- April 1, 2007 at 4:34 pm #239844
These are posted at mousesavers.com for ways to save for a Disney
trip, but just about every single one is good for saving money for
trips, or even just to build a savings account where you might not
have had one before!
Vacation Savings Account
One of the best and smartest ways to save for a Disney vacation is
to open a separate savings account specifically for your vacation
fund. If at all possible, jump-start the account with a lump sum,
such as a tax refund. Have a certain amount auto-debited from your
paychecks and deposited directly into that savings account.
you never see the money, so there is less temptation to spend it.
And of course you’ll be earning interest!
If you put $25 a week into your vacation account and earn 2%
interest compounded daily, you’ll have $1337 in the account a year
after you start saving, and $2677 in two years.
If you’re able to “jump start” the account with $500 and then add
that $25 a week at 2% interest, you’ll have $1847 in your account a
year after you start saving, and $3197 in two years.
By the way, it is very worthwhile to shop around for the best
banking deal. One of the best I’ve found (and certainly the easiest
to open and use) is the Orange Savings Account from ING Direct. I
have one of these accounts myself.
You can open one in 5 minutes or
less and transfer money into it electronically. The ING account pays
a variable 4.25% Annual Percentage Yield on savings, with no minimum
deposit and no hidden fees or service charges. (Compare this with
what your bank or credit union pays on savings accounts.
you’ll be amazed.) It’s fdic insured. you can easily set up an
automatic savings plan with this account.
other ways to save in small increments
here are some additional, relatively painless tricks people use to
get themselves to save. it’s all about setting priorities — and in
some cases, tricking yourself into saving. what works for one
person, won’t work for another.
try one, or try ’em all. remember,
every penny helps!
buy us savings bonds
you can purchase them online and spend as little as $25 each time.
US Savings Bonds must be held for at least 1 year before you can
cash them in. There is a 3-month interest penalty if you cash an ee
or i bond within the first five years from its issue date. there is
no penalty for cashing ee or i bonds that are at least five years
bonds pay very good interest compared with a regular savings
account and since they are issued by the government, they are an
extremely safe investment.
buy disney dollars or disney gift cards
personally i would never use this method because it doesn’t earn
interest, but some people find it very helpful because you can’t
spend disney dollars or disney gift cards anywhere but disney! you
can also give your children disney dollars or disney gift cards for
birthdays and holidays, and ask relatives to do the same, so the
kids will have their own spending money for the next disney vacation.
disney dollars are “cash equivalents.” one disney dollar = one us
dollar. they can be used at disney store locations in the us and at
almost all locations in walt disney world resort, disneyland resort
and disney cruise line.
disney dollars can be purchased at any
disney store or disney theme park, or by letter from walt disney
world ticketing, po box 10140, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830. You must
pay in advance. Shipping is $10.00 for express delivery.
shipping charges with the check. Thanks to Deborah R for update.
Disney Gift Cards can be used online at DisneyShopping.com, Disney
Store locations in the us and participating locations at walt disney
world resort, disneyland resort and disney cruise line (includes
most shopping and dining locations). you can buy disney gift cards
at disney stores, disney world, disneyland and disneyshopping.com.
to order online through disneyshopping.com, search disney gift card.
(be sure you’re not buying the disneyshopping card, which is not
good in the theme parks.) you can order in denominations from $25-
$500 and shipping is FREE. Thanks to Ronni H for info.
The Change Jar
Make a rule that you never spend coins. Save all your pocket change
and throw it in a big jar. Label the jar (i.e.
Vacation”) to remind your of your goal. Periodically you can roll
the coins and see how much you have. (This is a great job for kids.)
Once it’s rolled, put it in your vacation savings account.
If you don’t want to roll the change, see if your bank takes
unrolled change. Some banks have change-counting machines and
they’ll count your coins for free or for a very small fee. There are
CoinStar machines in many grocery stores that will allow you to dump
in a ton of change and get a slip redeemable for bills at the
cashier, but you’ll pay a hefty premium (somewhere around 9%) for
the service; if you do this, at least pluck out the quarters and
Variations on the change jar: Never spend quarters, or never spend
dollar bills. Put those in the jar.
When writing a check, round up your checkbook entry to the nearest
dollar. For instance, if you write a check for $57.12, record it in
your checkbook as $58. Not only does this help you prevent
overdrafts, it also means you’re accumulating a little extra in your
account every time you write a check.
Another good thing about this
method is that you’re earning interest on that extra money, assuming
you have an interest-bearing checking account.
Round down your deposit entries to the nearest dollar. For instance,
if you deposit $300.91, record it as $300. Again, you’re
accumulating a little extra “ghost” money in your account.
A variation on the checkbook rounding method: charge yourself a
dollar every time you write a check, plus round up. So if the check
was for $47.39, round it up to $48 and add a dollar, making the
entry in your checkbook $49.
Another variation on the checkbook rounding method: round up to the
nearest five dollars. So if the check was for $52.23, round it up to
$55. If it was for $9.51, round it up to $10.
More Tips and Tricks
If a payment ends, keep making it — to yourself! For instance, if
you pay off a car or a credit card, keep making that payment, but
instead write the check to yourself and deposit it into your
vacation savings account.
Make a rule that “found” money goes in the vacation fund. For
instance, if you get a rebate, tax refund, gift check or work bonus,
deposit it in the vacation account.
