LONG TERM planning

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Stefien Quix, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Stefien Quix

    Stefien Quix Mouseketeer

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    So, I'm about to start my Disney vacation that I started budgeting for about a year ago.

    And I'm already starting to think about our next Disney vacation. Which will likely be 5 years away AT THE SOONEST.

    I looked around on this sub-forum and didn't immediately see anything, so I was wondering do people have plans / suggestions for starting that process. I leaned heavily on a Disney Visa card I have this time around, but I'm not sure that's the best idea for our next trip.

    So, I'm thinking like budgeting tools, credit cards, coupons, "hacks" or anything really. I don't even know what I don't know.

    I've been reading posts that I can't even understand about points and different abbreviations that I think refer to certain credit cards?

    Thanks!
     
  2. KSR0330

    KSR0330 DIS Veteran

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    I use credit card points and Swagbucks (SB) to help fund our trips. I happened upon the I Love Credit Cards thread and learned by looking things up (like abbreviations) and asking questions. They are a very friendly group and no question is silly. I make about $50/month through SB, and that's mostly by running videos and doing some sign up offers. I really dislike the surveys, but do them occasionally.

    Good luck!
     
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  4. Carrie Ellis

    Carrie Ellis DIS Veteran

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    I am 1 1/2 years out and I feel like I am starting too early! ha! 5 years! I do swagbucks too. I earn average $50/month. I should be able to earn more if I keep doing the Best Buy bonus (buy a $50 disney card). I do the visa points too. I am also donating Plasma. Right now my center is doing a $80 for two trips a week coupon. Two trips is about 2 hours.
     
  5. LynnTH

    LynnTH DIS Veteran

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    Join the "I Love Credit Cards" thread. We are all about getting points for travel. I just booked a free cruise for my family of 4 over spring break. Have not paid for airfare in years. So many better options than the Disney Visa. We will ask you some questions to get started and see where you are and then all the very knowledgeable people will put you in the right direction.
     
  6. Stefien Quix

    Stefien Quix Mouseketeer

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    My thought is the sooner I start, the more I can put away and not have to worry about for the trip! And if I can do it by doing things I'm already doing, like spending money, all the better! :)
     
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  7. adamak

    adamak DIS Veteran

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    Where are you flying in from? How many in your party? Will you be renting cars or staying on site? I'd start by learning about how to use credit card points to redeem tickets. Everyone can hoard points, but redeeming is the harder part. It'll be unrealistic to think you can get 4+ free award tix during Xmas for example.
    Also look into Swagbucks. Redeem for PayPal or something so you'll have more flexibility. You have a LOT of time to plan this out.
     
  8. Stefien Quix

    Stefien Quix Mouseketeer

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    Flying in from Washington, DC area
    3 people in our party
    Renting or staying on site? Dunno.. but probaby on-site? We have a timeshare (not DVC), so we could definitely save money by going off-site, but I've done both in the past, and in my experience it's just not the same when you come in from off-site.
     
  9. easyas123

    easyas123 Mouseketeer

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    One thing I started doing many, many years ago was I established a separate (from my other day-to-day accounts & not linked to them either) savings account that I use for saving up for vacations. I have a predetermined amount deducted from my paycheck and it goes right in. I never see it, and I don't get the account link to a debit card. I need to physically go into the bank and withdrawal the $$ (remember doing tha ton the regular!?!?!) It's not a lot, and I just let it build up. Every once in a while, when I think my regular budget won't miss it, I up the amount I have deposited every paycheck.
    When I first started with this idea, we had just decided to take the kids to WDW for the first time, and took the cost of the trip and divided the number of months to get a monthly savings amount. Now I just save a set same amount each month.
    Sorry - Not a great suggestion, but a simple easy one that pays off in the end.
    I do have a Southwest CC as well, and I will charge large amounts like insurance bills and stuff like that for the points, although I don't use it for daily purchases. Plus they give me 6000K points once a year as well.
     
  10. easyas123

    easyas123 Mouseketeer

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    We live on the Eastern Shore, and found the cost to fly from BWI, Dulles, Regan & even PHL can differ enough to check flights from each airport. Luckily we are positioned in a area that is about a hour+ depending on traffice from either BWI or PHL, and Regan isn't more than 1 1/2 hours.
    Flying out of Dulles for the first time next month!
     
