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LegoMom3
08-15-2005, 09:41 PM
Ok, forgive me if this has been discussed previously, but I read so many great threads about folks who go to WDW at least once every year. HOW do you all do it?! I can't imagine there are that many "wealthy" people out there, so there has to be something to it. We don't use plastic much (I'm sure some folks rack up big bills going to Disney that way). I would love to get there once a year but it seems to take us at least a couple years to be able to save the money. We are a family of 5, and because the rooms that are large enough for us are much too expensive, we will tent camp at FW and drive down (airfare for 5 is out of the question, and besides I hate to fly!).

I'd just love to know how you all do it. TIA!

raysnkaysmom
08-15-2005, 09:50 PM
My very first trip was half due to the fact I worked at TDS..so I was free, and I had 2 complimentery tickets, and my little one was under 3... Then..I got 50% off my hotel...
Soo...then I was addicted. My 2nd trip...again, I had 2 free tickets.. it was just the last trip that we saved for... Basically, took 2 paychecks and just went... dealt with the bills when we got home.
Now...I'm working on paying on a cruise.. I got a vacation check from the job I quit, so it was 'extra' money... now I'm making payments :) I'm the type of person who will say 'oh well...I'll worry about the bills when I get home" and go with it :) I've been known to have my phone cut off or been late on the car payment... but HEY...> I WENT TO DISNEYWORLD :)
I wouldn't recommend this mentality...LOL

dznyacct
08-15-2005, 10:01 PM
Here are a few of the ways that we get to WDW often.

* joined DVC in 1999 (why, oh, why we didn't do this sooner I don't know!)
* having breakfast and a few other meals in our DVC villa (with a 15 year old and his best friend this can really add up to be quite a savings!!)
* buy an Annual Pass and get at least 2 trips out of it
* use my flex spending reimbursements from work for vacation savings
* have a vacation savings account at my credit union and have $$ automatically deposited there every payday (after doing this for 10 years, I really don't miss the $$ at all)
* save all my change for vacation (easy to do and usually adds up to ~ $500/year)
* any "found" $$ goes in the vacation fund (garage sale, clothing resale shop, rebates, birthday $$, anything received that is unexpected), I paid for my son's best friend to join us on a 7 night DCL cruise last summer with my "found" $$!
* MOTIVATION!! I have NEVER been more motivated to save for anything like our WDW trips. Our family time together is very important and NOTHING recharges my soul like a trip to Disney World. I always have another trip in the planning stages, which makes going home not quite as painful.


I'm sure some other DIS members will pass on more valuable tips!

Colinsmom
08-15-2005, 10:03 PM
I have fairly regular conferences in the Orlando area, so our last two trips (plus the upcoming September trips) have been in conjunction with a meeting. That means that my airfare plus the hotel during the conference (longer if I save airfare by staying over a Saturday night) is paid for, and so is my transfer to and from the airport. And some of the parking expense back home (or the full taxi cost to and from home).

We are staying longer this trip, though, because we cleared out our basement and sold a LOT on eBay last winter. Literally our whole trip was paid for by these eBay funds, and our basement is a little emptier than it was! Not sure how we'll raise funds for the next Disney trip; there's still a lot in our basement!

Lyn5
08-15-2005, 10:04 PM
I think I have been doing a lot of the little things that add up. We live far away, so I try to start early and watch for deals, freebies and specials, especially on airfare. I also started to doing some part-time work here and there in my profession and I put some of that money aside for our vacation. I have a Disney Visa and so I use the rewards card for our souvenirs. I have been reading the budget boards and other boards for inspiration on saving money, sometimes it is hard to keep focused. My children and I decorated an old butter container into a change jar...they have enjoyed this greatly and it helps to have them get inspired to save. Also, a big savings for me is that DH doesn't like to eat breakfast, so I usually pack juice, water, instant oatmeal, dry cereal, etc. and when we get to the hotel I can just make DS and DD breakfast in the room while we get ready for the day. I purchase milk from the hotel store and keep it in the fridge.

crisi
08-15-2005, 10:59 PM
There are a suprising number of "well off" people here.

There are people who live close.

There are people who make a lot of other sacrifices to feed their Disney hobby.

There are people who are excellent bargain hunters, saving money before Disney with couponing for things like groceries, saving money at Disney through a number of deals - from DVC to staying offsite to packing in meals.

There are people who aren't a family of five, but a married couple with two incomes and no kids.

A surprising number of people here have NO debt, not even a mortgage.

There are people who do all of the above.

Its hard to compare yourself with someone who makes six figures. Its hard to compare yourself to someone who lives near Atlanta, a long, but drivable drive. Its hard for someone with three kids to compare themselves to someone whose only children have fur (or whose kids are long grown). And its hard to compare yourself to someone without a mortgage.

So don't compare. Go as often as you wish and can afford to in a style you can comfortably afford. Make the sacrifices you feel comfortable making. Learn the tricks that you can apply - like couponing, or getting the most out of an AP.

mrsgus06
08-15-2005, 11:16 PM
We are a family of 8. We go often (3 or 4 times a year) so we buy annual passes and renew them within the 30 day deadline, saving about $50.00 a ticket. Due to the large family and the fact that we are 8 hours away, and drive there, we bought a camper instead of paying for 2 rooms or a villa, plus we go camping locally at least once a month. We usually eat every meal at the camper, saving tons of money. My trip this summer to Ft. Wilderness was 8 weeks long. I started last year booking my stay and paying a little each month. With the ap discount I ended up paying about $55.00 a night. The camper has a washer/dryer combo so I saved more money by not having to take clothes to the laundry. Santa delivered a golf cart to us for Christmas so that also saves money. We don't have any other debt except the house (pay cash for everything so says Dave Ramsey) so basically, we only buy groceries (super walmart on 535) and the site. Basically, my 8 weeks cost about $3,300.00 (plus groceries and gas). I have read that people pay that much for one week at the other resorts along with having to buy plane tickets. I don't know where you live, but you may want to look into purchasing a used pop up? Tent camping is nice, but a pop up keeps you off the ground. We had a pop up 4 years ago but have since traded up to a fifth wheel. Plus you can go camping on the weekends locally. My kids love to camp. :love:

Nik's Mom
08-15-2005, 11:24 PM
We normally go every 2 years to give us a chance to save. But we went in May and are going again next year to celebrate our 10th anniversary on DCL. Well, we can't be so close to WDW without visiting, so....
Anyway, we stay deluxe resorts, but scrimp on other things. Like, we keep ps's to a minimum. We have a bowl of cereal in the hotel room before we head to the parks. We have a set amount for souveniers. We use hotel codes, car rental codes and watch for cheap airfare. The trip we take next year will probably be our last for several years.

bettyann29
08-15-2005, 11:33 PM
We dont go to WDW all that often.. its ended up coming to about once every 2 to 3 years, but we do go on cruises every year and have been averaging about 2 a year.. we do one cruise as a family vacation and then one cruise without the kids.. there are a total of 5 kids ranging from 7 to 17-- we would probably squeeze in another one if I had more vacation time.. my boyfriend gets approx 30 days vacation a year compared to my 13 days..

Personally I make my vacation time a priority.. I do without alot of other things that others may not want to not have because family time and vacationing are very important to me.. We dont go out to eat very often, usually eat at home.. we dont go out much.. we pretty much only go to the movies when I get free passes at work.. We do normally buy Six Flags passes as our entertainment for the kids.. I get discounted pricing on the season passes and we go about once or twice every 2 weeks and sometimes more.. Its great money spent as the kids know that this is what they get to do in between vacations and the passes have wayyyyy more than paid for themselves.. we dont rent movies.. I recently downgraded our cable as we were paying for premium and never watch it.. we did just trade our expedition in for a newer one this year and we bought a new car, which means that for the next few years we probably wont be vacationing as much till I can get these paid down.. I work as much overtime as I can.. I do some ebaying, garage saleing, I do flexible spending thru my work for medical expenses and turn my receipts in to get the money back.. I save a little each check (it adds up), I save change which also adds up, I save cans and turn that into change to go into my change jar, I coupon, I do rebates on things that I already use or would like to try.. we also get good income tax returns.. I hear alot of slack about letting the government hold my money, but it works for me.. I have the most amount I can taken out of my check each week and then at income tax time get a large return.. If I had it changed where I had that money avl on my check then I would be more likely to spend it and I prefer it this way.. I also get a bonus check at work each qtr.. its not alot but it adds up... I also get an additional bonus check thru work each February, again not a huge amt, but it adds up.. My boyfriend was getting pretty big bonus checks thru his employer each spring.. last year they were sold to another company and we thought the bonus checks were long gone, but found out last month that this new company also does bonuses, and they get theirs in October.. so he should get one this October!! :banana: Not sure yet how much those average with this company, but will be happy with anything..

I dont think it necessarily means that you have to have money to go to wdw once a year or more.. it just means that those people either do just have the money or they find ways to do what they love.. Me and my daughter are going to wdw in a few weeks and are staying at ASMo.. some of the people who stay at the higher priced resorts could probably go more often if they went to a cheaper resort but that is their choice..

Most of our vacations are paid for ahead of time and every now and then may bring a credit card just in case or as in the last cruise we went on I wanted to splurge on a piece of Tanzanite jewelry in Cozumel, so I did , but normally we save our money by the above methods..

pearlieq
08-15-2005, 11:35 PM
There are a suprising number of "well off" people here.

There are people who live close.

There are people who make a lot of other sacrifices to feed their Disney hobby.

There are people who are excellent bargain hunters, saving money before Disney with couponing for things like groceries, saving money at Disney through a number of deals - from DVC to staying offsite to packing in meals.

There are people who aren't a family of five, but a married couple with two incomes and no kids.

A surprising number of people here have NO debt, not even a mortgage.

There are people who do all of the above.

Its hard to compare yourself with someone who makes six figures. Its hard to compare yourself to someone who lives near Atlanta, a long, but drivable drive. Its hard for someone with three kids to compare themselves to someone whose only children have fur (or whose kids are long grown). And its hard to compare yourself to someone without a mortgage.

So don't compare. Go as often as you wish and can afford to in a style you can comfortably afford. Make the sacrifices you feel comfortable making. Learn the tricks that you can apply - like couponing, or getting the most out of an AP.

Exactly what I was going to say, but you said it better.

For the record, put us down as two income, no kids, DVC owning, bargain hunting folks who would rather live on ramen than give up vacations. :teeth:

ThreeMusketeers
08-15-2005, 11:55 PM
There are a suprising number of "well off" people here.

There are people who live close.

There are people who make a lot of other sacrifices to feed their Disney hobby.

There are people who are excellent bargain hunters, saving money before Disney with couponing for things like groceries, saving money at Disney through a number of deals - from DVC to staying offsite to packing in meals.

There are people who aren't a family of five, but a married couple with two incomes and no kids.

A surprising number of people here have NO debt, not even a mortgage.

There are people who do all of the above.

Its hard to compare yourself with someone who makes six figures. Its hard to compare yourself to someone who lives near Atlanta, a long, but drivable drive. Its hard for someone with three kids to compare themselves to someone whose only children have fur (or whose kids are long grown). And its hard to compare yourself to someone without a mortgage.

So don't compare. Go as often as you wish and can afford to in a style you can comfortably afford. Make the sacrifices you feel comfortable making. Learn the tricks that you can apply - like couponing, or getting the most out of an AP.


Well Said!

We are a family of 3, my hubby is in his last year of school..getting his Masters in Accounting..and I am a SAHM, I sell things on ebay. Save change, cut coupons and don't go to Target or Walmart nearly as much as I did the first year I was home...LOL..learned that lesson quick!! :rotfl2: But we take a large vacation once a year and a few small ones. Now that DD is old enough we will take her to Disney probobly once every two years...and take a beach or national park vacation inbtwn. We have a Disney Cruise planned for 2006 though... :earboy2: ...okay, so non Disney Trip..in 2007...I swear!!! :rolleyes1

AlexTina
08-16-2005, 12:23 AM
There are a suprising number of "well off" people here.

There are people who live close.

There are people who make a lot of other sacrifices to feed their Disney hobby.

There are people who are excellent bargain hunters, saving money before Disney with couponing for things like groceries, saving money at Disney through a number of deals - from DVC to staying offsite to packing in meals.

There are people who aren't a family of five, but a married couple with two incomes and no kids.

A surprising number of people here have NO debt, not even a mortgage.

There are people who do all of the above.

Its hard to compare yourself with someone who makes six figures. Its hard to compare yourself to someone who lives near Atlanta, a long, but drivable drive. Its hard for someone with three kids to compare themselves to someone whose only children have fur (or whose kids are long grown). And its hard to compare yourself to someone without a mortgage.

So don't compare. Go as often as you wish and can afford to in a style you can comfortably afford. Make the sacrifices you feel comfortable making. Learn the tricks that you can apply - like couponing, or getting the most out of an AP.


Very well said! We have been going to Disney every year for a while now and this year we went in May and are going again in September to celebrate DD's 4th Birthday (with an AP room rate). We always stay at the Poly but are going to try the GF this time around. Normally we only take one big vacation a year and a couple of small ones to visit family. My DH is an Electrical Engineer and I was an accountant before DS was born back in December at which time I became a stay at home mom. We only go out to eat once a week sometimes once every two weeks, DH usually takes his lunch with him to work , and DD and I will go to McDonald's for a happy meal about 2 times a month and then that's it, we make dinner at home almost every night. I don't spend a lot on gas anymore either since I am at home with the kids and DH rides a motorcycle to work which gets around 45 miles a gallon so gas is not a big expense for us other than that I shop around, I don't buy everything I want when I want it like I used to when I was working and I'm always looking for a deal. I sell tons of stuff on Ebay which I buy wholesale and usually wind up doubling or tripling my money. That's it we make it work so basically you have to figure out what works for your family, 1 trip a year or 1 trip every 3 years.

Tina

AlaskaMOM
08-16-2005, 01:12 AM
Ok, forgive me if this has been discussed previously, but I read so many great threads about folks who go to WDW at least once every year. HOW do you all do it?! I can't imagine there are that many "wealthy" people out there, so there has to be something to it. We don't use plastic much (I'm sure some folks rack up big bills going to Disney that way). I would love to get there once a year but it seems to take us at least a couple years to be able to save the money. We are a family of 5, and because the rooms that are large enough for us are much too expensive, we will tent camp at FW and drive down (airfare for 5 is out of the question, and besides I hate to fly!).

I'd just love to know how you all do it. TIA!

I think you have a misconception about all the wealthy people who take trips once a year. There are still plenty of us who go every few years, because of family size, travel distance, or a slew of other reasons. Our family of 5 for instance has to also get larger rooms to fit all of us, we have never been to a value :grouphug: (it just won't fit all of us) And we also have to travel a far distance (there's NO way we could drive, it would take us 7-10 days to get there). So that being said, we a family of 5 who lives in Alaska only go to Disney about every 3 years!! I would love :love: :love: :love: to go more often, but am unable. That is where these boards come into play, I live vicariously through others trip reports and stories awaiting my next trip. So it's okay to go only every couple of years and make the most of the time when you're there! :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: and then come home and live on the precious memories and the excitement of planning the next trip a couple years later.

Kimkimba
08-16-2005, 01:13 AM
Since the birth of my 3rd child, I've been a SAHM and I have a self-employed dh whose income varies. Yearly Disney vacations aren't an option, but we do go on vacation somewhere every year.

I Ebay all the time (Powerseller), I cut and color my own hair and bite my own nails :rotfl2: . I drive a 10 year old mini van with almost 200,000 miles on it :cheer2: (I'm doing a cheer in hoping the van keeps going).

