Saving for next trip

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by DisneyGuy758, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. DisneyGuy758

    DisneyGuy758 Let's go Murphys!

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    Next summer, my family is going to WDW as a present to my wife for graduating from college. We have a little over a year until the time frame we want to be there for.

    The biggest issue is saving money. I stink at it.

    I work a job where I get a commission check once a month that is usually a little over $1,000 (give or take), so I was thinking of putting a couple of hundred from that away each time and maybe $50 or so from my check away as well each week.

    I'm looking for some pointers on how to save money, without feeling pinched, or getting that scary feeling of not having a bill paid.

    What do all you wonderful Diser's have for me? Feel free to ask any questions that might help get an idea on where I'm coming from.


    -Andre
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  3. Marionnette

    Marionnette <font color=deeppink>Wishing On A Star<br><font co

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    There's no way not to "feel the pinch" unless you're flush with cash to begin with. If you're like most people who don't have much more money coming in than you have going out, then you will either need to spend less or make more. You can choose one or the other or some combination of both. If putting back $50 every paycheck and a couiple hundred from every commission is going to make things tight or mean that a bill goes unpaid, then you need to rethink your savings strategy.

    If you're the grocery shopper, then start couponing to get the cost down. Cut the extras on your cable subscription. Cancel newspaper delivery and read online. Raise the air conditioning temperature a few degrees. Lower your heating temperature. Unplug everything when not in use to save on phantom electricity use. Drive less. Avoid multiple trips to the store and stay away from the mall, bookstore or whatever triggers your impulse spending. Put your itunes account on hold.

    Make more money by selling things you no longer use. Ebay, craigslist etc. Old gold can grab you some serious coin. Postpone some big-ticket purchases. Get a part time job. Get a Disney Visa or other rewards credit card and use it for everything so that you rack up the points. Join an online rewards program like mypoints to get gift cards or paypal cash.
     
  4. DisneyGuy758

    DisneyGuy758 Let's go Murphys!

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    Taking some out of my weekly check might hurt some, but the commission one shouldn't.

    Our cable is pretty bare bones now. We don't get the paper, the AC could be turned off a bit more often I guess. The mall is one of my weaknesses. I collect toys, and have way too many (which will lead us to the next point you made). No iTunes either.

    I'm going to try to sell a lot of my toy collection. It doesn't do much other than sit there collecting dust. I'm thinking about getting a part time job for the summer and am currently looking at mypoints to see what I can get out of there.

    Thanks for the tips so far. Looking forward to more.
     
  5. GatorMama

    GatorMama DIS Veteran

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    If you use paper products like plates and paper towels, it's cheaper to use the "real things" and wash them. A pack of cheap washcloths is the same price or cheaper than a 2 pack of paper towels... and they'll last WAY longer!

    If you use commercial cleaning products, you don't need to. Baking soda and vinegar can clean SO MUCH around the house that we've done away with the need for Windex, 409 and Scrubbing Bubbles... and most other similar cleaners. And last time I checked the Heinz website, there was a printable coupon good for vinegar. :-)

    Find ways to conserve water and power to bring down your monthly bills a bit. Our water bill is a set amount for the first X gallons. We have a goal to bring our bill down to that amount by the end of the summer so that we know we're never paying more than $60 for our water. It means I'll probably be turning the water off while I shave in the shower... but that little bit each day will add up! Make it fun- if you manage to save a specific amount (a goal you set) then reward yourself by buying a Disney gift card for your trip in that amount... then you're meeting both goals with one action!
     
  6. prncess674

    prncess674 DIS Veteran

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    The first thing to do is sit down and put your gross income for the month on the first line, then start subtracting out line by line your needs such as
    • rent
    • mortgage
    • insurance
    • electricity
    • gas

    then list our nice to have monthly reoccuring bills.
    • cell phone
    • car payments

    Most likely there is still a lot left over and this where most people get in trouble. Are you spending a lot of money in small amounts that add up to a big amount. Such as
    do you eat lunch out every day at work?
    Do you stop for a candy and coke at the 7-11 several times a week?
    Do you stop for a morning macchiato at Starbucks?
     
