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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saving For A Family Vacation

Folks are always interested in how to save money for a vacation and save money while on vacation. Click here to read our previous post about Saving ‘o the Green. And, many find creative ways to save, literally pennies, for future vacations.

I have read about change jars decorated like Mickey Mouse or decorated with Disney stickers that collect all the loose change which is later cashed in for spending money while traveling.

I have read about special vacation savings accounts with money deducted from each paycheck—kind of like a Christmas club account.

I have read about money being used to purchase Disney Gift cards or add money to existing gift cards with each paycheck. Note: Disney Gift cards don’t expire or lose money over time. Maximum load amount is $1,000.

So, while there are as many creative ways to save for an annual or every other year family vacation as there are families, here are some of our ideas.

I will preface this with the fact that we do not live an austere life. We enjoy many largesse habits—like cable, caffeine, and a twice monthly cleaning service. What we cut back on are things like going out to eat, going to movie theaters, alcohol consumption, and shopping trips. I use coupons when grocery shopping and shopping for almost anything else—even gas for the car, if I can.

When confronted with the “oh, I like that purse” (you can substitute anything in the place of purse), I consider whether or not it is a need or a want. Most of the time, it’s a want. Then I consider whether or not I would rather spend the money on the “purse” (again, substitute anything in place of purse) or use it towards a port adventure while we cruise, or pre-purchasing a Photopass CD, or a special tour or experience while traveling to Walt Disney World. The answer is usually yes, I would rather use those funds toward something for our family vacation, and besides, I already have a “purse.”

We do have change banks/jars. We do redeem cans for cash. We do stock up on sale items and store them in our freezer and pantry. We do eat most meals at home on a daily basis, including lunches—if possible—eat at home or pack with us. And, while those funds are not directly channeled towards Disney travel, they do affect the bottom line of the household budget which affects the available funds for family vacations.

When the boy gets cash as a gift for holidays and birthdays, 75% of it goes into his savings account. Before we travel, some of it is withdrawn and becomes his spending money during the trip.

It’s a matter of priorities. For us, the priority is family travel, specifically, Disney family travel.

Happy planning and safe travels to all!

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