The Fill the Bucket List Challenge

I have written about bucket lists before. Twice back in 2013 where I laid out my financial bucket list and my normal bucket list. In 2015 I revisited them both to see the progress I had made. Early this year Maggie @ Northern Expenditure’s issued the fill-the-bucket-list challenge and I’m here today to take the challenge. I think what Maggie has laid out is a wonderful idea, we often get caught up in the things we are going to do and lose sight on our past accomplishments. The fill-the-bucket-list is a great way to reminisce and take stock in just how full your bucket might be already. So here goes!

Took a lap on the Watkins Glen Race Track:

Most of our family vacations were spent camping in the Northeast. Upstate New York in particular. Very cost-effective for a family of seven. One year we visited Letchworth State Park and did a bit of hiking. While driving around with my parents my dad spotted the Watkins Glen Race track. It was closed at the time and but not locked up. One thing led to another and he drove his 1982 Ram Charger on to the track and we took a lap or two. Years later I was flipping channels and saw a NASCAR race from Watkins Glen. I was surprised to see it opened and a bunch of memories came flooding back of my lap on the track with my parents.

Niagara Falls

Anther one of our family vacations as a child. The waterfall is amazing to see in person and up close when we took a ride on the maid of the mist. My first time out of the country too as we went over to Canada for some sightseeing. Another great family vacation! It’s still one of the places I want to take my family.

Scuba Dived to a WWI Wreck

I’m a certified scuba diver. I was certified in waters below the Throgs Neck Bridge. If you know anything about that area visibility is pretty poor. It’s difficult to see you hand in front of your mask underwater. A great place my instructor felt for us to learn. I was an avid diver in my early twenties. I have been on many wreck dives off of Long Island. My favorite is the USS San Diego, which is 110 foot deep. It is something incredibly peaceful to be underwater for an extended period of time. Swimming down and starting to make out the form of the ship is something to see. Entering the wreck and finding artifacts is a whole other experience.

Took our kids to their first Concert

U2 is by far my favorite music group. In part, the mutual affection for their music is how my wife and I meet. We had the opportunity to take our three children to their first concert to see U2 in 2011.  We had floor seats as well.  Center and about 10 feet from the stage makes for a pretty amazing first concert experience. It’s a family experience we remember for a lifetime.

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The Pacific Ocean

My wife is from the West Coast. We often visit California to see family. We have had some many great times just spending time at the beach. Whether it’s been boogie boarding, fishing, cookouts, surfing or kayaking the Pacific Ocean has provided some fun and memorable time for our family.

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Took the Family on a Cash vacation

We took our first true cash vacation last year to celebration our twins sixteenth Birthday. We had an amazing family time in Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. It was a trip about building memories with the family, treating ourselves to something a little special and not having to worry about cost because it was planned, budget and accounted for ahead of time. The children remarked several times what an amazing trip it was and it was a great time to insert see what a little planning and saving can do for you. I think my daughter summed it up best “Goodbye Orlando. This past week was probably the best week I’ve ever had!”

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[bctt tweet=”How full is your bucket?”]

Thanks Maggie for this great idea! We look to continue to fill the bucket list as a family over the next couple of years. We have college approaching and understand the likelihood of the family being altogether grows short. So picking our spots and getting in some special events is important to me. We can certainly continue to fill the bucket with who’s ever willing or just my wife and I or even solo.

Whenever I think about the bucket list I often associate it with being debt free. Having a plan for your money and not carrying debt gives you so much flexibility and freedom to do what every the heck you want or at least the means to save for it. Hoping your bucket is overflowing.

Will you take the fill the bucket list challenge and share what you’ve done so far?

43 thoughts on “The Fill the Bucket List Challenge”

  1. Great post Brian! We have taken some great trips to Europe. My wife actually lived and volunteered in Eastern Europe after college. Super proud of her for that! My trip to the Berkshire meeting in April is a bucket list thing for me. Charlie and Warren aren’t getting any younger. I’d like to partake in the festivities, while they are still there. My wife wants us to RV for a year and go from our home in Florida….all the way to Alaska. I love it! The house is our only obstacle. It goes on the market in 2 months!


    1. Oh nice. I must have missed the bit about the house going up for sale. Good luck! I’ll be joining the Berkshire meeting virtually this year, just read they will be streaming it live.

