What would you do with $30,000?
Poor old Custard, our hot air balloon, has been retired due it no longer being airworthy. We are regularly asked when will we be getting a new one. I’d like to say next week as the envelope we have borrowed from friends is much bigger and heavier than we are used to. Every time we fly it I’m a step closer to calling the bank for a loan. But unless we win the Lotto a new balloon is probably twelve months away because we don’t have 30K just sitting around in bank account waiting to be spent. The idea of spending that kind of money for a hobby is heart stopping; there is no argument to justify it.
But when you start looking around at ways to spend money you realise that 30K isn’t such a huge sum after all. You can blow that in a single year looking after just one racehorse on Australia’s east coast. And racehorses are cheap by comparison to keeping a string of polo mounts. If turning bundles of $100 notes into horse manure isn’t for you then consider converting it into a black nitromethane skid mark instead. A damage free, quarter mile run for a top fuel dragster comes in at roughly $15,000. So our measly 30K gets you two runs, or 9.5 seconds, of bogan nirvana. Spending the money on a balloon envelope which could have a 500-hour life expectancy is by comparison, quite economical.
Economical isn’t sexy though. That costs extra. Like the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is an extra $700,000 worth of sex appeal. That’s an insane amount to spend on a car, and a two seater car at that. If you’ve got money to burn, then a better way to travel is by plane. Unfortunately, $700,000 doesn’t go far when you’re paying for a private jet. At US $23 million a Cessna Citation X is as good a place to start as any. If you can afford it then you’ll probably have the F12 waiting at the airport for when you arrive, along with a Land Rover Discovery for the bags.
If those figure makes your eyes water then don’t contemplate buying a super yacht. Why buy a hospital wing when for upwards of US $300 million you can buy yourself a boat with running costs that could send a small nation broke. Indeed, these things are so expensive that the British government sold HMY Britannia in favour of first class tickets for the Queen instead. And that was before Brexit when they had an economy.
So there you have it, 30K is a lot of money and it isn’t. Depends on whether you have it or not. As soon as we do we’ll be going out and buying a new balloon, and the cost of that will make spending a couple of grand on a new fan simple.