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View Full Version : What do you do to fund your budget for WDW???


caa1277
01-21-2008, 10:55 AM
With the rising costs of pretty much everything, I would assume everyone's budget is stretched thinner than normal. :sad2: I know mine is! :sad2:

So with that being said, what are you doing to save money for WDW? Did you get another job? Cut back on other things?

Share what you've done and let's help everyone save and budget for a trip to the World!

happily single
01-21-2008, 10:58 AM
Change jar. We just counted what I've thrown in since December and we have almost $70.00:banana: I plan on throwing in $10 or so a week. If I get paid $105 then I throw in the $5.00 if I get paid $111 then I only throw in the $1.00

Soo, needless to say no plans right now for a trip, but at least I'll have the money for a deposit

GoinToDisney
01-21-2008, 11:00 AM
Our parents ask us every year what we really want for Christmas and Bdays. This year, we asked for $ toward a disney trip. Any time dh works overtime or does a side job or we get any other unexpected $, it goes to the Disney fund. We also go during the less expensive months and watch for codes.

bellebuzzandpooh
01-21-2008, 11:18 AM
One year I took a part time retail job to fund our trip. As soon as I'd earned enough I quit! :)

Now I am a jewelry designer and sell on ebay and etsy (mostly etsy), as well as do home parties.

I think saving is a great plan, but if you can bring in extra income in addition to saving it will add up quickly!

Oh, I also think a seperate vacation account is great. It makes it harder to touch the money or spend it accidentally, plus you can easily see how fast it's growing.

I forgot to add that I also blog for profit! They pay really well and it gets sent straight to my paypal account. Here is a link about it. http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1688394

aka-mad4themouse
01-21-2008, 11:22 AM
I go rewards to add to my Disney coffers. There are a few good GPT programs that you can learn about on the Rewards Forum (http://www.disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=35). I also use my Disney VISA to pay for anything that I can put on a CC (car insurance, vet bills, cell phone, etc.). And DH has a corportate Diner's Club MasterCard for his business that he the same with so that we can use the points for free airfare.

stahshee
01-21-2008, 11:35 AM
I use the cahnge jar:cool1: my dh and I throw our change in
I just started sunshine rewards and Mypoints If I get 50 between the both I will be pumped:lmao:
one thing I did notice if I shop on line I have no change to throw in the jar, but I do get points. (I rather have change)
I am limiting our"fun" like going to the movies, going out to eat. For 6 people it really adds up.
( I did get a gift card to the movies which I will hold off until summer for a new Disney movie)

I had the kids stop buying milk at lunch it was 240 a week:scared1: and I have no idea if they were drinking it or dumping it out!
I am really cutting back on my Disney budget. We are renting a condo so I paln to cook more and We have gone so many times dh and I do not need souvies. (kids have to save there own spending money).. any more tips I would be thrilled!

Dabelsteen
01-21-2008, 12:12 PM
Two change jars! One in my car, one in my house. Also started a vacation club as well as a Christmas club account at my bank.

kfeuer
01-21-2008, 12:24 PM
I always do everything I can think of to help our vacation account along:

Market Research groups (in-person)--they generally pay $75-$125 for a couple hours of time. Look for firms in your area and get into their database, and then they'll call you when they have a study you might qualify for.

Credit card rewards--I use a combo of our cash back card, a card that lets us get gas gift cards, and the Disney Visa depending on who gives us the best reward. We charge everything (including utilities, food, etc.) and pay it off at the end of the month. This usually adds a few hundred dollars to our fund.

Online surveys--they don't pay alot, but every bit helps

Mypoints & Ebates--Ebates gives you cash back for online purchases, and Mypoints gives you points for purchases and reading emails, fulfilling special offers, etc.

Test drive rewards, when possible. Just found out about one today for a $50 Best Buy gift card. It won't help with a Disney trip, but it will buy us a few things we ordinarily don't splurge on.

Opening bank accounts--fairly often I get offers for $50-$100 for opening new bank accounts. I don't always do these, but if the terms are right I will.

Cleaning my office--My DH and I clean my office twice a month and make an extra $100. It only takes 45 minutes (no bathrooms or kitchen) and it's a pretty easy way to make extra money.

That's all I can think of at the moment, hopefully this will give someone some new ideas.

tikilyn
01-21-2008, 01:02 PM
We have a vacation fund account that gets 100.00 every two weeks. So 200.00 a month goes into the accounts. We started out with 25.00 a month and when we got use to not seeing it on the check we then added another 25.00 and so on. I'm about to up it again so we can have 250.00 a month for vacations.