  2. Great list Brian! I always thought scuba diving was a great bucket list item, but as much as I love the ocean and swim, I’m terrified about being deep under water and not panicking. I’d panic just because they say not to. lol! Maybe someday I’ll get over my fear…

    1. Thanks Tonya. I find there is something calming being under the water. I was once leading a group of divers to a dive of a dept of about 60 feet and my mask strap came undone. After trying to get it to re-threaded for about 10 minutes we had to cancel the dive. The fact that I didn’t panic during that experience pretty much prepared me for anything else diving had to throw at me.

  3. I haven’t heard of this challenge, but I’m looking into it right after this.

    Isn’t Niagara Falls amazing?!? My husband and I went about seven years ago, soon after we moved upstate. I want to take our daughter this summer.

  4. Great list! I owe Maggie a post of my own. My sister just moved to California and keeps hinting about visits. We’ll definitely stop by on our big road trip in 2022, but not sure if we can afford it before then :/

  5. That’s a lot of accomplishments. We are just starting our family (8-month old daughter) so I want to take a trip to the Northeast in several years and visit Watkins Glen & Niagara Falls.

    This is a motivating idea and my wife & I have filled our bucket a lot in the past year.

  6. Thanks for sharing, these mini stories are great to read. I’m sure I can fill around 5 posts alone with so many memories from childhood to adulthood as well. Experiences are what really matters, Good luck.

  7. I’ve snorkeled a lot, but I don’t do well at clearing my ears so have never tried scuba. My husband keeps trying to convince me, but going past 8 feet or so gets to me. I will say if you love being underwater, Molokini Crater off Maui is the place….40 feet of clear water and unbelievable variety of fish.(one thing I crossed off my list).

  8. I loved Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure! My husband spent our honeymoon in Orlando hitting theme parks. It creates great memories!

    I keep seeing the question about bucket lists lately, but I honestly don’t know that I have one. I’d like to go back to at England at some point. Otherwise, most of my goals are finance related. Maybe it’s the chronic fatigue keeping me from big aspirations. Or the sometimes precarious nature of our financial journey. Or maybe I’m just easy to please.

  9. I’ve been knocking stuff off my bucket list for years. Feels great. While I’ve been to Niagara Falls, I never was able to ride Maid of the Mist because I went in the off-season. Had I went one month later, I could’ve done it. I plan on going back to do it. Whenever I tell people about Niagara Falls, they ask if I did that. I have to glumly say… “no…”.

  10. I vividly remember my family trip to Niagara Falls and the never-ending rainbows that we saw from the Maid of the Mist. Thanks for reminding me about it – it’s definitely something everyone should experience. Scuba diving is something on my list too, along with eating street food from all over the world (while keeping my fingers crossed about not getting an upset tummy)

  11. I just have to say that you are a VERY brave man to swim below the Throg’s Neck Bridge. I can’t even imagine what’s in the water around there! For me, the number one thing on my bucket list is building out my company. Seeing Financial Gyms across the country would be a dream come true. As far as smaller items, I want to take my son on an international trip next year and I’m working on credit card hacking to do it. I would also love to learn another language and keep thinking I will invest in a Rosetta Stone, but can’t seem to figure out when I’ll find the time to do it.

    1. I only did it once to get certified and never went back. 🙂 Wishing you luck on your items. Don’t you own your son a trip to Disney now that he’s 10? 🙂

  12. Cool list, Brian! I especially love that a few of these have embedded within them the idea of teaching your kids the value of saving. And that dive sounds incredible! Not sure I have the constitution for scuba diving, but that for sure sounds like something for the bucket!

  13. This is such a great idea. I felt happy just reading of all the great things you guys have done. One of my bucket list items comes from a time when I was in my early twenties, still at school, and my parents had gone to Tanzania for 3 years. As the youngest (of 5 kids – like you), they flew me over to visit for a month over my Christmas Break. There was so much about that trip that was memorable – especially my climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. I had to pack an outfit for summer, fall, and winter for that 5-day trek. I made it to the snow, but not quite the peak (altitude sickness). I have never been so impressed with the beauty of creation as I was on that mountain. Stunning! It’s great to think back on it.

  14. It’s pretty neat that you were able to take a lap around Watkins Glen! I’ve only driven it in an old racing game and it was one of my favorite tracks

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