View Full Version : Envelopes to keep you on budget

06-16-2004, 06:51 PM
Do any of you make up envelopes for each day there and have money for souvenirs, lunches, meals, etc...?

I didn't know if this is how you keep your daily budget or you just wing it, spend the money and hope you don't go over by too much.

06-16-2004, 07:05 PM
No. I only make envelopes for the mousekeeping tips, the cruise tips, and cruise parking.

I also pay off whatever I can before I leave.

Then I just wing it but we have always come in very close to what I thought we'd spend.

06-16-2004, 07:14 PM
You made an idea pop into my head! :idea:

With my handy-dandy computer and printer, I can put (Disney) images on ordinary envelopes, making one or more for each portion of our budget. I don't know why this never occurred to me before. :wizard:

06-16-2004, 07:20 PM
I just did this for my DD's spending money. Since she's 6, she doesn't really have a great concept of how much things cost. Each day she got a different envelope out of the safe & cunted how much was in it. That way she know how much she would have to spend. If she had any $ left over from the day before, she was allowed to add that in. It saved a lot of "I want that" tantrums in the middle of stores!

06-16-2004, 08:31 PM
i have been using envelopes for each day on all our vacations. before we go i pre plan and budget everything right down to the penny. depending on where we'll be each day gets a set amount which includes eating, souviners, and extras. sometimes we have a few dollars left over and it goes into the next day. my kids know that once the envelope runs out the money for that day is gone. this has worked out very well over the years and i really enjoy setting them up so we know where we stand on spending. i also do separate envelopes for room costs and tips, gas and going home dollars. i couldn't imagine just spending as you go along. we'd be broke after 2 days.

06-16-2004, 08:57 PM
Glad to hear that it does work doing it that way. I made my mousekeeping envelopes on the computer as well as our luggage tags.

Then I thought about the daily envelope, especially for souvenirs. That way, I wouldn't go way overboard. Looks like my computers going to get another workout...

06-16-2004, 09:08 PM
i use daily envelopes too. It does work on keeping track money out reciepts in . plus i jot down any noteworthy items on the envelope too so i can write my trip reports. Michelle

06-17-2004, 08:23 AM
I've been using envelopes for years now. It's a great way to keep track and like other posters have written, the kids really like it. They know exactly what they have. I prepare all my tip envelopes in advance also.

We just did our first cruise though and was a little harder. No cash on board. We had envelopes for shopping in ports though.

06-17-2004, 08:29 AM
Originally posted by TammiMcMan
We just did our first cruise though and was a little harder. No cash on board. We had envelopes for shopping in ports though.

You can pay them with cash or DD at the end though instead of charging so that is why I make Tip/parking envelopes.

06-17-2004, 08:49 AM
Yes, I used envelopes with cash in them for tips and parking. I also had an envelope with dollar bills for porters and room service. I just meant that on the ship, it was a little tougher to keep track of our individual spending. With the envelopes, you know exactly what you have. On the cruise, you either have to print out your bill on a daily basis or keep track of all the little receipts. Not impossible to do, just easier having those envelopes around. There really weren't any surprises on the cruise anyway. We had already planned what excursions we were taking and factored in pictures, soda sticker and what not. I was within $100 of my budget when the bill came.

06-17-2004, 08:52 AM
Great idea!

I do have my mousekeeping tips done and sealed. I will now be making envelopes for some of the other things. Like the Hoop De Doo Musicalk Review

Also daily food and spending envelopes.

Oh this is going to be fun!

06-17-2004, 09:11 AM
I've always used envelopes for the easily overlooked expenses any time I travel!

Housekeeping (Mousekeeping at WDW), local airport transportatin or parking, general gratuities (usually start with $20 in $1 bills and replenish throughout the trip), tolls, parking & fuel for rental car, shows & special event tickets not purchased in advance (WDW is the only place where I purchase tickets in advance, and then only park tickets), etc.