PeabodyJen
01-21-2008, 01:19 PM
I'm planning on taking a long-term substitute teaching job (Feb-April) to pay for our trip in May '08. When those middle-schoolers and early mornings start to get me down, I'll just think of our upcoming trip (and of course spent some time here at the DIS boards) and I'll feel better instantly. It will be a GREAT motivation!:thumbsup2

Jakesmom504
01-21-2008, 03:10 PM
We have about $700 just in quarters in a change jar...granted it's from years ago! I've also been selling on Ebay. I have almost the whole trip paid for just from selling on Ebay. :cool1: Still have a lot more to sell so now I'm working on airfare. :woohoo: I'm hoping to have enough by the beginning of the summer to have the trip itself paid for so I can start working on spending money. We are planning to go Aug 30.

HeyIt'sMe
01-21-2008, 03:32 PM
We have a savings account set up just for vacation and have $200 deposited there every time we get paid (15th and last day of the month).

The savings account pays for the airfare, resort and tickets. For meals and souvenirs we work on building up our Disney Visa Reward Dollars. We put everything we can on the Disney Visa and pay if off at the end of the month.

Mrs.Reese
01-21-2008, 03:50 PM
I do the "demo thing." Everytime I get a check I put it into the savings account. I also withdraw $40/week and put it into an envelope. Bad I know, in case of fire, theft but we don't notice $40 a week gone.

dnoyes
01-21-2008, 03:59 PM
This may not work for everybody but it has been a lot of fun for us. I'm a pretty handy guy and like to work on things in my time off. Never been one to sit down on weekends if you get my drift. We go to auctions (or estate sales) and buy an old travel trailer or boat or? for a few hundred bucks and take it home and give it a complete makeover. Fix it from one end to the other until it's in the condition we would use it and then sell it.

When the $6-700 we've spent turns into $1500 we go and get another RV and do it again. Before you know it you're looking for $3000 Rv's and the next sale pays for your trip.

We could pay for a trip out of pocket any time we want but for us it's the whole adventure that makes it all the more fun. I get to spend time with my wife and daughters as we rebuild these RV's and maybe even teach my kids a thing or two.

It's fun to be walking around EPCOT knowing the ten day trip you are on only cost you about $500. and a lot of hard work.

EthansMom
01-21-2008, 04:11 PM
I had the kids stop buying milk at lunch it was 240 a week:scared1: and I have no idea if they were drinking it or dumping it out!

Our school doesn't have a cafeteria, so the PTO offers "Hot Lunch" 4 times a week, which is brought in from fast food places. Hot Lunch costs $2.75 - $3.50 per day and does not include a drink. Since I'm the PTO Treasurer, I process the checks for our Hot Lunch Program. I've gotta say that I can't believe the number of people who buy their children Hot Lunch multiple times per week.

Likewise, with ice cream, which one of the student groups sell to raise funds. Some kids are buying ice cream most every day... $0.50/day and it isn't even healthy!

I let my son get Hot Lunch once a week (he can pick the day) and ice cream once a week (on Friday). But I'm definitely in the minority at our school.

This week, my DS needed some more jeans. Instead of buying new, I bought them used at the consignment store. I usually buy his pants new on sale (~$13/pair), but paid $6.50 per pair for slightly used ones.

We're also dining out even less and less. I can make a really nice meal at home much less than the price of eating out. And we don't have to wait for a table. ;) Make up a box of jello or a small batch of cookies for dessert and the kids are happy as clams with our at-home meal.

crazelion
01-21-2008, 04:45 PM
Rewards : Mypoints and coke rewards is paying for July 4th trip to Orlando. I save my tip money when pouring beer that goes into my vacation fund to.

elmosmom
01-21-2008, 05:36 PM
Hi
There's some great ideas here. We started our vacation budget rolling by having a rummage sale.
I sold a few things on craigslist and tomorrow we're listing a few things at the ebay store.
We've got aluminum cans to cash in and a change jar going. It's adding up slowly but surely.
I'll be watching for more ideas, thanks for sharing.
sue

aka-mad4themouse
01-21-2008, 05:46 PM
I just wanted to add another idea that may work for some.

If you have a skill or talent that you can teach, market it. I teach French to grade-school children. But there are a lot of skills that I find many parents would love for the kids to be able to learn because they never did. Sewing, knitting, light carpentry and woodworking, word processing and EXCEL. Some school districts even offer adult continuing education classes (non-credit) that non-traditional teachers lead (if you're not interested in teaching children).