Growing up, my parents weren't rich - my mom was a SAHM (she had 6 children) and my dad was a farmer who moved to provide better for his family - he was a self taught mechanic who worked his way up for the same company for over 30 years. WE ALWAYS TOOK A VACATION EVERY SUMMER. I can't tell you what I got at Christmastime and for birthdays, but I will always have those awesome memories of our family vacations.

My oldest is 16 and I know she fondly remembers every vacation we have taken; but she probably can't tell you what she received last Christmas.

For me, it's about making memories. And even though my 2 yo probably won't remember this Disney trip, she will still have the memories through all the pics we take.

grlpwrd
08-16-2005, 01:33 AM
There are a suprising number of "well off" people here.

There are people who live close.

There are people who make a lot of other sacrifices to feed their Disney hobby.

There are people who are excellent bargain hunters, saving money before Disney with couponing for things like groceries, saving money at Disney through a number of deals - from DVC to staying offsite to packing in meals.

There are people who aren't a family of five, but a married couple with two incomes and no kids.

A surprising number of people here have NO debt, not even a mortgage.

There are people who do all of the above.

Its hard to compare yourself with someone who makes six figures. Its hard to compare yourself to someone who lives near Atlanta, a long, but drivable drive. Its hard for someone with three kids to compare themselves to someone whose only children have fur (or whose kids are long grown). And its hard to compare yourself to someone without a mortgage.

So don't compare. Go as often as you wish and can afford to in a style you can comfortably afford. Make the sacrifices you feel comfortable making. Learn the tricks that you can apply - like couponing, or getting the most out of an AP.

::yes::

We are a family of 7 and we plan for vacations. Vacations, like savings and retirement, are a priority for us.

Yes, don't compare - just get there. :wizard:

rockyroad
08-16-2005, 01:33 AM
what crisi said.

Plus there are different levels of "doing" WDW.

We do it modestly.

Drive down, not fun, but the only way we can afford it. Breakfast in the room, try to go off season, carry in granola bars and water. I don't buy junk, cokes, or ice cream in the park. I don't eat in the food courts....but don't feel deprived. :) I don't go to WDW to eat, so it really doesn't bother me. I remember that...yes, calories do still count at WDW and that perhaps some of these people must come from places with very few opportunities to experience the great modestly priced restaurants that I kind of take for granted at home.

I also came to the realization that some people come from areas of the country where the cost of living, and the wages, are much higher. So when they vacation, their money goes much further at WDW than my hard earned little Memphis money does.

Glendamax
08-16-2005, 07:44 AM
I am so glad that LegoMom posted this thread! When I found this site, I wondered how people (especially w/kids) were able to go multiple times a year, AND be able to stay at the deluxe resorts. I am single with no kids, and still find it expensive to go. I average about one WDW trip every 2 to 3 years. I would LOVE to stay at a deluxe resort, but I can't imagine shelling out that much money. So thanks to those of you who have told how you do it - especially those of you with children. Because someday, I would like to have a "deluxe" Disney experience as well.

So keep posting! I'm taking notes! :listen:

beattyfamily
08-16-2005, 07:58 AM
Our first trip in 1998 we charged everything! :blush:

We waited till 2000 to go again and this time we didn't charge all of it; we saved money; tax refund, change etc...

Since our 2000 trip, DH got a big promotion several years ago and we started putting $200 a month aside for our vacations, we always get back a few thousand in our tax refunds and apply about $1500 to our vacation, we save extra change, we apply all rebates, refunds, all unexpected money to our Disney account. Now I also have the Disney Visa reward dollars ($225) to apply to our trip.

We joined DVC in 2001 which has made us able to stay in Deluxe. We have AAA and Entertainment card to get discounts. We buy the AP to save on passes in the long run. It isn't always easy but it's a priority for us.

If we didn't invest in DVC, we wouldn't be able to afford the deluxe resorts.

We go once or twice a year, but the second "extra" trip is a budget trip, without DH, with APs and DVC room so the only expenses for that trip are airfare and food and without DH, it's even cheaper.

Everyone is so different, it's really hard to compare; IMHO, it's like comparing apples to oranges in some cases.

We have 2 DDs, ages 6 and 9. We've gone 7 times so far (DH 6 times) and we're going two times this year thanks to low airfare, no DH, and free dining!!!

3DisneyKids
08-16-2005, 08:30 AM
I am so glad that you started this thread...when I started joining various Disney sites (here and others) I noticed how people signed off--with a list of all their trips. And it seemed like the majority went to WDW at least every year, if not multiple times each year, even if they lived out of state!

I thought I must be missing something huge...there must be a way to do this a lot cheaper. So, I started e-mailing and PM'ing people and just asking how they could go so freequently and what was I missing.

Basically, it all comes down to choices...instead of getting new carpeting for the house, they go to WDW. Instead of ---fill in the blank with whatever else you spend money on--they go to WDW.

This is something we are struggling with. I woiuld like to vacation more (to WDW and other places to..sorry LOL) and DH likes to put money into our house. Of course, we have savings, etc. as our first priority, but when it comes to "extra" money, I would like to vacation, and he would like to do home improvement.

My thinking is that when kids are grown, they won't look back and remember how clean the house was or how nice of a couch we had...they'll remember the things we did with them and the places we went as a family.

We are also a family of five, and the best thing we do to save money and make it more affordable is to rent points from a DVC member. We have always done this through the boards and without actually knowing the person and have never had a problem. very good and honest people. This allows us to stay in a 1-bedroom (which is FINE for a family of 5...all 3 kids sleep in the king bed and DH and I sleep on the queen pull-out in the living room). This costs $160/night (OKW during value season) and that includes tax, etc. Total price.

We fly as we live so far away, so we often go in early Feb. or late Sept. Fares a very cheap. Right now, we have airfair bokings for $90 per person round trip. Going during value season is a great way to save, I think. Disney is always running some special (like free dining!) plus the crowds are low. Believeitor not, we have not waited for more than 12 minutes for any ride for the last couple of trips because we went off-season.

But, at the end of the day, it is about choices...how do you wish to spend the money you have after you've paid the bills? You can eat out each week (or multiple times)...you can take the kids to McD's often...or you can go to WDW.

Here is how I helped my friend go to WDW who said she couldn't afford it...

She has kids the same ages as mine (6, 4.5 and 3). When she picked the two younger ones up from pre-school at noon, she would automatically go to McD's for luch (like 3 times a week). Also, first thing in the morning she would get a large Dunkin Donuts coffee on her way to drop all the kids off. I told her that she was spending her WDW money. She thought I was crazy b/c "it's only $5 or $7 for McD's" or "my coffe is $2 and Disney costs a whole lot more than that!"

After going around and around this issue for ages, she finally gave it a try. She was shocked that all of this was adding up to $200 month! It only took that one month for her to be a believer. So, at the end of one year, off they went to WDW (and all a lot thinner because of less fast food!).

So, look for hidden costs to cut...do you get a coffee every day? Do you buy a paper every day? Try going to mousesavers for lots of ways to cut and save.

But most of all, do what works for you.

swilshire
08-16-2005, 08:36 AM
There are six of us, so we stay off-site in a timeshare, cook many of our own meals, buy our souvies at the outlet store (and limit them even there). It's all about choice. We take many nice vacations, but we don't have cable TV at home, only have dialup internet, drive older cars, buy our clothes at thrift stores and yard sales, clip coupons and shop the sales for groceries, etc. We drink free water on the rare trip to a restaurant and almost never eat fast food. I carry my lunch to work at least most of the time.

Sheila

hockey mom
08-16-2005, 08:56 AM
I took a job just so we could afford our Disney trips and my kids could play hockey.

dvcgirl
08-16-2005, 10:11 AM
Ok, forgive me if this has been discussed previously, but I read so many great threads about folks who go to WDW at least once every year. HOW do you all do it?! I can't imagine there are that many "wealthy" people out there, so there has to be something to it. We don't use plastic much (I'm sure some folks rack up big bills going to Disney that way). I would love to get there once a year but it seems to take us at least a couple years to be able to save the money. We are a family of 5, and because the rooms that are large enough for us are much too expensive, we will tent camp at FW and drive down (airfare for 5 is out of the question, and besides I hate to fly!).

I'd just love to know how you all do it. TIA!

For one thing, it's a very good thing that you don't use credit cards to go to Disney. That's a terrible habit to get into and believe me...there's probably lots and lots of that going on in general. I also believe that currently there are lots of folks pulling equity out of their homes to take vacations etc. And I'm positive that there are *many* here who can afford multiple yearly trips to Disney without charging a dime of it....but have very little saved (if anything) for retirement or their childrens' college education.

You should go as often as you can while still being able to meet all of the rest of your financial obligations. You deserve credit for knowing when you can afford to go and not going into debt for a vacation that is over in a week.

branv
08-16-2005, 10:30 AM
Well I don't go to WDW as much as this bunch LOL. That's only b/c WDW is such an exhausting (but satisfying!) trip, that we usually need a vacation from that vacation afterwards. :) We do, however, take a trip once a year and we've handled it a few ways.

We've always used our tax returns. Sometimes our vacation is more then that, in which case we just put some money aside each paycheck leading up to it. However, we've been lucky in that so many trips we've been able to use air miles from DH's business trips in the past to pay for airfare. When we haven't, it's always been part of a good package trip. I'm an excellent bargain hunter, and have always managed to find good deals on great trips.

This time, since it's our anniversary, we are doing a little bit more by spending a few days at WDW then taking a DCL cruise. We also just bought a house last year, so our normal savings is depleted. I've gone back to school full time, so we only have DH's salary. So how are we affording it this year? It's even harder b/c this is the first time we don't have enough miles to fly for free.

First...we're traveling on the cheaper side. Three nights at POP, and our cruise is in the least expensive stateroom. We're only taking one excursion, and do not plan to eat at any of the nicer restaurants in the parks. It's counter service or eating off property. We also do not buy much in the way of souveniers, maybe a tshirt or a charm. We bring our own water, which if you buy a case at Costco, saves you about $1 every bottle vs. buying drinks in the parks. We also travel during off season. Less people and less $$ :)

As for where the money comes from, well...tax returns again. Since we bought the house, now we get more back as a tax return. Also, DH gets paid every other week, so that gives him 2 extra paychecks a year. We're putting away half of the one he gets this fall for the trip. We signed up for the Disney $50 credit card deal, plus we booked our cruise on it and we took advantage of an online special. That gives us $50 Disney Dollars and $75 in onboard Disney cruise line credit.

For birthdays/Christmas we've received and are asking for either Disney dollars or those Visa check cards gift certificates. Both can be used on our trip. I've also been secretly stashing away anywhere from $20-$30 from each of DH's paychecks in my jewelry box. When the trip comes up, I'll show him and say "look, spending money!" :) We also put ALL change in a jar, even if the change from something was 99 cents. Last trip, we ended up with $200!! I could NOT believe my eyes! Those quarters add up :)

In addition, though most don't have this option, we are selling some stock options. DH gets discounted stock purchase at work. While the stock has risen a nice amount, there is no way the stock is going to go much higher then it is now :rolleyes: , so now is a good time to sell. The plan is to use 1/4 of it towards our trip.

We've scaled back our dining expenses, which are a shockingly huge amount of our regular budget! We're spending anywhere from $100-$150 less a month, which all goes towards the savings plan.

We also sold a bunch of old textbooks and computer stuff on ebay & amazon. I was shocked that they sold, but we netted somewhere in the neighborhood of $300!

Still, for the first time ever, b/c of this trip, we may actually have some credit card debt that isn't paid off by the end of the month. We have the savings to pay it, but I don't' want to dip into that...it just makes me nervous. We figured out a plan of attack on that, and in the end have figured out that b/c of our low interest rate credit card, we'll end up only paying very very little in interest charges when we pay it off after a few months.

It's pretty convoluted, but it's just about squeezing a dime from every place you can find.

poohj80
08-16-2005, 10:35 AM
We too joined DVC which makes trips "seem" relatively cheap since we are not out of pocket for accommodations and we have APs so don't have to buy passes. Basically, all we spend per trip is on gas, food, and souvenoirs.

That said, I realize not everyone can buy into DVC, but renting points from a DVC member is a nice and inexpensive compromise to stay at deluxe resorts at moderate prices (depending on season). I just wish I knew about that option earlier, but we always seemed to find an AP rate to fit our budget before taking the DVC plunge.

mainewmn
08-16-2005, 10:56 AM
You forget this is a Disney board, people here will cut their spending, eat mac n cheese, etc, etc just to be able to afford going to Disney. We average out about every other year. Last time we went in December of 2003 and wore going to go back in October of 2004 but we ended up buying a house, all new furniture and a new truck that plus the costs of gas has kept us from going back this year, but we are going in January and hope to go back again in late 2007.

mom23boys
08-16-2005, 11:16 AM
Before joining these boards I charged every trip. Now I save $100 every month, use part of our income tax checks and use rebates and birthday and Christmas money both me and my DH get.

We did join DVC in 2002 we bought enough to go everyother year. But even with that our trips still cost a pretty penny. We have 5 of us so airfare, food and spending money easily comes to around $2500 per trip. We do eat breakfast in our room, but I never cook lunch or dinner, I do that all year long so on vacation we eat out.

My boys (well othe older ones) get an allowance and they are allowed to take $100 per trip. They can spend it on what ever they want, I do buy the tee shirts and usually a Christmas present.

All in all Disney is a luxury for us, we really try to save the money before we get there it just makes it more satisfying.

mareed
08-16-2005, 01:16 PM
Our biggest money savers are: staying offsite in condo/house/timeshare, getting multiple trips from AP's, and using Southwest Rapid Rewards for an occasional free flight.

We are a family of 4 who make multiple trips per year. I make a very detailed budget for each trip, and then compare actual expenses afterwards. Total expenses including airfare, rental car, dining out, condo, souvenirs, park passes, etc average $85 per person per day. And this is absolutely everything! I don't think you could go to many all inclusive vacation destinations for this low! We typically eat breakfast at our condo, lunch at a table service restaurant, and dinner of a snack or counter service, so I'd say we eat quite well! We also occasionally do a Disney tour or something extra like Cirque du Soleil, and this is also included.

umaangel00
08-16-2005, 01:20 PM
Well I had started saving extra change but it was just too tempting to spend so we have not stopped that. I just got a GREAT paying job so that helps. I am able to save 500 a month easily for the trip. We are also staying offsite in a condo which saves on the cost of lodging and saves on the cost of food. Our condo is 885 for 2 weeks! Cant beat that anywhere. I will sell stuff on ebay and in garage sales for extra money as well but we have 6 months to go and only need 2500 according to our budget. At 500 a month it will be 3000!

LegoMom3
08-16-2005, 07:15 PM
For one thing, it's a very good thing that you don't use credit cards to go to Disney. That's a terrible habit to get into and believe me...there's probably lots and lots of that going on in general. I also believe that currently there are lots of folks pulling equity out of their homes to take vacations etc. And I'm positive that there are *many* here who can afford multiple yearly trips to Disney without charging a dime of it....but have very little saved (if anything) for retirement or their childrens' college education.

You should go as often as you can while still being able to meet all of the rest of your financial obligations. You deserve credit for knowing when you can afford to go and not going into debt for a vacation that is over in a week.


All of the replies here have been very good, but I wanted to thank you, dvcgirl , for saying this!! It really boosted my spirits. It just seems like we live to get by - there is always a bill to pay (beyond normal monthly expenses), always something needing to be fixed, etc. We don't have car payments, but we do have student loans. Our two small credit cards are for true emergencies, and while there is usually a balance on one or both, it's not high at all.

