Ladyfisher

This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

December 8th, 2003

This 'Bud'-get's for You


Christmas Presents? Give One To Yourself!

Back when I was a young mother, local banks offered a special account each January - a Christmas Club. I deposited a set amount each week from my husband's paycheck, and the first week in December the bank sent a check to us for the total amount of the deposits. As I recall you could put in extra, but mostly it was a struggle just to put in the agreed amount. I'm not aware of any banks in our area doing that these days, but it sure was a neat way to have the money to buy presents for our family and friends. Plus, each week you looked forward to the Christmas coming with anticipation instead of dread about spending too much.

It was a good thing for the banks as well, they had your money for about eleven months and didn't pay any interest on the money one saved. Sounds like a good business practice.

Before I met my husband, JC, he made a trip out to Yellowstone Park with two friends. They pooled their resources, traveled in JC's station wagon, pulling his pop-up camper. Splitting the gas, food and campground fees they had a wonderful trip - with enough spare cash to fish one of the famous Spring Creeks near Livingston, MT.

So here I am a couple weeks before Christmas suggesting you start on a real present for yourself. But it's not one you are going to receive Christmas Day. Well, I guess you could write down what you intend to do on a Christmas card and put it under your tree addressed to you. That might make the whole idea a bit more tangible. You could even take the card and display it prominently where you would see it often to reinforce the commitment.

What you need to do is to make it tangible. Make what tangible? The trip you are going to take.

Trip? What trip?

Here's where the fun comes in. It can be one with your family (make sure there is a place to fish), one which is a strictly personal fishing trip, perhaps one with a buddy or two - but pick out a place and a time. Do that now! Next, do a educated guess on costs. Divide the cost by the number of weeks until the trip. Open a separate account and deposit the funds to it each week. You will find yourself anticipating your adventure and receiving enjoyment from the trip even before you take it!

I'll make a couple of suggestions, take in a Fish-In. There are a few already scheduled for next year, the Roscoe NY Fish-In in the last of May, the Florida Fish-In (you should have planned this one earlier) February 13th - February 22nd, in and around Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida, another Bonefish-In February 12th through the 18th in the Bahamas, and the big one in Idaho, September 19th through the 25th in Lowell, Idaho. All of these, with the exception of the Bonefish-In can be done on a budget with accommodations ranging from camping to motels.

Don't want to attend a Fish-In? Fine, the next 'hot' destination for fly anglers is Yellowstone National Park. Again, something for everyone in the family - at a full range of prices. Or a perfect choice for a couple of buddies.

You may already have your own dream destination - Alaska? Labrador? Set the goal. Do the research over the winter and enjoy the planning.

Not only will it enable you to have that trip - (which most certainly will give you lots of stories and memories) it may keep you from being a victim of the cabin-fever shack nasties. That's worth the effort. It might even relieve some of the stress you carry around.

We all have dreams of the neat places we'd like to fish - and here is a way for you to accomplish your dream. If you've picked a really exotic place, one year may not be long enough to pile up the funds you need. So spread it out over two years if that's what needs to be done.

But please don't discard the idea completely. You've earned it, you deserve it - give yourself a gift which will keep on giving. ~ The LadyFisher

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