t talk about the tardiness…)

Ever since our trip to Europe last summer and our trip to Disney World the previous October, the kids have been begging for trips. We explained to them that trips cost lots (lots!) of money and we’d need to save lots (lots!) of money.

We’ve cut out iTunes movies and music, trips to the coffee store, dining out, ordering pizza, trips to the money pit Target, and school lunches. We stay home more often, saving gas money. I haven’t had my hair done in…um…yeah…I can’t remember.

My best friend’s family bought me a race entry for my birthday and I was surprised with a half marathon entry by my Hubs, but there will be no more races for the year. This is huge. In a given year, I will enter several races, each costing between $30-$110 each. This doesn’t include travel, hotel, food, and buying stuff at the expos. When I really added up all the races expenses for the past couple of years, I choked. While I know the kids had fun on my race weekends, I know that these were very selfish expenses on my part.

For several weeks now, my youngest has been bringing me stray change “for our next big trip to see Harry Potter”. My heart melts. Tiny little fist full of pennies…to travel the world. The oldest wants to see Paris (she’s enrolled in French language class), and has never complained about the lack of pizza. The middle kiddo wants to go back to London to ride in The Eye again and he’s never whined about missing a movie. It’s pretty cool that they see the world as accessible and they’re willing to give up their little luxuries.

We have bank accounts, of course, but the Chang€ o£ $cener¥ jar is something in the house, something they can focus on, and actively fill. (Online banking is great, but clicking around on a computer is never as satisfying as hearing the chink! of real money.)

How do you encourage your kids to save? What method works best for your family travel goals?

Cheers!

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