Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sweat Equity

Pic taken on
roadside of Hwy 83
Nebraska, USA

When we built our house we didn't have money saved for a down payment. The banker had a brilliant idea - sweat equity. We did a lot of the work ourselves, saving money over what it would have cost to hire the work out, earning us equity - sweat equity. We ended up doing enough of our own work to not need a down payment.

I have decided on this trip that it is the same with camping. You are saving money by doing most of the work yourself. Setting up the tent, cooking out of a cooler on a camp stove, sleeping on the ground, unloading and loading all the stuff out of and into the vehicle....sweat equity. Especially when it is 91 degrees with 90% humidity in the middle of say Nebraska.
This became very clear when we were in Estes Park. We were scoffing at the price of camping - $28 base rate (based on 2 people) + $4 per child. However, when we decided to stay an extra night we popped into a different campground to ask how much their "cozy cabins" were. (Our thinking was to pack up most of our stuff and have a good nights sleep before heading out the next day) we soon understood that the campground was indeed a "deal". Those cozy cabins that were only suppose to house 4 people (not the 6 we had) were $140!!!!!!! Mamasayswhat????????

However, I must say that somewhere around 1 am when the tent was acting more like a parachute in the extreme wind gusts coming off the mountain that $140 was looking pretty good :) However we now know what it is like to sleep in a decending parachute.

Sweat equity be damned, we opt for a hotel room last night. I am sitting in the Best Western in Kearney, Nebraska. We pulled in at midnight after driving about 4-5 hours longer then we had originally planned. But, I did use a traveling tip given to me by my chiropractor: pull in late (like midnight or after) and go to the counter. Step 2 is to look very tired, while stating the time "it is 1 am, we are only staying for the night, we will be out of here right away in the morning....what is the best rate you can give me?" The first night it got us a $70 room for $45. Last night it didn't work at the first two hotels... but what we did do was get the rate of the 2 star hotels ($59) and we then went to a 3 star hotel and asked the rate ($85). In my most weary voice and tired face I stated that I could get a room across the street at said rate and would they match it? YES!!!! They did!!!!! Lesson learned- never be afraid to haggle, they are getting your money!

Although we could have camped for $18 last night, the $41 we didn't pay in sweat equity was welllllll worth it.


~Thought's By Dena~/ JDs Gift Shack said...

HEY you drove right past me!!! Im 50 miles west of Kearney right off I-80!!! Man you should of hollered!!!

Anonymous said...

We had some money for down payment but we did most of the work cutting the building cost in half!

rxBambi said...

I never even thought of haggling for a hotel room!! Where the heck were you the last 7 days?

Kacie said...

did you stop by the Cabela's in Kearney? Or were u there just to sleep? :) Cute story by the way!

Just Jules said...

We actually ended up at Cabela's right away this morning Kacie!!! Spotted a ton of cute clothes that I was coveting and Dearest got a couple of pairs of hunting pants out of the bargain cave.

Dena we were probably in your town at 10pm last night :) Coulda just stayed with you!

Sage, if you would have been around you could have just helped us and our house would have practically been free :)

Rx Bambi I have been to hell and back in the last week :) Nooooo! I have been on a family trip to Colorado and back. We are winding down and I am (and the kids are) ready to get back home, but first a fun filled day in Souix Falls South Dakota, anyone up for the zoo?