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  11. Stefien Quix

    Stefien Quix Mouseketeer

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    My wife & I are from the Eastern Shore! I'm from Snow Hill and my wife is from Easton! :)
     
  12. easyas123

    easyas123 Mouseketeer

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    My BIL & SIL live in Easton, and we've got a jobsites in Pocomoke & Millsboro at moment, and have done a lot of work in the Westover/Salisbury/Berlin & OC areas. Currently live in Northern QA County!
     
  13. Marionnette

    Marionnette Children see magic because they look for it

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    If you don't understand abbreviations, just ask on the thread you see them in. People will answer.

    Couponing is no longer as good as it once was. I think that TLC program kind of ruined things. You can still save money, and even make money sometimes. But it takes a lot of work and organization. And you would have to be disciplined enough to take your coupon savings and put them aside in a savings account set up just for Disney.

    The Disney Gift Card Deals thread can be helpful if you have a definite trip in the works. However, I would caution against sinking cash into Disney GCs if the possibility exists that you may not go. You don't want your cash tied up in Mickey Money if you suddenly need to get your hands on some quick cash. But for someone who already has a trip booked or, - like me - owns DVC and has to pay dues every year anyway, it can save a nice chunk of change.

    Online rewards programs and rewards apps can be helpful to trimming your Disney costs. However, some can be slow earners and some are not reputable. I have my favorites (Perk, SB, EarnHoney) and earn a decent amount from them. But it's not a good idea to rely on any program to fund your trip. They change, merge with other GPT companies and sometimes go poof in the night, taking your points and pending rewards with them. If you do any of them, cash out as soon as you have enough for a useful reward and then save your rewards.

    The separate bank account for your Disney savings is an excellent idea. I have one t hat is linked to my PayPal account so that any rewards that pay that way can be swept into that account. Then. If I purchase any GCs with a CC. I use those funds to pay the CC.

    And finally, CC travel hacking. It's important to choose cards that will provide benefits that you will actually use. A Delta CC does you no good if they don't fly out of your airport. A Hilton CC won't pay for a stay in ASMu. Choose carefully, space your applications out and keep your credit score in the excellent range to take advantage of the best offers. And don't forget that some programs require you to show some sort of activity during the year in order to retain your points.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  14. marcyleecorgan

    marcyleecorgan DIS Veteran

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    Yep, check out all the threads mentioned by others. As you can see from my signature, I totally get the planning for a far-away future trip! ;)
     
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  15. cteddiesgirl

    cteddiesgirl <font color=deeppink>Not invisible to the Tag Fair

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    I'm doing a cruise this December, but my next vacation won't be until either December '21 or Spring '22.
    My vacations are being financed by having money transferred to my SmartyPig.com account every payday. They have a slightly higher interest rate than most regular banks and it's not tied to my regular checking account or to a debit card. You can set up multiple savings goals for other things and change your goals at any time.
    I also do SB some and cash out to paypal or to Amazon cards when I earn $25.
     
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  16. Eureka

    Eureka DIS Veteran

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    Could you save money and drive? We have driven from the metro Dc area each time. We stop once overnight when we just can’t drive anymore, but the last time we went we decided to come home in one day. It was a long 14 hours but it was doable. And that was with only two drivers.
     
  17. LovesTimone

    LovesTimone Christmas Day 2017

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    With 5 years to plan there are a lot of things that you can do to save, and you might be surprised you might reach your goal in 3 years pixiedust:

    So thinking out loud here we go.

    Set up an Disney Vacation account and everything you earn and are earmarking for Disney must go in it. A simple saving account would work - watch the fees, and the balance amount.

    Start off your Disney savings with a Garage sale, like a really well prepared for garage sale, go through everything every closet's, drawer's and totes you have. Everyone should help as everyone benefits. Depending on time of year you should easily make a couple hundred dollars, We had one when moved at we made 350.00. Also set up for a charity to come and pick up the anything left, the last few time I did "Vines of hope" its a home for young people who need a place to go after rehab, to help them start over. Make sure to get a donation form for the cash amount you can use this for your taxes. Then have a garage sale once a year.

    Check your area for a Kids to Kids clothing style shop, where you bring in kids clothing, baby items, some toys, or books. They pay cash for your items or will give you store credit which is normally more than the cash they will give you. Make sure to read what they are taking ( seasonal) and the guidelines.

    Start a change jar, and have everyone throw in their change. You will be surprised at how much change you can save this way. Have everyone help roll the change, if you take it a change machine they take a percent.. Plus this is fun for the family to do.

    Create some type goal poster board, and have everyone help. This keeps everyone focused on the goal.

