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Old 02-27-2013, 11:43 AM   #1
Canadian Disney mom
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Vancouver Canada
Posts: 438

Saving for Disney?

How do you guys find the extra cash for a Disney trip? Do you put something aside monthly, skip certain activities or just charge it when the time comes?

I'm a stay at home mom so we live on my husbands income. However, I've started as a consultant for a cloth diaper company and found it to be giving us a few extra hundred dollars a month in the bank. We've set up a special Disney find and all the money that I earn now is going there.
It sure is fun saying things like "This month I've earned enough for one 5 day pass!" Or "this will pay for our character breakfast!" I think it makes the excitement build
Carolyn Leanne

Next trip: December 2015
May 2014 Disneyland
March 2012 - Disneyland
January 2010 - DisneyWorld
March 2007 - Disneyland
September 2004 - Disneyland
April 2001 - Disneyland
September 1997 - Disneyland
October 1992 - Disneyland
Blogging about life as a stay at home mom, reviewing great family friendly products and talking about my love of Disney.

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Old 02-27-2013, 11:51 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
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That's the way we do it too. Dh is a SAHD who sometimes works, and his income goes to 'fun' stuff. So, when he got his current contract, one of the first things I thought was "YAY! We can go to Disneyland this year!"

Also, I put half of my net annual bonus in a travel fund for family (or couple) vacations. These strategies seem to work best for us.

I'm hoping that we can do WDW in 2016 - we should probably build that into our savings now.

Mom to 3 boys

Had an amazing 4 days at the DLR April 2013!

DL Oct 1982, WDW Dec 1993- Jan 94 (Christmas trip), DLR Dec 2009 (another Christmas trip), DLR April 2013
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:53 AM   #3
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Location: Henderson, NV
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Tax refund helped a lot this time

Do you follow the blog, Couponing to Disney? She has tons of ideas for how to save money (not just couponing).

I also have an etsy shop and I sell my designs through cafepress. Both of those things together bring me several hundred dollars a month, which I used (and am using) to pay for the extras on our trip, like our stay at DLH on our last night, the character breakfast, the photopass+, etc. I also take care of a little one during the week, which brings in another four hundred a month. Normally that is my fun money, but I saved it for a few months and now it will pay for our food and gas and souvenirs while we're there.
Countless day trips to Disneyland as a child.
Trips as an adult: May 1997, Feb. 2003, Dec. 2004, July 2005, Feb. 2006, March 2006, Nov. 2006 (honeymoon), Nov. 2010 (first trip with our son, at age 2), March 2013

Upcoming: Dec. 2013

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Old 02-27-2013, 11:56 AM   #4
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I took two years off work when DS was born, so we learned how to live off DH's income. Now I've gone back to substitute teaching, so we put whatever I make into savings. Also, I've been doing local kids clothing and toy sales and have made a good chunk of change selling the baby stuff we don't need. DD5 likes putting her allowance into the Disney jar each week. She's saving up so we can go to Goofy's Kitchen.

Trip report from August 2014 http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post52191546
Pretrip report and budgeting strategies Aug 2014 http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3193168
Trip Report from July 2013 http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3160807

DLR Sept. 2011 Castle Inn, DLR Sept. 2012 Ramada Maingate, DLR July 2013 Disneyland Hotel, DLR Aug. 2014 HOJO and DLH, Currently planning trip to WDW for March 2015 and DLR for Aug. 2015
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:58 AM   #5
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We skip out on things often. If we can skip one day at a local fair it can save us $100 or more. When were close to planning we will entirely cut out take out etc. you wouldn't believe how fast that adds up.

Our kids have DL castle piggy banks with charcters on them. Whenever they get money/ find money in it goes.

Everyone knows we will be going "AGAIN" !!! So usually when they give our kids money for birthdays ect they get US money. They are always very excited to save money and miss out on things. In general were very lucky that we can even afford to have the decision to miss Out on fun things to save for DL!
-Brian & Tanya

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Old 02-27-2013, 12:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Carolynleanne View Post
How do you guys find the extra cash for a Disney trip? Do you put something aside monthly, skip certain activities or just charge it when the time comes?

I'm a stay at home mom so we live on my husbands income. However, I've started as a consultant for a cloth diaper company and found it to be giving us a few extra hundred dollars a month in the bank. We've set up a special Disney find and all the money that I earn now is going there.
It sure is fun saying things like "This month I've earned enough for one 5 day pass!" Or "this will pay for our character breakfast!" I think it makes the excitement build
First, I price out the vacation a few different ways. I have found last trip and this coming that it is cheaper for me to buy my park hoppers from AAA (saves me $28 off of the prices on DL's website) and book the hotel on my own instead of booking everything in a package together thru Disney or another booking site/travel agency.

Then, I contact the hotel and ask if I can pre-pay my stay. Both HOJO (last trip) and BWPPI (this trip) told me no problem, I can mail in checks in any increment I wanted as long as the final payment was receied 2wks before check-in. This allowed me to send off $$ whenever I had extra PLUS it was one less expense to have when I got to the parks!

