Most people think a financial advisor’s goal is to grow your assets as large as possible. Although growth and security are respectable targets, they are never the goals – at least not for my clients. After all, what good are financial assets if you don’t enjoy them today or use them to make an impact tomorrow?
With spring break around the corner, many families have tightened the purse strings to save for vacation. The budgeting, planning and looming logistics might leave you wondering if family vacations are worth the effort.
Whether to make travel a priority is a decision only you can make. Your financial advisor* can’t determine your family’s core values, but they can help guide your efforts to support what you care about. In my own family, we’re comfortable exchanging financial assets for life experience assets because we believe they have great value. That’s the question your family must answer, too.
If you’ve decided travel is a priority for your family, here are three ways to ensure the money is worth the memories:
1. Establish a purpose. There are a number of great reasons to travel – escaping the busyness of life, experiencing new cultures, meeting new people. What you’re hoping to gain influences everything from the trip length and location to cost and logistics. If you and your spouse want to reconnect, a weekend trip to a nearby town might work great and save you money. If serving those less fortunate is the goal, a week-long mission trip overseas requires more planning.
2. Consider the company. Travel is a great way to make memories with loved ones. While a full-family getaway to Great Wolf Lodge might be fun, consider which relationships need your time and attention most, and use trips to strengthen them. Maybe this year, you plan a father and son fishing trip or a girls’ weekend with mom and daughter. If you’re in a position to take multiple trips in a year, I recommend planning time away with only your partner and a separate trip with the children (because we all know that’s a “trip,” not a “vacation,” right?). I know several families who give solo trips with a parent as their kids’ birthday gifts instead of traditional presents. I think that’s a great way to have one-on-one quality time and reinforce the importance of relationships over material possessions.
3. Get a great value. The earlier you plan a trip, the more time you have to get exactly what you want – and to find better deals. Shop around for flights and hotels. If you have the flexibility to do so, consider using credit card points to pay for travel – but only if you can comfortably pay the card balance off without accruing interest. Build a travel account into your household budget and set aside money monthly to support experiences.
Spring break is a great time to build memories as a family, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. With a little research and time for planning, an affordable adventure is within reach. No matter where you go, start with a clear purpose and the right people, and great memories are sure to follow. Happy travels.
Aaron Waters is a wealth advisor for Wymer Brownlee Wealth Strategies. He joined the company’s Enid office in 2010 and now operates from its location at Portland and Memorial in Oklahoma City. Aaron obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in financial management from Abilene Christian University. He loves golf, fishing, music and travel – but nothing more than his wife, Natalie, and daughter, Ella Kate.
Aaron Waters, Registered Representative. Securities offered through HD Vest Investment Services®, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through HD Vest Advisory Services® Insurance services offered through HD Vest Insurance Agency, LLC. 6333 N. State Highway 161, Fourth Floor, Irving, TX 75038, 972-870-6000. Wymer Brownlee Wealth Strategies is not a registered broker/dealer or registered investment advisory firm.