Grendalynn
01-21-2008, 05:54 PM
We pull out $X amount from my paycheck every other week. We sit down and divide the total amount of the trip by however many weeks il it needs to be pai off.

We cut out extra expenses. Lke going out to eat, more thrifty on our groceries, bonzi runs to Walmart and TJMaxx. So on and so forth... All things that I sell on ebay (EBAY ID: Grenalynn ;) ) goes toward our Disney Fund. We also ask for Disney Dollars for Birthdays, Christmas or whatever esle. We also do the change Jar which is spending money more or less for when we are there! Hope this helps....:wizard:

eatatmidnight
01-21-2008, 06:47 PM
Hi
There's some great ideas here. We started our vacation budget rolling by having a rummage sale.
I sold a few things on craigslist and tomorrow we're listing a few things at the ebay store.
We've got aluminum cans to cash in and a change jar going. It's adding up slowly but surely.
I'll be watching for more ideas, thanks for sharing.
sue


What are aluminum cans going for these days? My teenagers and friends go through a few each month.

mytwotinks
01-21-2008, 07:04 PM
I sew and people ask me all of the time if I sew for $$$. I used to say no, but I have started telling people I'd be willing. I have done just a couple of things so far, but I think it could turn into something. I am going to order cards with all of my info on it so when people ask I can look a little more profesional. I signed up for an Etsy acct. , but I haven't done that yet. I plan to start though. I figure that I will open an acct. with some start up money and then deposit all of my sewing money into it. I can use the debit card to buy materials and that will be an easy way to know if I am actually making enough profit to keep it going.

CrazedDisFan
01-21-2008, 08:59 PM
This is not really used to pay for the trip per say, but rather offset the cost to us with the kid's souveniers....

We live in Michigan and when you buy pop(soda), beer, or basically any carbonated beverage in a 2 liter, can, or bottle, you pay .10 deposit per can. When you return the cans or bottle to the store you get that .10 back.

We allow our kids to do the nasty job of feeding all the empties back in the return machines. In return, they get the money and exchange it with us for Disney dollars.

At the end of several months of returning they usually have about $50.00 each. My dh puts all the empties in the shed until it is within months of returning to Disney, so the kids are eager to do the chore and 'earn' their spending money.

crazelion
01-21-2008, 09:06 PM
I do this with my computer skills. You would be amaze how many people pay me take virus off the computers and set-up there computers. Sometimes I have so many people that I have put them on hold. I have 30 calls last week aone just fix people computers but had turn it down because I am sick. Those 30 calls have turn into 100 so I so far back it's shame. Another lady ask to hook up her HDTV to DVD play.

Just need to get well so I can get caught up.



I just wanted to add another idea that may work for some.

If you have a skill or talent that you can teach, market it. I teach French to grade-school children. But there are a lot of skills that I find many parents would love for the kids to be able to learn because they never did. Sewing, knitting, light carpentry and woodworking, word processing and EXCEL. Some school districts even offer adult continuing education classes (non-credit) that non-traditional teachers lead (if you're not interested in teaching children).

PinkTink63
01-21-2008, 11:51 PM
Change can- I throw dollar bills in there too. I pick things up at Costco for my brother, because he hates to go there and I go all the time. When he pays me back, I often add that to my can. He also lives in my neighborhood and is a single dad and doesn't cook much, so he and his son end up at my house quite often at dinner time! LOL! He knows that I have the can, so he sometimes puts money in my can. It adds up!

Tax return goes into our vacation savings account. That is the biggest chunk of our vacation fund.

I do an annual yard sale with a few of the neighbors for the past 4 years now. That has been a great money maker for me! I usually make around $1000. One year I only made $600, but I was still really happy about that! That is a big part of our spending money!

I do Mypoints and I always get $25 Rainforest Cafe Gift Cards with my points. That helps out with the food budget.

We don't really eat out much and when we do, not really expensive places.

camdensmom
01-22-2008, 12:03 AM
I sell scrapbook pages on ebay and am proud to say that it has paid for our last three trips.

I also sell things we no longer need on ebay and craigslist.

I coupon as a hobby.

I rebate.

I pay only with cash and collect the change.

I watch my receipts and count my change. I have caught over $30.00 worth of errors since 1/1/08.