Guess it's time to dust off that mason jar with the Mickey emblem we stuck on it and start saving again! I turn 40 next year and I wanna go!!!!! :banana:

bscs
08-16-2005, 08:21 PM
The 1st time we went my father in law paid because my mother in law had just passed away and he wanted to do something for us. I wasn't interested but went and I fell in love with WDW! Then we had to go back so the 2nd time we budgeted and stayed in a very cheap hotel. Now I just do my homework, so the next trip (2006) we are staying in a condo more than a cheap hotel but less than on site. And we cheack everything online for the best tickest for WDW and SW and car ect. We basically use our income tax check. But also we don't smoke we don't drink and we don't spend money on activities like golf, dance classes, ect. Just that alone saves money compared to others around us with the same income. People with the same income around us always make coments like "how can you afford that must be nice" but these are the same people that go partying and drinking on weekends and their kids are in all kinds of costly activities like karate, dance, sking ect. We rather do WDW :goodvibes

cmputerdazed
08-17-2005, 02:22 AM
How do you rent points? and how often do you go to make the ap worthwhile? I know there are timeshares in florida but does anyone know of anything like that in california? Thanks for the info I am new here. Jan

beattyfamily
08-17-2005, 07:07 AM
How do you rent points? and how often do you go to make the ap worthwhile? I know there are timeshares in florida but does anyone know of anything like that in california? Thanks for the info I am new here. Jan

The best way to rent point is to go to the rent/trade DVC board and see what's available or post what you need and go from there. Then you have to decide which DVC member to go with. You'd have to feel comfortable with them. It's a risk. I would look for someone whose been a DIS member for awhile with a high post count. You figure out how many points you need and how much they'd cost and see if it's a bargain. It's usually $10 a point.

One long trip can make an AP worthwhile, over 6 days I think but then if you plan a second trip, it's already worthwhile. When I have APs I try and plan 3 trips but sometimes it's only two.

Good luck!

poohj80
08-17-2005, 08:36 AM
How do you rent points? and how often do you go to make the ap worthwhile? I know there are timeshares in florida but does anyone know of anything like that in california? Thanks for the info I am new here. Jan
Check out the DVC Rent/Trade forum:

http://disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=29

DisneyAunt
08-17-2005, 12:54 PM
Everyone has some great tips on how to save for WDW. I also save and buy things on sale.

I am not married, I have my own business...I am not rich but I make a decent living. I have no children. I own 2 homes therefore I have 2 mortagages. I have no personal credit card debt, just some small balances on my business accounts. My car will be paid off in 6 months and although I thought about getting a new car.....I quickly changed my mind because my car is perfectly fine and the thought of not having a car payment is very enticing.

I spend a lot of time with my 2 nephews and kind of spoil them. I try to take them to DIsney as much as there parents let me. I just bought a piece of the Magic (DVC) at SSR. This will save me a ton of money since I have been staying at Deluxe resorts.

Now how do I save.....I don't go out to eat often maybe twice per month. I do go out to business lunches maybe 3-4 times per month. I clothes shop and TJMax and Marshals or I scout out a sale at Lord & Taylor or Macy's. I have a change jar and throw all my change in at the end of the day....you would be surprised how much that adds up. The point is the small little things that you do make a big difference.

When we go to WDW we usually make a grocery stop and buy a case of water and breakfast items. We usually eat breakfast in the room and bring our own water tot the parks. We usually eat out for lunch and dinner (Change Jar money).

It's not easy but I have a very stressful job and the thought of having a Disney trip every few months gives me something to look forward too.

MUFFYCAT
08-17-2005, 01:04 PM
what crisi said.



I also came to the realization that some people come from areas of the country where the cost of living, and the wages, are much higher. So when they vacation, their money goes much further at WDW than my hard earned little Memphis money does.

Excellent point! We live in New York with high taxes and expenses.
The prices don't seem very high to us when we're at WDW. So we don't
have problemk spending our money.
I'd rather send my money to Mickey than Uncle Sam!

LilMamiBella
08-17-2005, 01:18 PM
oops!

chrisn
08-17-2005, 01:19 PM
Both DH and I work full time. We are not wealthy but we are "comfortable." We do live in a very nice home but were fortunate enough to put 50% down when we bought it so we have a very small mortgage compared to others who live in similar homes. We also own another home outright (inheritance) that we have been renting for the past 8 years (same renter). DH has 5 brothers and sisters and not one of them were interested in the home so we bought them out and paid it off. Turned out to be a good investment! My dad owns a condo in Lake Buena Vista so accomodations are covered. Basically DH pays all our living expenses and I pay for our vacations. We do vacation every year for about 2 weeks whether we go to WDW or not. We are always able to save about $500 a month that goes directly into vacation savings and I also get a really FAT bonus at the end of the year that pays for Christmas and about 1/3 to 1/2 ouf our vacation expenses. We do have a 2 week trip planned in February and this will probably be the last February trip (still needs to be cleared with DD's teachers) and BIG trip for a few years as DD will start college next fall and we'll be paying for that. Im' so proud of her and I know I'm a really blessed woman.

hokiefan33
08-17-2005, 01:23 PM
There are a suprising number of "well off" people here.

There are people who live close.

There are people who aren't a family of five, but a married couple with two incomes and no kids.

A surprising number of people here have NO debt, not even a mortgage.

Its hard to compare yourself with someone who makes six figures. Its hard to compare yourself to someone who lives near Atlanta, a long, but drivable drive. Its hard for someone with three kids to compare themselves to someone whose only children have fur (or whose kids are long grown). And its hard to compare yourself to someone without a mortgage.

Absolutely right. These boards stink of money, whether people want to believe it or not. And that's fine. More power to them. If I had it, I'd be going a lot, too! But make no mistake, there's only so much "saving" you can do, but it is a whole lot easier to save when your income is high to begin with!

tinaluis
08-17-2005, 02:03 PM
We're a family of 5 with one income (and not a very large one LOL) and usually average at least one trip to WDW per year. We always stay offsite and usually use Priceline for our hotel stays (less than $35/nt.). We will be staying at Cypress Point GV for our upcoming trip thanks to SkyAuction ($528 for 2 weeks) and help from others on this board. Most important of all -- we live very frugally, at home and on vacation. We don't put a big emphasis on food/eating while we're at WDW (or even at home for that matter) -- we're just happy to be there -- so we don't mind eating quick and cheap (even if that means we're eating Ramen noodles most of the time -- heck, we eat Ramen a lot at home and love it!!). We have driven to WDW and we have flown but will only fly when the cost difference between driving and flying/renting a car is less than $300. No souveniers unless there is something that is "absolutely perfect" for us and, even then, it's usually from the outlets. A new addition to our strategy is that we've purchased the 10 day no expire tickets which we'll stretch over 4-5 trips (it "hurt" to purchase them this year but the next few years of WDW tickets will be paid in full). We have APs for Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure which we renew every year ($99 each for renewal) and we usually get at least 2 weeks use out of them. For us, it all boils down to this -- it's a priority so we find ways to cut out the "fluff" so we can save for WDW/US/IOA. Have fun planning!

canwegosoon
08-17-2005, 02:26 PM
I also agree with Crisi !!
We go once a year. My big ways are:
1) Hunt like mad for deals on everything...Arifare, tickets etc. My DH travels for work so this year we will be getting 2 free airline tickets (which is a huge savings) We have an AP/DDE so we are getting 2 trips in on the 1 ticket. And we like to go on longer trips 8-10 days depending on vacation from school.
2) I coupon like mad, and buy all clothing at at least 50% off (most is 75%) off. I wash/iron DH shirts myself, and try to cut back costs where I can. If I can borrow something instead of buying- I do that.
3) Try not to buy anything unless I really need it.

I look at our winter vacation as an investment in our family, and DH's sanity. He needs the time off from work(he works a very stressful job). Also my kids are in school almost all year long, so they need a break too. We do not do things like Karate, skiing or other expensive sports, and it has been almost 6 months since I got my hair cut (I color it myself and do my own manicure/pedicures). We have no family in our area, so we really look foward to our family time together having fun and making memories.

Good luck to you!!!

dvcgirl
08-17-2005, 03:02 PM
Absolutely right. These boards stink of money, whether people want to believe it or not. And that's fine. More power to them. If I had it, I'd be going a lot, too! But make no mistake, there's only so much "saving" you can do, but it is a whole lot easier to save when your income is high to begin with!

I disagree, this board is probably a fairly decent cross-section of our society. Disney fans come in every shape and size, and also in every income level. Currently in our country we are at a zero savings rate. Zero. Does that mean that some of us aren't saving? Of course not. There are plenty of savers right here on this board. It means that while some of us are indeed saving, others are going deeper and deeper into debt....bringing us to a zero savings rate as a nation. The same thing is probably happening right here on this board.

DisneyAunt
08-17-2005, 04:11 PM
I agree with Rockyroad and Muffycat....it all depends what area of the country you come from.

I live in Northern NJ and it might as well be Manhatten. My taxes for a small 3 bedroom cape are almost $10K. My house is probably worth about $525K My good friend who lives on 6 acres in north Ga with a 5 bedroom SPRAWLING ranch her taxes are $1200, she just bought her house for $225K. She can't figure out how we do it up her in north. We are both in the same profession and both make about the same amount of money.

It's a constant struggle keeping up with taxes and the very high cost housing. So when I go to WDW it seems that it is pretty reasonable. Unless you order room service for pizza and they bring you a $40 pizza that at home you would pay may $12. So when I bought DVC is was very reasonable and it seemed ecnomical to me.

I still hunt for the best airfare, best car rental prices, and figure ways to save on Dinning and tickets.

hokiefan33
08-17-2005, 04:22 PM
I disagree, this board is probably a fairly decent cross-section of our society. Disney fans come in every shape and size, and also in every income level. Currently in our country we are at a zero savings rate. Zero. Does that mean that some of us aren't saving? Of course not. There are plenty of savers right here on this board. It means that while some of us are indeed saving, others are going deeper and deeper into debt....bringing us to a zero savings rate as a nation. The same thing is probably happening right here on this board.

While I can see your point, I still am not convinced. I think the only way to prove this out would be for each person to list their household income, as well as their household fixed payments per month, and see what kind of shape everyone was in. That will never be possible for 2 reasons. One, not everyone would be willing to do so, and two, some who did would most surely "fudge" some of their numbers to either make them look better or worse. So there's no way to prove it. But knowing how much it costs to stay at the hotels, and knowing how often people go based on the taglines under their names, you can see how much people are spending on their vacations within a reasonable amount.

crisi
08-17-2005, 04:35 PM
I disagree, this board is probably a fairly decent cross-section of our society. Disney fans come in every shape and size, and also in every income level. Currently in our country we are at a zero savings rate. Zero. Does that mean that some of us aren't saving? Of course not. There are plenty of savers right here on this board. It means that while some of us are indeed saving, others are going deeper and deeper into debt....bringing us to a zero savings rate as a nation. The same thing is probably happening right here on this board.

I don't think so. The median U.S. household income for 2004 (three year average) is $43,527 (www.census.gov). I suspect the median here is significantly higher. I think very few people who make below the median household income can afford regular Disney trips (I know there are a few posters here who manage, don't know how but more power to them).

While certainly there are Disney fans in every income level, someone making $35,000 a year is going to have a hard time getting to WDW regularly after paying a for housing, health insurance, food, gas, taxes, etc.

Then there is the logistics of Disney on $43,527 a year or less. Possible and probably not too difficult if you are a single Florida resident - you can drive, take advantage of FL resident discounts. Its a whole 'nother story if you are living in Seattle (with Seattle's housing prices!) with three kids and realistically are going to spend $2000 just flying the family, then add another $2000 on park tickets. That's a significant percentage of your income to sink into annual vacations.

That's why its hard to compare yourself to others. The first variable is income - if you make $35,000 a year you simply have less than someone making $125,000 a year. The next is logistics. Someone making $25,000 a year in Tallahassee might go a lot more often than someone making $40,000 in Alaska. Then there is wealth. $35,000 a year with no mortgage, no debt, and a few hundred thousand in the bank is a whole different situation than $35,000 and $1500 a month mortgage payments, no emergency fund, and a credit card bill from the last time the washing machine broke.

hokiefan33
08-17-2005, 04:39 PM
I don't think so. The median U.S. household income for 2004 (three year average) is $43,527 (www.census.gov). I suspect the median here is significantly higher. I think very few people who make below the median household income can afford regular Disney trips (I know there are a few posters here who manage, don't know how but more power to them).

While certainly there are Disney fans in every income level, someone making $35,000 a year is going to have a hard time getting to WDW regularly after paying a for housing, health insurance, food, gas, taxes, etc.

Then there is the logistics of Disney on $43,527 a year or less. Possible and probably not too difficult if you are a single Florida resident - you can drive, take advantage of FL resident discounts. Its a whole 'nother story if you are living in Seattle (with Seattle's housing prices!) with three kids and realistically are going to spend $2000 just flying the family, then add another $2000 on park tickets. That's a significant percentage of your income to sink into annual vacations.

That's why its hard to compare yourself to others. The first variable is income - if you make $35,000 a year you simply have less than someone making $125,000 a year. The next is logistics. Someone making $25,000 a year in Tallahassee might go a lot more often than someone making $40,000 in Alaska. Then there is wealth. $35,000 a year with no mortgage, no debt, and a few hundred thousand in the bank is a whole different situation than $35,000 and $1500 a month mortgage payments, no emergency fund, and a credit card bill from the last time the washing machine broke.

Amen, sister. And I would bet that most people on this board are a lot better off financially than they are willing to let on, or at least a lot better off financially compared to everyone else than they think they are. Of course, as I said, there's only one way to prove it...

SleepyatDVC
08-17-2005, 04:59 PM
I agree with crisi as well as..

Basically, it all comes down to choices...instead of getting new carpeting for the house, they go to WDW. Instead of ---fill in the blank with whatever else you spend money on--they go to WDW.



We can afford DVC and WDW because we don't have to pay for housing. I manage a residential apartment complex that provides me with free housing and utilities (gas, electric, basic cable & dsl,) as well as medical insurance and a cell phone for work. Great benefits and flexible hours but the pay is really, really low (think min.wage). And I'm literally at work 24/7. However, if you add up all the expenses, I don't have to pay on my own, I guess the pay is pretty good.

Since I work until 7pm or 8pm, we (DH. DD4, DD6, & I) all eat at my parents' place (also in the same building complex) before going home. My parents and I split the costs of the nanny who drops off and picks up my kids from school. She does light housework at my parents' place and prepares dinner for all of us. She also does the grocery shopping in Chinatown for $100 per week for 7 people. We (Mom & I) pay for Costco & supermarket trips.

I don't have much household expenses other than our landline phone, toiletries, rental for car parking and food for the weekends. Other major expenses are tithing, dvc maintenance, car (paid for) and life insurance. The rest of DH's take home pay is pretty much savings and disposal income.

DH really misses having a house and a gargage - he's a Jersey boy - but the numbers don't make sense especially with the high housing prices in NYC and Northern NJ. With our salaries we can't afford a house in this area even if I did get a pay raise.

We could probably "only afford" a coop or condo and even those are ridiculously high (most over 500k) - which be the same as apartment living. We couldn't afford the mortagage on that not to mention that anything we buy would give us a lot less living space than now. We currently have a 4 bed/2 baths apartment. We would have to degrade to a 2 bed/1 bath to be able to afford anything.

It was a matter of buying any house and being "house poor" and not having any money left over for anything else after paying for the mortgage/taxes/insurance/etc, and having to actually commute back to where I use to live to work! DH was spoiled in being able to buy all the electronic gadgets (at a bargain, of course) he desired. We'd love having our own house in the suburbs but we also enjoy our comfortable standard of living and the security of not having to worry about money.