  7. DisneyGuy758

    DisneyGuy758 Let's go Murphys!

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    Guilty as charged.

    I stop for coffee almost every morning. I will have to stop that, and start putting that money away. It can change from $3 a day to almost $6. That's a lot of money. I try not to eat lunch out every day, but sometimes it can be three times a week. Again, that's a lot of money.

    One other thing I do is buy comic books (see above for more geeky items) once a week. That, too, fluctuates depending on what's out for the week. That is something I think I'll start cutting back on as well.
     
  8. brymolmom

    brymolmom DIS Veteran

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    I think your ideas sound great OP! If you save $200 for 12 months plus $50 per paycheck (not sure if you're paid weekly, but I'll assume twice a month) it would be another $100 per month for a total of $3600 for the year - PLENTY for a trip to WDW.

    Can you setup a direct deposit for the $200 and $50 into a separate account? If so - go do it now! If you end up tight at the end of the month and realize you've overstepped on the savings - you can always go grab out $100 of it to pay a bill and then adjust downward. If you get a physical check for the commission, try getting into the habit of going to the bank that same day and putting $200 into your vacation account and the rest into bill paying.

    It sounds to me (since you have enough cash to even have a toy collection) - like it won't be too much of a strain, as long as you do OK with not buying any/or as many toys, but it needs to be setup to be done AUTOMATICALLY so that you never see that extra cash. My best advice would be to try your best to make that happen.
     
  9. DisneyGuy758

    DisneyGuy758 Let's go Murphys!

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    I'm also bank on using some of our 2011 Tax return money towards the trip as well.

    We have two kids, and a third on the way. I know it's going to sound harsh (but it is the truth) the addition of the third come tax time will up our return a great bit.

    I'm extremely appreciative of all the tips so far! Keep them coming, please!
     
  10. prncess674

    prncess674 DIS Veteran

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    Coffee = $3 * 5 days per week * 4 weeks per month = $60 per month

    Fast food lunches = $8 * 3 days per week * 4 weeks per month = $96 per month

    If you just cut out those two items
    $60 + $96 = $156 per month * 12 = $1,872 which could be a huge dent in a trip budget.
     
  11. mrsbornkuntry

    mrsbornkuntry <font color=FF6666>I'm worried about raccoons<br><

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    One tip I've always liked was to go to the disney website and put in your dates (or a guesstimate) and choose some particulars like how many days, which resort (or at least which level) and get an idea of how much your trip will cost, then divide that amount by how many months you have so you know how much you need to put away each month.

    Also, if you have money left over the day before payday and you aren't going to need it for bills the next pay period move it to savings.

    Look for cheap entertainment, especially over the summer when it's easy to just get outside. Redbox movies, picnics, library, etc.

    Look over your monthly expenses and see if there's anything recurring that you don't use and could cut or lower. Gym membership? Netflix? Cheaper cell plan? Cut some cable channels?
     
  12. DisneyGuy758

    DisneyGuy758 Let's go Murphys!

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    I'm going to look into lowering our cable channels. We have Netflix as well, but it's instant through our Wii, and the kids would kill me if I got rid of that.

    I'm going to try very hard to not get coffee out anymore. I think I'll start using my Disney mug for my coffee, to try to keep me focused on why I'm doing it.
     
  13. Zhoen

    Zhoen Princess in Shining Armor

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    I have been skimming whatever is left in my account on payday-eve into my Disney fund, then rounding down my check on payday and skimming that, too... it's a good way to practice "living beneath your means" while saving for a goal.

    For a different goal, we have a 5-gallon water jug that collects all our loose change. Our goal is years away, so we empty it and deposit it frequently, since all those quarters would tempt our children too much... but for a trip a year away, maybe a soda jug with a slot in it to save loose change for souvenirs? You could even have a game with the kids... they each get $X for spending money, but the one who guesses closest to the amount in the jar on cash-in day wins and extra $X...
     
  14. monkey30

    monkey30 Dreaming of my next vacation!

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    We just did the Change and we had 186 in it! Thats a lot of change the kids found laying around the house! It was 2 years worth but that is their spending money for the trip!
     