    Packing your lunch, including drinks and snacks will save you a ton of money. I took my lunch to work 4 days a week, along with snacks and drinks, it was a dollar for a coke/soda out of the drink machine. It saved me around 50 to 60 dollars a week x 4 weeks that's around 200.00+ dollars a month. Get a nice lunch bag or mini cooler, and different containers to easily make lunch, even some Disney napkins, for add incentive to save for your trip. For me I made lunch the night before, packed in my insulated lunch bag, so all I had to do is grab and go. Keep something like a can of soup, or tuna pouches in your desk.

    Meal planning, Seasonal cooking, freezer meals and Couponing all of these go hand in hand. While this does taking some time its really worth it. Make a list and stick to it... Which for me was the hardest thing to do. Now in saying that if you come across a really good deal get it, for instance if you have planned to make meatloaf for dinner, and you need hamburger meat on the list and the family packs are on sale, you should go ahead and get it, but know what you are going to do with. So many things you could do with it, make red sauce, taco meat for tacos, nachos or burritos, meatball for subs and you can freeze for later on.
    *Check out places like Aldi for pantry staples, I started going for a few things and now I go once a month, they have a great selection of dried fruits, nuts, granola. I also pick up cans of chicken, beef and veggie broth, cream of mushroom soup, cans of mandarin oranges. They also have lots of spices, sugars, oil's, and items for baking, at amazing prices.
    *When using your coupons, take the time to match them with your local grocery ad, or if the grocery store has store coupons were you can stack them for add saving.
    Then pay yourself the saving... Okay I saved 10.00 on groceries with my coupons, then transfer 10.00 into the vacation account.

    * Don't forget looking for coupons at sites like "retail me not" when out shopping.
    * Sign up at your favorite stores for shopper rewards. I have 50.00 in rewards at Penny's that I am going to spend more than likely toward some Christmas gifts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  18. Stefien Quix

    Stefien Quix Mouseketeer

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    TBD, it will depend on our daughters ability to handle a 14 car ride.
     
  19. adamak

    adamak DIS Veteran

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    I would start tracking / monitoring flights from DC to MCO. Just set up tracker and see what the lowest price could be and the average price should be. Then target that airline and see what points / deals you can get.

    To me, the plane tix going to MCO is not the killer unless you need to fly during Thanksgiving or Xmas. It's the park tickets / hotels / food that gets you. So I'd focus on that. Rent from DVC owners. Learn to save on food (*sigh* long topics for other time). Milk the tickets if possible ( annual pass for 2 separate year visit, buy no-expiration tix for multi-trips). And never ever buy gifts / pins..etc in the park.
     
  20. LovesTimone

    LovesTimone Christmas Day 2017

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    14 hours in a car for anyone is exhausting. With some real planning you should be able to make it happen. I would suggest you look at the ride down as part of the vacation, and not just a means of transportation. When mapping out your route see whats along the route, possibly a quick stop for like a hour or two to check out some where you might enjoy. One time we stopped in South Carolina and toured a plantation, then on the way back we decided to stop over night in Charleston SC and check out the Historic Downtown area. There are so many quick stops along the road that might interest your family, but that will depend on the age of the kiddo's. Make sure you check out where some of the rest areas are along the highway so that you can let the kids out to run around for 15 minutes, and you can stretch your legs as well. Have something for them to do simple stuff like bubbles, or a Frisbee, a ball, play tag.

    For us we would never drive 14 hours without stopping especially with kids. DH and I agree its better to stop and rest and arrive not completely over tired and grumpy. Safety is another reason we just stop.

    DH and I have taken off right after work on a Friday, and have driven 4 or 5 hours, spent the night and hit the road again in the morning.

    A few times we left like around 3 or 4 in the morning, we packed the car the night before, and laid out our clothing for the next day, bags for the car by the door, then... We went to bed when the kids did around 7:30. Alarm set , woke up, coffee, double and triple checked everything, got ready, more coffee for the road, cooler stocked. Then picked up the kids still in their PJ's, loaded them into the car seats and booster seats, and away we went. Yes we were those people in the rest area, with kids in their PJ's and bed head, changing them in the restroom. Don't judge, it worked out great, we blew through Atlanta and made it almost to Fla/GA line, before the kids woke up. We arrived at our hotel before noon POR. Went swimming, took a nap, and had dinner at Rainforest at Downtown Disney as it was called then.

    Planning and organization is alot of work for this type of road trip, but if you can save a big chunk of cash it would be worth it.
     
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  21. Judique

    Judique Dis Veteran, Beach Lover at BWV, BCV, HHI, VB

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    They don't sell no expire tickets anymore. That ship sailed several years ago.
     

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