I thought for today’s post, it would be nice to chat about some ideas for starting…or adding to...your Disney vacation fund. After all, we have spent weeks talking about all kinds of tips and strategies for having an affordable Disney vacation, but even the cheapest trip still requires a way to pay for it.
So today I want to share some things that my family has done, as well as a few ideas I have come across in my internet wanderings.
- Credit card rewards. I already have mentioned how much we love the benefits of the Disney Visa rewards card. I have honestly found that the rewards that I accrue over an entire year or so, can pay for significant parts of our trips. And even if you don’t plan to visit Disney World that often, you can use those Disney rewards for all kinds of Disney products: merchandise, videos, shows etc. If you have kids, and credit cards work for your lifestyle, consider this card. But don’t overlook other cards you may have: many offer all kinds of rewards that can be used on your trip. Discover, for example, actually accrues dollars. Others add Frequent Flier miles and such. If you are getting any kind of rewards, look into saving them up and applying them to your trip.
- Pennies, pennies, pennies! Yup, we have a coin jar, and you won’t believe how much change a family of 3 saves up over the course of a year! The thing about this strategy that I love is, it really is money that is not “missed”….we don’t really think about all those coins sitting around, and don’t really use them for anything else (well, except for my daughter’s college laundry, but that’s another story :))
- Have a yard sale. OK, I really like this for two reasons: we get rid of stuff we don’t need, and we get money for it in the process. Added bonus: have your children create their own section of the yard sale with stuff they really need to part with, have them be responsible for selling their own items, and they can put their profit towards their own Disney fund. Clearly the kids need to be old enough to comprehend this process, but trust me, it is highly effective.
- Disney gift cards. This is where planning in advance can really pay off, because they make great little gifts throughout the year. Valentine’s Day? Nothing sweeter IMHO. Easter? Perfect size for an Easter basket. Christmas? The original stocking stuffer. Plus, getting them throughout the year, in small denominations, allow you to budget easily for your trip.
- This last one I personally have not done, but know people who have: “Vacation Club” accounts at your local bank. This is a variation on the old Christmas Clubs where you deposit a small amount each week and at the end of the year you have quite a little nest egg. You can do this for vacations too, and the nice thing about this is, “out of sight, out of mind”.
So, find your piggy bank and start saving! A little bit every day or so, and you may be surprised how much it adds up to by the time you leave!