Disney savers: How do you save up for Disney?

Discussion in 'Disney World Tips' started by Blackbeltdisneygirl, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Blackbeltdisneygirl

    Blackbeltdisneygirl Disney obsessed and proud of it!!!

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    Hi guys! I am just curious how other families save for their Disney trips. I hope to maybe get some other ideas from some of you to make it even easier to pay off our trips. My plan is fantastic, but I am not against learning from others. What corners do you cut? What creative ideas have you come up with? Etc...

    I will start by telling you how I do it.

    Last year I just went out with our tax return and bought $8,000 in gift cards to pay off most of the trip. Then I paid cash for the flights. This year we decided to spread it out more and just be creative with our savings. We bought a home that was a foreclosure, so we wanted to put a lot of money into it, and that needed to come from our tax return this year. I figured I had better learn to pay it off differently b/c next year I am buying a new van, so we will have to keep this plan working for us.

    *Without flights our trip is just over $6,500 for 7 people for 11 days. We paid $1,000 out of our tax return.

    *I started a small business selling at flea markets.

    *Hubby works side jobs, and a large portion of that money gets turned right into Disney gift cards. Some of it I roll into my business.

    *I am a major couponer, and have been doing it much longer than the show has been on. My savings on my receipt for one year is over $15,000. That means a lot of savings on gas, food, products, etc...

    *We started a change jar. My hubby and I vow to never use change when we use cash. We always break a dollar even if it is for a penny. Then we dump the change in a jar, and it builds up fast.

    *I buy gift cards at Giant Eagle. They give me free gas, so that is a win-win since I have to pay the trip off anyway. I may as well get free gas out of it.

    *We do fast food bans. Living a martial arts lifestyle is rough b/c of dinner times being messed up. When we go into the studio it is too early for dinner, and when we leave it is too late. By that time I swear I could eat anything. We often find ourselves in a drive thru. Putting a ban on fast food even for just two weeks forces us to be so creative and to actually make our meals. It is healthier and it saves so much money. P.S. I don't count Chipotle as fast food.

    *I am considering becoming a Disney travel agent. We'll see.

    *I sat down and wrote out all of our bills for the next 7 months. I wrote down every payday until our trip, and then scheduled what bills we needed to pay out of each paycheck. Then I decided how much I had left over, and designated a portion out of each week to purchase gift cards with. It is all written down, and every check is written out for every bill for seven months. I just have to pull the check and pay it. Then I check it off on my budget list. I was able to call my daughter last week from GE and say: "Ok, look at my Disney financial planning binder for this week and tell me how much I am supposed to spend on gift cards." She said: "It says $150 mommy." Super easy. I figured that if I allotted at least $100 a week, it makes it super easy to save up.

    *We are starting an organic garden. This will save us tremendously on veggies and fruits. Plus we will sell the excess at the flea market!

    Now for your ideas...

    Edit: I decided to add more to this thread. Not only do I want to explore ways to save up for Disney trips, but also alternative ways that others save money on various things. I will post different ideas every now and then and provide a link from this post to the new posts. I will also edit in other people's tips on those posts so as to give a very comprehensive list of ways to save up money and of how to save money on everything from clothes to food to extracurricular activities. Let's face it, it's been hard to adjust these last couple of years to rising prices. I am interested in alternative methods of paying for things. Remember, a penny saved is a penny we can use for Disney!!!!

    Alternative Money Saving: How to save on clothes:
     
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  3. mommyrosa2

    mommyrosa2 DIS Veteran

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    You have some great ideas!!

    This is what I've been doing for our spending money:
    I too started the change jar idea back in January (after reading that somewhere on the DIS) and couldn't believe that we've already saved up close to $300 in change alone so far but we also take whatever dollar bills we have in our wallets at the end of the week and throw that into the Disney spending money account as well. We also grew our own veggies and herbs last year and pocketed the money I would have spent weekly on veggies - that was an additional savings of about $300 for the season. I found that by cooking more at home (making larger portions & having leftovers), bringing our lunch to work from home, eating out less and being smarter at the grocery store, we'll have plenty of spending money well before our upcoming trip in August. I was amazed at just how much can be saved by just tweaking a few things.
     
  4. Heluvsme

    Heluvsme DIS Veteran

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    Gosh, you have really great ideas already! :thumbsup2


    For us, our trips are always scheduled at the beginning of summer, and our 4 birthdays are from May 5 through July 2, so we kind of combine what we would have spent on birthdays and put that amount towards our Disney vacation, although for the 2 kiddos I can't help myself and I always get them presents, but for my dh and myself---we just go out to eat and skip the present buying.... Disney IS the present!

    When our Kroger is offering the 4x the fuel points for buying gift cards I do that! I save on gas that way, and use the gift cards for things we would normally be buying anyways.

    I buy throughout the year so that nothing hits all at once, for instance at the end of summer, when the shorts and t-shirts are going on clearance, I buy for the following year...same for Crocs or sandals or whatever, that way I'm not shopping like a mad woman and spending extra money just prior to our vacation.