Start ordering Disney gift cards from their website, or buy at Target, Safeway any other stores you see them at. Every $25/$50 adds up and can be used for almost anything at DL/DCA (check their website for a list). The neat thing about ordering the GCs from Disney is if you have more than one kid and they are each getting a certain amount for spending money you can personalize the gift cards - even putting their picture on it - so there is no mix up as to which card belongs to the person.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:17 PM   #7
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I save 4 ways. We are a one income husband and wife, so saving for me is a hard thing to do but this works for me.

1 - I have a separate vacation account at my bank, it is different than my checking and my regular savings so it doesn't get touched. It is even in a different bank than the one I use for my every day things. Then I forget it there until its time to use it.

2 - I take 100 dollars every month and put that aside and occasionally put it into the bank so there isn't so much cash stashed away in my house.

3 - I have a change jar. I never give up change when I'm at the store because that would take away from the change jar and ALL change goes into the change jar. I even hit my wife up for her change. She has gotten dirty looks for handing out change in stores enough times that she no longer does that.

4 - I take my income tax returns and put those into the the separate vacation account. I look at my income tax returns as money I never had so I don't spend it when I get it, I save it for Disney.

This all works for me so I can get my Disney fix in. Its a tried and tested way and has worked since 1982 for me and it gets me to either Disney World or Disneyland every 2 or 3 years.
I cant even begin to count the times I was constantly at Disneyland since my first visit in 1962, then I moved to Alaska in 1969 and lost contact until....DL 1982, DL 1985, DL 1988, DL 1990, DL 1994, DL 1997, DL 1999 , DL 2004, DL 2005, DL 2007, WDW 2009 (Pop), DL 2012, WDW 2013 (Pop).

Last edited by CaptainEIEIO; 02-27-2013 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:33 PM   #8
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I teach kids music one afternoon a week and half of what I earn goes in the Disney fund.

I have a set amount that goes automatically into an ING savings account (which is now called CapitalOne360, which is confusing!)

We use our Disney Visa card for as much as possible and pay it off each month.

I buy Disney gift cards from Target with my red card (debit) and get 5% back. Or if we had a lot of prescriptions, I get an additional 5% back and that's even better.

Our change jar usually doesn't add up to much, but it's enough for a meal in the parks!
Disney fanatic with 4 kiddos: 10/03 01/06 04/10 and our littlest 7/13
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:42 PM   #9
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DH and I also do the change jar. He thought I was crazy when I first decorated an old glass milk jar with those Disney stickers they send in the DVD junk flyer. I told him I never use change and then I keep all change and place it in the jar. Well it took some training but now when DH receives change he tells the cashier its "Disney change" and to hand it to the wife.
We can save up a quite a bit doing that. When it is full I roll it and run to the bank, I dont use the machine at the store because I am not paying 7 to 9 cents for every dollar, heck its "Disney change" and it all for the mouse. Once I cash it I bee line it to Sam's club and buy Disney gift cards, they are $48 for a $50 certificate. We use these for all our purchases on our Key to the World card.
Our bulk trip money though comes from our tax returns. I am waiting for this years checks so I can pay off our October trip.
Dec 2010- first trip to WDW! CBR & PCC 2.0 Disney Wonder
June 2012- CBR & PCC 3.0 Disney Dream
Oct 2013- POR
Oct 2014- 1 day in EPCOT
Dec 2016- planning CSR (if all goes well)
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:42 PM   #10
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* I set aside certain amounts of money every month towards vacations and Christmas. It helps soften the financial blow.
* Every year, I park money from our bonuses aside for a major home project and some into the vacation fund.
* I use our Disney VC regularly and pay it off every month. I already have a character meal paid for with those points!
* I also occasionally will pick up a Disney card at Target. I wait until I get an extra 5% off coupon from my pharmacy points and then combine it with the redcard to make it a full 10% off. $5 isn't huge but it adds up.
* I try to dole out the spending. For example, our hotel is paid for already because I rented points for VGC. I plan on buying tickets hopefully before the prices go up and then the photopass+ in advance. Also, I am pre-buying some souvenirs that I think the kids might like such as disney shirts or princess dress.
* Yard sale! I rarely do these and have a bunch saved up for it. I'm hoping to get at least a couple hundred dollars out of it and that will go to vacations as well.

The budget board on here (the main DIS WDW ones) has some good ideas too.

DH, the Disney doubter Me DD6 DS4
DLR Plan #2!: Coming soon to a DLR near you
WDW Plan: October 2016 (so very, very far away )
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:50 PM   #11
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 145

Two jobs, seven days a week, weekends, we charge everything on SW Airlines card and pay it off each month.This gets us either free or greatly reduced airfare.Son works in parks as CM so we get free tickets.But then again we have to fix his car and buy his gas, etc. they don't make alot.

We have been two times this year working on a couple more.Son's tour of duty in college program ends in September so we are going to use up all those free tickets.It is a once in a lifetime deal for us.Son is talking about doing Disneyworld so we may be going there next year.

