It wasn’t long after that eye opener, that I discovered coupon shopping. I had
always used coupons, but I had no idea the amount I could of saved. I
started learning everything I could about saving money. I
learned how to combine coupons and sales, how to stockpile
and how to save my family thousands of dollars a year.
I used coupons adamantly for almost a year (starting Jan 2008) before
I realized we could now afford a Disney vacation. So I started planning
and by May 2009, we were at Disney World. We had 8 wonderful, magical
days at the parks and it was everything I had dreamed of and more.
When we returned home, we decided we wanted to do it again, but we
didn’t want any of the funds coming out of our budget. This
time it was going to be trickier because I was already saving
thousands of dollars a year with coupons. If we didn’t want to feel
the pinch, I was going to have to get resourceful.
So i started looking around online trying to figure out how I could
save this money without designating any of our budget towards our
trip. I had a little less then a year to save.
The first and most obvious way to me was to start saving all our loose
change. I designate $150 a week for groceries, out to eat,
entertainment, etc etc. (that $150 covers everything that is not gas
or monthly bills). So instead of using that amount out of our checking
account, I decided to withdraw it in cash instead. So when I
shop, I use cash and I always break my dollars. The change goes into
the Disney fund. It usually averages out
to about $10 a week. That’s $520 a year! That’s 1/4th of the cost
of our trip and we don’t miss that money at all.
Out of that money, I also save anything that is left over at the end
of the week. This inspires us to eat out less and not buy items we
don’t need. Also, if we were planning to spend money and we were able
to resist, that money goes into the fund as well because it would of
been spent otherwise.
Another great way I found to add to our Disney fund was to save all
found money. Found money can be anything from $1 in the dryer to an
unexpected gift from a relative. It could also be money earned off a
yard sale or by selling your Aunt Irma’s spoons on Ebay. If we weren’t
planning on receiving the funds, they get applied to our trip.
The next way I started to save was by using rebates. Prior to saving
for the fund, I was not very
diligent about using every rebate available to me and there were times
that I would forget to mail in my receipt and i would lose out on the
rebate. So I became more dedicated and organized and in three months I
have earned approximately $400 in rebates.
I also found ways to earn money online. I participate
in surveys and various rewards programs. I am still not as diligent
about the surveys as I could be, but I’m working on it.
I started saving for our trip on June 1st. As of September 10th, our
Disney fund is at $860.28. And not one cent has come out of our
monthly budget. We don’t miss the money at all. A Disney trip is not
out of your reach if you just become resourceful. As the great Walt
said “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Kristin is a mother of 2 living in Birmingham, AL. She started her
blog to track her Disney savings and to teach others how to not only
save for their own Disney fund but also how to save on everyday expenses.