Jul 28, 2014

How to Solve Your 'Summer Puzzle'

Have a question about parenting? Email ReneMarie at RMProductions777@aol.com.

How to Solve Your 'Summer Puzzle'

Question: I have three children who have been talking about taking a family vacation over their summers recess from school. How do we stay on our budget and still plan a family vacation?

Dear Amazing Planner,

Congratulations! You are aware of how important it is to stay on your budget. You are ahead of the game. There are many wonderful ideas to help you solve this “Summer Puzzle.”

One Sunday during the spring, when my family was young, we held a "Summer Planning Party." That was the day when we would sit around our family table and write down ideas for our summer recess. My dad used to get a piece of poster board and cut it up into different shapes and sizes. Then we would pick and choose our daily activities over the course of our summer recess and write them down on the pieces of poster board.

During the summer, as we enjoyed our breakfast, we would pick our daily event and together we would add a piece to our puzzle. Some of the activities were going to our local pool, or attending a free outdoor local concert, enjoying a local hotel or taking a day trip down to the Jersey shore. I remember my father giving my sister and I $50 to go to the Seaside Heights boardwalk. We thought "Wow, we’re rich!" But my dad is so wise—he knew how to empower us make to feel special while staying under his budget. He knew that we would have spent a lot more money if we kept saying "Dad, we want to play all those games" or "Take us on all the rides."

The bigger picture is that the summer brings memories that will be etched in our children’s hearts. Time with our children is priceless and together we could create magical days. So, hats off to you for being aware of your budget.  

Below are some local links to help you plan your “Summer Puzzle.” Let me know your plans are—I'd love to hear from you!

  • Steppin' Out Magazine:
  • Saddle River County Park:
  • Fair Lawn Recreation Department:

RenéMarie of Hawthorne is a singer, writer and performer. She has founded RM Productions Company in late 2001 with a modest vision. Today she is guided and driven to expand that vision with greater plans for entertaining, producing, motivating and inspiring people through song, producing an Aphasia Language of Love Telethon (she is a stroke survivor), and giving back to others through her Seeds of Love Ministry. Visit her website, www.renemarieproductions.com, call her office at 973-985-0420, or email her at rmproductions777@aol.com

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