As someone who doesn’t drink, club, or gamble. You’d wonder why I wanted to come to ‘The Strip’ after that last sentence. Las Vegas’s reputation is to be for grown-ups what Disneyland is to children because of the endless drinks while gambling. Wrong.
Where I normally ignore billboards I scanned each one from the airport to the resort looking for something fun to do. After a few semi-promising options my mind turned to plans to scour my normal source for information, after recovering from my flight. Between the time change and immense number of people I wanted to stay in my room until the next day. The way the Vegas goal to get you out of the room and into the casinos is set up that didn’t happen, so I changed my goal to find something delicious to eat, put together a plan to have some fun the next day, and relax in the room until the next morning.
While coming back in from finding some vittles I was approached about my interest in seeing a show. Twenty minutes and fifty bucks later I was signed up for some kind of “pitch” in exchange for two shows and two meals for only $50. Now you may be thinking, NOOO, don’t go. It’s a set up they’re gonna try to sell you something. I know, but it’s vacay, I didn’t have anything else planned and I wanted to see the shows.
2 Dinners and 2 Shows
After a presentation including every negative emotional marketing manipulation trigger:
We toured one of the most beautiful rental properties I’ve ever seen. I’d never attended a timeshare presentation before this and will never attend one again, after under 120 minutes turned into five hours of being pummeled, drilled, and annoyed to buy something I never intended to purchase– though they were honest about not literally twisting my arm.
My foster Dad was the Executive Director of Deferred Compensation where I grew up. He taught me everything I know about money, most important he taught me how to find people to teach me more about money. After living with him in high school, reading Michelle Singletary, Having Our Say by the Delaney Sisters, and Dave Ramsey I’d learned several important lessons about my finances.
1.) Set a dollar amount for impulse purchases. For example, I don’t spend more than $100 unplanned. No matter what or why. This has saved me thousands over the years since before my Foster Dad passed away in 2008.
2.) Treat my credit like an impulse purchase. Which means, I don’t allow my credit to be run unless I planned for it so I don’t make unplanned purchases over $100.
The credit rule came about as a result of my freshman year credit cards. None of the emotional triggers in the presentation related to me. My daughter and I spend intentional time together everyday and on weekends. Being debt free when I travel is more important than being “comfortable” or having my preference of making my own meals. Truth is if you travel a lot I’m not sure why you don’t have a timeshare. They just make better financial sense… if you don’t mind having debt.
But after four hours unfed, tired, ready to go back to the hotel, and based on my travel schedule had I not been living according to the principles I learned from my Dad and the financial gurus he introduced me to over the years I may have walked out of that presentation at the least as a “travel club” member. However I wasn’t able to be swayed.
Happy Father’s Day
Despite the five different sales people they brought to try their different pitch attempts and pressure tactics my Dad’s voice in my ear and financial training kept me strong. When one of the sales people tried to use my intelligence against me I could hear my Dad’s laugh. This guy didn’t stand a chance. Try as he did with all of his might, purchasing a timeshare on the spot with student loan debt and not owning a home… I’d never dishonor my Dad that way. Go back on the word to achieve all the things we’d talked about from his hospital room… that eventually became his deathbed. No.
Riding back to my resort I imagined my Dad’s face in heaven, playing chess with his favorite jazz artist and a big smile. I haven’t lived out all of the dreams we discussed. I finished my undergrad studies finally, even finishing up a Master’s degree. That day I saved a minimum of $8700 in interest because of what he taught me, a few weeks shy of father’s day. I couldn’t call him for our weekly book discussion, haven’t been able to do that in eleven years. So I decided to make it my first blog post, in honor of father’s day, as I read my book on the airplane ride home.
Thanks for being a great role model, protector, and financial adviser, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.
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