Using Ready Cash for Family

This started innocently. A friend mentioned to me that she had been on a Viking cruise and liked it. Though I would never have considered a voyage as a gift, I looked at their site out of curiosity. The rest is history.

Viking was having a 2 for 1 sale.

I had been planning for some time to take our family on a European trip. The total would be six. This adventure would require no small change, especially at the unfavorable dollar to Euro rates. If the cost were halved, however, the monetary pain would be lessened and the joy could be the same.

So, only a few days later, the trip is as good as done. We will cruise the Rhine the week before Labor Day, 2012 on a small vessel, the Viking Sun. Its capacity is around 100 passengers. We start in Amsterdam, Holland and end in Basel, Switzerland.

In-between we visit five UNESCO Heritage sites:

Kinderdijk, a creative network of windmills and other implements for flood management

Cologne Cathedral
, started in 1248 and completed in 1880.

The Upper Middle Rhine Valley
with 40 castles constructed over 1,000 years.

Speyer Cathedral
, a significant Romanesque monument from the time of the Holy Roman Empire.

, of which the cathedral is the most important site.

This dose of culture for the two youngsters still in school, aged 9 and 12, is most appealing. And we only have to pack and unpack once. The cruise line organizes all the details so it should be pressure free once we are under way. This lack of stress contributes substantially to family harmony and the opportunity to interact in the most positive way. Experiences can be shared and memories made.

This is one way to use ready cash now. I think it or something similar is a good one unless that money will be essential for life later. This is because cash currently earns little to no interest in a traditionally risk free money market. Plus, investing the excess cash carries the hazards of the market, which seem to be greater now than ever. A whip-saw through more ups and downs is not something most people can tolerate, easily much less enjoy.

So, the old adage, “Use it or lose it,” is loosely applicable here. Only those who can afford to live without the money should partake. But, for those 55 or older, having fun now is more important than ever and considering this possibility for ready cash is one option. Delaying gratification only works so long.