What is one of your favorite things that you’ve been able to do with your money?
My favorite way to use money is to create family memories. Sometimes reaching that goal requires planning and saving. Sometimes it requires more time than money.
When our children were young, we decided to budget for memory making. Birthdays, holiday celebrations and family vacations became our primary memory making tools. In addition to planning and saving for annual trips to the beach and the occasional trip to Disney World, we invested in birthdays.
Our birthday parties were legendary. With time and comparatively little money, we could fund a day of discovery, joy and celebration. Fortunately our children’s birthdays fell in the dreary gap after Christmas and before summer vacation, giving us undivided time to plan and build anticipation. “Birthday fever” started about six weeks in advance of the event, as we brainstormed games, menus, themes and favors. The older our children grew, the more active role they took in creating the party.
We made frequent trips to the dollar store, created simple costumes and homemade invitations and games. The best of each party often reappeared with a new theme. For instance life-size Candy Land reappeared as life-size animal jungle. And the famous western ping-pong battle (no table, just lobbing ping pong balls across the OK Corral) reappeared in outer space. Before the digital cameras, we invested in film to capture the memories forever.
Family memories don’t have to always be the trip to Disney World — though that was fun. An investment of both time and money can make wonderful memories which last a lifetime.
Krisan Marotta, of Krisan’s Backoffice, Inc. invented outsourcing the back office for investment managers in 1992 and has been providing comprehensive, personalized PortfolioCenter and Centerpiece data management ever since.
December, 2011 features several money mavens answering this question.