If you don’t own a timeshare or know anyone who does this might not seem like a big deal to you. I also know that there are people who own them and love using their timeshares. That is great if it works for you! This post is not going to be about bashing timeshares so don’t freak out if you love them.
So why is this such a big deal for us? Let me take you back about fifteen years ago. My husband surprised me with a weekend getaway to Wisconsin Dells. How romantic right? Well, he didn’t tell me until we got there that we would be touring a resort and meeting with a timeshare sales person. I wasn’t very familiar with the whole timeshare thing at the time and they were offering us some great freebies so why not. Little did I know we would be leaving that weekend trip (with our freebies in hand) owing them thousands of dollars for a deed to the timeshare. We took out a nice hefty loan and handed over the money to the overzealous sales person. So why did we do it?
We did it because the sales person did an amazing job creating the ultimate vision for us. It included winters away from the cold and visions of sandy beaches and spontaneous weekends in wine country. No work or electronics but just time for us to connect as a couple. I don’t know about you but that sounds awesome to me. They sold us on the idea that we DESERVED all of this no matter what it cost us. We bought into it.
We have taken some great trips in the last fifteen years but unfortunately many of the yearly maintenance fees and dues have gone unused as life has been busy and finances have been tight. Don’t forget other costs like transportation, meals, attractions, etc. Sorry, but that’s not included in your purchase. A few years back when we started budgeting and taking control of our finances we decided that yearly payment needed to go. We had already paid off the loan but the other fees would continue for life (FYI: it gets passed down to your kids when you pass away). We were not okay with this and decided to try selling it. We quickly found out that selling on our own was almost impossible. There are hundreds of timeshare deeds available online and many were just giving them away. Our accountant at the time suggested we donate it to an organization. I reached out to several and again we struck out. We were feeling a little defeated and set it aside for a while.
At the beginning of the year my husband and I were working on our financial goals for 2016, and the timeshare popped up again. It was the one noose we both wanted out of our life. We made it a priority for 2016 to get out of our financial commitment and as of this week it was confirmed that we are free of our contract. No more maintenance fees and dues for this family!
The reason I’m sharing this with you is because at some point in our life, most of us will give into an amazing vision that is drawn before us. It might not be a timeshare but it could be a sports car, a big house or maybe a lifetime membership to the ice cream of the month club (yummy). The point is that you may feel trapped after the purchase knowing that you will have to continue paying on it for several years or decades. If you feel like there is a noose around your neck, then I challenge you to find a way to get that financial burden out of your life so you can feel those similar emotions we did earlier this week. Don't give up and keep pushing forward with your financial goals!