While we have a good amount of disposal income, we are pretty frugal with our money. We have no debt (although I have been kow to take advantage of 0% financing), we pay off credit cards each month, we hardly ever eat out (except when on vacation), DH wear clothes from before we got married (& gifts from family), I cut my hair once a year, DH changes his own oil and hand washes the car (at his aunt's house since we don't have a driveway), and we try never to pay full price for anything.

We put the money we would have paid in rent and utilities away each month in a separate account for our future home one day. This way we don't spend away the advantage of free rent.

My major splurge are vacations. If we had a house, we couldn't afford to splurge and we would stay home.

dvcgirl
08-17-2005, 05:15 PM
I don't think so. The median U.S. household income for 2004 (three year average) is $43,527 (www.census.gov). I suspect the median here is significantly higher. I think very few people who make below the median household income can afford regular Disney trips (I know there are a few posters here who manage, don't know how but more power to them).

While certainly there are Disney fans in every income level, someone making $35,000 a year is going to have a hard time getting to WDW regularly after paying a for housing, health insurance, food, gas, taxes, etc.

Then there is the logistics of Disney on $43,527 a year or less. Possible and probably not too difficult if you are a single Florida resident - you can drive, take advantage of FL resident discounts. Its a whole 'nother story if you are living in Seattle (with Seattle's housing prices!) with three kids and realistically are going to spend $2000 just flying the family, then add another $2000 on park tickets. That's a significant percentage of your income to sink into annual vacations.

That's why its hard to compare yourself to others. The first variable is income - if you make $35,000 a year you simply have less than someone making $125,000 a year. The next is logistics. Someone making $25,000 a year in Tallahassee might go a lot more often than someone making $40,000 in Alaska. Then there is wealth. $35,000 a year with no mortgage, no debt, and a few hundred thousand in the bank is a whole different situation than $35,000 and $1500 a month mortgage payments, no emergency fund, and a credit card bill from the last time the washing machine broke.

I'm not trying to say that there are many here at the poverty level...or that the median income is 43K, but rather that there are plenty of people here who are not "dripping in money", as an earlier poster said. I do agree that it's impossible to ascertain by the number of trips that a family makes what they are worth.

I do think this though, that we have become an "instant gratification" nation. We want it...and we want it now. Think back 25-30 years ago when many of us here were children. Did you all go to Walt Disney World every year? Did our families spend thousands of dollars on vacations? Mine sure didn't. Credit cards were around back then, but they sure weren't as easy to get. Perhaps that has something to do with it?

Same thing with automobiles. Do you remember seeing so many luxury vehicles on the road back then? I sure don't remember that. Back then, leasing didn't exist. Conicidence? I don't think so. I guess my point is that while just about every person, kid or otherwise I know has been to Disney World at least once...it still remains true that a vacation to Walt Disney World ranges from moderately expensive to *very* expensive. And yet the parks are just jam packed with people. And consumer credit card debt is at an all-time high in this country...again...coincidence? I don't think so.

So I find it admirable that the OP is sort of scratching her head saying..."man...how do you all do it?" The answer sure isn't that this board is dripping with money.

You see it here all the time...the posts that start with, "Well, money is kind of tight right now, but I just couldn't pass up the Free Dining Offer and little Jimmy will only be 2 once..." That kind of thing is pervasive here. And I can see how it can lead someone like the OP to think..."hmmm...what are we doing wrong here..." The answer...nothing. She's asking the right questions, ones that we should all ask ourselves.

The other one is..."we invested in DVC". Now, I'm not knockind DVC. We owned for several years ourselves. But it's not an investment. It's not a way to save money. It's a way to save money on a Deluxe Walt Disney World vacation. And owning DVC means that you not only have the original cost to deal with, but also dues, and tickets and transportation to get here. People who are struggling to save for one WDW trip probably shouldn't be thinking about buying into the DVC. If you normally vacation at WDW every other year in a deluxe hotel and can afford it....great! But it's not an investment. It's a pre-paid deluxe vacation plan that will require a great deal of future spending.

hokiefan33
08-17-2005, 05:26 PM
I'm not trying to say that there are many here at the poverty level...or that the median income is 43K, but rather that there are plenty of people here who are not "dripping in money", as an earlier poster said. I do agree that it's impossible to ascertain by the number of trips that a family makes what they are worth.

Just for the record, I said "stinks of money." :)

I do think this though, that we have become an "instant gratification" nation. We want it...and we want it now. Think back 25-30 years ago when many of us here were children. Did you all go to Walt Disney World every year? Did our families spend thousands of dollars on vacations? Mine sure didn't. Credit cards were around back then, but they sure weren't as easy to get. Perhaps that has something to do with it?

Same thing with automobiles. Do you remember seeing so many luxury vehicles on the road back then? I sure don't remember that. Back then, leasing didn't exist. Conicidence? I don't think so. I guess my point is that while just about every person, kid or otherwise I know has been to Disney World at least once...it still remains true that a vacation to Walt Disney World ranges from moderately expensive to *very* expensive. And yet the parks are just jam packed with people. And consumer credit card debt is at an all-time high in this country...again...coincidence? I don't think so.

But this doesn't have anything to do with what I was talking about (and others), that it's my opinion that there is more wealth on these boards (comparatively speaking) than most people think. I wasn't talking about who makes sacrifices to come, who goes into debt to come, etc..., but about who can afford to come b/c they have the money sitting around to do so with. Entirely different thing, in my book.

So I find it admirable that the OP is sort of scratching her head saying..."man...how do you all do it?" The answer sure isn't that this board is dripping with money.

Again, that's "stinks of money." And again, you can't say for sure that that isn't the answer, b/c you don't know that for sure without polling everyone and asking them about their financial situation. So make sure you state yours as an opinion, not as a fact, just as it's only my opinion, that there is a comparatively large amount of money on these boards.

You see it here all the time...the posts that start with, "Well, money is kind of tight right now, but I just couldn't pass up the Free Dining Offer and little Jimmy will only be 2 once..." That kind of thing is pervasive here.

That is true, you do see a lot of that. But you also see quotes like "We go to the Poly/CR/GF/WL/AKL, b/c we just can't imagine staying anywhere else, plus we can afford to." So you have both sides, not just one. Again, need a poll to determine for sure!

And I can see how it can lead someone like the OP to think..."hmmm...what are we doing wrong here..." The answer...nothing. She's asking the right questions, ones that we should all ask ourselves.I agree, it's not that we're doing anything wrong, I think it's just that some of us are more fortunate/lucky/married better/inherited wealth, etc... than many others, or just simply have higher paying jobs than others. That's nothing wrong, but it is a difference, don't you think?

The other one is..."we invested in DVC". Now, I'm not knockind DVC. We owned for several years ourselves. But it's not an investment. It's not a way to save money. It's a way to save money on a Deluxe Walt Disney World vacation. And owning DVC means that you not only have the original cost to deal with, but also dues, and tickets and transportation to get here. People who are struggling to save for one WDW trip probably shouldn't be thinking about buying into the DVC. If you normally vacation at WDW every other year in a deluxe hotel and can afford it....great! But it's not an investment. It's a pre-paid deluxe vacation plan that will require a great deal of future spending.

ITA

DisneyAunt
08-17-2005, 05:38 PM
WOW .... This has become such a heated topic.

You just never know how people afford things. My neighbors who don't have 2 cents to rub together own DVC at OKW and just went on vacation in Aruba and bought a timeshare there. How do they do it?? Beats the hell out of me.

The bottom line is that everyone knows there own financial state and somethings that are improtant to you may not be important to someone else. I know many people who live from paycheck to paycheck and worry about there bills when they come in. I couldn't do that.

I have lost friends because they tell me I am cheap and that they know I could afford to do more things with them or go out to dinner everynight with them.....well I may be frugal....but I get to go to WDW a few times a year.

GoofyBaseballMom26
08-17-2005, 05:39 PM
I would love to be able to go to WDW as often as many posters do but we too cannot. Our family has :flower: a $60,000 annual income and I have a son in college but I've managed to swing a couple of trips over the past few years. I just waited until there were specials and took advantage of them, this year it is the free dining. Also, I am thrilled to be staying on the grounds even if it is a value resort. I get the impression that many posters feel the value resorts are "beneath them" and although I would love to stay in a deluxe ( and have a couple of times) just being at Disney thrills me. I can go to Disney for a lot less than many people do because I am willing to sacrifice luxury just to be there.

I quit trying to compare our family to others many years ago which is good since everyone in my family is a LOT better off financially than we are. I just remind myself daily how lucky we are and try to be very thankful for the things and opportunities we have. Just go when you can and ENJOY!!!!!

crisi
08-17-2005, 05:40 PM
Well, dripping in money is relative. I remember years ago making less than $40,000 and my friends thinking I was very well off - since a good job to them was paying $23,000.

We are an instant gratification society. And your point on DVC is something I make often. We own DVC. It does allow us bi-annual trips in a Deluxe(like) resort. We do not save money doing this - we spend money. Saving money would be skipping WDW entirely and staying home. There are, however, many of us that cringe over the "don't worry about the money, its the memories" attitude that I agree is prevalent here. Not only do I find that advice irresponsible (I don't know anyone here's finances well enough to say "but you can't pass up free dining! There car may be on its last legs and they might be trying to figure out how to pay to reroof the house), I find it really offensive. Yep, my family didn't take big annual vacations. But I have plenty of great memories of a childhood that involved trips to the local museum, nature walks near the house and nights over a monopoly board. They aren't any less precious than the one big WDW vacation we did take.

dvcgirl
08-17-2005, 06:11 PM
Just for the record, I said "stinks of money." :)



But this doesn't have anything to do with what I was talking about (and others), that it's my opinion that there is more wealth on these boards (comparatively speaking) than most people think. I wasn't talking about who makes sacrifices to come, who goes into debt to come, etc..., but about who can afford to come b/c they have the money sitting around to do so with. Entirely different thing, in my book.



Again, that's "stinks of money." And again, you can't say for sure that that isn't the answer, b/c you don't know that for sure without polling everyone and asking them about their financial situation. So make sure you state yours as an opinion, not as a fact, just as it's only my opinion, that there is a comparatively large amount of money on these boards.



That is true, you do see a lot of that. But you also see quotes like "We go to the Poly/CR/GF/WL/AKL, b/c we just can't imagine staying anywhere else, plus we can afford to." So you have both sides, not just one. Again, need a poll to determine for sure!

I agree, it's not that we're doing anything wrong, I think it's just that some of us are more fortunate/lucky/married better/inherited wealth, etc... than many others, or just simply have higher paying jobs than others. That's nothing wrong, but it is a difference, don't you think?



ITA

Gotcha..."stinks of money". "These boards stink of money whether people want to believe it or not." That's an opinion too I guess. And one that I would be willing to a whole lot of money is not true. We can debate back and forth all day, but based on consumer debt and the cost of a very basic value hotel WDW vacation for a family of four.....I'm betting a good deal of it goes on credit cards. And I'm sure most people who do that have the best of intentions on paying it right off, but then something comes up...

I'm just saying that it's a huge leap to say that these boards "stink of money"....that's all.

Lyn5
08-17-2005, 08:06 PM
This is just my opinion, but there seems to be many SAHMs on this board. I don't have an opinion on being a SAHM itself, I really think it just depends on each family and whether being a SAHM is best for the family or not. But, being that there are many SAHMs, it seems that possibly many families have an opportunity to go more since only DH needs to take vacation and maybe the SAHM is better able to plan the vacation and do cost-cutting things to make a vacation more affordable.

iheartdisney
08-18-2005, 01:59 AM
We don't go to WDW every year, or every other year even. We go when I get an itch- I want to go to Disneyworld. My two trips as an adult have been in March- Tax Return Season! That is the only way we have gone. We are debt-free, so charging is not an option.
BTW- we stay at value resorts, and do any of the "extras" or "can't miss" stuff that you read about here. There is enough magic in WDW that doesn't cost.

Glendamax
08-18-2005, 03:01 AM
What is a SAHM?!

susan1
08-18-2005, 03:54 AM
hi
your right it has become a heated topic - i thought it was only the british that worried about what other people earned and did with their money!! imho people spend what they can afford in most cases (yes there are people who run up credit card and loan bills but most people save and budget) we travel from the u.k. twice yearly book hotels through priceline (got travelodge hotel for $25) usually manage to get cheap charter flights and good all inclusive car rates. we are quite happy to eat at buffets and fast food outlets and don't buy many souvies anymore. we do tip house keeping and restaraunts although i thought the snipe in the orlando sentinel was a bit unfair. we do all try and learn by our mistakes but tipping is a whole different ball game over here! any how i digress, i agree with the poster,go and enjoy don't compare. if it works for you it's o.k. only 30 days until our vey tightly budgeted holiday :banana: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :cheer2:

muffy0110
08-18-2005, 04:24 AM
I start saving for my Nov. trip every year in March. That being said. You want travel saving ways to get there every year-not how I do it. First you
need to pick a down time. If you are one of those people in fear of taking
your kids out of school for a week, then you will ALWAYS spend more money
then those of us who do not feel that 1 week of missed 5th grade will mean
my child will not go to college. Point 2- You need to think off Disney Hotels.
mind-you, you do not need to stay in a hell-hole or on I-drive. Try Hotel
Kingdom.Com. Point 3- yes you should rent a car and then park it at DownTown Disney and get the free transportation over to the parks. Point 4
Think Buffet for both breakfast and dinner ( ie Golden Coral or such) Lunch-
go to Walmart in Kissismee get snacks and most important water. Point 5-
if you really want abit of Disney to take home try the Beltz Mall they have
two Disney Discount Stores. These are tips I tell everyone who says "I can't
afford Disney". I hope they are helpful.

travelbug
08-18-2005, 05:37 AM
What is a SAHM?!Stay At Home Mom :)

hokiefan33
08-18-2005, 08:59 AM
Gotcha..."stinks of money". "These boards stink of money whether people want to believe it or not." That's an opinion too I guess. And one that I would be willing to a whole lot of money is not true. We can debate back and forth all day, but based on consumer debt and the cost of a very basic value hotel WDW vacation for a family of four.....I'm betting a good deal of it goes on credit cards. And I'm sure most people who do that have the best of intentions on paying it right off, but then something comes up...

I'm just saying that it's a huge leap to say that these boards "stink of money"....that's all.

It is no more of a leap than your conclusions that people who vacation and stay at just the value resorts are charging it, based on nationwide consumer debt. That is a "leap", too. As I have said (repeatedly), you would have to take a poll to know for sure!

dvcgirl
08-18-2005, 09:16 AM
hi
your right it has become a heated topic - i thought it was only the british that worried about what other people earned and did with their money!! imho people spend what they can afford in most cases (yes there are people who run up credit card and loan bills but most people save and budget) we travel from the u.k. twice yearly book hotels through priceline (got travelodge hotel for $25) usually manage to get cheap charter flights and good all inclusive car rates. we are quite happy to eat at buffets and fast food outlets and don't buy many souvies anymore. we do tip house keeping and restaraunts although i thought the snipe in the orlando sentinel was a bit unfair. we do all try and learn by our mistakes but tipping is a whole different ball game over here! any how i digress, i agree with the poster,go and enjoy don't compare. if it works for you it's o.k. only 30 days until our vey tightly budgeted holiday :banana: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :cheer2:

I don't know that we worry in this country, or that anyone worries about what others do. Personally, I do wonder what shape we'll be in say 25-30 years from now.

I found it refreshing that the OP was questioning how so many go all of the time, and like Crisi noted, there's really no way to know what individual's financing are... Seeing fifty hotels listed and corresponding dates that reflect multiply yearly stays at WDW means *nothing*. It could mean that that family indeed "stinks with money", it could mean that all of their extra money goes toward trips to WDW, and it could mean that they're up to their eyeballs in debt.

hokiefan33
08-18-2005, 09:28 AM
I don't know that we worry in this country, or that anyone worries about what others do. Personally, I do wonder what shape we'll be in say 25-30 years from now.