  15. disneychic2

    disneychic2 DIS Veteran

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    Also, OP, if you are buying your toys and comics with a cc, start using cash. It hurts a bit more to spend actual cash. If you aren't on a budget, it would be good to get on one. That way you can figure out where the money goes, and I think you'll be surprised at some things. Then, one of your line items can be "vacation" savings. We have vacation, Christmas, new car, emergency etc. in addition to our mortgage, utilities and insurance categories in our budget. It really gives you a sense of freedom. Good luck! And congrats to your wife for graduating college!!

    Also, skip the daily coffee, buying toys (just until you get enough saved) and brown bag your lunch. Then, if you have succeeded for six days, on the seventh day, treat yourself to a coffee or a comic or whatever. Remember you're doing without so your family can make unbelievable memories you'll cherish for years to come. You can do it!:cheer2:
     
  16. buzzgirls&dad

    buzzgirls&dad DIS Veteran

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    Like other postesr I go to the WDW website and allears.net to get a good estimate of the cost for our trip. I then divide it by how many months I have to save and start putting that much away each month. I try to do it from the household budget. If I find I will be short I may cut back on certain things like taking DD out to lunch while on summer break instead we'll pack a picnic and eat it in the park. I may have a tag sale. Once I start saving I just want my cash to grow so I really do not want to spend it on anything other than our planned trip. For me saving is very motivating. Good luck it seems getting started is the hardest part.:)
     
  17. jldixon62

    jldixon62 Mouseketeer

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    This was me too, with the starbucks lattes, lunching out and taking the grandkids to every event that came along. Coffee and lunching out alone was about 200 a month, if I only had one latte a day.

    Now I just book a Disney package and put the 200 (a month savings) towards it each month, I make a payment just like any other bill. And when the grandkids ask me if I can take them to an event, I ask them would they rather do that than go to Disney, and they choose Disney and I save that money toward the airfare.
     
  18. DisneyGuy758

    DisneyGuy758 Let's go Murphys!

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    I went in and priced out our trip. It's a little over $5k. Yikes. I would have almost a year to pay it off...so it might not be a bad idea to get it booked at least.

    I had half a thought of booking the new Animation Hotel (for the family suites), but realized it would be packed, being new and all...so I went with ASMu family suites, where we stayed (and loved) in 2007.

    For the airfare, I'm thinking of flying into Sanford, as we have direct flights from here to there, and grabbing Mears from there.
     
  19. Shel

    Shel <font color=6600CC>Keep those alligators under the

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    DisneyGuy - you got some excellent advice & some I'll use myself. I do the same thing - get an estimate on a trip & then divide it by # of weeks to know how much $$$$ I need. Each week when I get groceries I overwrite the check by whatever figure I ended up w/after my calculation and tuck that money back in an envelope until its time to book the trip. So far I've been able to save $1300 towards a 3/2012 trip that way.

    Also, consider taking the Disney Magical Express from the airport rather than the Mears shuttle. I don't know if Mears is free, but the DME definitely is free.
     
  20. clutter

    clutter <font color=FF66FF>Princess's Mom<br><font color=b

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    IF (and that's a BIG IF) you're good with credit cards and track and pay off your balances every month, you could try using the Disney Visa. (But you must be able to pay it off every month!!!) I run everything I can thru mine, and I make a couple hundred a year in rewards that can be used for trips. If you're registering on the Disney website, maybe you will get an offer for $200 reward dollars for signing up.

    But don't do this if you have credit card debt.

    As for pricing your trip, $5k is an awful lot for a family of 4. You might have every extra in there. Does that include airfare? Do you really need DDP, or is QSDP good enough? Given the ages of your kids, you may not want that many sit-down meals. Are you going prime-time? Can you go during a value season? That will lower your costs some, and get you away from the crowds.
     
  21. cglaura

    cglaura DIS Veteran

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    Does your current job allow time for small pt work? I was thinking lawn care. Around here an average 70x100 lot gets about $30. If you could get 2 per week, that could be an extra $720 or so depending on how long the season goes up there. And it would only be about 2-3 hours per week depending on the lawn. Get up early on Saturday and you could be home before the family is up :goodvibes (depending on the family of course!)
     

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