Keep in mind though, that I usually travel solo and don't have to worry about what others are spending, so it's easy for me to stay on budget. I don't buy souveniers, but usually have some funds budgeted for gifts for others. The gifts have to meet specific criteria, so I frequently don't buy anything while I'm away, unless it's really unusual and easily transported.

Beyond that, I carry some cash, but primarily traveler's cheques. It's the same principle as at home--cash disappears faster! :)

Taja http://www.click-smilies.de/sammlung0304/natur/nature-smiley-016.gif

06-17-2004, 09:37 AM
Just a warning.

There is thread on the DVC board about a family that claims $1200 was stolen out of thier room safe. (Of course the thief is also suppose to have left a diamond necklace and video camera.....) I would recommend travelers checks for any substantail sums of money. There is nothing Disney or anyone else is going to do if you lose cash.

06-17-2004, 12:49 PM
Instead of daily envelopes I use a coupon organizer that I picked up at Walmart. It has the little tabs you can write on so I have each day we will be there and the kids disney dollars. I am putting each days money for food, souvenir, food gift certificates and tips in their appropriate section.

06-17-2004, 03:02 PM
I've been doing the envelope method for years, and it works perfectly!

I do a food shopping envelope, each day we are there, souvies, mousekeeping and tip envelopes. Every night I "reset" the backpack for the next day, removing the envelope and it's contents and putting the new envelope in it's place. I take out the $5 mousekeeping and put it on the bedside table so I won't forget, too.

I save all the time for whatever Disney adventure is coming up next, and convert money to TC as it's saved, so it's as safe in my house as it will be at WDW! The only envelopes that have actual cash in them are food shopping, tips, and first and last days (travelling).

Whatever is left when we leave is paid on the rental car (the only thing I can't pre-pay). One year I had $342 left from all of the envelopes, so my rental car was paid cash when it was turned in. My goal is to charge little or nothing every trip.

06-17-2004, 10:00 PM
When we went last year my mom was on a tight budget. I had her seperate her money by days. Anything left could be carried over to the next day. Worked out great. When do the kids become the parent?

06-18-2004, 12:52 PM
Ok, I'm considering now doing more envelopes than just the maids' tips.

I'm not sure just how many I should make. I normally bring $300 in cash, $300 in Disney Dollars and put the rest as a payment on my CC to cover things like things charged to the room (meals etc...), the rental car, gas etc...

I have a spreadsheet. I normally put $50 to $100 per day spending money (depending on what kind of trip it is) which covers souvenirs, unexpected tips or expenses, some snacks, groceries, gas...I was thinking of putting that money in an envelope.

I was also thinking of puttng the first and last day travel expenses in 2 envelopes.

What else can I do? I will have at least one meal a day, sometimes 2, then mostly counter service and maybe one room service. What should I do about these things? Charge to the room as usual?

I'm a bit confused since I've never done any envelopes but tips before.

thanks for any tips or advice on what I should make envelopes for.

06-18-2004, 01:43 PM
Hi here is what my envelope looks like ( they are the small white ones ) for each day its list what we are doing and how much is in the envelope and any inportant conf #'s On the back i keep track of the real cost and tuck reciepts inside and any extra is put into the next days envelope or just saved till the end -- Hope this helps (oh i have a seperate on just for tips ) Michelle

DATE 10-28-04 concord trailways at 5am -6:55 Conf #
Airtran 9:00-1:56 stop (newport news) Conf #
National Rental car Conf #
Tropical Palms Conf #
Chef Mickey Dinner 6:35pm Conf #

B = 20 airport
L/s = 20 on way to TP Extra Expense 20
D = 115 @Chef Mickeys

06-18-2004, 04:38 PM
I used the envelope system on the last trip and it went a lot more smoothly than the first trip when I did not (or any vacation when I didn't). Now no matter where we go we use the envelope system.

