In this economy, taking a Disney Vacation can be a luxury, but it’s still something we all want to do, particularly those of us who want, no wait, need to visit the Mouse. While the best way to do it is to put money directly into a trip fund every month, there are a few painless ways save up for that big vacation as well:
- Pay with cash and throw the change in a Disney only jar. When the jar gets full, you can celebrate by taking it to your bank and putting it into your trip savings.
- Make your reservation as far out as possible. You’ll pay a deposit, then every other week, make a small payment. Those payments really add up and will give you a feeling of satisfaction every time you pay and let you know you’re getting closer to your trip.
- Have a garage sale. You’d be shocked at how much you can make just by cleaning out the house. Take the money you make and add it to your trip fund. As an added Bonus you get a cleaner, neater house.
- Don’t want to have a garage sale? Put your stuff out on Craigslist. The great thing about Craigslist is that you can do it at your own pace and you don’t have to set anything up. Be wary of scammers and fraud; read the tips for sellers on the website. Craigslist has cracked down on scammers in recent months, but it doesn’t hurt to be as cautious as possible. Never meet someone at your home while you’re alone. Try a public parking lot in the middle of the day with people around. McDonalds is a good place and is always busy.
- Clip coupons. I have a good friend who absolutely doesn’t need to clip coupons, but she does it as a sort of hobby and gives what she saves to charity, earning about $200 a month for buying the same things she’d normally buy. You’ll put your savings into your trip fund. Check out Couponing to Disney for some great ideas. If you never seem to find the coupons you like, join a coupon train at a place like Disboards, where members join up and send each other coupons. It’s a great way to save money and meet fellow Disney fans.
- Shop Around. Disney World Tickets are one of your biggest expenses, if not the biggest. Shop around for discounted brokers like Undercover Tourist (sign up for the Mousesavers newsletter and save even more). Do not buy tickets off Ebay or from brokers who are not authorized by Disney. For more quick tips check out this article.
- Have a vegetarian or sandwich night once a week to save money. Bring your lunch to work most days. Chances are, these changes are also healthier. Ramen Noodles are usually like 50 for a $1 🙂
- Eat from your pantry. I love this one and make a point of doing it every few months, especially when I want to clean out the pantry. If you’re like most people, you have a lot of food in the pantry (and freezer) that’s going to waste. Pick a month and declare it a “no-buy” month. Use items you already have on hand to make meals, supplementing with fresh veggies, fruit and dairy. At the end of the month you’ll have saved money and will have the satisfaction of knowing that you didn’t waste food. If you still have food left over that you aren’t using, donate it to a food bank.
- Turn off the lights when no one is in the room and turn off the computer. Unplug your phone chargers when they’re not in use. Water your grass only every other day. These little steps are great for the environment too.
- Negotiate a better deal. If your cable, home phone, and internet services aren’t bundled, you may be paying too much. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with most service providers. Talk to your cell phone provider about changing your plan. Many providers have introduced more competitive plans in the last couple of years, so if you’ve had the same plan for a while, now is the time to see if better deals are available. Finally, consider negotiating your monthly fees with your gym. Some gyms have taken a huge hit with the poor economy and would rather negotiate a new contract with you than lose a customer.
These are just a few options for saving money for your Disney Trip. Kristin on Couponing to Disney shares with you tips and tricks every day. Most everything we learned we picked up from her!
- Disney DIY: Disney Trip Savings Jar (chipandco.com)
- The Benefits of Staying On-site at WDW (wdwhints.com)
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