It's 2:45 in the afternoon, and the temperature outside is 92 degrees. Tomorrow, the forecast is 72 degrees with a chance of rain, and by a week from today we're supposed to reach 98. It's springtime in the Valley – which means summer and its scorching heat will be here before we know it.
If you're like most of us, there's likely to come a time this summer when that heat gets to you, and you'll be ready to get away for a vacation. But there's also a pretty good chance that you're worried about how much it's going to cost, and whether or not it fits within your budget. You may be of the opinion that vacations are luxuries that aren't worth spending your money on; or, you may still be paying off the credit card balance left over from last year's trip.
Regardless of the category you fall into, I think you'll find something valuable in this quarter's feature story, Vacation on a Budget. Our staff has come up with a variety of ideas you can use to get the rest and relaxation you need without getting yourself into hot water financially. We think vacations are an important part of life – and worth spending money on – but as with everything, we want to help you get the most for the money you do spend. I hope this helps.
Also in this issue you'll find a number of articles talking about stuff – keeping track of it, insuring it, and even turning it into cash when you're done with it. As members of a consumer society, we have a tendency to look at our belongings as disposable, but the truth is that just because the money you paid is gone doesn't mean the item you got for it isn't still worth protecting. At the very least, we hope to inspire you to make a record of what you have, as you never know when you might need it.
Before I close, I extend my thanks to all of you for the patience and understanding you showed recently while we briefly interrupted our service to you in order to upgrade our computer systems. Our goal was to keep the negative impact on you to a minimum, and based on the feedback (or lack thereof) we've received, it appears that we were successful. Now that the upgrade is complete, we're excited about the expanded service capacity it gives us and look forward to using it to benefit all of Us in the months and years to come.
As always, if you have a comment, question or suggestion, please let us know. And as always, thanks for being one of Us!
Ronald L. Westad