Me: How much is it to get into Coco Bongo tonight?
Mexican tour guide: $60.
Me: Is that pesos or U.S dollars?
Yes, that’s right. $60 to get into a club and there’s 3,000 people in the place with others dying to get in on the outside. I thought there was supposed to be a recession going on? Wasn’t everyone stressing about the economy?
Usually when it comes to tropical trips, I try to go during peak season to ensure that it’s going to be a great time. This time I ended up going during the first week of January. I usually just hate the month of January. I can’t stand it. The holidays are over. It’s insanely cold here in Canada. I also think I get seasonal depression. Enough whining. This year I wanted to start the year off with a trip away. You may not have noticed since I lined up a week’s worth of content for when I was going to be away.
It was a unique experience. I’m no longer the college student looking to get drunk. I have a girlfriend and I went with a group of people that I didn’t really know. I met the guy a few times. I met the couple for the first time at the airport. It was me continuing with trying to step outside of my comfort zone. In the process I ended up learning a lot.
There are always lessons to be learned from everything that we do. Today I wanted to share a few lessons from my trip to Cancun. What I learned about money and the economy from partying in Cancun in January…
The economy can’t be that bad.
If thousands of 20-somethings could afford to stay on a resort in Cancun and ram up clubs that cost $60 to get in, then I don’t think the economy can be all that bad. None of us can find jobs, yet we can afford to enter a club that charges a week’s worth of groceries just to get in. Wow.
I only went to Coco Bongo because I heard it’s a “must-do” in Cancun and I missed it the first time that I was there six years ago. The place was absolutely rammed. We were supposed to be on some “VIP” list because of our resort and it still took a good bit to get in. Once we finally got in we realized that the place had a solid 3,000 people and you could barely move. The show was pretty entertaining. Moving around was a pain.
The economy can’t be in that rough of shape if all of those people could afford to pay $60 to get in. No matter how much we complain about the recession, it really can’t be that bad.
Young people will always find money for the fun stuff.
I find it funny how often money-related topics came up with a dude that writes about personal finance. I was pretty amused by how some young people managed to afford the trip.
A few notable trip purchases that stuck out to me:
- One girl asked for a deferral of her rent payment so that she could take off for a week.
- Another young person used their student loan money to go on the trip.
Those are some interesting ways to pay for a trip if you asked me. I was pretty boring with mine. I cashed in a few checks and used a bit of my vacation savings.
I just find it funny how we all complain about bills and money, yet we find a way to go on vacation. I truly believe that young people will always find money when it comes to going out. Saving for the future? Not so much.
Time will pass you by.
Going out in Cancun was a trip down memory lane because I remember partying there when I was just 18 years old (not legal in my own hometown yet). All that time had passed me by. I started to think about what I had accomplished during this time. I also thought about the things that I didn’t get to do.
I mainly thought about how hard I had worked during the last six years and I realized that time will pass you by regardless. You have two options
- Will you let time pass you by without accomplishing anything?
- Will you work your butt off without even realizing how much time is passing?
This then reminded me of my favorite quote on time and money:
Money comes and goes. Time goes and never comes back. Use your time wisely.
What are you going to do as time passes you by? You can save your money, increase your income, and live life on your own terms. You can also merely stay afloat. The choice is yours.
You have the option to walk away.
“You need to hit the gym, your girlfriend is hot and you’re not built.” – Some random and very drunk dude by the pool in Cancun talking smack to my friend.
When faced with an impromptu conflict, you often have two choices: fight or flight. There are those occasions where you need to fight and stick it out. Then there are plenty of instances where you should take flight and walk away from the situation.
One night some French dude who only knew how to say, “do you know who I am,” confronted my buddy. It was three in the morning in the main lobby. Not the best location to have a fight. I could tell that he was completely wasted. He could barely keep his eyes open. Two opportunities to engage in fight in 7 days? What happened? Nothing. You need to learn to walk away.
This ties into personal finance because the same philosophy applies to spending money. When an offer to spend money seems irresistible, you need to resist. It’s too easy to indulge. It’s far to easy to spend money. It takes real effort to actually save your money and avoid the thousands of options for blowing your savings.
There’s nothing wrong with walking away. Often the best investment is the one that you don’t make. If your business is seeing no results, you can close up shop and move on. There’s no sense in staying on the Titanic.
Don’t judge too quickly.
You never know what someone is going to be all about until you actually get to know them. You can’t judge a frugality tactic, business idea, human being, investment, or anything too quickly.
This ties into my next lesson.
We all have different views on money and life.
I quickly learned that my roommate had much different views on traveling and on life in general. Prior to going out, he would oil himself up with tanning oil because he wanted to be the shiniest guy at the night club. I find it funny to wear a $7 shirt with a stupid joke on it.
When it comes to personal finance we all have different views as well. You might value spending money on that expensive gym membership, while your friend thinks that working out from home is the best option. You might embrace frugality, while your brother believes in spending money because life is short.
What I’m getting to is that we need to try to keep an open mind to different views. We all see the world in a different light. We also have different priorities.
If you want to conquer your finances, you first need to understand what your priorities are.
That’s what I learned from my most recent trip to Cancun. I wanted to share more personal stories on here in 2012. This is the first of many personal stories and experiences that I’m going to be sharing with you more and more.