Sherrian and I tried to be very careful with how we spent our money in 2013. We cut out anything we felt was unnecessary, and tried to evaluate every purchase based on our long-term goals. Although we were better than in years past, we weren’t close to perfect.
So we figured that a fun and useful exercise would be to look back over the year and talk about our best and worst purchase.
Our Best And Worst Purchase Of 2013
Timeshare Maintenance Fee
We talked for a while about whether we should count this as a 2013 purchase. We actually bought the timeshare back in 2006 during our honeymoon. However, in every odd numbered year until 2031 we will have to pay a maintenance fee. So even though we made the initial purchase 7 years ago, we have to pay for it every other year!
I have written in detail about our timeshare disaster in a guest post for Little House In The Valley, so you can read about our terrible decision and see exactly where we went wrong.
What I will say is that we did consider all of the future costs and we were still convinced that this was the right decision. If the timeshare only involved the original purchase price and the small exchange fee when we use it in a different city, then I would say that we got a great deal! However, since we have to pay this maintenance fee every 24 months, we hate that we ever got suckered into this deal!
Here is the full financial blow: the timeshare cost about $5,000, an amount which we had to finance and a very high interest rate. After making payments for less than a year we decided it will be better to use a zero percent offer from one of our credit cards to pay off the balance. On top of that, this year is the fourth year in which we had to pay a maintenance fee. In 2007 this fee was less than $500 and it has gone up each year to be about $750 this year!
So even though this was a 2006 purchase, the fact that we had to pay out $750 that we really didn’t have, made this our worst “purchase” of 2013!
I love this little box… sigh. As you probably know by now (since my husband is proud of the fact), we do not have cable television. We have used Netflix for the last few years, mainly watching it through our Nintendo Wii or our computers. We primarily watch TV in our bedroom, and so our Wii spent most of the time there, but we would transfer it to the living room to watch movies on Netflix or play games when guests came over. One day, while glancing through Netflix-supported devices, I came across the Roku box.
From that moment, having to drag that EXTREMELY heavy Wii back and forth between the two rooms and connecting and disconnecting all those confusing wires became so laborious ( Oh come on! You’ve been there 😉 ). My really smart husband made me beg for over a year before giving in to this WANT (yes, I can admit it), but I am so glad he did. I researched it. I compared it to similar products like Apple TV and WD TV Live, but the Roku just came out on top.
The Roku not only supports Netflix, Pandora, Hulu and the like, but there are hundreds of channels available. There are tons of news channels, foreign programming, internet shows – you can never run out of entertainment. While many channels are by subscription, there are many which are free. The cost of the Roku was way less than people spend for one month of cable.
For the cost, ease of use, and the overall enjoyment, this is definitely my favorite purchase for the year.
So there you have it. Our best and worst purchase of 2013!
photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net
What about you? What was your best purchase of the year, and which one do you wish you hadn’t made?