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Old 01-30-2013, 11:03 PM   #1
C & L Shaw
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Spending XX% of income for vacation

I have been to WDW many, many times over the past 19 years and have never thought about how much I have spent and to me it doesn't matter because the memories I have are PRICELESS, but this trip I am planning for June is going to cost me 10% of my annual income for a weeks vacation and I have never looked at it like that. Is that crazy or what?

I know others can afford much more than I can but I wonder if they have ever looked at the percentage of their annual income they spend for a week at WDW.

Does Disney realize how much people spend to vacation with them?
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:06 PM   #2
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Kind of scary when you think about it, eh?

I do believe that as you move up the income scale, you can afford a higher percentage of income.


For someone making $100,000 a year, a $10,000 vacation might not only be totally doable, but not even that big of a deal.

OTOH, for someone making $10,000 a year, a $1,000 vacation is probably out of the question.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:31 PM   #3
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This played a big part in our decision to move to Florida. We used to spend thousands on our Disney trips.

Now, I pay $18 a month for an annual pass. We just got back from a week this month where we paid under $400 for our room for the week. It was $67 a night with our discount.

Since we have a car on property, we go grocery shopping to cut down on food we have to eat elsewhere. IF we do decide to have a dining plan, those are always discounted for passholders too. It's just a matter of wanting to eat all that food they give you!

Anyway, about $35 for gas and tolls and we're in.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:51 PM   #4
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It's always a difficult question and our vacation (and dining out) budget is something I try not to think about it.

I'm in an expensive city but we made a conscious decision to buy a small house so that we could afford move travel/dining/experience type things. Our furniture is slowly improving but the place still mostly looks like an Ikea enabled dorm room. My fashionista friends sigh over my wardrobe and shake their heads because I make my own tea instead of running out to Starbucks.

I'm not deprived by this and as a result have the means to spend 10% on a vacation or two every year although we try to spend less. Disney budgets fascinate me in how varied they can be. The deluxe dining plan deluxe villa grand plan a few years ago just scared me - we could afford it but it was excessive and made me uncomfortable. The bargain basement trip last month was awesome and I don't think we missed out on anything we wanted.

I am mostly horrified by the increase in restaurant prices. We find it cheaper to pay OOP and would never go back to the dining plan but the bills were just shocking. Again, I live in an expensive city. We have excellent restaurants. The prices don't touch Disney except for the most celebratory of places. We can afford the signatures but the perceived lack of value at almost all of the TS is sending us scurrying back to quick service.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:08 AM   #5
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When I was in 6th grade, my Dad got a new job that came with a significant pay raise. He decided we would take the Disney vacation we'd always wanted to, and we really didn't cut corners at all, other than staying at an All-Star and flying on miles:

-I was allowed to bring a friend, and all her expenses were paid for by my parents
-We had our own (adjoining) hotel room
-We ate at several higher-end TS restaurants, including CRT
-We did TL
-We visited the GF spa
-We had tea at the GF

Not to mention all the souvenirs, Mickey bars, etc...I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting right now. At the time, I didn't bat an eyelash at any of this stuff - how was I to know, at 12, that it was far from a vacation on a budget? Now that I'm a passholder and an adult who is very much aware of the cost of these things, I can't believe we spent that much on a week at Disney. Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful we went and did those special activities, but I don't even want to know how much of my Dad's annual income that cost! I don't say this to deride anyone who does all of that (and more) during their trips...if you can afford it, more power to you! I just can't imagine ever having the $$$ for a trip like that. I'm thankful to have my pass (thanks, Santa!) and live close enough to be a day visitor, and I'm especially thankful for the QS $4 mac and cheese - at this stage in my life, it's the only way I can possibly do it!
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:09 AM   #6
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It all depends on what you guys mean. Are you talking about 10% of your current year income is going towards your vacation? Or money that you have saved up for a few years is going towards a vacation that costs 10% of your current year salary? There's a big difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumbo4x4 View Post
For someone making $100,000 a year, a $10,000 vacation might not only be totally doable, but not even that big of a deal.
Also, it is hard to make a generalization like that, income amounts vary by geographical areas because of cost of living. So, a family making $100k in the area around NYC, where I live, is not very well off and would not be able to afford a $10k vacation unless they saved for quite a few years. (of course, now I am making generalizations)
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:42 AM   #7
C & L Shaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlove28
It all depends on what you guys mean. Are you talking about 10% of your current year income is going towards your vacation? Or money that you have saved up for a few years is going towards a vacation that costs 10% of your current year salary?
What i am saying is just spending that much regardless if you have saved for a while so you can go to WWW or if you just have that available to you. In our case, we haven't saved, it's just what we are spending.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:04 AM   #8
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Gross income or net income? Before or after taxes? If I spend (based on your fictional annual income) $10,000 on a WDW vacation, but I saved for 2 years to do it then I've spent only 5% of my annual income for each of those 2 years.

