I sell stuff on ebay and keep all the money in my paypal account. When I reach a thousand dollars, I withdrawl it and put it in a cd to earn interest at my bank. We also have two garage sales a year that fund our vacations. Last year, between the ebay and garage sales, our family saved $12,000. We went to the beach twice for a week and one weekend a month we went on a small trip. Because the money is ear marked for vacations, the kids are much more willing to help with the garage sales.
The change that is collected from laundry duty is put in a jar and saved as well. The change is divided evenly between all seven children the day before we go on vacation. They can spend it on anything they want. Surprisingly, they generally spend the money on each other. One bought everyone ice cream cones. Another bought McDonalds for everyone. One spent their cash on toys for the youngest two. Fireworks were bought by two for all to enjoy.
We believe in vacations and go often. We want our children to see the world and not just read about it. Like all things, when you make it a priority, it happens.
My best friend and her two children take two large trips a year by plane with the money she has taken out of her check each week. She never sees the money, so she doesn't miss it.
My grandma taught me to make vacations a must. She worked in a factory for 40 years. Yet, she took us grandchildren to Hawaii, Vegas, New York, Canada, Mexico, England, and a month at Yellowstone. All while she was working. When she retired, she spent the next 26 years traveling the world. I do not remember a single Christmas present she gave me, but every trip was an adventure full of memories and love.
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