There is nothing in life that I love more than spending time with my family. I’ll be honest and say that we’re big experience people. I am more than happy to bypass the new shoes or that fabulous purse and instead gather up my little crew and spend time creating memories that we will carry with us forever. Recently, we were invited by Vanguard to take a look at how investing can lead to more family memories and it really got me thinking….in fact, it inspired me to plan a perfect fall afternoon spent with my favorite people and I want to share with all of you not only the stunning adventure that we went on but also how investing can lead to more family memories like this one for my family AND for yours!
Let me start by saying that as a mom, it can be a little bit of a challenge to come up with activities that both my teen and my little guy adore. It takes thought. And planning. And a little extra cash. Recently, we were challenged by Vanguard to plan a family activity for $160. Why this amount? According to recent data, if you hold $10,000 in cash, you could earn about $170 in a year, at the current average yields of money market mutual funds. In a bank savings account, you’d only make about $10.* That equals an extra $160! So, armed with a mission to unplug and spend a day connecting, we headed up in the beautiful mountains of Western North Caroline during the prime leaf lookin’ weekend (that’s what us Southerners call it) and climbed on the backs of some horses for an afternoon that we won’t soon forget. Now, just in case you’ve never been to the Southern part of the US, during late October and early November, the trees change from green to a stunning array of reds, yellows and oranges. While this visual spectacle is pretty amazing to experience in a car, we’re an outdoor family and love few things more that finding ways to really take in our surroundings. Thankfully, there are some amazing riding trails that are only a short drive from our little mountain town and so after thinking of all the ways that we could spend $160, we decided on the way that we wanted to spend it….by horseback riding through the changing leaves.
With our perfect day planned, we grabbed our jackets, packed up the car and took a short 45 minute drive to a barn we’ve never been to before. There really wasn’t a rhyme or reason behind choosing this barn besides the fact that we love to mix things up and try new places. Add to that the fact that it had amazing reviews online and fit right in with what we wanted to spend and we were set for a day that we knew would be fun.
After arriving at the stables, we headed down to the barn, met our horses (Rusty, Sally, Ben and Bandit) and breathed in the cool fall air that was our destination for the next few hours.
As I stood looking over the mountains that we would soon be climbing while seated on the back of our magnificent four-legged guides, I couldn’t help but feel thankful that I live where I live and have the opportunity to share these amazing experiences with my family. Truthfully, I was already feeling a little emotional and the moment that my littlest landed in his saddle and let out a squeal of delight (it was his first time riding solo after all), I knew that this was a moment that would be in my memory forever.
After everyone was settled into our saddles and our group was ready to go, we clicked our tongues, gave our horses a little nudge and settled in for an afternoon spent rambling leisurely up and down the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains as we talked, laughed and breathed in this amazing experience.
Y’all, atop those horses backs we literally climbed mountains. We splashed through streams. There were even a few times when my little guy’s horse got a little ahead of himself and jumped over puddles of mud as he held on tight and squealed in delight.
Each of our horses had these amazing personalities that somehow matched up perfectly with ours. Sally, my little guys ride, was full of energy and a little mischievous. My horse, Rusty, was a little dainty and avoided mud at all costs (I kid you not, we’d go through brushes instead of him getting his hooves muddy!). My hubby’s horse Ben moved a little slower and liked to take breaks at the most unexpected times. And my teen’s horse Bandit seemed to be excited one minute and moody the next! It was so much fun seeing how the horses personalities seemed to mirror our own and as we wound our way up those mountain trails, the everyday faded away and we were simply in the moment.
In truth, this probably looked like a regular Sunday afternoon for some people. But for my little family, it was an adventure and an experience that we won’t soon forget. It was a chance to disconnect from our busy lives and reconnect with each other.
And at the end of the trail, with mud on our shoes and smiles on our faces, we were able to remember that for us, moments like this are what we’ll always treasure and making them possible matters more than we sometimes remember.
Do experiences like this matter to your family? Do you wish that you could find ways to do more of what makes you happy? Have you considered what you could do with your cash investment? While $160 may not seem like a lot, over time, this can add up! By choosing a higher-yielding cash account, there’s the possibility for my family to experience more of these fun, memorable moments. That’s why getting the most out of my cash matters. It’s important for me me assess my options and determine which provider best fits my plans and goals. Some companies, like Vanguard, are built in a way that better align with my desires to turn investments into family adventures. If you haven’t look at your cash investments recently, maybe it’s time to ask yourself two questions: “Am I getting the most from my cash?” and ” Does my financial provider have my best interests at heart?”. To start answering these questions and find out more about how Vanguard, be sure to click here.
Then tell me, what would your family do with $160?
This post is sponsored by Vanguard, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
*This illustration uses 1.69% average yield for money market mutual funds and 0.09% national average yield for bank savings, both as of 9/30/2018, according to cranedata.com and bankrate.com. These rates are not guaranteed.
Vanguard is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their investors.
All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. Bank deposits are guaranteed (within limits) as to principal and interest by an agency of the federal government. There may be other material differences between products that should be considered before investing.