Our brains have a brilliant way of rationalizing things even when all other facts say the opposite. One more cookie won’t hurt (which turns into 5), one more hour up, buy the jacket because YOLO. I’ll get back to this.
Las Vegas, much like New York, is a city of lights and excitement and lots of things for visitors to see and do. Of course, on the list was the must-see Grand Canyon, a 5-hour drive from Vegas to Arizona. The Grand Canyon has some amazing views and hiking paths. If you’re an outdoorsy person, you’ll want to experience this.
The whole purpose of the trip was to attend the conference so that put a limit on the leisure activities we could do. Defcon is one of, if not, the biggest conferences for techy folks (specifically the hackers) out there. This year marked 27 years of Defcon and there were probably 30-40 thousand people in town for this conference. It’s not like any other I’ve ever been to.
It’s really an opportunity for those antisocial types to meet up with each other. I hope I don’t sound judgy but many of the folks that I saw really look like the hacker typecast you see on tv. Anywho, I was proud that bae attended and actually conversed with other humans and asked questions. If you’re not into this stuff either as a hobbyist or professional, it is a little hard to follow in the talks but the villages were cool to walk through. There was an area just for learning how to pick different types of locks.
This type of conference, because of the size really takes some planning and focus and hopefully if he goes again (without me), he strategizes more beforehand. There were lines for EVERYTHING!! The souvenir line extended through two ballrooms. The day we stood in line, we only stood for about an hour compared to day one when one hour barely got us into the second ballroom.
So in between the conference activities, I was a trying to squeeze in as many fun (and free) things as possible. Las Vegas, like other major cities can be expensive. Tours, activities, meals, transport, night life…pricey. One way to combat this is to sit in on the hotel presentations. The only thing is, they can take up to 90 minutes of your time. But free dinner and a show tickets? Who’d want to pass that up? We went to the timeshare presentation for 10am. When we got out, it was 3pm. And we almost bought a timeshare.
My last words to Shamon before walking in were, “Nah we dan listened to David Ramsey, we ain’t buying nothing, just nod and listen so we could get these free tickets.” Little did we know that they’d be such smooth talkers.
Prior to that, I had never seen any of those presentations and you can find info on them on YouTube. I wish I had prepped for it by watching a video online. Anyway, those folks are good. They are real good at their job of selling a dream. Now timeshares aren’t a bad thing. I don’t think the idea of one is inherently bad from a business perspective. They have great perks, and access to good deals on other hotels in their network. And you can kinda become a travel agent, selling your own getaway vacations. But with selling, you have to have a target audience to sell to. In any event, we don’t own a home yet so buying a lifetime vacation package doesn’t make a lot of sense in the grand scheme of things. But at the time it sounded so good. And they showed us their show room of how what we’re buying supposedly looks and it was amazing. A beautiful two bedroom space. Again, they’re really good at what they do.
Then when they broke down the numbers. I was mentally prepared to hear some outrageous, outlandish number that would be a hard “no” and we could leave. But the breakdown was pretty enticing and they were willing to let us pay just a lowly $500 upfront and then very affordable monthly payments.
Anywho, the point of the story is that we ALMOST did it. We had done the majority of the paperwork. They even swiped my card. Thank God for His divine intervention and before we signed papers with the notary, Shamon decided it was a no-go since the only real way to get out of owning a timeshare is to sell it to someone else. It seemed to permanent of a decision to make without having a few days at least to make the decision. And Shamon is not the kind of person that makes rash decisions. In fact, he is more known for overthinking things that not thinking things through enough. I would have supported the decision either way because like I said at the beginning, we can rationalize any of our decisions and I saw the upside which was the travel agent business side.
We left that place tired, relieved and in our regular amount of debt, but we came to the realization is that the same amount of money we were willing to finagle and come up with to make the payments, is the same amount of money we could put aside towards our other investment ideas and plans.
We did not sit in on any other presentations that trip and if I ever get to visit Las Vegas again, there are a few things I still would like to experience:
- Playing the slot machines.
- A proper dinner and show…we did these but I have a vision in my mind that includes getting dressed kinda fancy. And seeing a show that doesn’t involve boobs.
- Experience an awesome buffet. MGM buffet was basic.
- Visit the Bellagio conservatory. I hear it’s lovely.
- Guilt-free shopping. When your budget is under heavy constraint, it’s hard to enjoy spending extra.