Like a previous poster said, we can afford to pay oop for a trip, but only will go with extra money we earn. It makes the trip more rewarding and keeps us on our toes!

deide71
01-22-2008, 01:30 AM
I pick up overtime shifts at work.

I earned an extra $6000 before taxes doing this last year.

douglisa
01-22-2008, 01:58 AM
We are using our tax return and i have done lots of research on how to save $$ @ Disney. I posted some of the things I have found on a couple of my questions I asked.
Lisa

mannasn
01-22-2008, 02:51 AM
Great thread!

Any "found" money we have goes to our fund (whatever we're saving for at the moment, not necessarily Disney) - surveys, rebates, mystery shopping, etc.

I've been doing MyPoints and Coke Rewards too, but haven't cashed out yet. All I do is the e-mail 5 point clicks, so it takes me forever to build up any points. :)

mshrm
01-22-2008, 07:40 AM
I do alot of what the others do... change jar, weekly savings and cutting back. We stop eating out and that covers the weekly donation.

Also I sell blood plasma. If you have a center near you this can be a great way to save without hurting your budget. I get $240 a month for doing this and they put it directly onto a debit card (issued by them). When I go on vacation I usually have quite a chunk on the card.

myAAbatteries&aTD
01-22-2008, 08:38 AM
Our last few trips have been paid for w/ my ebay selling. I don't do that as much anymore, but need to get started for our upcoming trip. The extra money is nice....

We have Disney change banks (both full right now so we're looking for another one). Since we're less than 6 months away, I've started adding bills, too. Hoping for at least $300-$400 this time.....

Disney reward dollars - we use our cc alot and pay it off every month so no interest accrues. Should have $500 here (haven't cashed them in since June 2006).

We'll have a garage sale or 2 before June and will put that aside for the trip...

Craiglist if I can be disciplined enough to save it for Disney....

Grendalynn
01-22-2008, 10:54 AM
...I pay only with cash and collect the change.


....Like a previous poster said, we can afford to pay oop for a trip, but only will go with extra money we earn. It makes the trip more rewarding and keeps us on our toes!

I have recently started paying more with cash than a debit card or checks like i have in the past. We recently had our Checking Account info stolen and counterfeit checks were created. Whoever this was bounced two $1800 checks against us. I was always very good about checking our online banking before, but now I am more aware than ever!! The less money that is in and then out of our account, the better!! We can pay out of pocket as well, no charging for us! Its doable by cutting out frivilous things and less fun money. But come April, its waaay worth every pinched penny!


We are using our tax return and i have done lots of research on how to save $$ @ Disney. We use this money to fall back on our pay for airfare. Also to pay off any extra or big bills that we have received over the year.

Great Thread!!

extremesoccermom
01-22-2008, 11:05 AM
Usually we have a vacation fund and just use that but this year we got hit hard in January. I did really well staying on budget for Chirstmas this year until we decided to buy a new HDTV. We have been wanting one for a few years now and we "had" enough money in the bank but we bought it at Sears with 0% intrest for 12 months. However, when we got the bill it did not show it that way. So we just went ahead and paid it off. Then our house payment went up $100 due to being reassesed this year. Our fuel and food bills went up all the way around. Finally, we had purchased 25 DVC points back in Aug but paper work got lost and it didn't go through until January. (This was already budgeted so we pulled that money out of savings). Then a week last DH's truck engine went out. A new one was $3000 w/o labor. There went the rest of our money.
This year I am going to have to get creative. We need to use our points or rent them out. So we decided to bring my parents with us in Oct for the Food and Wine Festival. My mom and I did this a couple of years ago and LOVED it.
There are a few of the extras that we really want to do so I looked up the prices from last year and added 10% more to that. DD and I have tickets left from our last visit so we wont need those. Just one for DH and if DS18 decides to come he will need one. I have been checking all the discounts sites and determining which ticket I really want to get.
We will need airfare and in the past I have always done well with SWA and Ding.
We would love to try MNSSHP and dinner at Liberty Tree.
To pay for this trip we will use Disney Reward Dollars (181), Discover cash back (60), Mypoints Landry giftcards (150), Cash from all the different survey sites (200), change jar (50 right now) and finally DH and I allow ourselves a certain amount of "blow" money each pay period. What we don't spend in that time frame will now go into an envelope for the trip. We also budget our money based on 2 pay periods a month. When ever we get that extra 3rd paycheck (one will be in Feb and the other in Aug) that money will all go towards the trip assuming we don't have any other surprises along the way.