This does not take into account my spending patterns in other areas of my life, either. I can probably afford to spend a considerably greater percent of my annual income than my (fictional) friend who is mortgaged to the hilt, buys a new car every year, belongs to the country club, has a wife who binge shops at the top name clothes stores, and feels compelled to buy every new electronics gadget that comes on the market. My friend and I have comparable salaries.

It is a matter of priorities and how you budget. For some people vacations have a higher priority. So they adjust their spending in other areas accordingly.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FortForever View Post
This played a big part in our decision to move to Florida. We used to spend thousands on our Disney trips.

Now, I pay $18 a month for an annual pass. We just got back from a week this month where we paid under $400 for our room for the week. It was $67 a night with our discount.

Since we have a car on property, we go grocery shopping to cut down on food we have to eat elsewhere. IF we do decide to have a dining plan, those are always discounted for passholders too. It's just a matter of wanting to eat all that food they give you!
Anyway, about $35 for gas and tolls and we're in.
That is commitement! It was costing me to much to visit so I moved there
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:23 AM   #10
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IMO if you are going to spend 10% of your income on vacation, you must have no credit card debt, be maxing out your 401K and a six month emergency fund saved up. If you are in a great place financially, then go for it! If you're trying to figure out how to pay this month's electric bill, then no way.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rizzo0904 View Post
IMO if you are going to spend 10% of your income on vacation, you must have no credit card debt, be maxing out your 401K and a six month emergency fund saved up. If you are in a great place financially, then go for it! If you're trying to figure out how to pay this month's electric bill, then no way.
This.
We take care of all of our living expenses and make our monthly retirement contributions. Then we look at what we have as "discretionary" income and decide what to do with it.
We live in an average house, don't buy fancy clothes or new/fancy cars, but we do like to eat in higher end restaurants and my friend has recently gotten me addicted to Chanel make up products (curse you Christine, lol). We have one off site timeshare and we are DVC at AKL.
Walking into my resort on the first day of vacation, with a whole week or so of nothing but fun ahead of me.... That's just priceless. It's worth a big chunck of my discretionary income IMHO.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rizzo0904 View Post
IMO if you are going to spend 10% of your income on vacation, you must have no credit card debt, be maxing out your 401K and a six month emergency fund saved up. If you are in a great place financially, then go for it! If you're trying to figure out how to pay this month's electric bill, then no way.
Agree...plus three college plans for us to save for.
It really depends what time of year you go too. We went Christmas week and it was freakin' expensive. But we did some very basic things to save money while at WDW- stayed offsite (saved probably $6000) and ate a few PB&J/apple lunches we packed (saved $50-60 each time), etc. DH and I are fortunate enough to have pretty good salaries, and we would never consider spending 10% of it on a Disney vacation (whether we saved for years or not).
In the end, it is all up to each person what they are willing to spend. Disney has so many options available- I really don't think it is that expensive since there are so many options (other than tickets).
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rizzo0904 View Post
IMO if you are going to spend 10% of your income on vacation, you must have no credit card debt, be maxing out your 401K and a six month emergency fund saved up. If you are in a great place financially, then go for it! If you're trying to figure out how to pay this month's electric bill, then no way.
THIS, makes me feel a bit guilty...

no credit card debt, got some savings/insurance to cover unforeseen events, but certainly not maxing out on pension saving (only contributing enough to get maximum company match), and yet a rough calculation suggests that about 20% of annual gross income is spent on holidays

My excuse? Well, the cost of holidays (for example, ABD) increases at a higher rate than the rate of increase of my salary, so it's actually cheaper to go today, then to wait. I guess priorities will also change depending on your personal situation. Given that we're don't have kids or any dependents (just the cats!), it's certainly easier to spend a higher percentage of income on holidays at the moment

better run away now...
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:13 AM   #14
rizzo0904
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Quote:
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My excuse? Well, the cost of holidays (for example, ABD) increases at a higher rate of the increase of my salary, so it's actually cheaper to go today, then to wait...

better run away now...

Now that's a great way of thinking!
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:14 AM   #15
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Agree...plus three college plans for us to save for.
Ah yes, the college plans. We only have 2 to save for.

And next time we'll stay off site too. In September we are just going for a quick 4 night trip so we are staying onsite and not getting a car. When they are older we'll do one more, longer trip and stay in a townhome or something similar. Much cheaper!
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