Tuesday, March 27, 2018

saving for disney update

I recently made a detailed spreadsheet of all the anticipated expenses I have for our eventual (2020) Disney trip. These expenses included:

-five 3-day base park tickets, inflated by 5% twice to account for possible price increases between now and 2020
-rental car for a week
-Airbnb for a week
-parking at the Disney parks
-extra money for dining out, souvenirs, etc.

Then I added a few columns for the Disney gift cards and Mastercard gift cards I had already redeemed. Once that was done, I made a pie chart because #nerd.

Something about seeing a visual representation of how much we need to save to have the trip fully funded really motivated me. Based on how much I've already saved and the fact that I would like to have the trip fully funded by June of 2020, I need to save about $130 a month for the next 26 months. That number doesn't seem like much but since we currently have a pretty tight budget it really is.

I haven't shied away from the fact that I don't want to use any of our "regular" income to pay for this trip. I want to pay for it all by extras such as:

+Pinecone Research Surveys
+Garage sale / local BST profits

I honestly didn't think it would be possible, but considering I just hit my $1000 Swagbucks lifetime earnings (after only really starting it in December, so 3 months ago) I think it is totally doable! If you are interested in using Swagbucks for a similar purpose but don't know where to start, I have a Facebook group where I share my knowledge and the members share which offers work for them each day.

Other ways we plan on saving money on this trip are: 
-staying offsite (even with parking and a rental car, it is way cheaper for us not to stay in a Disney hotel, not to mention we will have access to a full kitchen to cook many of our own meals, something we prefer)
-buying souvenirs / t-shirts / etc. in advance and bringing with us
-asking family members to give the kids Disney gift cards as birthday or Christmas gifts as the trip grows closer so the kids will have the option to purchase a few souvenirs for themselves while at the parks
-packing at least some meals and snacks for in the parks - something that we'd need to do anyway to accommodate Jon's and possibly Etta's dietary restrictions.

If you'd like to see any specific posts about how we budget, are saving for Disney, etc. please leave a comment and let me know!


  1. When we went, we were actually able to save money by staying on-site at one of the value resorts. They have transportation from the airport and to the parks, so that would eliminate the need for a rental car. We booked during a time that they had a discount on the resort. You may want to talk to a Disney vacation planner--they don't cost anything (because they earn their commission from you booking your trip). Mine was able to tell me the best time to book to get the best price. Also, there's certain times you can book that you will get a free meal plan, which is MAJOR savings on food. If you'd like to just talk with someone, let me know, and I can put you in contact with my Disney planner.

    1. Thank you! Part of the off-site savings is my parents, sister and in-laws also want to join us, so if we rent a house we can split the cost! Plus we only plan on doing 3 park days for a week vacation so we don't want to be restricted to a Disney hotel. I'll probably speak with a planner when it gets closer though!

  2. I wrote some helpful hints about Disney here after our trip last year. https://txtanya.blogspot.com/2017/04/travel-tuesday-disney-tips.html