Deffenm
01-22-2008, 11:26 AM
We have a change jar, I do survey's on pinecone, any rebates I get, and we have money directly deposited in savings account. We don't have a trip planned until 2009 so I have more time to save this time then I have had in the past. We are also going to have the kids ask for Disney Dollars for their Birthday, holidays, etc..

We are working on getting out of debt this year (except for the house) so next year I will have more money to throw towards our vacation fund.

We also have a community garage sale every May. So I will have 2 of these before our trip in 2009.

HayGan
01-22-2008, 11:29 AM
Rewards : Mypoints and coke rewards is paying for July 4th trip to Orlando. I save my tip money when pouring beer that goes into my vacation fund to.

WOW! That is really impressive! How do you earn so much on those? I have earned a bunch on MyPoints over the years but I had no idea you could earn so much on MyCoke Rewards! Any secrets you care to share ;)

In order to save extra money, I do rewards (although haven't had much time to do so lately), change jar, garage sales, summer trip to flea market, craigslist, couponing, rebates, etc. I think that saving money has become my number one hobby behind Disney :)

Traveliz
01-22-2008, 11:32 AM
WOW! That is really impressive! How do you earn so much on those? I have earned a bunch on MyPoints over the years but I had no idea you could earn so much on MyCoke Rewards! Any secrets you care to share ;)

In order to save extra money, I do rewards (although haven't had much time to do so lately), change jar, garage sales, summer trip to flea market, craigslist, couponing, rebates, etc. I think that saving money has become my nuber one hobby behind Disney :)

I wondered the same thing -- I do pretty good on Coke Rewards but don't see how a trip could be financed that way. For myself I was able to get the Simon Visa and turn that into Disney Gift cards to use while at Disney, also got the AMC movie tickets and popcorn coupons from mycokerewards to use while there. Possible to get a one day car rental, but past that would love to hear more ideas on making Coke rewards more profitable re Disney trips.

Liz

LuckyMamaInDE
01-22-2008, 01:05 PM
I sew for $$--mainly window treatments and some upholstering but I'll do other things (hems, alterations) for friends only. I do no advertising as I'm getting business through word-of-mouth (it's been 10 years!) I take as much business as I want to depending on the month and what's going on with the family. Usually that income goes toward the horticulture classes I'm taking. I'll only have two courses this spring semester (which will be paid for by the two chairs next in line for re-upholstering) so the rest of the income will go toward our August trip.

I've recently joined HotCouponWorld and have started couponing seriously. Last week I saved 93% on our groceries! And nothing was junk food but fresh veggies, fresh meat, oatmeal, cereal, cleaners, and other things like deoderant and toothpaste :) I can't wait to see how much I save during this year!

caa1277
01-22-2008, 04:49 PM
I guess I should have said some of the things DW and I do when I posted this, but it's better late than never!

We save change, although neither one of us ever spends much cash thanks to debit cards. We have about $85 in change so far.

I am currently doing MyPoints to earn rewards.

Wife has her own business of cleaning houses and sometimes she takes extras and we set that money aside.

I am going to start selling stuff ebay to hopefully make some extra money from that.

We will probably have a yard sale come sprin/summer time.

There are some great ideas from everyone! If we keep going, we'll all be able to go when we want and it will all be paid for and not hit our budgets hard! :banana:

ZPT1022
01-22-2008, 09:41 PM
I do this with my computer skills. You would be amaze how many people pay me take virus off the computers and set-up there computers. Sometimes I have so many people that I have put them on hold. I have 30 calls last week aone just fix people computers but had turn it down because I am sick. Those 30 calls have turn into 100 so I so far back it's shame. Another lady ask to hook up her HDTV to DVD play.

Just need to get well so I can get caught up.

how did you get the word out about this?? DH would be awesome at something like this, he has all sorts of computer certifications and he is really good with electronics but it seems that aside from being the one everyone in the family calls to fix their stuff, he's not really doing anything with it. While we don't mind helping family (within reason) and he is certainly the hit of his grandmother's retirement community, it would be nice to think that he could make a little bit of money off of this

tae1218
01-22-2008, 10:42 PM
I have a certain amount transfered to an ING account every week for our Disney trips. It makes it really easy to save for our vacations.

kellijo
01-23-2008, 01:09 AM
I'm planning on taking a long-term substitute teaching job (Feb-April) to pay for our trip in May '08. When those middle-schoolers and early mornings start to get me down, I'll just think of our upcoming trip (and of course spent some time here at the DIS boards) and I'll feel better instantly. It will be a GREAT motivation!:thumbsup2

In the Fort Worth ISD? My husband and I are also teacher and we live in the Fort Worth area so I was just wondering!

