Money at 30: 3 Forward-Looking Purchases We Made This Month
I have to level with you, I have a ton of reviews in my queue at the moment. Currently, I have at least half a dozen apps and debit cards I’m testing, right now I’m in Las Vegas where I’ll be reviewing at least two hotel rooms and five products (one of which I already posted), and there’s a book I’ve literally been trying to finish for a year. But, today, I’m setting all of that on the back burner because I want to talk about some recent financial events in my life. Specifically, I want to talk about some significant purchases my wife and I have made as of late.
As I thought about what to write about today, I realized that a lot of what we’ve been spending money on lately has been future-focused. Whether this means protecting ourselves against potentially expensive repairs, investing our cash in a new-to-us way, or prepping for a 2022 vacation, we’ve definitely been setting our sights forward. So, let’s take a closer look at three of these recent purchases:
New tires and brake pads
It’s now been more than two years since we bought a used car from a Carvana vending machine. In that time, our road trip warrior has only required some minor maintenance such as oil changes and the like. However, on our most recent check-up, we were advised that it was getting near time to replace our tires and brake pads. This was something /I’d actually been thinking about a bit as I realized there’s a very real possibility that the tires on the car were the originals from when it was new.
While these items were things that could wait a while longer given our light mileage, with us planning to drive to Florida next month, it seemed like now was a good time to pony up for a full set of tires and treat our darling vehicle right. Part of this decision came from our fear that, if we did have tire issues while on a road trip, finding a replacement for this car might not be as easy as it was when we had a Ford Focus. Considering that we had to order these tires from the dealership in advance, I think there’s at least some relevance to that line of thinking. Thus, I’m glad to now have this taken care of — and now expect a literally smooth ride.
This one is cheating a bit as I haven’t actually made the purchase just yet. Recently, it came to my attention that bonds might be something worth taking a closer look at. In particular, Series I Savings Bonds are expected to pay upwards of 7% interest for the next six months.
I need to point out that there’s a lot more to Series I bonds than that and I do plan on writing all about my whole experience down the road. In the meantime, Jonathan at My Money Blog has a great write-up to help get you up to speed. As for me, I’ve already created my Treasury Direct account and will likely be making my investment soon.
Deposit on a Walt Disney World trip
Finally, this past week, we booked the most expensive hotel room we’ve ever had to pay for — and it might not be what you think. See, next March, Walt Disney World is debuting the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Although this is actually a hotel, it’s being billed as more of a cruise experience, with all-inclusive dining and entertainment as well as a “port day” at Batuu (also known as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios). Did I mention that the entire experience stays in story and the windows are video screens? Yeah, it’s going to be crazy.
As for the damage, we’re splitting a regular room with two other friends. In total, the reservations — which includes two nights, six meals, tickets to the park, etc. — came to… $6,600. That makes our cut $3,300 for the two of us. Not. Cheap.
For as excited and curious as I am about what this experience will be like, this wasn’t something I thought I’d spend this much for until the opportunity presented itself. After a long couple of years now, I thought it was time we tried something different and fun. Plus, I’ll be able to review it for the Disney site we write for as well as a future Travel Tuesday on Money@30.
I should point out that I don’t take any of these purchases lightly. After all, no one likes spending $1,000+ on something as boring as tires, tying up your money in investments (even if they are as safe as bonds) can be scary, and spending $3,300 on a two-night experience is still staggering to me. However, all of these purchases have made me realize how lucky we are to be able to comfortably spend on these expenses. Honestly, that realization only makes me more hopeful for our future — financially and otherwise.