The thing about SoCal is the weather here--so beautiful it is going to be 80 this weekend,we are shivering in Texas, miss the sun and beautiful days.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:10 PM   #12
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: long Island, NY
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Save and Sacrifice

Originally Posted by Carolynleanne View Post
How do you guys find the extra cash for a Disney trip? Do you put something aside monthly, skip certain activities or just charge it when the time comes?

I'm a stay at home mom so we live on my husbands income. However, I've started as a consultant for a cloth diaper company and found it to be giving us a few extra hundred dollars a month in the bank. We've set up a special Disney find and all the money that I earn now is going there.
It sure is fun saying things like "This month I've earned enough for one 5 day pass!" Or "this will pay for our character breakfast!" I think it makes the excitement build
Let me start off by saying I live in NY and there is mandatory car insurance and a deposit on bottles and cans, that being said,

1.) I changed car insurance from Geico to 21st century, saved $1200.00 a year.

2.) religiously recycle every beverage can and bottle we use approx. $325.00 a year

3.) I used to buy the newspaper everyday ($1.25 weekdays $2.75 Sunday) total cost $534.25 a year. I stopped buying the paper and got my news from TV and internet. total savings per year $534.25

4.) Every day on the way to work I stopped to buy a cup of coffee $1.75. total cost per year $446.25. I started making my coffee at home and bringing it with me in a to go cup approx $0.35 a cup. New total cost per year $89.25 total savings per year $357.00

5.) we all have loose change jar approx. $85.00 per year

6.) changed home phone service from Verizon $509.76 a year to a voice over internet protocal provider $20.00 a year and one time $50.00 equipment and sign up fee total savings for year $439.76

Added all up it is $2,856.01. Considering I made these changes 20 months ago when we decided to plan a trip to DLR we have $4760.00 in our vacation account.

We are flying into San Diego from NY
spending 2 days in SD doing zoo and surrounding area
taking AMTRAK to Anaheim
Staying 1 night at PPH and 2 nights DLH with four day parkhoppers
AMTRAK back to SD for Mission Beach and Sea world

Total for all $5675.00

All we have to come up with out of pocket is $815.00

Part of planning a great trip is finding new and inventive ways to save for the trip

Me DW:: DS15 DD:: 10
1999 WDW Music
2000 WDW Off property
2004 WDW Off property
2008 WDW Wilderness Lodge
2011 WDW Boardwalk Villas
2013 DLR PPH and DLH
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:24 PM   #13
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We told the kids we probably weren't going to be able to go back to Disneyland until 2015 because we are a one income family and we're not getting DH's bonus this year (job change). Well they both came up with a brilliant plan to skip both of their birthday parties (they usually do party places that cost a small fortune) and go to Disneyland in the middle of the 2 birthdays. So I'm now using our Disney Visa exclusively to get as many rewards points as possible. I will also be purchasing Disney gift cards at Target with my RED card for food. Hotel will be decided on which brand my husband as accumulated the most points with all of his travel.
Me: DH: DD (9): DD (7):

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Old 02-27-2013, 02:33 PM   #14
Here we gooooo...
It's amazing how that happens
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Location: Chico, CA
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In addition to some of the suggestions offered by other posters, I use mypoints.com to accumulate points that can be turned into gift cards or prepaid visa cards. It's surprisingly easy to accrue points and I always have enough to pay for a meal at RFC. You can get almost any gift card except, unfortunately, Disney ones. You can, however, get gas cards, Starbucks, restaurant, and hotel cards for the trip. I had enough points to get 2 nights paid at Marriott with the Disney package. The cost of the room was higher with the package ($237) but they give you free parking, free shuttle passes (which you can sell back to them at face value!) and a $100 Disney gift card each night. Since I had "earned" the points for free, it felt like getting $200 in Disney gift cards for nothing with a nice hotel room to boot.

I put extra green money into a vacation wallet that is in my sock drawer. It's amazing how that adds up and for some reason, I never touch it until vacation time. If I have money in my regular wallet, it pours out like rain

DizHe and DizMe DizWees DizHe & Our 4 Princesses
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:51 PM   #15
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern California
Posts: 37

There are so many good suggestions on how to save money for Disney!
I'm hoping to get us back there for Christmas this year so I am in full-on savings mode! I figure I need to save a minimum of $200 a month fom now to November. What I'm doing to get us there:

- limit eating out. We usually eat out 1x a week and with a family of 5, that can get pricey really fast. So far for February we've eaten out twice and once was a birthday dinner!

- saving change. Although I need to find a new place for my change because little hands are getting into it LOL

- getting back into coupons. Mostly for health and beauty stuff which is soexpensive!

- all income earned from my direct sales job and yard duty job will be used for disney.

We have some home improvement tasks coming up and I'm working hard to keep things below the budget we've set so that whatever is left can be shuffled to the Disney fund!

I think I'm a bit weird...I'm having as much fun finding ways to save for Disney as I do planning our trip LOL!
Cheryl Troy Maddie Sophie Wyatt
Surprise Anniversary & Birthday Trip Sept 23-27 2012
2nd Surprise Trip for the Kids June 17-20 2013
Disneyland '82, '92, '93, '10, '12, '13
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