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I am the Queen of Cheap...yes, you may bow now! :-)

Monday, June 27, 2005

As I told you all,( well the 3 that read this thing anyway) we just got back from a trip to Tennessee. It was awesome...now I will let you in on my little secret, the only damn reason we could go on this trip. You probably know I am a stay at home mom, I write for a local paper but I'm not going to get rich on that, and I have 3 children, a husband (technically this member could be classified Child #4 most days), a dog and the one fish that has managed to survive. We are not poor, well, most weeks anyway, but, we do not have a lot of extra money , certainly not for vacations to destinations over 700 miles away. So, how did we do it? I would love to tell you! I am what some would call thrifty, others would deem me just a damn cheapskate. I could give a flying shit what I'm called, we were in the mountains on vacation, call me a spotted flying shithouse hog for all I care. Honestly though, I like to think of myself as a creative finance diva, or queen, depends on my mood. The motel we stayed at was the Holiday Inn in Sevierville. The hotel charges from $80 to $130 per night. What did we pay? Well, we paid $49.95 for ALL THREE NIGHTS. We also rented a mid-size car from Alamo, a 2005 Pontiac G6 for 5 days, Wednesday through Sunday. The going rate for this vehicle with all the fees/taxes/misc. bullshit charges they always tack on? $128.99. What did we pay with all that stuff above included? $89.00!! The curiousity is killing you now isn't it? Okay, Okay, I will tell ya!! The room at that fantastic price was courtesy of Fairfield Resorts. For a whopping 90 minute chunk of time we had to listen to one guy sell us on the idea of time shares, then the second string, then the third and final guy. Was is boring? Kind of, but it was a little interesting to see the beautiful resorts they offer. Did we buy? HELL NO!! With 3 kidz...I'll tell you like I told the second string guy, "we have three kids, we don't have extra money for 2 weeks of vacation a year." His answer? "Well, you are on vacation now, you'll go on another one next year, why not go ahead and purchase this now and save all that money? You've gotten it from somewhere for this vacation." (I don't think the Fairfield sales staff is knowledgeable about the different methods used to get people in for these presentations) Anyway, I smiled politely and told him this, " Well yes, we did come on this vacation and yes we found the money, but in answer to your first question, we came this time because your company gave us 3 days and 2 nights in the Mountains for $49.95. Secondly, we do have money to spend, however, I must allocate most of it to feed those darn kids of mine, I knew if I started feeding them they'd never leave, all joking aside, my kids are gonna learn to love Hamburger Helper and Beanie Weanies for the next 3 weeks and in response to your last statement/question, we most likely will vacation again, and we'll do the same thing then as we are going to do now, spend money we shouldn't and I'll spend the next few weeks me writing a few more articles to be published and my husband is going to hang a whole lot of cabinets and we're gonna call it what it is, BROKE. He left me alone after that, (I guess I should note that hubby told me later the first sales guy was about to fall out of his chair laughing) the third string guy said I was "spunky," whatever and then launched into a sales pitch again. I told him "Look, I understand that you work on commission, and you aren't going to get any commission from a sale to us, all I was required to do is sit here and listen to your spiel, which was delivered quite nicely, but we are NOT going to give you $5000 today. " He looked blankly at me for a few minutes then asked me how many times I'd listened to a sales presentation, this was in an attempt to gauge my knowledge of such and how qualified I was to relay my appraisal of his performance in the form of a critique as given. I answered, "honey",(since he'd called me sweetie and sugar twice already, and lest I forget that damn Spunky remark, I wanted to return the condescending tone, that is the polite thing to do, right?) "I grew up around Real Estate Agents, Used Car Salesmen and the grandaddy of all high pressure sales jobs Manufactured Housing (thats a trailer for you all Yankees.) so, I feel quite qualified to tell you your pitch was, in essence, a great delivery aimed, unfortunately, at the wrong target. The sooner we can leave the sooner the next couple can be in here, and they might buy" We got to leave after that, I hope another one of these places calls soon, I can give them 90 minutes of my time for another cheap vacation!! And as for Alamo, I found a 20% off code good for all Wal-Mart Customers (comment or email me if you want links) and a coupon good for $15 off. Also, while there I made the comment to hubby that majority of those people looked like they couldn't afford new clothes much less a time share. Hubby said "you can't judge a book by it's cover," and I had to reply, "how right you are...look at us, riding around in a 2006 model car, staying at a $100 a night hotel, and paying for stuff left and right, I get your point, Hot damn some of these people may actually think we have extra spending money at the end of the week!!! Fooled them didn't we? Our cover looks a whole lot better than the inside story right now." LOLOLOL... So, yes, we had a great vacation, yes we are broke now, and yes...please, please if you are a telemarketer selling time shares, call me again, I love them, and may just be in the market someday for one...LOL