I found it refreshing that the OP was questioning how so many go all of the time, and like Crisi noted, there's really no way to know what individual's financing are... Seeing fifty hotels listed and corresponding dates that reflect multiply yearly stays at WDW means *nothing*. It could mean that that family indeed "stinks with money", it could mean that all of their extra money goes toward trips to WDW, and it could mean that they're up to their eyeballs in debt.

Exactly! Now, about that poll....

crisi
08-18-2005, 09:31 AM
Someone here works for a company where she (or he, I don't remember too much) send them on regular business trips to Orlando. Since she gets to pick her hotel, she picks one at Disney. Expenses meals, and her Disney trips at very nice hotels are expensed, except for the annual pass.

On the same note, one of my co-workers is a Notes developer. LotusSphere is at the Swan/Dolphin every year. He isn't a Disney nut, but he has an annual trip on someone else's dime.

Someone here has a generous mother in law who choses to spend her money sending them on very nice annual Disney trips. She said they could never afford ten days at the Grand Floridan, but she is grateful her mother in law can.

Oh, and some posts here do stink of money. I've posted that we afford our Disney trips with money we make in the stock market. The fact that we have enough money to play the stock market (actually, for us its ESPPs, it isn't even "playing the market" - I do buy some stock outside ESPPs, but not much) sort of implies we aren't eating ramen. I've posted that I find character breakfast charges comparable to what we pay for buffets at our club. Belonging to a club (we don't anymore, we dropped the membership) implies having some disposible income. When my kids were little, I paid a housekeeper two days a week, thats a luxury not everyone can afford (now they are old enough to help clean, and I think its important they learn). I don't think we are wealthy, but we are certainly well off compared to that median income, and I'm sure that my posts comparitively stink of money.

dvcgirl
08-18-2005, 09:37 AM
It is no more of a leap than your conclusions that people who vacation and stay at just the value resorts are charging it, based on nationwide consumer debt. That is a "leap", too. As I have said (repeatedly), you would have to take a poll to know for sure!

Oh, I'm not saying that people who stay at value resorts are the only ones charging vacations....lol....not by a longshot. I know plenty of people who make very healthy six figure incomes and stay at luxurious resorts who are debt as well.

I'm not making this stuff up, these are Commerce Department reports. And whether or not the median income of this board is way above that 47K mark makes no difference. The trend in our nation is ..."make more...spend more". Keep up with the Joneses. Otherwise, as people make more and more money our savings rate would go up, instead of being at the lowest point since the Great Depression.

Don't believe me...here are some quotes from a recent LA Times article citing some of the top economists in the country.


"Americans like to spend," said Andrew Tilton, an economist at Goldman Sachs. "Most consumers spend up to the limit."

"And coming at a time when much of the baby boom generation is in its prime earning and saving years, it raises alarms about its ability to manage retirement."People won't be able to retire, so they won't," said David Kelly, managing director of Putnam Investments in Boston."

"For more than a decade, Americans have been spending more and saving less. In June, people spent virtually everything they earned and saved almost nothing."

"The government reported Tuesday that the nation's savings rate fell to a paltry 0.02%, the second-lowest monthly rate since the Great Depression.
June's rate was eclipsed only by the minus-0.2% rate in October 2001, after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when consumers enthusiastically responded to patriotic promotions from auto companies. Economists offered a variety of reasons for June's spending spree, including rising home prices that have provided a source of cash, deep discounts offered by car companies and easy access to credit cards."

susan1
08-18-2005, 09:41 AM
hi
should have said wondered. the two words are interchangeable here!! i stillcan't see why everybody is geting so het up about who goes on holiday where, how much they spend and if they are rich or poor. people will alwys be rich,poor frugal or feckless and holiday how and when they wish. being a nurse puts a lot of things in perspective. (that i suppose is an open invitation) :confused3

crisi
08-18-2005, 09:46 AM
That .02% is scary, because in order to get there, you have to have a lot of people overspending to balance those of us that do save. A lot of us have 401ks. A lot of us have savings accounts and investments.

In my Econ class we learned that in 2001 the Marginal Propensity to Consume for the United States was 103%. That means that if you give someone a $100 raise, they will spend $103 of that. Its a great sign for consumer confidence, we think tomorrow will be better than today. And it drives the GNP. Those are good things. But it isn't a good sign if tomorrow isn't better than today or if we never catch up. Economists expect it to be about 90% - get a $100 raise, spend $90 and save $10.

dvcgirl
08-18-2005, 09:54 AM
Exactly! Now, about that poll....

I think that you're misunderstanding me...

I'm not debating that there are people here who can absolutely afford their trips to WDW. I was saying to the OP that just because a poster has fifty previous WDW vacations listed under their name doesn't necessary mean that they should have been taking those vacations. Does that matter to me in the slightest that they did....absolutely not. But it is true that many here who are probably taking vacations that they can't afford to take. And so for the OP to be wondering how so many do it...many are doing it the right way, but some are most certainly going into debt or not saving for the future in order to do so. That's all I'm saying....

3DisneyKids
08-18-2005, 09:55 AM
Best tip: we put EVERYTHING on our Disney Visa Card...way pay for grocs., gas (ouch!), phone bill, electric, and even our mortgage payment goes on the card, so we get lots of reward dollars every month...and over the course of a year, we really have earned enough rewards dollars to make a noticeable difference in the total cost of our vacation.

DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU PAY YOUR BALANCE OFF IN FULL EVERY MONTH.

First, of course, there is the issue of interest. But, as another member posted, this country is so mired in credit card debt that it is scary. Most people's debt-to-income ratio is frightening.

But just remember, if you can't go as often you would like, there are so many cheap/easy ways to keep the magic alive until your next trip. My favorite: I leave Disney chocolate "coins" on my kids' pillows every once in a while with a note from Tink saying that she is thinking about us and can't wait until we visit again. (The very first time we went to WDW with the kids, this was done at our resort, so we have kept it alive ever since.)

Whether you go frequently or once every few years, just enjoy it and don't worry about the vacation other people are having.

dvcgirl
08-18-2005, 10:01 AM
That .02% is scary, because in order to get there, you have to have a lot of people overspending to balance those of us that do save. A lot of us have 401ks. A lot of us have savings accounts and investments.

In my Econ class we learned that in 2001 the Marginal Propensity to Consume for the United States was 103%. That means that if you give someone a $100 raise, they will spend $103 of that. Its a great sign for consumer confidence, we think tomorrow will be better than today. And it drives the GNP. Those are good things. But it isn't a good sign if tomorrow isn't better than today or if we never catch up. Economists expect it to be about 90% - get a $100 raise, spend $90 and save $10.

That's exactly right Crisi...the 401K comment. That's where the home equity loans are coming in. And really, when you think about all of this equity we all built up....so what? I mean, yes, I'm not complaining overall, but unless I'm poised to sell and downsize or move to a cheaper area, what are we cheering about. All of these folks pulling out equity or doing the old cash-out refi game....well, there's some more debt for you. People are feeling mighty wealthy, but all of that wealth won't help them unless they sell and downsize.

And yes, I don't think we will catch up. Consumer spending is what is fueling the economy. The housing market (home equity loans) is fueling consumer spending. But with rising gas prices, inflation numbers on the rise and the Fed constantly bumping up the Fed Rate.... it's got "economic slowdown" written all over it.

Chicago526
08-18-2005, 10:31 AM
To answer the OP's original question, for us it's a combo of two things. My travel agent discount and DFi's overtime pay. We dont' "live" on his OT, we use it for vacations and big ticket items that aren't nessesary (like DFi wants a big screen tv, welll, okay so do I! Or we want to remodle the upstairs bathroom).

Even if we didn't get my agency discount, we'd still go to WDW, we'd just stay at moderate resorts instead of deluxe.

Actually, we won't be going once a year anymore. DFi will be "Disney'd out" after our honeymoon, we won't be back until we have kids. Our next couple of vacations will be a cruise and a trip to Vegas.

thelionqueen
08-18-2005, 11:10 AM
I am a SAHM, my husband is self-employed (no company, just him). We live a moderate existence. Nice but older home, 1995 SUV (running like a top, will drive it til' it don't drive no more!) Only $700 in credit card debt that will be paid off in 5 weeks.

The biggest thing that allows us to go at least once (this year twice :banana: ) a year is my penny pinching! I literally have a chart on the fridge with my "saving" goal. Every day I try to save $20.00 wherever and however I can. I shop at large discount retailers, buy all our clothes off season and many others.

Whenever and however I can save ANY money at all, I will fight to get it! I can honestly say, I hit that target a vast majority of the time. I'd say on average I save our family $200-250 per month. This money is deducted from our primary account and put into a vacation club account. This is how we pay for our vacations, and it honestly almost takes no effort. It is a labor of love for me, and I am really good at it!

I also look for super deals on airfare and such. Like the free dining w/Disney was just too good to pass up, and will save us around $700!

Disney is my inspiration and I can do anything with going there as my goal!!

MandM-Mom
08-18-2005, 11:53 AM
We usually go and use our tax refund for our once a year family vacation. And then throughout the year take just 1 or 2 day side trips, nothing extravagant. Bit we don't always go to Disney.... I usually have a couple different places in mind and decide where to go based on $$$$$ This May was the first time we went to Disney as a Family, we got Southwest for 49.00 each way so that was also a bonus. In the past we have done a few cruises, Las Vegas, and me and DH went to Jamaica. I shop for vacations like I do everything else we go where its ON SALE! We are not extravagant people but we do like to travel, so we cut corners where we can, an example is we stay at value resorts instead of something better, but we also love the value resorts. When we cruise we pick an older still beautiful boat instead of the brand new ones with most of the same ammentities.... Its good enough for us, its what we can afford..

jjbeck
08-18-2005, 11:58 AM
We have been visiting Disney World for 29 years with our 7 children and 5 grandchildren. We started with a travel trailer behind a station wagon in 1976 and 6 children. We moved to a motorhome and did that for 15 years until we started renting houses. In 2002, we had a 6 bedroom house for two weeks with the adults paying about $30 per night per person. everyone had a ball. Call me at 1-866-895-9596 for any additional info you may need on renting houses in the Disney area and saving a bundle of money while providing tremendous facilities and options while in the Disney area.

gypsydoodlebug
08-18-2005, 12:25 PM
We (two adults, one 2yo) take several SHORT vacations a year -- generally 3-5 days. That cuts down the cost of things considerably. We fly Southwest generally, but this time are going Vacation Express on that awesome $56/RT fare last month. Usually, we go to WDW once a year, but last year we went THREE times ––*once DH had a conference, once I had to go for work and then the vacation we had originally scheduled and paid for was a $500 Hotwire package that included 5 nights at the Doubletree PLUS airfare and car.

I also think a lot of it has to depend on your tastes. We have champagne tastes on a beer budget –– that means Priceline-ing to upgrade our hotel choices and NOT staying on property. We rent a car and eat off property as well.

bdcp
08-18-2005, 05:07 PM
We have a six figure income, and where we live that's not unusual, (cost of living is pretty high) but we've only been twice to WDW and our 2 kids are now in college which eats up a lot of our disposable income. We take a vacation pretty much every year. Mostly to the beach. The reality is, it's cheaper to go to WDW for a week than to the beach for a week. When our kids were small and we didn't have two incomes, we spent less on vacations and for shorter times. I think you'll find quite a few people on here scrape every penney together and have yard sales, etc to save for a trip to WDW. Not necessarily charging everything or borrowing. I think a lot of people have the idea that no way can their neighbor afford to do something if they can't. Not necessarily true. I also know a few people who have inherited cash and use it for fun. We're getting ready to go for a week to WDW in Nov and then on a four day cruise right after. I've been saving some every pay period to pay the credit card as deposits are charged for the hotel, cruise, etc. Why is the assumption that everyone is spending all their equity on vacations? Some do, but most do not. Like a lot of people do, we put plenty into 401K's and investments and have for years, even when money was tight.

The fact is, everyone has different priorities where their money is concerned. We drive older cars, but have a new large house. I don't use coupons, or have the time or inclination to search out all the "best" deals. Other's spend hours poring over the internet and paper coupons. It's all choices.

alabamagirl
08-18-2005, 05:34 PM
Geez.........and I thought I was doing a good job with our finances. However, it really surprises me how many people say they are "debt-free" and don't use credit cards. We don't have a lot of credit card debt, but we are not credit card debt free. We have two car payments (both are low however) and we are looking for a house, which will put us in even more debt when we find one. Plus all of the usual bills (cell phone, cable, internet, water, power, etc.)

But.........I am still going to Disney in June. How? Save, save, save. I just got a raise, that $$ is going straight to savings. Having a yard sale soon, keeping change, deducting $50 out of our checking and putting it straight into savings NO MATTER WHAT every two weeks. To me it boils down to how bad you want it. Well I want a Disney vacation BAD!!! :earsgirl:

3DisneyKids
08-18-2005, 10:40 PM
Hokiefan...if you want the poll, you can go first...LOL

Such sensitive and private information...I wonder if people will be willing to post it even though we are anonymous.

drakethib
08-18-2005, 11:06 PM
Ok, forgive me if this has been discussed previously, but I read so many great threads about folks who go to WDW at least once every year. HOW do you all do it?! I can't imagine there are that many "wealthy" people out there, so there has to be something to it. We don't use plastic much (I'm sure some folks rack up big bills going to Disney that way). I would love to get there once a year but it seems to take us at least a couple years to be able to save the money. We are a family of 5, and because the rooms that are large enough for us are much too expensive, we will tent camp at FW and drive down (airfare for 5 is out of the question, and besides I hate to fly!).

I'd just love to know how you all do it. TIA!



Here is my 2 cents.

We are a married couple who both have been blessed with good jobs but we live on a budget as we weren’t always as lucky as we are now. When we first got married we owed a great deal of money and it was kind of tight for us.

I am certainly not one qualified to give out financial advice but if I can say one thing, pay yourself a certain $ amount (whatever it may be) to your savings account from every paycheck before you pay any other bill. Trust me, you will find a way to make your bills one way or the other.

We live in a nice house in a golf community that I bought for an extremely great deal as it was a relocation property. (Savings $$$$) My neighbor paid about $50K more for his house then mine and they are almost the exact same sq. ft.

We cut coupons and look for sales.

I am not shy about asking for a discount no matter what I buy no matter if it is at Sears, Wal-mart, Best Buy or wherever.

We currently have no kids (but one due here in about a month!!! ).

We charge everything we can to the Disney Visa and pay it off at the end of the month. Credit cards are a nice thing, but the can be very evil very quickly. Never carry a balance on a credit card unless it is one of those 0% for one year or whatever. Just make sure you pay them off before the interest rate kicks in.

We have done both extravagant trips as well as budget trips and had a blast on both so you don’t always have to spend a ton of money to have fun.

We bought DVC resale (saved some $$$) and paid cash for it. It was a hard check to write but we didn’t want to finance. If we would have had to finance it, I doubt we would have bought it.

On one trip, after a week of eating out for every meal we found that we got sick from all of the rich food so we began eating at least one meal in our room per day. Saved a bunch there alone.

Bought MYW tickets with no expiration date.

My last thought and many may laugh at it but I believe in this.

Never take advantage of someone who is down on their luck. (Joe Blow got a divorce and is selling his PC for $25 because he needs money). Never “stiff” a waiter or waitress when they are working their butt off just because you are trying to save money. Doing stuff like this just isn’t right. Karma is real and what goes around comes around.

montblanc
08-18-2005, 11:19 PM
A few things help...

