Impact – Wealth Management


Take the vacation!

You’ve worked hard to save money, but now you’re finding it really hard to SPEND it.  I get it.  But in case you were looking for permission, here it is: Take the Vacation!

The Balance between Saving and Spending

Throughout my life, no force on earth proved more powerful than the “When I grow up…” vows I made to myself as an adolescent.  I remember the exact moment that I made each of these vows… how old I was, where I was standing, how I was feeling. 

  • I will ALWAYS buy my daughters fancy Easter dresses – 3rd grade, standing in Wal-Mart
  • I will NOT move my kids around from place to place – 6th grade, in the car on the way to our new house
  • I will NEVER make them change schools mid-year – 1st grade, in the library of my new school
  • I WILL take my kids to DisneyWorld – 7th grade, standing by the Christmas tree

This was more than just a listless wish, these were COMMITMENTS etched in my heart.  I never forgot them.

As it turns out, I had two sons, no daughters, so I didn’t get to buy fancy Easter dresses as planned.  We moved to Garretson in 2007 right before my oldest son started kindergarten and we’ve been here ever since… check and check.  

But it was in the middle of 2013 when I realized, “I HAVEN’T TAKEN MY KIDS TO DISNEY!”  My oldest boy was 11 years old and I knew that if we didn’t go SOON I would have failed on this very serious vow I’d made to myself.  I was about to turn 13 years old when I finally gave up on the idea that my dad was going to take me to Disney.  

The Vacation Dilemma

But I was in a dilemma.  As a young financial advisor I was working hard to take all of my own financial advice.  I had been paying off debt and investing as much as I possibly could.  We had just bought a new house the year before.  I did not feel like I had the money to spend on something as frivolous as a vacation.  I was really focused on using money to make more money.  

When I priced out the trip it was going to be around $7,000.  “There’s no way I can justify this”, I thought.  It’s purely an expense… no return on investment whatsoever.  This isn’t the “responsible” decision. 

I’m not sure how many days I agonized before I finally swallowed hard and booked the tickets.  We would take this vacation, just this once, to fulfill my vow and then I could get back to only making investments that would actually GAIN me something.  

Investing in Experiences

It didn’t take me long to realize that booking those tickets was a turning point in the lives of our entire family.   

It started with the mere anticipation.  As soon as I announced that we were going to Disney the mood in the house changed.   “We’re going to Florida?!  We’re flying on an airplane?” We talked about the trip almost every night at supper.  After supper we would pull out the laptop to look at pictures and maps of the places we would go.  We talked about flying, we talked about what clothes we would pack, we talked… a lot… about fun stuff…as a family.

The trip itself was an absolute blast.  Ironically, the boys didn’t care that much for Disney, but we stayed in an AirBNB with a pool.  We swam, we sat around, we fished in the ocean, we saw alligators, we splurged on all kinds of touristy things.  We laughed and we laughed until our sides hurt.  Many inside jokes that persist to this day came from that trip.  

But for me, the most amazing thing happened on day four of our getaway.  I will never forget it.  I actually felt myself relax.  As a financial advisor I felt tremendous pressure to make wise financial decisions and to help those I served make wise financial decisions.  I was working hard.  Studying, analyzing, going home late, getting supper on the table, falling into bed and getting up to do it all over the next morning.  I forgot what RELAXING felt like!

As we were flying home at the end of our trip all I could think was “that was the best $7,000 investment I could have ever made.”  It didn’t return me any MONEY, but it returned something much more valuable. And I made another vow to myself. 

Since then we’ve taken at least one vacation each year.  I’ve never looked at it as an expense again.

Investing for Tomorrow while Living for Today

Sometimes in life we get so focused on the future that we forget to take time to live in the now.  It’s important to have a solid financial plan so that “living for today” doesn’t leave you broke tomorrow; but your financial plan isn’t ALWAYS about getting the biggest money returns… sometimes it’s about making a withdrawal from your financial account so that you can make a deposit in your experience bank, in your relationship bank.  I want to get all the collateral I can in those banks.  

There’s nothing more important than balance… it’s true for your checkbook, it’s true for your investment portfolio, but it’s true on a grander scale.  We have to learn how to live now AND save for the future.

At Impact we’re committed to helping our clients find balance so that they can LIVE their legacy.  

Investing involves risk. As a general rule you should only trade in financial products that you are familiar with and understand the risks associated with them.

Impact Wealth Management LLC is a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). We are based in beautiful Sioux Falls, SD and regulated by the State of South Dakota. Throughout this site, we went out of our way to present unbiased data believed to be from reliable and respected sources. However, its accuracy, completeness, and relevance are not guaranteed, and no responsibility is assumed for errors or omissions.