According to MyBudget360, only about 17 percent of American households have a family income of more than $118,000 a year, and my husband and I definitely don't fall within that category.
We still struggle with bills. Oh so many bills. My student loan repayment by itself is as of now $237 a month, and it will increase by 20 percent every two years for the next 10 years. Add this on top of car insurance (for two cars), a mortgage payment, utilities and a rambunctious six-year-old who likes playing every sport imaginable, and you've got a family who doesn't exactly have a huge emergency fund, much less money saved up for vacations.
But nonetheless, we manage, and we manage according to our priorities (thanks to credit cards....ssshhhh, don't tell anyone). We have our son involved in many sports, my husband goes golfing on a weekly basis and I tend to fulfill my needs....scratch that... my wants, including cosmetic procedures and buying lots of extremely-wanted electronic devices.
Another way that we spend our money is by going on family vacations. Take for instance our last family adventure at JellyStone Park. It was more fun than we could have imagined. Still yet, there are many places that I would like to visit with my little family.
Here's a quick overview of two places we would like to visit, and I'm sure your family would have a great time vacationing at these spots as well. Both of these places are spots that I've already been too, but would love to visit again. And more importantly, both of these places are very affordable in terms of taking a week-long vacation. A family of four should be able to fly to these destinations, stay at a 4-star hotel, eat and visit nearby attractions for well under $2,000.
St. Paul, Minnesota
We went to St. Paul back in 2009. I've been to St. Paul probably more than 10 times to visit my aunt, but 2009 was the first time we took a family trip to the area. Our little Lucas was only a few months old, so he doesn't remember anything, but my husband and I most certainly do. We visited the Mall of America, several snow tubing sites and my husband even went ice fishing with my uncle. When we go back, I know that Lucas will love going snow tubing, and I'm sure he'll love hitting up the frozen lakes to go ice fishing.
The last time that I went to Pensacola was in 2008, just a mere week before my son was born. I made the trip with my cousin and her 5-year-old daughter, along with her son who she had just given birth to. We had an absolute blast. We found a family-friendly beach in Fort Walton, just about 20 minutes from our hotel in Pensacola. The area included a net in which the kids couldn't swim past, and it was most definitely the best family area that I've ever came across on any beach that I've ever visited. There were even pavilions and grilling areas, as well as many restaurants within walking distance, that made this beach a must-visit-again hotspot on my family vacation list.
When I go to sleep, I'm one of those people who doesn't like to count sheep. Instead, I say my prayers and then I'm ready to slip away into dream world. Sometimes, though, tossing and turning becomes all too common, and it's during these nights that I know the next day isn't going to go as I prefer. From being tired to having mood swings, a restless night of sleep almost always translates into a bad day.
Is there a cure for bad sleep? Sure, put down the coffee after morning time and avoid caffeinated products after 5 in the afternoon, but what else?
How about a set of new sheets for the bed?
Never in my life did I think that a set of sheets would make such a difference in the way I sleep. And I'm not just saying this to be saying it. I was given a set of Wicked Sheets a few weeks ago by one of my favorite clients, and I must testify that these sheets have changed the way I sleep at night.
One way that they've changed the way I sleep is that I'm actually sleeping in my bed again. After purchasing a new ultra-comfortable sectional this past year, I had made it a nighttime ritual to fall asleep in the living room. But now with my new sheets on the bed, they are literally irresistible.
The best way that I know to describe my Wicked Sheets is that they feel like being enveloped in moisture wicking clothes --the kind that athletes wear to help keep them cool. Even my husband --who has for many years said that I'm too warm to sleep next to-- has noticed a change in my body temperature at night. He says that he no longer feels the heat radiating from my body.
To put it simply, Wicked Sheets are wickedly amazing. To give the sheets a real run for their money, I thought it would be a good idea to test them out these past few nights. See, it was a few days ago that I underwent a surgical procedure. The medicines that the doctor has me on tend to make me sweat at night. With Wicked Sheets, though, I haven't noticed any kind of sweating. In fact, I've slept better the past few nights than I have in a long time.
Do you want to get your hands on some Wicked Sheets? If so, now is the perfect time to get yourself signed up for a chance to win a set, and you could even win a new Belleza HealthyBack™ Mattress. The contest, which you can learn more about here, ends the end of this month, with winners being announced in October.
If you don't want to wait for your chance to win a set of Wicket Sheets, there's no need to fret. Instead, head on over to the Wicked Sheets website to learn more about purchasing a set. And don't forget to check out this amazing interview with Wicked Sheet's CEO Alli Truttmann.
It wasn't that long ago that my family and I loaded up and traveled to Jellystone Park. I must say that out of all the trips we have taken this year, simply driving 45 minutes down the road to a local attraction beat all the other vacations we took. From swimming to arts and crafts and even putt putt golf, we had an amazing time.
My aunt and uncle brought along their RV and we lived up every minute of our getaway. If you happen to live in Kentucky, then I highly suggest that you make your way to Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park at least once. My family and I have already discussed turning our trip to the park into an annual event. Next year, we hope to stay longer; probably about four to five nights.
Everything --swimming, golfing, pillow jumping, arts and crafts-- is within walking distance of the campsites, and best of all, everything is included within the price of staying overnight. When it was all said and done, we spent two nights at the park for only $13 a person. You can't find another place that offers so much to do for such an affordable price.
And everyone was extremely nice (and country), just the way I like it. From walking around the campsites to firing up the grill at nighttime, Jellystone Park is the place where my family and I will visit for many years to come.
With a deep passion for writing, Whitney has met the needs of more than 12,000 clients.