1. No credit cards
2. Put money aside every month
3. Use Annual Pass for discounts
4. Use Dining Card for discounts

My next stay would cost around $2,800.00 for parks, meals and restaurants without the discounts, with discounts it is... $1,500.00. So I now stay in the deluxe resorts exclusively although I still want to try the Coronado after failing in 2003 and this year (overbooked, they cancelled my 1 year old ressie).

drakethib
08-18-2005, 11:24 PM
I agree with Rockyroad and Muffycat....it all depends what area of the country you come from.

I live in Northern NJ and it might as well be Manhatten. My taxes for a small 3 bedroom cape are almost $10K. My house is probably worth about $525K My good friend who lives on 6 acres in north Ga with a 5 bedroom SPRAWLING ranch her taxes are $1200, she just bought her house for $225K. She can't figure out how we do it up her in north. We are both in the same profession and both make about the same amount of money.

It's a constant struggle keeping up with taxes and the very high cost housing. So when I go to WDW it seems that it is pretty reasonable. Unless you order room service for pizza and they bring you a $40 pizza that at home you would pay may $12. So when I bought DVC is was very reasonable and it seemed ecnomical to me.

I still hunt for the best airfare, best car rental prices, and figure ways to save on Dinning and tickets.


10k in property taxes. Oh I would cry !!!! :scared:

drakethib
08-18-2005, 11:27 PM
I'm not trying to say that there are many here at the poverty level...or that the median income is 43K, but rather that there are plenty of people here who are not "dripping in money", as an earlier poster said. I do agree that it's impossible to ascertain by the number of trips that a family makes what they are worth.

I do think this though, that we have become an "instant gratification" nation. We want it...and we want it now. Think back 25-30 years ago when many of us here were children. Did you all go to Walt Disney World every year? Did our families spend thousands of dollars on vacations? Mine sure didn't. Credit cards were around back then, but they sure weren't as easy to get. Perhaps that has something to do with it?

Same thing with automobiles. Do you remember seeing so many luxury vehicles on the road back then? I sure don't remember that. Back then, leasing didn't exist. Conicidence? I don't think so. I guess my point is that while just about every person, kid or otherwise I know has been to Disney World at least once...it still remains true that a vacation to Walt Disney World ranges from moderately expensive to *very* expensive. And yet the parks are just jam packed with people. And consumer credit card debt is at an all-time high in this country...again...coincidence? I don't think so.

So I find it admirable that the OP is sort of scratching her head saying..."man...how do you all do it?" The answer sure isn't that this board is dripping with money.

You see it here all the time...the posts that start with, "Well, money is kind of tight right now, but I just couldn't pass up the Free Dining Offer and little Jimmy will only be 2 once..." That kind of thing is pervasive here. And I can see how it can lead someone like the OP to think..."hmmm...what are we doing wrong here..." The answer...nothing. She's asking the right questions, ones that we should all ask ourselves.

The other one is..."we invested in DVC". Now, I'm not knockind DVC. We owned for several years ourselves. But it's not an investment. It's not a way to save money. It's a way to save money on a Deluxe Walt Disney World vacation. And owning DVC means that you not only have the original cost to deal with, but also dues, and tickets and transportation to get here. People who are struggling to save for one WDW trip probably shouldn't be thinking about buying into the DVC. If you normally vacation at WDW every other year in a deluxe hotel and can afford it....great! But it's not an investment. It's a pre-paid deluxe vacation plan that will require a great deal of future spending.


100% agree with the assesment of DVC. I feel the exact same way and I am an owner.

drakethib
08-18-2005, 11:38 PM
It is no more of a leap than your conclusions that people who vacation and stay at just the value resorts are charging it, based on nationwide consumer debt. That is a "leap", too. As I have said (repeatedly), you would have to take a poll to know for sure!


Actually someone did take a poll a while back and the results (for what there worth) was of the poll 45.09% of the people who took the poll were had incomes of 90k- 150K per year. Approximately 67% of the people who took the poll have incomes above 90K per year.

With that being said if you read the thread there were a couple of people who said they purposely choose a incorrect range becusae they disagreed with the topic and poll. Not sure what they were trying to accomplish by doing that though :confused:


Here is the link.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=850131

Glendamax
08-19-2005, 03:14 AM
Thanx for posting the link for the poll. When planning my vacations, I often wonder if I'm being cheap, or not saving enough during the year so I can have the accomodations that I'd like. But after seeing that most people on the poll make 30k + than I do, I feel alot better. It let me know that I AM taking the vacation that I can afford, and need to continue to stay within the limits I've set for myself. :)

cjb71870
08-19-2005, 03:36 AM
I'm not going to write my story, but am HAPPY you guys come down to the MOST Magical place on earth!

crisi
08-19-2005, 11:22 AM
Note that the poll is over on the DVC community board. I would suspect that DVC members (having a $10k+ to plunk down on DVC membership - or having bought in years ago when it was less and therefore probably being a little older) have higher incomes (as a population) than if you posted the same question over on the community board. And that the community board would be different than the people on the restaurant board, the cruise board or here. Each population has different dynamics.

For instance, while cruising isn't necessarily more expensive than a week at WDW, the lower limit you can get to with WDW is cheaper (packing sandwiches, eating off site, staying off site), than with the cruise, where you are paying to eat a multicourse sit down meal each evening and if you stay offsite you aren't cruising!

dvcgirl
08-19-2005, 01:04 PM
Actually someone did take a poll a while back and the results (for what there worth) was of the poll 45.09% of the people who took the poll were had incomes of 90k- 150K per year. Approximately 67% of the people who took the poll have incomes above 90K per year.

With that being said if you read the thread there were a couple of people who said they purposely choose a incorrect range becusae they disagreed with the topic and poll. Not sure what they were trying to accomplish by doing that though :confused:


Here is the link.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=850131

Ah yes, but guess which states are have the largest numbers of DVC members? New York and NJ. 90K a year in NJ or NY, unless you're talking Rochester, is not a whole heck of a lot of money for the average family. It is far from "stinking with money", let's put it that way.

Our household budget here in Orlando Florida for two adults and three dogs is $2,750 a month (33,000 year). We moved here last year from NJ....where our budget was *much* higher. Now keep in mind, we have no mortgage or car payments (didn't have them in NJ either). And we cut our own lawn and take care of our own pool. That budget factors in property taxes, association fees, utilities, auto and home owners insurance, pet food/pet meds/pet grooming, groceries, phone bills (land line and cells), cable and internet access, and security system. Now, the only "extravagances" in those numbers would be that we have a $100 cell phone for the two of us, we use a lot of minutes. And we also have a high end cable package for $120 a month...so you could knock off about $100 to bring those numbers down to "average". It doesn't include gas for our autos, clothing, eating out, spending money for anything, travel, retirement savings/investing. Also keep in mind we are two adults. We have no children and aren't saving for college costs coming down the road. So...33K a year...in after tax dollars, and we haven't done or bought a single thing.

So that average family of four in the northeast....making 90K....with a mortgage, one or two car payments....it's going to be tight. It's going to be *very* tight if they're saving for retirement and college for the kids.

SleepyatDVC
08-19-2005, 02:32 PM
10k in property taxes. Oh I would cry !!!! :scared:


Yep! Property Taxes in Northern NJ are riduculous! My DH's parents had a house in Hawthorne, NJ before they relocated to Houston, TX in 2002. It was a very nice colonial in a cul-de-sac. They sold it for over $500k in 2002. Of course, it is now valued over $900k. :rolleyes1

Anyways, the property taxes back in 2002 before they even sold it was around $10k/year. Who knows how much it is now? I think it's calculated around 2% on the value of the house?

They offered to let DH and our family live in their house "rent free." We would just have to pay all the property taxes, water charges, lawn and property maintenance charges, insurance, and all other house expenses, etc. Now kkep in mind my MIL and FIL had beautiful landscaping which they pay a few thousand a year to upkeep.

DH and I discussed it and decided not to touch that "offer" with a 10 foot pole. Especially since we would probably keep our apartment in the city (easier for work & free) and only stay out in the house on the weekends and more permanentlywhen the kids started school 2 years later.

Not only would we have to put in $15 - $20K (or more) a year (more than a rental in the city) in a house that wasn't even ours, we would have someone criticizing our upkeep. They are quite particular on how they want their house to "look" - very keeping up with the Jones, IYKWIM. They also visit the NYC/NJ area at least once every 3 months (their doctors are stil up here), so guess where they will be living while here? :rolleyes: Also, if we kept the house, they would probably leave all their furniture and possessions behind rather than paying to move it to TX (where DH's sister lives).

So, who wants to be stuck paying for all expenses for a house that isn't even ours, stuck with someone's furniture and things, and with the actual homeowners' visiting every 3 months? :rolleyes: Certainly not me!

So, we declined their "lovely" offer and they sold their house for a very nice price. Of course, now they regret selling it since the price has almost doubled while their house in Houston hasn't moved much at all. I ignore all their sighings and think to myself "Don't look at me because you couldn't find a sucker!"

So while high property taxes here are preventing me from affording to buy a house here in the NYC/NJ area, it also saved me from a potentially difficult In-Law situation!

montblanc
08-19-2005, 05:02 PM
Most people have one area where they don't mind spending more than unusual whether it be art investments, hobbies or vacations. My income is very modest, I don't own property and I spend extravagantly on my Disney vacations. I figure that DD (age 11) has only one life and vacations are something you never forget. My Dad took us out on wonderful 1 month trips every year, those form the core of my childhood memories.

DisneyMommyMichelle
08-19-2005, 05:14 PM
Hello! we book within 1week of coming from Disney and we usually book about a year out. We only need to put down 100$ per person and we usually get packages with all the bells and whistles we know we will use. Then we pay off monthly whatever we have to send there. Our trip gets paid off and then no worries!

lillygator
08-19-2005, 09:16 PM
Well - we are a family of 4 now...with two under three. We live in Florida...have Fl AP's DDE card and take advantage of any price breaks on resort rooms. We have never paid rack or even close to it for a room. If we lived out of state I don't know how we would do it. We have no debts other than mortgage and my student loan. I doubt we would ever buy into DVC - I would rather pay a down payment on another property in Fl....

TENIA66
08-19-2005, 09:22 PM
great tips. how do you and how much is it to become a member of AAA???

gypsydoodlebug
08-19-2005, 09:57 PM
great tips. how do you and how much is it to become a member of AAA???

Call 'em. DH and I are gold members for the additional towing and we pay about $120/year in Kentucky, but you can get a basic membership for much less (around $40/pp).

BBGraph
08-20-2005, 12:37 AM
Single disney fan that buys an AP, and makes 3-4 Trips a year I don't Earn alot of money but have always had family that led me in good finance decisions have a mortgage but am very frugel on everything and being solo I don't need to Stay in the largest or most Expensive Rooms at Disney and am Considering DVC or at least renting points and checking out the resorts Beore my AP Expires.

Wendy*Darling
08-20-2005, 03:44 AM
We are a family of 5 and I am a SAHM. We travel a couple of times a year. When we've had APs, we travel to WDW multiple times per year because it is far more affordable when you get an AP rate room and do not need to buy tickets. DH and I spent quite a while paying off our honeymoon (FIL gave us his credit card and a $ to spend...we assumed it was a gift untill he gave us the cc bill to pay when we got back! Had we know that we would have taken a very different honeymoon with only charging, on our own cards, what we could pay off within 2 - 3 months.). After that exprience we agreed that we would not take a vacation unless it could be paid for in cash entirely. We use a card for things while we are there but we pay it off online as soon as we get home.

How do we end up with the $ to pay for the trips? We're blessed that DH does well in his job. Doing well would be a lot different if I went back to work because "doing well" doesn't go as far when it has to provide for 5 people! We cut corners in places where we can. Both of our vehicles are paid off. DH will be buying a new car this year because he has changed jobs and will be needing to do some travelling and will have clients in his car so it's time to get something a little nicer. We will, however, buy a "new to us" car rather than a new car. My last 2 vehicles (the "family car" and then the minivan we bumped to when our family no longer fit in that car w/ 3 car/booster seats!) have been lease returns with low mileage and in great shape. The van is paid off now and has just over 100,000 miles on it and I'm totally fine with that. I've never been a car person so it is a utilitarian thing to me, not a status thing at all. We have a great interest rate on our home so that helps. We eat out maybe 3 times a month. Our grocery budget is well honed and is less than many families of 3 (ALDI ALDI ALDI!). We don't buy CDs or DVDs etc. The kids get Disney DVDs but they are gifts from grandma most of the time. The last time I bought a CD was about 3 years ago. We don't download music either...it's the radio or the digital music channel on cable! I am the queen of the consignment sale for kids clothes. It's an event for me...be at the door when they open for the "seller presale" (I am almost always selling just enough of my kids stuff to get that presale pass!) to get a jump on the good stuff. The clothes that don't come from consignment sales are bought off season on clearance. I hardly ever buy new clothes for me (the perk of being a SAHM, I almost never have to dress up so the occasional couple of new tops from Target or Old Navy and my old standby jeans are all I need!). DH and I do not buy birthday/anniversary/valentines day gifts for each other. We go out for a nice evening w/o the kids (my parents babysit so free sitter) and we put the $ we would have spent for gifts into the vacation fund...that is our gift to each other.

We've managed to take our last 3 vacations without taking anything out of the regular family budget. One was paid for selling the baby stuff and kids clothes on ebay, one was paid for b/c a big part of it was a gift from Grandma and Grandpa. Tax refunds, gifts, bonuses, my occasional work from home jobs, the change jar idea, the budget "underages" (I take out cash for grocery shopping, it's like a game "how many mickey bars worth of savings can I rack up this week?" and any cash left over after the shopping goes in the "Mickey Money pig") and we charge everything (other than groceries!) that we can to Disney Visa and pay it off every month so we have a few hundred dollars in rewards.

For us, vacation is when we do the special stuff we don't do all year. We eat at sit down restaurants at least once, usually twice per day. We spend the majority of our trip in deluxe resorts, we do special stuff. It's worth it to us to make sacrifices all year in little things we really don't miss anymore. We started making those sacrifices just for me to be a SAHM but since then DH's income has really gone up but we are so used to the sacrifices that they don't feel like "sacrifices" any more! I had an old college friend who came to visit tell me that she never would have expected me to "live like this" because I was always "a Charlotte" (think Sex and the City) in that I always had "the finer things" and had that put together look but since having 3 kids my expensive handbag and shoes days are gone and I am dressed in jeans and an Old Navy top rather than an "outfit." I think she sees it as that I took a step backwards. I see it as a shift in priorities. :) I'm in a different place in life now and I'm happy with things the way they are! When they kids are older and I go back to work I'm sure my "Charlotte-ness" will return somewhat but for now I'm fine being that consignment sale crazed Mom! :teeth:

DisneyAunt
08-22-2005, 09:50 AM
I realized something this weekend...I spent the weekend at the jersey Shore and I spent more money with the kids than I would have in the same amount of time in Disney.

The boardwalk must have some magnet that just puls money out of your pocket.

So in my opinion......It is more economical for me to go to Disney then spend my money the boardwalk at the Jersey shore.

tinaluis
08-22-2005, 10:47 AM
DisneyAunt,
Same here -- we took a trip one year to the Grand Canyon/Las Vegas and I kept thinking that we'd have spent less $$ at WDW and enjoyed ourselves more LOL.
Tina

hokiefan33
08-22-2005, 11:58 AM
DH and I spent quite a while paying off our honeymoon (FIL gave us his credit card and a $ to spend...we assumed it was a gift untill he gave us the cc bill to pay when we got back!