My envelopes are set up like this:

I use the large letter size envelopes and I usually decorate with Mickey clipart
Day 1
July 10, 2004
Lunch: The Kitchen (Hard Rock Hotel) $50 GC
Dinner: Pop Century Food Court 3 Q & C Vouchers
Snacks $20
Valet/tips $10
DH & I Misc. Money $50
DD's Spending Money $40
Mouscellaneous $25
Tolls $4

Any time money is needed I put it in a smaller envelope which is labeled and then goes into the larger one for that day.

I keep all receipts in corresponding envelopes, and make any notes for things that don't come with receipts. I know that I have overbudgeted on a lot , but if I come back with extra I'll put in the bank for next years trip. We usually leave Rental car money in checking account and just pay with debit card at the end of the trip ( I do like the idea of using any extra to just pay cash for rental car, good tip PattiPB).

I usually have travelers checks in most envelopes. The only cash that I have is tolls & tips.


06-18-2004, 04:48 PM
Thanks so much for sharing the way to divide out the envelopes!

My fear is that I'll loose all these envelopes! Do you transport them in your fanny pack or backpack?

Thanks agian!

PS...do any of you know if you rent through National and use their Emerald Aisle feature if you can still bypass the counter when dropping off the rental if you pay cash or debit card?? I know I cannot book it with a debit card but thought I could pay that way upon return but I still want to bypass the counter.

06-18-2004, 05:30 PM
i rubber band them all together then they go into the hotel safe until the day of use.. sorry don't know about nationals EA

06-18-2004, 06:14 PM
I also keep them rubberbanded together and only take out the envelope for that day. On our first travel day I have a travel purse that fits the envelopes perfectly. I don't have to unzip or unsnap to get drivers license or anything.

One important thing that I do whenever we go to the airport is to make sure DH goes through security first, then DS(15), then DD's and finally me. I always want to make sure that when my purse goes through that someone in our party is waiting on the other side to grab it just in case I get held up. I seen once on a special how theives will wait and watch to see that you put your purse on conveyor & then they have a partner on the other side grab your purse as they get held up at security for some reason. This of course was pre 911 when just anyone could get through, but better safe than sorry.



06-18-2004, 09:30 PM
I do the envelopes too. I usually budget a certain amount a day and put it into envelopes, 1 for everyday we will be there. I always have extra just to be on the safe side, but so far have never had to use it. We usually have leftovers and we just add it on to the next day. I think it works out great.

06-18-2004, 10:24 PM
I like the idea of having another member of your party already through screening to stay with your purse while you're going through the metal detector. I'm usually solo, so it doesn't work, and I can't get security people to understand that if something happens to my purse I have no money, no ID, no tickets, zip!

Last year they separated my friend and I at MCO, and although I removed every bit of metal (including my shoes, which did not contain metal!), I still was beeped and had to be wanded. I was yelling at her to get her attention so she could stay with my purse. The security people were just a wee bit annoyed! Sorry, I know you're doing your job, but my life could be stolen while you're doing it!

Taja http://www.click-smilies.de/sammlung0304/natur/nature-smiley-016.gif

06-20-2004, 07:20 PM
I am going to make envelopes for all our trip. I did one for the Hoop De Doo. Once I have $100 in DD saved. I will seal it. I will then start to save for other things. Like Daily Spending for food and spending. I know we want to go to special places like Fulton's Crabhouse. So I will save for that seperate.

I love the idea.

I even have an envelope for traveling. So that I have what we need on hand while we are on our way and on our way back home. This stops me from digging money out all the time.

Keeps me getting my disney fix too!

06-20-2004, 08:10 PM
I spent much of the weekend making my envelopes. :D I made one large envelope for each day, with the day and park scheduled, then placed smaller envelopes inside for each expense (hotel, tickets, meals, etc.). I think this method will work well for me, saving in smaller bits. When the amount needed is reached the envelope will be sealed.