Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guest Post -- How to Get to Disney...

Kristin wrote a great post for us on
how to be resourceful and save for a Disney Vacation w/o
feeling the pinch on your monthly budget!

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I started making
all these elaborate plans about a
fantastic trip to Disney World when she was old enough to enjoy it.
Then I saw the price tag of a
Disney vacation and compared our finances and those dreams diminished.
There was no way we could afford a Disney vacation on our current

It wasn't long after my daughter was born that I discovered coupon
shopping. But I only used a coupon here or there. I had no idea the
amount I could of saved. In January 2008 my new years resolution was
to become more adamant about using coupons. I
started learning everything I could about saving money. I
learned how to combine coupons and sales, how to stockpile
and how to save my family thousands of dollars a year.

I was a smart shopper for almost a year before
I realized we could now afford a Disney vacation. So I started planning
and by May 2009, we were at Disney World. We had 8 wonderful, magical
days at the parks and it was everything I had dreamed of and more.

When we returned home, we decided we wanted to do it again, but we
have other things we need to spend our budget on. So we had to find
another source for the funds. It was going to be tricky because I was
already saving
thousands of dollars a year with coupons. If we didn't want to feel
the pinch, I was going to have to get resourceful.

So I started looking around online trying to figure out how I could
save this money without designating any of our budget towards our
trip. I had a little less then a year to save.

The first and most obvious way to me was to start saving all our loose
change. I designate $150 a week for groceries, out to eat,
entertainment, etc etc. (that $150 covers everything that is not gas
or monthly bills). So instead of using that amount out of our checking
account, I decided to withdraw it in cash instead. So when I
shop, I use cash and I always break my dollars. The change goes into
the Disney fund. It usually averages out
to about $10 a week. That's $520 a year! That's 1/4th of the cost
of our trip and we don't miss that money at all.

Out of that money, I also save anything that is left over at the end
of the week. This inspires us to eat out less and not buy items we
don't need. Also, if we were planning to spend money and we were able
to resist, that money goes into the fund as well because it would of
been spent otherwise.

Another great way I found to add to our Disney fund was to save all
found money. Found money can be anything from $1 in the dryer to an
unexpected gift from a relative. It could also be money earned off a
yard sale or by selling your Aunt Irma's spoons on Ebay. If we weren't
planning on receiving the funds, they get applied to our trip.

The next way I started to save was by using rebates. Prior to saving
for the fund, I was not very
diligent about using every rebate available to me and there were times
that I would forget to mail in my receipt and i would lose out on the
rebate. So I became more dedicated and organized and in three months I
have earned approximately $400 in rebates.

I also found ways to earn money online. I participate
in surveys and various rewards programs. I am still not as diligent
about the surveys as I could be, but I'm working on it.

I started saving for our trip on June 1st. As of October 2nd, our
Disney fund is at $949.00. And not one cent has come out of our
monthly budget. We don't miss the money at all. A Disney trip is not
out of your reach if you just become resourceful. As the great Walt
said "If you can dream it, you can do it."

Kristin is a mother of 2 living in Birmingham, AL. She started her
blog to track her Disney savings and to teach others how to not only
save for their own Disney fund but also how to save on everyday expenses.
Find her blog at

1 comment:

Kimber said...

What a fun idea! Thanks for sharing!


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