Money-saving tips are like finding a treasure map to Disney. The more tips I find, the more I get inspired to find. After all, every money-saving tip I find that can be used towards my vacation funding just increases our vacation fun! Just FYI, Mr. H and I use a very large white piggy bank for our vacation fund. We literally “feed the pig” our change and savings. As we feed the piggy bank, our vacation fund grows…
All the tips I find and share with you are not always a great fit for our household but some might fit yours like a glove. After all, money-saving tips are not one-size fits all. I found some this week that we already use and I’ll share how we use them; others I haven’t tried but seriously think I will see how they fit our lifestyle. Another quick note, even if you are not saving for vacation because you have a sure-fire plan for your vacation dollars, most of the Thrifty Thursday tips can be utilized to save for another major expenditure or just pad your budget!
#1. I absolutely love customer rewards programs for individual stores. Sign up for as many rewards cards in the retail world as you can, even if you only shop there once in a great blue moon. Create a separate email account for just your customer rewards programs so all those great coupons and discounts don’t drop into your personal email account. Then when you go out shopping log into that Gmail account and search for each store as you enter the store. Shazam! Your latest coupon is sitting waiting on you when you check out! When you get home, deposit the amount of savings into your vacation fund!
#2. Rewards Credit Cards are awesome! These reward credit cards give points on purchases that equal 1-5% of your purchases. Some give up to 10% on particular purchases each month. So check with your Credit Card Company and see if they have a rewards credit card as an alternative to your present card. Personally, I found American Express, Barclays and ChaseFreedom have great reward programs. I often shop for weekly or monthly items, such as my groceries and gas, pay with my card, then pay that amount as soon as I get home from my personal checking account so no interest charges accrue, but my reward points add up! Many times, we are able to pay for our Disney tickets (we love annual passes) with our reward points from our credit cards! (Note: Don’t forget the Disney Visa card that provides reward dollars that can be used for pretty much anything Disney-related…including paying for your vacation!)
#3. Speaking of credit card companies. Did you know that a simple phone call can often result in a lower interest rate reduction, especially if they think they are going to lose your business to another credit card company? Yeppers… it is true! Simply tell the CC representative (CSR) you want an interest rate reduction or you are going to move your business and balance to another company. The first person on the line might not have the authority to do this; however ask to talk to a supervisor. The CSR will transfer you to a supervisor who will very likely give you the rate reduction if you have a good payment history. By reducing a 3% interest rate on a $5,000 balance, you will save $150 a year. Deposit that $150 in your vacation fund…. See how it grows?
#4. Pinterest! Yeppers… Pinterest can help you save money! Instead of grabbing fast food or prepackaged food to microwave, try going through Pinterest a couple times a week and having a new recipe adventure! I found I was pinning tons of new recipes on Pinterest and never going back to try them unless I was just desperate for something new. A couple months ago, I was sick of the same old menus, so I had a chat with myself. “Self, it is time to cook your way through the Recipes board on Pinterest. My personal recipe board has 515 recipes on it! Heck, I have 186 followers on my recipe board alone. There is something good in there! So, I started my weekly menu planning and make at least 2 things from my recipe board each week. Mr. H loves trying new foods and is even more delighted that we are not going out as often…. Now figure what you saved by making that pineapple dream dessert yourself as opposed to buying it from the local bakery…. Feed your vacation pig the difference!
#5. Last but not least for Thrifty tips for vacation saving! Plan your menus weekly and make a list before you hit the grocery store! Believe it or not, I spend so much more money if I do not shop my list! Making a list is like drawing a map… you know where you are going (the store) and you know what you are doing while you are there (buying only what is on the list!) Don’t put anything in that cart if it is not on your list… no matter what! I do not care if that chocolate is calling your name. If it ain’t on the list…. You can’t buy it! Although you won’t have a definite amount to just feed your vacation pig, your food budget and spouse will thank you for not overspending at the grocery store. You won’t be stealing from your vacation fund to pay for the grocery spending overage.
Till Next Time!
Leigh Anne, originally from Mississippi, lives in North Alabama with her husband and a menagerie of furry kids (FIDS), including dogs, cats, exotic birds, fish and a lionhead rabbit. Figment, her African Grey parrot, is named after Disney’s small purple dragon, Figment. She works as a motivational speaker and pastoral counselor. In 1974, Leigh Anne marched with the Enka High Marching Band in the Magic Kingdom daytime parade. Leigh Anne fell in love with Disney while on her Disney honeymoon with her husband in 2002. They have made an annual trip back to Disney to celebrate their anniversary every year since. Since they own a piece of the mouse with their Disney Vacation Club (DVC), some years they go twice! She also plans to be the grandmother that introduces all her grandchildren to Disney World first. She has a great start ~ 2 out of 3 so far! As a DVC member married to the best Disney shopper in the world, Leigh Anne has lots of experience in finding the most frugal way to have the most fun in the parks and resorts! Leigh Anne admits to being spoiled as a DVC member but is always on the lookout to keep their WDW vacations fun and frugal! She blogs at Queen of Hysteria and tweets @la_haygood