Thrifty Thursday: Saving for Souvenirs

You know it is going to happen. You’re not sure when and where you will be, but at some time, your little one will look at you with those “puppy-dog” eyes: “PPPPLEASE – I want this – I won’t ask for anything else – PPPLEASE!!!!!” Now you know as well as I do the abundance of souvenirs and temptations are everywhere in Disney – in the parks, in the hotel stores, at Disney Springs, even as you walk from the bus or car to the front entrances.

A number of years ago when I first took my little one, who was 6 at the time, we planned a way to make sure he had his own spending money and was free to spend it as he wanted. Our idea was to let him earn money by helping with chores that went into his envelope. He also had to put back at least half of any money received at Christmas or birthdays. Of course, it wasn’t all smooth sailing, but after some reminders of what he was saving money for, he caught on. The money in his envelope was periodically traded at the Disney store for “Disney Dollars”. This was a great way to ensure money wasn’t spent at other stores and was saved for souvenirs.

Once at Walt Disney World, he got to decide when/how he wanted to spend it. The only catch was, once his money was gone, that was it. We found that this worked well through the years. The first year we tried this, when he was 6, our son managed to save $129. He had about 10 months to save, so I was very impressed. The hardest part was the extra time we spend “shopping” at Walt Disney World so he could find just the right souvenirs.

Another great way to save for not only souvenirs, but also for your Disney trip is with Disney gift cards. Instead of gifts, ask family to instead load what they might spend on the Disney gift card instead. Money on the Disney gift card can be used throughout Disney property. Anytime you have extra money, such as tax refunds, spare change, “found money”, put it towards a gift card. By saving “free” money you won’t miss it through the year and will likely end up with a pretty good souvenir fund in the end!

Do you have a secret way to save for your trip to Walt Disney World? How do you handle little ones who want souvenirs?

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Debbie and her husband live in Collegedale, TN where her youngest son is going to college. She is a huge Disney fan who dreams of someday retiring and working as a tour guide at Walt Disney World. She has enjoyed many trips to WDW with children, grandchildren and sometimes adults only. It is her ultimate goal to make sure everyone who visits WDW has the same magical time that she enjoys every time she visits.

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