Beach CondoPeople say you shouldn't buy timeshares. I'm not so sure. When I was a tween, my parents bought two. One in Snowbird, Utah — a ski resort packing some of the greatest snow on earth — the other smack dab on the beach in San Diego.

All these decades later, our family still uses them. In fact, according to my version of the story (the correct version, of course), Sam fell in love with me at Capri by the Sea — the time share condominium in California — when he came on a last minute jaunt with my family right after college finals. Three and a half months later, we were married.

Just a few years ago, my dad gave the Snowbird timeshare to me. (My brother and sister weren't interested.) Because I didn't make the original purchase, every year my family gets a week long stay in a two-story condo that sleeps 10, has two bathrooms, and a full kitchen and dining room, stocked with cooking supplies, for only a few hundred dollars. Bargain city.

The beach condo is a different story. In the past decade, our family has only used it twice. It's in higher demand — with the beach and all. But I'm pulling for the next June booking. It's note quite as nice. We are definitely due for some remodeling San Diego style.

The unit only sleeps six. And it's lone bathroom (ouch) could use a serious San Diego bathroom remodel. But it does have a decent kitchen, which can save a lot of money over eating out on vacation. And, yea, it has that beach view balcony thing going for it.

When my parents made the purchases, I was too young to be involved in giving financial tips. And they did very well on their own, thank you. But now I hear all sorts of complaints about timeshares, which were kind of a new-fangled vacation idea back in the day.

Would I recommend buying one now? Probably not. But if you can get one (or two) as we did, without having to pay the initial purchase fee and only paying the annual maintenance fees, you might find a great vacation bargain. We sure did.