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Old 08-22-2013, 03:57 PM   #1
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Question How do you save for your Disney trips?

We tend to stuff extra in a savings we have just for vacations. We also cash in the deposits on our soda and water bottles. What do you and your family do to get that Disney vacation paid for? I am just seeing if anyone had good ideas to ponder as we have been going to WDW yearly and are always looking for new ways to save.
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:11 PM   #2
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I have been creative about this in the past and always do new and different things.

We have our splurge Disney Vacay's and then our budget Disyney Vacay's. Splurge Vacay's are what I consider staying at a deluxe resort for at least a week with park hoppers, dining, and flying for transportation. I pay for these when we have a considerable tax refund and we don't have any big bills to pay. Then I can usually pay off the balance with extra money each month by forgoing a few dinner's out. Second, my husband is paid bi-weekly but we budget our bills based on two paychecks a month. Since he gets two extra paychecks a year by being paid bi-weekly, I can use them for considerable deposits.

If we are planning a budget trip (Value resort, shorter stay, usually giving up dinning but still flying) then I either put it on my Disney Visa (6months 0%) and use every extra penny I have to pay it off (lots of giving up coffee stops, eating out, new clothes etc). Sometimes I even pick up a few extra jobs like housesitting, wathcing friends kids etc and pool the money together to pay for the vacation.

I am curious to see what other people do.
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:12 PM   #3
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We never spend our change. All change we get goes into empty plastic coffee tubs. Right now we have a tub for quarters which is our Grand Floridian fund in case we ever can upgrade, for at least a few nights, to a deluxe. All other change goes in another tub - it really does add up.
Besides that, I have a plain envelope and just toss extra money into it whenever I have a few extra bucks. That seems to be working well, and we use that for our tips, transportation to and from the train stations, spending money, snacks, etc. I can always seem to find a few bucks to eagerly put away for Disney!
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:06 PM   #4
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We have a change jar we use and throughout the year we throw a spare few dollars on a Disney gift card ($5-$20 or so as we have extra pocket money) and every once in a while cash in that coin jar and put the cash on the gift card. When we have a substantial amount, we see where we are, when we want a getaway instead of a day trip, and where we can afford to stay and put a deposit on a reservation and slowly pay it down. We budget meals, gas, souvenirs, and everything on designated gift cards and always end up with leftover money on the food card and use that toward our next Disney getaway. We saved up so much this time we're staying at GF for regular deluxe price because we scored big time with a deal!
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:13 PM   #5
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We don't "save" per se....we go annually and usually as soon as one trip is over, we book the next one. We don't use credit cards, so we have to pay up with cold hard cash...

We typically figure out what we are willing to spend and then book. Since it is generally 9-12 months ahead of time, we just figure out the monthly amount it will take to pay it off 1 month prior. Then we call and make that payment every month. That way it's all paid before we get there.

So, along with our mortgage, car payments, utilities, childcare/school, and our regular savings deposits...we also factor our Disney payments into the monthly budget. . We have been doing it this way for several years and it works out quite well.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:56 PM   #6
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We've been known to play "Would you rather?" with our kids. When there's a movie at the theater or a restaurant they want to go to, we ask if they'd rather do those things, or save that money for eating out at Disney, etc. Same with buying pop, junk food, etc. Much better to hold out for a Mickey bar or a Dole whip! 9 times out of 10, our whole gang would rather save up for some Disney treats and fun!

Quite often, our trip is also considered a large part of their Christmas gift. We love to wrap up a surprise box to let them know about the next upcoming trip! For myself and DH, we're also quick to say to each other, "and Happy Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and birthdays, too!" When we have a big trip planned, we're happy to let that be our gift that covers ALL the bases!