    I love all your ideas, thanks for sharing them!
     
  5. Shelly F - Ohio

    Shelly F - Ohio Disney Extraordinaire

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    We use the coin jar method.

    Deposit all of our state income tax refund into the vacation savings acct.

    Auto deposit $35 per pay check so that would be $70 a month from mine and $70 a month from DH into the vacation acct.
    Use our Disney Visa to buy for everything then pay the acct balance if full at the end of the month. So far in 11 months we have almost $270 in Disney reward money. What really helps boost the rewards is that I charge our car insurance and home insurance on the Disney card.

    I do Pinecone online surveys and the money gets deposited into Paypal. I have $136 in that acct.

    All the money we get for Christmas gets deposited into the vacation acct. Are family knows that we go to Disney a lot so they give us Disney gift cards as presents.

    We bought a DVC 8 years ago. That has been a huge savings. Every trip we take I go online and price the exact same trip to see how much we would have spent had we not had the DVC. happy to report we were about to break even a few years ago!!!
     
  6. mommyrosa2

    mommyrosa2 DIS Veteran

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    We bought a DVC 8 years ago. That has been a huge savings. Every trip we take I go online and price the exact same trip to see how much we would have spent had we not had the DVC. happy to report we were about to break even a few years ago!!![/QUOTE]

    I'm glad to see this. We've been seriously considering buying into DVC (DH is more convinced on it than me). At first, I didn't think it was worth it as we were going every other year but now it seems like we're going every year and now that my girls are getting older, I wouldn't mind going a couple of times/year. Hmmmm...I may have to look into this a little more.
     
  7. Blackbeltdisneygirl

    Blackbeltdisneygirl Disney obsessed and proud of it!!!

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    Good ideas! I like that you pocket the money saved on veggies. It is similar to how some people continue to save the amount they would have paid monthly for say a car payment once the car is paid off. It is something i have never done, but may need to rethink! Glad you responded!
    Good points! I get so upset that EVERY year when our GE offers the double fuelperks, I miss it by a week or two! I don't like to wait to get the cards b/c inevitably we start to pick at the money little by little for this and that, and before we know it, we have next to nothing. My original plan was to put $3,000 from our tax return into paying for our trip. Oops. We paid a lot of bills though, and we bought one fun item for our family, well, really for me. I got an embroidery machine that I've wanted for over 10 years! It will be a financially helpful purchase in the end though b/c last year we spent TONS of money on t-shirt transfers that cracked and didn't hold up, so the embroidery machine will eliminate that issue. We will also use it to expand my business.

    I like to do the same when it comes to shopping for items we will need. I pick up travel bottles throughout the year, and hang onto them after every trip so we can refill them. I am an avid bargain shopper besides couponing. I hit the sales racks like nobody's business! We have five kids, so bargains are a must! I also love going to resale shops and buying designer/brand name clothes for the kids for dirt cheap. My girls have wardrobes that their friends are jealous of b/c of my shopping that way. My girls are very modest too, so the shorts that are out right now don't work for their tastes and my rules. We buy brand name jeans resale, then cut them off and sew them so they look store bought. I buy our Crocs on ebay, so they are cheaper.

    My mom does the Disney Visa! We don't use credit for anything, so the gift cards work for us. We like staying "off the grid" so to speak. We ran into some hardtimes with credit cards years ago b/c my husband's construction business was without work for almost a year. We decided after coming out of that, that it would be easier for us to just avoid credit cards since he will always be in construction, and you can never tell when the work will dry up. It is just better to be safe in this line of business! I've often almost given in and gotten one though! My mom gets to reap the benefits, so sometimes I am jealous!

    I've considered doing surveys myself, so maybe I will look into it. Good idea!

    We give the kids gift cards for presents too. My parents also do that. It makes shopping super easy! We also requested one for a gift exchange this Christmas, so it worked out well.

    I want to buy DVC so badly! We would need a ton of points for our family! We probably will buy once the house is paid off. We just bought it in July, and would like to pay it off in under 10 years. That is one of the bonuses of buying a foreclosure! Payments are super low, so you can pay extra every month. We considered buying this year, but decided we wanted to wait. Glad you love it!

    Keep the ideas coming guys!
     
  8. Andrea464

    Andrea464 Mouseketeer

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    We also have the change jar going! I'll be putting any extra money that comes in into that jar.
    I'm selling some of my daughters old clothes! I need to have a big massive yard sale!
    We'll probably pick up an extra few hours at work to get some extra money.
    I am an Independent Scentsy Consultant and am using my commission pay towards Disney! It's giving me an extra incentive to get out there and make some sales!
     
  9. mommadebbied

    mommadebbied Mouseketeer

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    I'm a Scentsy Consultant as well and I do the same thing :laughing: all my commission goes to Disney!!! LOL

    We also have our "Disney Fund" change jar. Also any extra money we get (yard sales, gifts, etc.) goes straight to our disney money.:banana:
     
  10. Blackbeltdisneygirl

    Blackbeltdisneygirl Disney obsessed and proud of it!!!