WHAT???!!! Now that is a raw deal. Surely communication must have broken down somewhere...I myself could probably never have spoken to my FIL again had he pulled a stunt like that with me!

drakethib
08-22-2005, 11:01 PM
I realized something this weekend...I spent the weekend at the jersey Shore and I spent more money with the kids than I would have in the same amount of time in Disney.

The boardwalk must have some magnet that just puls money out of your pocket.

So in my opinion......It is more economical for me to go to Disney then spend my money the boardwalk at the Jersey shore.


You hit a good point.

Going to a local Six Flags here in Houston cost me close to $400 bucks for one day for my wife and 3 nieces.

Sure you get in for about 40 bucks per person but the food is more then Disney (if you can believe that), every things is extra (inner tubes for water park 8 bucks a pop) locker rent 10 bucks, rock wall 10 backs, etc). It added up quick.

I could have done a budget trip for all of us for proably $1500 bucks for a few days and had a much better time.

Wendy*Darling
08-23-2005, 03:40 AM
WHAT???!!! Now that is a raw deal. Surely communication must have broken down somewhere...I myself could probably never have spoken to my FIL again had he pulled a stunt like that with me!


The only communication breakdown was his failure to tell us we could use the card but would get the bill later. After our first shower (about 6 months before the wedding) he came up to us, handed us the card and said "I wanted to give you this to take care of your honeymoon. Go ahead and spend up to $X,XXX and go someplace nice." We both had a really BIG excited reaction to it awhich I would think would have clued him in that we understood it to mean he was giving us a honeymoon as a gift (particularly since it was given to us at a shower when he had not brought a gift). Nothing was EVER said about it after that. We booked and paid for the honeymoon and DH gave him back the card and said "thank you, we spent $_____..." and he said "sounds good!" Of course a month after we got back he gave us the bill to take over. He paid out deposit but the rest of the trip we paid for...with interest.

Believe me, it's just a drop in the bucket with him. There are many reasons that I am not close with my FIL, this was just the start.

JPN4265
08-23-2005, 06:11 AM
We never spend $1.00 bills. We have a water jug that we put all of our dollars and change in. this year we saved over $1,200.00. It becomes fun after you get started. If you want a cup of coffee, a coke, or something to eat, remember, you can not spend a dollar or change. The money really adds up. :cool1:

muffy0110
08-25-2005, 02:25 AM
that is a really good idea-I have heard of the change jar-infact I do it
every year for my husband-he ends up with about 70 dollars-mabey after
this WDW trip in Nov.-we'll try the dollar jar

Sinclare
08-26-2005, 09:16 AM
Ok, forgive me if this has been discussed previously, but I read so many great threads about folks who go to WDW at least once every year. HOW do you all do it?! I can't imagine there are that many "wealthy" people out there, so there has to be something to it. We don't use plastic much (I'm sure some folks rack up big bills going to Disney that way). I would love to get there once a year but it seems to take us at least a couple years to be able to save the money. We are a family of 5, and because the rooms that are large enough for us are much too expensive, we will tent camp at FW and drive down (airfare for 5 is out of the question, and besides I hate to fly!).
I'd just love to know how you all do it. TIA!

Others have said much of this but it does all come down to trading one thing for another. I'm a single parent with a decent job (trying to pay off school loans/vehichle loan) who lives with his parents and doesn't bother "dating" anymore (you wouldn't believe how much that saves :rotfl: :rotfl: :scared: :scared: ). My son isn't going to want to hang with me for much longer so I figure I would rather make these sacrifices now than regret not spending time with my son later.

Could I pay off my bills sooner, have my own house, or have a better socal life? Sure, but it's just not worth sacrificing time with my son. Everyone makes different sacrifices and goes for different reasons.

deejohn
08-26-2005, 02:51 PM
We are a family of 6 (actually 5, since baby is 2)in the NE too, and here's how I manage to do it about every 18 months - 2 years:
1. Go during Value season booking early - Disney allows you to put down a deposit and pay the balance up to 90 days before arrivial. That is an interst free loan in my opinion
2. Book the flight on a discount airline & book it early - April rate from AirTran for us $986; as of 10 minutes ago: $3,256
3. Buy tickets from Disney store: one a month
4. Use a limo service to stop at Grocery store (Magic Express might be better) and load up on grab-it food.($100, but savings are worth it and no hassle getting to/from airport)
5. Purchase Food Vouchers off of eBay
Total cost for this trip in Dec - $3800 the most I have ever spent!!! but I needed to get 2 rooms and my oldest is now an Adult Ticket. My usual cost is around $2900 - I guess I am wealthy, but not at one time.

Spreading out the costs and planning is what allows me to do it.

jtopp
08-26-2005, 05:34 PM
Our family vacation is a priority in our life. DW and I both work, and the time we dedicate to our family at WDW is priceless. We joined DVC to save on hotel costs, we fly discount or off hours, or drive 16 hours. We eat some meals in our room, we buy an annual pass and try to time our vacations to get two trips out of them. At the end of every work day, the change in my pocket gets put aside. This usually adds up to pay for gas, tolls and food when we drive, or a rental car when we fly. Above all, we sacrifice. Our children know the payoff is a WDW trip, so they understand why mom or dad is working overtime. They know that once we are at WDW, they have our undivided attention

disneysteve
08-26-2005, 06:53 PM
Ok, forgive me if this has been discussed previously, but I read so many great threads about folks who go to WDW at least once every year. HOW do you all do it?! I can't imagine there are that many "wealthy" people out there, so there has to be something to it. We don't use plastic much (I'm sure some folks rack up big bills going to Disney that way). I would love to get there once a year but it seems to take us at least a couple years to be able to save the money. We are a family of 5, and because the rooms that are large enough for us are much too expensive, we will tent camp at FW and drive down (airfare for 5 is out of the question, and besides I hate to fly!).
I haven't read the whole thread but wanted to add my opinion. We are one of THOSE families that go to WDW at least once a year. Going to Disney doesn't have to break the bank or result in credit card debt. It can be done for a lot less than you probably think. We spend about $2000 for a week at Disney. I don't see that as a huge amount for a vacation. There are only 3 of us so it would be more for you since there are 5 of you. We drive down. We stay offsite in a condo/house/timeshare which would be a great option for you. You can rent a beautiful 2-bed, 2-bath condo for under $50/nite and be within 5 miles of the parks. I would never consider staying onsite when places like that are available. We eat breakfast in our condo. We don't do many formal sit down meals. And we eat some meals offsite. Last trip, we averaged $60/day for all of our food, drinks and snacks for the 3 of us.

WeLoveThePoly
08-26-2005, 08:11 PM
.....
2. Book the flight on a discount airline & book it early - April rate from AirTran for us $986; as of 10 minutes ago: $3,256
.....

:earseek:

Wow! I guess it DOES pay to book early!!!

Debbie

Disneykat
08-26-2005, 08:13 PM
Hi! I am a single mom with 2 children. I go in value season.This year I it took me 4 months to book plane tickets I was online every day but by waiting I got a great deal! We don't spend a lot of money at Disney(well ...at least we try not to!). :flower:

PatriciaH
08-26-2005, 10:09 PM
Ok, forgive me if this has been discussed previously, but I read so many great threads about folks who go to WDW at least once every year. HOW do you all do it?! I can't imagine there are that many "wealthy" people out there, so there has to be something to it. We don't use plastic much (I'm sure some folks rack up big bills going to Disney that way). I would love to get there once a year but it seems to take us at least a couple years to be able to save the money. We are a family of 5, and because the rooms that are large enough for us are much too expensive, we will tent camp at FW and drive down (airfare for 5 is out of the question, and besides I hate to fly!).

I'd just love to know how you all do it. TIA!

Two words..no kids. :rotfl: Seriously though we have a lot of extra $$ because of that.

deacondarlin
09-01-2005, 06:12 PM
We're also the "no kids" type....we don't even have the furry kind yet. But still, it took a LOT of planning and scouting and bargain hunting to get the deals we got. We had booked for early December (did that in January so we'd have several months to pay it off)...but caught the Free Dining deal and rearranged to go 9/16-24 to take advantage of the free food...with those savings, plus booking a regular room instead of a preferred at a value resort (ASMu), we ended up being able to stay 8 nights instead of the 5 we had originally planned! Granted, as far as spending money goes, we only have around $250...had $500, but then saw out of the world airfare and booked it...yeah, even with gas at $3.75 per gallon, we probably could have driven cheaper....but 10 hours is a long time. And, that $500 included gas money. We're not big "stuff" people...won't buy many souviners. We'd rather just enjoy being away from work and take lots of pictures. I gues its all in how you prioritize.

Heidi WDW girl
09-30-2005, 02:59 PM
Like many other people have said, it all depends on your lifestyle. For those who are die hard disney fans...it's achievable! My last trip to disney wasn't too expensive b/c we learned how to cut corners. First, try to fly down during their slow season, we went down last September and since school had just started back up, the parks weren't too busy. (This will make play time in the parks much for efficient - no long lines!) You may even want to get the park hopper passes so that you can fit in a couple of parks in one day...it will be a long day, but it's worth it. Next, don't try to be a fancy with your hotel...just having someplace to sleep works for me. We booked our hotel with HotelmartUSA, and they got us a really good price at a cheap hotel (as long as you don't expect too much, you'll be completely satisfied!) And if you have a larger family, hotelmartusa also books condos, townhomes, and villas. Next, don't eat out all the time, and try not to eat in the parks...stop at a grocery store and buy snacks that you can keep in your room and carry around with you. (you'll be amazed at how much you will save!) My last pointer is just to save up as much $ as you can prior to the trip - someone had mentioned putting all "extra" money aside and that's a great idea. Disney is a truly magical place that everyone should experience, even if you can't make it every year. I hope this helps you a little bit!

~Heidi

budbeerlady
10-05-2005, 03:29 PM
We are about $60,000 a year with the two of us working. I know :rotfl2: a drop in the bucket compared to lots of others. We are paying for privet school here for the DD (5) and I have been pre-buying tuition to save money (like everythink else that goes up each year). I drive :rotfl2: an 1986 buick lasabre red with rust, very attractive. (Starts first time, everytime) But I refuse a car payment as I drive 70+ miles a day back and forth to work. We have a nice house on almost 11 acres in the country (hence the commute and schooling for DD) and thus a chunk of a house payment. I will scrap gum off the sidewalks if necessary for this trip to make the money. I have also been sticking away the $1 bills and the quarters. But in the summer time I do antique shows with M in Law to pay for the extras like school and trips. I garage sale at lunch, also save money on clothes for DD doing this, and resale the stuff at an antique mall near our home. We split the monthly rent and cash that is generated from selling. It has paid for our trip and for school for this year. You just need to find what works for you. I have also switched to save a lot for a lot of our groceries and paper products. (Walmart is expensive compared to them in our town.)

PA DISNEYLOVER
10-05-2005, 05:04 PM
We did Disney twice this year. It was the 1st time that had ever happened. My husband is in the Navy reserves so we take the money that he earns from that and put it in savings and we are also lucky enough to be able to stay at SOG. Sometimes I read the post about the deluxe hotels and think about how I wish I could stay there, but truth be told we spend very little time in the hotel so SOG always wins.

minnie1928
10-05-2005, 06:16 PM
People often ask how we do it....it's simple.....I do it! If I left it to my husband we'd only be able to afford to go every 2-3 years! :teeth:

I book what I want, to ensure a room. Then basically from that point until we step on the airplane I spend some time each day surfing for codes, deals, Dings, whatever I can get to make it a better deal. The last trip we bought in to DVC, so I probably won't be looking for WDW codes as much. Now I can focus entirely on airfare :rotfl2: ! We would also buy annual passes and use them on 2 trips before they expired.

Also, since we go relatively often, souvenirs aren't a big deal for us. I think we might spend $20/person. Breakfast is eaten in the room, we eat a larger meal at lunch, and split orders for dinner. Do a grocery store stop at the beginning of the trip for water and Pepsi (gotta have my fix, even in Coke Land!) and other snacks. This year I'm buying the Disney Dining Experience card for discounts at restaurants.

Disney can be as expensive or as cheap as you want it to be.

Tigger2252
10-05-2005, 06:47 PM
We have been able to go to WDW every year for the past 3 years by saving for the entire year. We are a family of four with a modest income (substantially less than 6 figures!) but we also live modestly. Although we could afford a larger house, we chose to stay in our "starter house". I shop for sales, my kids have never been dressed in name brand clothes and shoes (and really don't care), we set aside money each paycheck no matter what! We save our income tax return and make sure that money is deducted from each check for our savings account. We don't eat out. My husband is a good mechanic, so we don't have to pay auto repair bills. Additionally, my DH had children from a previous marriage that we paid weekly support for. When the children became of age and he no longer had to pay support, we still took that money and put it away. After all, we had been living without it for years so we didn't need to spend it. If we get raises or bonuses it goes in the vacation fund. The kids (11 & 18) made the choice to pass on expensive Christmas/birthday gifts in order to travel. It's the one time a year that we are completely focused on each other and I really treasure it. I am devoted to saving for our vacations. I guess it depends on how bad you want something and how disciplined you are to stick to what you want to budget. I have been able to save for and pay cash for each vacation.

willis37862
10-05-2005, 07:27 PM
My husband gets paid every two weeks. I pay all the bills first. Then I take out a set amount for groceries and weekend fun. The rest goes into savings. (if there is any left). Every night I dump all my change into a jar along with any one dollar bills. It adds up fast. Even doing this it has taken us over 6 monthes to save for this disney trip. We are staying on site though!! :goodvibes

hsmamato2
10-05-2005, 07:47 PM
Dh and I are both extreme penny pinchers- but we treasure our vacations- so we make it work- I wouldn't substantially lower my standard of living to go to WDW- but we do plan through the year- We go every year
-Our house is nice, and comfortable,and it's not close to new...
-I'm a SAHM- hs'ing the kids- we like our field trips, our fun, and nice toys, the ones we can reasonably afford...
-We have no cc debt...
-We are not stinkin' of money(not even close)...
- when deciding to buy or not- think-is it a need, or a want?*
:earsboy: 1-we shop at Goodwill frequently-almost everything we wear is from there- and we wear GOOD, fashionable clothes- we wear a lot of dress up clothes also- lots of people, buy this stuff, wear it 1x for an occasion, then it goes to GWill,and we buy it! :teeth: or I go to Ebay- a little pricier, but still cheap- for shoes,socks, etc- look for sales and coupons(never skimp on good shoes)
:earsboy: 2-Coupons at grocery, squeeze every penny from the stores... eat well,mmmm...food...
:earsboy: 3-have budget for everything we need(plan realistically) and STICK TO IT... :umbrella: (include saving for emergency,and other needs)
:earsboy: 4- Drive used cars-(must be decent, we keep them nice) no payments
:earsboy: 5- kids know that our WDW trips always mean lots of fun, and treats that we don't normally always have- like kids meal with a silly toy at McD's instead of just the $1 menu...really! I've banned all silly toys that just get thrown away!saves $$ even at MCd's prices- treats bought out instead of at home... *This is the time when we get to indulge more of our wants than usual everyday life...
:earsboy: 6- The kids save and bring their own money for souvie's-(even the 6 year old)we go to the Dis outlet in Belz- when the kids use their own money, they think really hard before buying, and the purchase usually means a lot to them-
:earsboy: 7-If we want to spend a bit less on a given vacation- we know how to grocery shop and tote lunches- eat in room in a.m.- and we still have a blast!
:earsboy: 8- There's lots of fun, cheap stuff to do on Dis property, and we like doing it!
These all seem like little things, but a general restraint in lifestyle,not living substandard, but wisely, lets us use the $$$ we have the way we want!
:earboy2: Disclaimer- I considered the Disney characters from last months happy meals "a non-silly toy purchase...":earboy2:

DW mouser
10-06-2005, 10:32 AM
The only way I finally made it to DW was through an inhertance at age 50!!! I do have to admit that I had never checked into it because I just felt like only the rich got to go to Disney!! My mom left me some money and I used most of it to pay off cattle notes at the bank and buy some much needed equipment for our farm/ranch. I took my son and his family and us on a Disney cruise with 3 days at the Poly too. It was suppose to be a once in a lifetime vacation. Well, I was hooked!! I save every way I can so I can still take my son and his family every so often. I can not afford it every year, but this year will be my grandson's last year as he will be going off to college after this year. :( I just felt like I had to do this one more time!! My husband does not help to save for this because he thinks there are better places then Disney and he does not feel the magic!! He just sees the dollar amount!! I like to see my grandkids face's light up and know that when I am gone, they will still have all these good memories!!!

willis37862
10-06-2005, 10:38 AM
I like to see my grandkids face's light up and know that when I am gone, they will still have all these good memories!!!