My one DD even said that her friends think she's "so lucky and so spoiled" because she's been to Disney so much, and DD said to me, "You know, if their families would give up their junk food, season tickets, weekends in Kansas City, Friday night movies, eating out and shopping for new stuff all the time, maybe they could go to Disney, too". (Out of the mouths of babes. ) I'm so glad that DD understands why we do what we do when it comes time to save up for a special trip, but I also try to be the diplomatic Mom and explain that some families choose to spend their money on other things instead of Disney and that that's okay, too.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:22 PM   #7
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We save all our change, like a previous poster stated, even from cans & bottles.

We figure in $50 a month, like it's a bill, because it kinda is...that we charge one Disney card a month at Target, pay it off every month, charge one again..that 5% adds up to savings....

We don't eat out as much, to save money and when we do, I always have a coupon (through restaurant.com or the Entertainment Book, which we ask for as a birthday or holiday gift).Once in awhile,when possible, I put away the difference or part of, in what we saved, in my WDW envelope.

I offer to put up for sale on Ebay, items from friends, neighbors and relatives who don't have the time or knowledge to do it themselves and split the profits, which go back in that envelope. I've also sold items locally through Craigslist. You'd be surprised how well toys, even used, sell.

If I were a better baker/cake decorator, I'd hire myself out for neighborhood cakes for various celebrations.

Or if I could still sew(arthritis AND sold my machine), I'd place an ad to make school play costumes, as the Fall & Holiday seasons could bring in some money.

But, it seems, saving change, buying cards at Target and selling on Ebay is what we're left with, but it's working out okay.........
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:48 PM   #8
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W also save our change. We give Disney gift cards to each other for holidays. I go to bingo every week and I budget $25 for that. If I miss a week I put the $25 in the Disney jar and any winnings.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:53 PM   #9
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great ideas!
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:57 PM   #10
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Disney Gift cards at a discount.

* If you have a Target Red card (you can simply link your checking account to one) you get 5% off any purchase, including Disney Gift Cards

* If you have prescriptions filed at Target, they will occasionally have a 5% coupon that stacks with the Red Card discount

* If you are Sams Club member (not sure if Costco does it too) you can get Disney Gift cards at approx. 7% off

* The last two years, for two weeks in December, Target had coupons for a $10 Gift Card with the purchase of $50. Basically turned Disney Gift cards at 20% off or even more if you used the Target Red card.

I use my Disney Visa Rewards Platinum - Target and Walmart give me 2%. So I will do Target in December for about 20% + 2% , or WalMart gift cards, and then use them to get Disney Gift cards at Sams Club for roughly 7% + 2%.

I don't do the whole vacation, as I still want to take advantage of the 6 months no interest...
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:07 PM   #11
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Whenever I have cash I stick it right in my Disney fund box! It does add up. And I was planning on getting the sams club Disney gift cards

Next Disney Vacation in the works!

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Old 08-26-2013, 05:16 PM   #12
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We also have a "Disney Box" that we put all our spare change in.

For this upcoming trip, we booked it last minute so we're having to save up quickly. We stopped eating out, and instead go to the grocery store once a week. We've also found that planning our menu out for the week helps reduce food waste, as we know exactly what we need to get and when it will be used. We also try to cook larger meals that will generate leftovers so we can take lunch to work rather than spending money there as well.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:24 PM   #13
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Lots of good ideas! Thank you!
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:31 PM   #14
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These are helpful, and motivating! Thanks!
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:00 PM   #15
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most experts would tell you it's the worst thing to do

we set it up so that a healthy refund is due us each year on our tax return and it is designated as travel funds for our 'habit' for that year.

For some reason if the money is saved every paycheck during the year and co-mingled with other savings I feel guilty spending it, not sure whyTook to this system of forced savings after traditional short-term interest rates dropped like a rock. Once the refund is received, the funds do sit in an interest bearing account until utilized for various trips that calendar year.

Also, took advantage of opening SWA Chase card to earn bunch of points which I've stockpiled, making sure to pay off the purchases. Same card is used for most travel expenses and the above account's proceeds are used to pay it off. Always buy $1,000 or so of Disney gift cards using same CC @ our local grocery store Giant Eagle when they have double fuel perks on GCs.
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