Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Simple Method to Avoid the Vacation Hangover

I passed the vacation hangover test.  This is significant because it means I'm on my way to living a debt free life.  Vacations and excuses always seemed to go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Not anymore.  I kicked all my excuses to the curb when I made a decision to own up to my financial shortcomings.

If you're afraid to plan for a vacation because you don't want to wake up to a new stack of credit card bills when you return home, this story is for you.  It's simple.  All you need is a tin can, an envelope, and a desire to stop making excuses for your out-of-control spending habits.  Here goes:
  1. Put your loose change in the tin can every night when you get home.  Don't raid it until vacation time.
  2. Decide how much money you're going to spend on your next vacation.  Divide that amount by the number of paychecks you receive every year.  When you cash your check, reserve enough cash for the vacation envelope and stash it away.
  3. Promise yourself you will not spend more on your vacation than what you have in the tin can and the envelope.
I was shocked that $130 fit into my tin can.  My bank was happy to put the change into their change machine and convert the coins into bills.  And there was more than enough funds in the envelope to cover my eleven day road trip.  There were four times when a credit card was required and my wife and I agreed we would immediately set aside the funds for the charges and treat the charges like debit card purchases to avoid the vacation hangover.  It works.  Try it.  Stop making excuses why you can't afford a vacation.  Your family will thank you.  Have a great day.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Got Social Media Boundaries?

There are consequences for crossing the line in the sand when it comes to social media boundaries.  I learned this lesson the hard way.  If you want others, especially loved ones, to trust you, you must set up consistent guidelines.  The question most frequently asked when I returned from my vacation was, "where are all the pictures?"  Those who know me understand my love for photography and social media.  The two don't mix when others have privacy concerns.  That's why I limited my road trip photos to two, a deer and a pair of feet.  This is how you build trust.  Draw the line in the sand and live within your boundaries.  Your relationships will flourish.  Have a great day.

Friday, August 28, 2015

My Semi Fictional Life on the Road

Move over, Jerry Seinfeld.  Your doppelganger is here.  I've been on the road for the last eleven days and now I know what it's like to live in your shoes.  Let's just say people in my life bear an uncanny resemblance to your cast members.  I wasn't watching episodes of Seinfeld, I was living them.  At one point during my vacation I asked someone to please re-enter the room the way Kramer would.  If I'm dreaming, please don't wake me up.  I'm having too much fun.

I'm sorry, I can't name names.  All I can tell you is if you want to know what my family reunion was like, just pretend you're watching Seinfeld on stage sharing stories about his adventures.  There is one part of the story that is no laughing matter.  My supporting cast helped me discover something about myself that needs attention.  My blood pressure is unhealthy.  I bought a blood pressure monitor while I was on the road and I'm making some important changes.  My real-life mother and my real-life wife have seen enough challenges to live a life-time of Seinfeld reruns so I'm not going to add to their woes.  I'm promising to do what is necessary so we can live together as one happy family.  Have a great day.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Celebration of Life Tour Continues

My 4,000 mile road trip ends today.  It's been a great journey these last ten days.  My batteries are recharged.  The vacation may be over but the celebration of life tour will never end.  Life is precious.  Everyday moments matter.  Celebrate every day.  Appreciate the time others spend with you when they walk with you.  Don't take anything for granted.  I'm thankful for all the friends and family in my life who find a way to keep in touch.  It was great spending time with you on the road trip.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Details Matter

Have you ever noticed how much time you spend paying attention to details when you're doing something you love?  I'm finishing up my road trip tomorrow.  In order to get the most out of the trip, I invested time and effort planning every last detail.  It was fun and rewarding.  The challenge is to pay attention to the details when the tasks at hand aren't as fun as vacation planning.  Failure to plan is planning to fail.

When I return to regular life tomorrow I'm going to dedicate more time to the details in my projects.  I challenge you to do the same so you can save many disappointments later.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why I Left My Blog at Home on Vacation

My wife and I decided we would begin the first day of our vacation at 4:00 AM with a twenty-four hour mad dash to our first stop in Arizona.  I realized blogging on the road was going to be nearly impossible so I opted to write all my stories in advance and leave my laptop behind.  It's the perfect solution for A type personalities like me who thrive on the outer edges of society's bell curve.

I have a feeling I'm going to write more about my life as a type A after I return home later this week.  Vacations are time to contemplate.  They're a time to clear your head.  I wanted to make sure I spent every minute living in the moment rather than writing about the moment.  But the type A side of my brain pushed me to crank out ten days worth of stories in advance in order to stay connected in the blog world.  Today's story was actually composed two weeks ago.  Come back in a few days and I'll share more about my road trip lessons.  Have a great day.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Road Trip Home

We're on the road again.  This is the part of our vacation where we slow down and savor the scenery as we head back to the Midwest.  I'm already thinking about my next adventure.  Thank you for the opportunity to share my life with you.  What a joy it was to re-unite with friends and family during this trip.  If our paths didn't cross this time, don't worry.  I'll be back.  It's time to go home and finish "Break the Chains of Debt Bondage."  I'll be including some tips from this trip about how to avoid a vacation hangover.  No one wants to come home to a stack of credit card bills and this is my first time using the envelop vacation method.  It works.  Have a great day.