That's really sweet. I am sure they have fond memories of these times together! :goodvibes

gr8ful4Him
10-06-2005, 10:49 AM
:earboy2: Disclaimer- I considered the Disney characters from last months happy meals "a non-silly toy purchase...":earboy2:
Thank you for clarifying this! ::yes:: I had the question pop up as to whether or not you would give into these...

DISNEYLOVER70
10-06-2005, 11:06 AM
There are a suprising number of "well off" people here.

There are people who live close.

There are people who make a lot of other sacrifices to feed their Disney hobby.

There are people who are excellent bargain hunters, saving money before Disney with couponing for things like groceries, saving money at Disney through a number of deals - from DVC to staying offsite to packing in meals.

There are people who aren't a family of five, but a married couple with two incomes and no kids.

A surprising number of people here have NO debt, not even a mortgage.

There are people who do all of the above.

Its hard to compare yourself with someone who makes six figures. Its hard to compare yourself to someone who lives near Atlanta, a long, but drivable drive. Its hard for someone with three kids to compare themselves to someone whose only children have fur (or whose kids are long grown). And its hard to compare yourself to someone without a mortgage.

So don't compare. Go as often as you wish and can afford to in a style you can comfortably afford. Make the sacrifices you feel comfortable making. Learn the tricks that you can apply - like couponing, or getting the most out of an AP.


Exactly what I was thinking............
We go MAYBE once every 3 years, because that is what we can afford, but I have other things I choose to save for as well, so that is a choice. My kids sometimes whine when they hear that friends go more often, and just ask them how many friends have never been..........that shuts them up quick :teeth:

WAHMto5
10-06-2005, 11:14 AM
We use our income tax return every other year JUST for Disney! We figure it is extra money we are not counting on & it benefits the entire family. That way we go every other year and everyone has fun!!

solgent
10-06-2005, 11:35 AM
This is a very interesting thread.

I went to DW/DL a few times as a kid and young adult. Loved it. My husband did not go at all until 1998-1999. We lived in Miami, got FL resident passes and went 6 times during the year. We had a wonderful time.

Since then, we moved back to the NE. We went to DL for 1 day in January 2001 because we were in California for a family wedding.

We have not been since then because we've been doing other trips. But now that we've done some of those things, we're ready to return to WDW. That is why I am on these boards, because I enjoy thinking about it!

We are a family of 5. When our first kids were born (twins), I was in graduate school. I got my degree and got a job, but we decided not to change our standard of living very much.

We were and are perfectly happy with thrift shop clothes, furniture, used car, eating in, going to the library, no cable, cell phones or Internet at home, etc. Honestly, there are restaurants that cook better food than we do at home, but those places are expensive. I would rather eat the delicious things my husband makes than most restaurant meals.

For a while we both worked full-time and our joint income was over $100K. We saved a LOT of that.

Therefore
*I was able to take a year's unpaid leave from my job when our third child was born
*we had a down-payment for a house. Our 15-year mortgage is very reasonable.
*my husband stayed home with our youngest for a year also
*my husband works PT. Our joint income is quite a bit below $100K.

I love the philosophy of the Tightwad Gazette books. If you choose frugal living and do it wisely and creatively, there's no deprivation. It's a great way to live.

suevee
10-06-2005, 02:52 PM
We get AP so we can plan two really nice trips and maybe a little one in between. then we go alot for one year and take the next two off. Right now I have a CD specifically earmarked for my WDW vacations that I saved up. :sunny:

Then I book SoG because I like the location, price, and the resort itself. I know we could go cheaper if we do smaller or off-site, but not much since the price at SoG does not change throughout the year. (There is no value or peak seasons). I pay for our rooms, tickets, and airfare ahead of time making it a line budget item, this makes that CD go further. We do like the restaurants at WDW, but they are no more expensive than the ones at home(the ones we don't go to to save money for the WDW restaurants.) :cool1:

I cook at home, coupon, do day care to pay for our disney fixes. BUT I am cutting back on the daycare, so this may be our last year for WDW splurges. At least for awhile. :rolleyes:

NancyIL
10-06-2005, 06:08 PM
Since the birth of my 3rd child, I've been a SAHM and I have a self-employed dh whose income varies. Yearly Disney vacations aren't an option, but we do go on vacation somewhere every year.

I Ebay all the time (Powerseller), I cut and color my own hair and bite my own nails :rotfl2: . I drive a 10 year old mini van with almost 200,000 miles on it :cheer2: (I'm doing a cheer in hoping the van keeps going).

Growing up, my parents weren't rich - my mom was a SAHM (she had 6 children) and my dad was a farmer who moved to provide better for his family - he was a self taught mechanic who worked his way up for the same company for over 30 years. WE ALWAYS TOOK A VACATION EVERY SUMMER. I can't tell you what I got at Christmastime and for birthdays, but I will always have those awesome memories of our family vacations.

My oldest is 16 and I know she fondly remembers every vacation we have taken; but she probably can't tell you what she received last Christmas.

For me, it's about making memories. And even though my 2 yo probably won't remember this Disney trip, she will still have the memories through all the pics we take.

I so agree with you! That's also how I grew up - with a trip every year, while living very modestly in a small ranch house. Now that I have my own family, we try to go on nice family vacations just about every year, too.

JodyTG
10-06-2005, 06:47 PM
Since the birth of my 3rd child, I've been a SAHM and I have a self-employed dh whose income varies. Yearly Disney vacations aren't an option, but we do go on vacation somewhere every year.

I Ebay all the time (Powerseller), I cut and color my own hair and bite my own nails :rotfl2: . I drive a 10 year old mini van with almost 200,000 miles on it :cheer2: (I'm doing a cheer in hoping the van keeps going).

Growing up, my parents weren't rich - my mom was a SAHM (she had 6 children) and my dad was a farmer who moved to provide better for his family - he was a self taught mechanic who worked his way up for the same company for over 30 years. WE ALWAYS TOOK A VACATION EVERY SUMMER. I can't tell you what I got at Christmastime and for birthdays, but I will always have those awesome memories of our family vacations.

My oldest is 16 and I know she fondly remembers every vacation we have taken; but she probably can't tell you what she received last Christmas.

For me, it's about making memories. And even though my 2 yo probably won't remember this Disney trip, she will still have the memories through all the pics we take.
Very well said, it's the memories that are important. I can still remember taking a vacation when I was 4 years old with my granny and papa (the year before papa died). I remember laying in the sleeper of his 18 wheeler truck with my cousin singing "Wolf Creek Pass" (the 70's children just might remember the old trucking movie songs) and watching the mountains out the front window. I, personally, don't remember what I got for Christmas LAST YEAR!

My DH and I bought into DVC because we both love Disney AND I want our kids to have those same great kinds of memories that I have. But really, the price of the vacation or the place doesn't matter much. As long as you're able to spend time together as a family then the memories will still be there.

But, I don't know if it's even an option for you, at POR in Alligator Bayou you can have 5 people in a room. It will be kind of (okay very) crowded, but that may just allow you to go more often since it's a moderate rather than a deluxe.

tfiga
10-08-2005, 12:13 AM
The way my family of 4 does it now with the new dining plan is: I take a $1000.00 from my income tax as a down payment and book the MYW with dining and this time I am buying the 7 day ticket w/ no expiration date, but I am passing on the hopper option. I am also staying in a value resort. Once I make my deposit I make monthly payments of roughly $150.00 a month until the trip is paid for. My total cost for the package is $2500.00 this time, less when I do not have to buy tickets. In addition, with the dining plan $500.00 is sufficient pocket money (unless you are a souvenir junkie) to cover all costs. When we went in May we only spent $380.00 out of pocket.

newchic99
10-08-2005, 07:51 AM
I am currently planning our next Disney trip. I want to go for Christmas 2006. I also want to stay at the Wilderness Lodge. DH , however , is not so thrilled about my hotel choice. We have stayed at POP for the last 2 trips. I love POP , I really do. I fell in love with WL this last trip though. He seems to think it is a waste of money for a deluxe hotel. It is my job to come up with the extra $$ for WL.
I am currently saving Pinecone research checks, putting away any money I save with coupons, I'll have a yard sale next summer, and gonna get my act together and sell some more on ebay.

rumrunnergirl
10-08-2005, 01:44 PM
I've lived in FL my whole life. Growing up, we went to WDW every year since the year it opened. We had a camper and stayed at Ft. Wilderness. In college and after, I bought FL resident passes and went to WDW with my Mom and sister a few times a year. Sometimes I went to Europe, California, Mexico, Vegas, etc. I SAVED. Others partied and drove new cars and wore expensive clothes. I decided I'd rather eat at home, shop Goodwill and save my money for vacations.

Since I became a Mom I've been a SAHM. DH doesn't make a ton - well under $90K, LOL - but I still SAVE. Some good books on saving are "The Complete Tightwad Gazette" and "Your Money or Your Life". There are MANY ways to save money - we are bombarded with ads telling us we "have" to have this or that - and it's totally untrue!

And having kids is not expensive, LOL. We are led to believe kids are expensive from the time they are born - you need a bassinette! you need a crib! you need a rocking chair! a baby bath! a baby swing! a changing table! a bouncer! a deluxe stroller! a toddler bed!

NOT!! My kids had none of the above. In my case, it's my DH who's expensive, LOL. You CAN have kids and still save money. ;)

Dukesmom
10-08-2005, 03:12 PM
I've been back for a week from my first ever trip to WDW, and what I thought was going to be a 10-day, once-in-a-lifetime vacation is now a full-blow obsession! :earboy2: I simply HAVE to go back to Disney! So, I will do whatever scrimping and saving that's necessary to make it happen (tentatively 9/9-9/16/06--I started planning the day we got back! :rotfl2: )

But even before my thoughts were consumed by all things Disney, I have been pretty good at saving by doing the following:

--Shop secondhand stores! 99% of my wardrobe is from Goodwill other than (socks/underwear/shoes), and I'm not one bit ashamed to say that. I wear very fashionable, high quality, mostly designer clothes in great shape and pay dirt-cheap prices for them.

--Go Vonage!! For those not familiar, this is the internet-based phone service that utilizes a broadband internet connection. Before Vonage I was paying anywhere from $75-$150 per month for land line phone service since all of my family is long-distance. Now I pay $33.88 and that includes EVERYTHING (caller ID, call-waiting, voicemail, call forwarding, unlimited local and long-distance, and a virtual phone # that allows my sister and her family to call me for free). It's the best deal around! :banana: :Pinkbounc

--I have very little credit card debt, although not always by choice. At one point my credit was in dire shape and I was never able to get credit. I've worked hard to clean up my credit and bought my first home in January, but I figure since I've lived 35 years now with basically no credit cards (other than one card with a small limit), why start now! I NEVER miss a monthly payment on any bill, ever, and still manage to put money in savings every month.

--FH and I rarely go out, maybe once every couple of months out to dinner. Other than that, we have basically no entertainment budget...we really enjoy staying home with our furry kids.

--I recently saved $30 a month on cable for channels we never used anyway. This thread (and my new Disney addiction!) also inspired me to shop my auto insurance...something I've meant to do for a couple years now because I know I can find better rates, but just never got around to.

We also have income tax returns and I get an annual bonus, and part of both will help finance next year's WDW trip. I refuse to finance any of it. And, we still have money in savings and invested in our 401K's and pension plans at work. We are not even close to well off, but with wise spending (granted, our kids are all 4-legged), I hope to make WDW an annual event!! :cheer2: :cool1: :banana:

The Sweetness
10-08-2005, 09:05 PM
:cool1: Income tax refund :cool1:

doodlebugs-mom
10-08-2005, 10:40 PM
We are far from rich and we go annually. We rent a home as opposed to staying onsite. We can grocery shop and cook meals that way. Dh bargin hunts for tickets and other things to do that are inexpensive aside from Disney. We take 2 1/2 weeks and visit with family near disney also. We actually save from the day we get home one year to the next to go and if we have extra it goes to the next yers trip. We are only DH, Me and DD it wqoudl not be anual if there were more of us going.

raammartin
10-08-2005, 11:39 PM
:earseek:

MOmousefan
10-09-2005, 07:56 PM
As a teacher, money doesn't grow on trees, but we have a career ladder program in Missouri that provides an incentive for teachers who go above and beyond what is normally required. This compensation will pay for a week-long stay at a value resort.

umaangel00
10-09-2005, 09:17 PM
After reading this entire thread. I am inspired to do more! I already posted here but now I am going to post again.

We normally don't go on vacation. This year we went for a week to Disney and next year we will be going for two weeks. We will be using what's left of DH's vacation pay (one whole week) towards Disney. We will also use our income taxes. I have recently gotten a great job. I have been here for 2 months and love it! I get basically all the overtime I want so all the overtime from both us goes towards Disney only. We do have debt but our normal pay is more than enough to cover all of that and then some. We do go out ALOT during the month. I mean like 3 times a week. So starting today, I am not going to go out more than once a week. That's still 4 times per month. But each time we go out, it's like 20 bucks so that will save us 160 bucks per month that can go towards our vacation/emergency fund! I am also going to start searching for stuff around the house so I can sell more on ebay. I am also a US Mail Monitor so I get about 40-60 bucks a month from that. That is now all going to go towards Disney. We also shop at Save-A-Lot and Aldi for everything but meat. That makes it so our grocery bill is about 60 bucks for a months worth of food. Not bad considering it's only 2 of us. Our only expensive expense on that front is our animals. Our cats have to be on Iams cat food and our dog Science Diet. Other than that we are sitting good.

DH thinks we should take other vacations other than Disney so this will probably be our last trip for a while. Unless I can convince him otherwise! :rotfl: We are not big on material things so we probably won't get many souviners. Our biggest expense will probably be food. Our condo for the two weeks was only 850.00. Our gas will probably be 300.00 and our tickets will be close to 1000.00(including US). We have budgetted for the two weeks, 2500.00. We will have saved up 4500 so I think we should be all set. LOL.

I know I could save more money by cutting other things out but we really don't have anything else to cut!

Grumpy's Gal
10-09-2005, 09:29 PM
I don't know if this pertains to anyone but frequent flyer miles.................I know people who travel alot for their jobs and rack up a BUNCH of FF miles. Then they use those FF Miles for their Disney vacation. It saves a ton.

Alicnwondrln
10-09-2005, 09:48 PM
great thread
well i also recently became a sahm and i am working part time
i am now selling old computer and college book on amazon and making some money there and we have been SAVING like crazy all of DH bonus money and we have a nice enst egg going
we are paying for our dec trip with dh vacation money
he has 5 weeks vacation and has taken none this year as he was promoted and they were to busy
they have agreed to pay him out for a several week and that is paying for our trip
i am so excited and so are the kids