What is the last thing you checked off your bucket list? For quite a while I have wanted to fly across the ocean in one of those airplane seats that recline into a bed. As you can imagine, the cost to do this and my passion for getting the most value when I spend money don’t jell too well.
My wife, Lesia, and I recently celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary with a trip to Venice, Italy. We then went on a seven-day cruise to Kotor, Montenegro and the Greek Isles (Corfu, Athens, Kotakolon, and Argostoli). This was also our first time doing a two week vacation. Isn’t it funny how when you do something you enjoy, you want more of it as fast as you can get it?
Unfortunately this trip created a challenge for me. Lesia had 128,000 frequent flyer miles which earned her a FREE ticket. I had only 98,000 miles. The additional miles cost $637.73 (taxes included). Because I could have flown coach for $0, the additional expense was not covered by our travel account. Upgrades are a personal preference. I chose to pay the additional expense out of my allowance. As you can imagine, my account does not have that much money in it so we agreed that I could borrow $500 ($137.73 down payment) from the travel account and pay it back in monthly installments at 0% interest. I’d bet you’re shaking your head right now. LOL! My debt will be paid in full next month. Now that I think about it, if you borrow money from yourself, since I’m 50% owner of the asset that provided the loan (our travel account), was I technically ever in debt?
The $637.73 was worth every penny for the comfort and perks. I had a pillow, blanket, TUMI overnight kit, and noise cancelling headphones. I also loved all the food that was constantly being served. While watching TV, I had my chair tilted so that it felt like a recliner. When it was time for bed, I hit a button which allowed my seat to lay flat. For quite some time, I had the biggest grin on my face while thinking, if I never do this again, at least I had the experience this one time.
I’d bet there are some experiences you’ve always wanted to enjoy which require money. What if you put a price tag on it and began saving a little extra each month? You could take the easy way out and finance the experience (like I did). However, if you have to pay at least a penny in interest, the cost is too high.