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    I make a killing on my kids' clothes! I have been giving them away recently, but I am starting to pull some of my youngest daughter's clothes that she has grown out of and bringing them to the flea market with me.

    We are also trying to start up another branch of my business and sell marshmallow guns and possibly homemade fishing lures. I am always looking for ways to make more money!
     
  11. noahdove

    noahdove DIS Veteran

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    I am excited to see these ideas. We recently paid the home equity loan off, so I guess I should take that payment and put it in my vacation tin:) Keep them coming.
     
  12. djm99

    djm99 <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/sponsors/s

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    I opened an ingdirect savings account. I have $50 per taken from my account every Friday (DH and I get paid on alternate weeks so every Friday one of us are receiving a paycheck). That's $200 a month. I also buy Disney gift cards often. I get bonuses on my job twice a year (my husband 3 times a year) so when we come into extra money I'll buy $100+ gift cards. That helps enormously. I also start one year in advance booking stuff. As of late, we have been staying offsite so I’ll book 1 year in advance and make payments periodically.
     
  13. Blackbeltdisneygirl

    Blackbeltdisneygirl Disney obsessed and proud of it!!!

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    That is a good idea! It is so easy to find other uses for that money, isn't it? Well, Disney is more important that things I can buy instead!

    Good plan. I personally couldn't do anything like this b/c with hubby being in construction, you just never know. He works for a company, but last week he was off b/c they were getting contracts signed. I refuse to go off budget, so even with 2 weeks of reduced pay due to them not working as much, and one week of no pay, we are working hard to make sure we stay on plan. If I didn't have Disney to think about, I probably wouldn't be so strict with my budget!!! I do miss the days when we got paid on alternate weeks and always had a paycheck! I like our life now though, so I guess I am okay with not having that consistency! Good for you!
     
  14. jennb529

    jennb529 Mouseketeer

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    We do the change jars/bucket method and have also given the kids gift cards as stocking stuffers and in their Easter baskets.

    Our biggest savings comes from my paycheck. My pay can vary from paycheck to paycheck, but I'm gauranteed X amount of $ each paycheck and that's what our budget is based on, so anything over that goes into our vacation fund :)
     
  15. Pesky

    Pesky "Who's the monkey?!"

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    I have an auto savings and pull out money into a savings account each month.

    We also do a change jar.

    And I start planning FOUR YEARS in advance! :rotfl:
     
  16. maxiesmom

    maxiesmom The Mean Squinty Eye Works

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    One small thing I do is every time I use a coupon, or get something on sale, I put the amount I saved into a separate savings account. It adds up pretty fast! Gives me a bit of an incentive to look for good sales too!
     
  17. Blackbeltdisneygirl

    Blackbeltdisneygirl Disney obsessed and proud of it!!!

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    Great idea! For me that would be a bit crazy since I am an extreme couponer and have been doing it long before the show came out. I don't think I mentioned this, but my Giant Eagle receipt says that in one year I have saved over $15,000 between coupons, sales, and free gas. I could put some serious money away if I matched what I save! Maybe I will start doing a portion of what I save. I appreciate the pointer!
     
  18. Morningstar2807

    Morningstar2807 Earning My Ears

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    All these ideas are great! My Dh, DD and I are going on our first trip in 2013, so we have putting what ever extra away into a Christmas club acct (so we can touch it util Oct.) Like this summer I won't be paying daycare, so I put that extra in the acct or what ever extra money I have left if a bill is lower. Plus to get Dd involved she has a princess: princess piggy bank just for Disney and we give her our quarters or since I work at a bank I will get her a few dollar coins a week ( lot easier to roll and to get out of the piggy bank).
     
  19. Blackbeltdisneygirl

    Blackbeltdisneygirl Disney obsessed and proud of it!!!

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    Nice job on the daycare idea. I will have to think about what I can do that is similar since I homeschool and don't need daycare. Maybe in the summer when my gas is cheaper I should put the remainder into gift cards. Hmmm...Thanx!
     
  20. Nature Mom

    Nature Mom I didn't survive Cancer to die of stress.

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    I homeschool, too, and I just bought a bike for myself so my DD and I can ride our bikes to library, market, etc. I waste so much gas in this 3 mile triangle that we live in with running errands, going to park or library, etc., so I am going to take the money I would be spending on gas and sticking it in the Disney jar when we ride our bikes instead of using the car. Not only will we save money, but we will reduce our carbon footprint and our behinds! ;) I'm also thinking I may save time in riding our bikes; traffic is so congested around here and the bike lanes are wide open with great shortcuts. :thumbsup2
     
  21. Blackbeltdisneygirl

    Blackbeltdisneygirl Disney obsessed and proud of it!!!

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    Great idea! It will probably save you money too b/c you can't carry much on a bike! Can't go spending money if ya can't carry it home!!!
     

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