I do mypoints, surveys, pinecone & machine embroidery on various items. We currently have $600 on our Discover cash back that we will also use. I need to imput some more reviews on Sharedreviews and get the courage up to do some Expo reviews.

caa1277
01-24-2008, 07:29 AM
I've recently joined HotCouponWorld and have started couponing seriously. Last week I saved 93% on our groceries! And nothing was junk food but fresh veggies, fresh meat, oatmeal, cereal, cleaners, and other things like deoderant and toothpaste :) I can't wait to see how much I save during this year!

How in the world did you save 93%?!?! :confused3
Unless my math is bad, which it could be, that's like spending $7 for $100 worth of groceries!!!!

WOW!!!

Any tips on how did that?????

momof2disneybabies
01-24-2008, 09:19 AM
We leave in 3 weeks for our Disney trip, woo hoo! It's costing us $3100 for a week there.

We've been planning it for 8 months. I have a part time job at home and I earn about $300 a month. I've had it since October, and I've been putting all my paychecks towards it. Plus you know how you get two 'extra' paychecks a year (in months with 5 weekends?), well we put $500 of one into our Disney fund and then dh got a $500 bonus too. So that's $2500.

$100 from Sunshine Rewards
$300 from stuff I sold on Craigslist/ebay (baby stuff mostly)
$50 Expo Tv
$30 Fusion Cash
$30 Ebates
$100 from dh's grandparents for our anniversary
= $3110
Plus we have a bag of change we're taking that has $50+ in it.

I'm trying to come up with a little extra to have, so I'm selling a standing mirror I have for $50, some extra pullups (new in package of course :rotfl2:) I had leftover from my oldest daughter, and we're trying to squeeze a little extra out of my dh's last paycheck before we go. I'd love to have an extra $100 or so just to blow!

It's my parents 30th anniversary and it's their first time going to Disneyworld, so I hope to buy them something special! :love:

Jennifer

jstbcuz
01-24-2008, 09:40 AM
We do some of the things that others do too. We have the DW popcorn bucket. IT is full right now, so have started filling the other one. It just has silver coins in it. We have another for pennies. I think the 1st one had almost $230 in it.

Someone asked about aluminum cans. We save them and cash them in and here in KS we are getting 50 cents a pound. I figure it doesnt take long to throw them in a sack and I drive right by the recycling place so why not? Every little bit counts.

We also throw any found money into the fund, have garage sales, and I do ebay some especially close to Christmas.

But we also have a paper route. It is a "thrifty paper" that comes out once a week. We throw 700 of them. Sometimes you have inserts and get paid more, but they come on Mondays and you have to insert (if there are any), roll and throw them. Also bag them if bad weather. We get paid anywhere from $120-$150 a month to do this. This is mainly how we fund our trips as ALL of this money goes towards the fund.

I love hearing all the ideas. Keep them coming.

jstbcuz
01-24-2008, 09:47 AM
Just to be clear, we get the papers on Monday, insert, roll, and then deliver them on Tuesday. Most of the time the kids have activities and so it is 10 PM or so before DH and I can deliver them, but we just keep thinking ok........this is funding the trip.

GoingtoWDWagain
01-24-2008, 04:53 PM
Jar of change too......it really adds up. I also begin saving for the next trip as soon as I get back from a trip. I go during my birthday and forbid DH to buy me anything as this is what I enjoy most, so instead of a gift we save and stay at BC, Poly, WL, etc.... that itself is a gift.

Decemeber 2007 was our first holiday trip ever. To afford it, each child got three gifts on Christmas morning from "Santa" normally we spend about $1000.00 on the three children, this year we stuck to a strict/tight budget, we did not participate in any gift exchanging with the extended family and co-workers at work. I stood out of the malls during the holiday season to avoid being tempted, instead I purchased what I needed and left the stores ASAP. Instead of shopping we did things at home, making a gingerbread house, watching Christmas movies, visited holiday exhibits at the Botanical Garden, Zoo, etc.....as this was less $$$ money spent then on shopping for gifts. All of this helped us to make our first holiday trip and we learned that Christmas doesn't have to be about shopping and buying gifts, it's about the quailty of time spent together. So, we plan on doing this again this December ;) Holidays in WDW = magical memories = priceless