Give yourself an allowance for cash expenditures (i.e. groceries,
gas, meals out, entertainment, etc.) and make a game of seeing how
much of your allowance you can NOT spend. Anything left over at the
end of the week (or month) goes into the vacation fund.
Charge everything to Disney’s Visa or a cash-back credit card and
pay the card off each month. (Only do this if you can handle the
temptation to overspend on plastic, and if you really will pay the
balance off every single month. If you won’t pay it off monthly,
this is a bad idea.) Use the Disney Dream Reward Dollars or cash-
back bonus toward your vacation.
Cut out one small daily expense and put the money you’re saving into
your vacation fund. The savings can really add up. If you save $1 a
day on something you buy at work, and you work 5 days a week x 50
weeks, that’s $250 a year!
If you drink a cafe latte every morning, buy a travel mug and fill
it with strong coffee and hot milk at home instead.
If you usually eat lunch out or buy lunch at a deli, try bringing
lunch from home at least 2 or 3 days a week. If you just can’t get
it together to make a lunch, at least try bringing a can of soda
from home instead of buying one at the deli or out of a machine.
Bring a snack from home instead of hitting the vending machines.
Giving up smoking may save you enough money in a year to fund a
family vacation. I’m not kidding! If you’re smoking a pack a day,
you’re spending at least $800 a year on cigarettes.
In places with
high tobacco taxes, you’re spending $1600 or more.
Ask your family to help you save. Often children aren’t very aware
of how much small expenses can add up over time. If you point out
that every nickel they can save the household will get them closer
to seeing Mickey, they may surprise you!
Solicit their ideas and
suggestions, and then agree to put aside what you’ve saved for your
vacation fund. Be sure you have a plan for keeping the saved money
separate, so that it doesn’t get spent elsewhere. That might mean
writing a check for the amount of money saved and depositing it into
your vacation account, or putting that amount of cash into the
Whatever it is, do it consistently.
Here are a few ideas your family might consider:
Spend less on entertainment. Borrow videos from your public library
instead of the video store: most public libraries offer this service
for little or no cost. Instead of going to the movies, check the
newspaper for free local family entertainment and events, or have a
family game night.
Eat out less. Face it, cooking every night can be tiring and a drag,
and that leads to eating out, which is much more expensive. So find
a way to avoid this.
Think up something you can make in the crockpot
one night a week instead of getting takeout. Or turn cooking into a
fun project once a week — for instance, make a pizza with the kids
instead of ordering one.
Use grocery store coupons. Particularly if you live in an area like
Southern California, where the major supermarkets will double the
value of manufacturer’s coupons, you can’t afford NOT to clip
coupons out of the Sunday paper! I do this, combined with buying
sale items and seasonal produce, and frequently save 40% or more on
my grocery bill.
Seriously, 15 minutes of effort and a $5 coupon
organizer can save you an amazing amount of money. Kids who are old
enough to use scissors can certainly cut out coupons. Older kids can
also sort and file coupons in your coupon organizer.
Sell your junk. Have a big garage sale. Take still-in-fashion
clothes to a consignment shop.
Sell unwanted books, CDs, movies and
collectibles you no longer want on Amazon or eBay. You’d be amazed
at what your old stuff may bring. Don’t assume no one wants it.
once sold a ratty bathmat the dog had chewed up, which I was using
as a rag, for a quarter. It wasn’t even part of my garage sale —
someone just noticed it lying on the ground and offered me money for
If you are a family of recreational shoppers, start going to garage
sales, consignment shops and thrift stores instead of the mall. One
person’s trash is another’s treasure, remember? There is often good
stuff to be had at these places!
Take a certain amount of cash and
don’t spend more. You’ll get the thrill of the hunt and the thrill
of the bargain, but for much less than a trip to the mall.
Shop around on your insurance at least once a year. It’s remarkable
how much you can save. Rates for an identical auto insurance policy
can vary from one company to another by as much as 100%!
An easy way
to shop around is to use an online site such as InsureMe.com, which
will get you quotes from several insurance companies. I used this
site to shop for life insurance and ended up with a great deal from
a top-rated company.
Evaluate your spending on cable television and telephone services.
Maybe you don’t really need extended cable or call waiting. Check
rates to be sure you’re not paying more than you have to for long
distance calls. Take a look at your long distance provider’s web
site (or call them) and find out if there’s a better deal available
I switched to a plan that gives me unlimited long distance
for $20 a month! If you have a cell phone, see if there’s a better
plan for you, that fits your usage patterns at a lower cost.
Get everyone to turn out the lights when no one is in the room, and
turn off TVs, radios and computer equipment when they’re not in use.
Fix dripping faucets and leaking toilets. These measures may only
save you a buck or two a month on your utility bills, but it all
Re-evaluate gift-giving. Do you have a long list of friends and
relatives with whom you exchange “duty” gifts that no one really
wants? Maybe the time has come to speak up.
You might be surprised
at how relieved everyone would be to stop the seemingly endless
cycle of unwanted gift-giving. Maybe everyone would rather put the
money toward a family reunion at Disney! Perhaps you can just start
exchanging greeting cards.
Or you might prefer to institute a gift
exchange (each person draws one name) or switch to “gifts of love”
(give each other certificates for back rubs, car washes, and other
kind gestures that cost you nothing but your time and effort). Or
set a low dollar limit on gifts and see how creative you can get.
- October 4, 2014 at 8:08 pm #458792
Another good resource for saving for a Disney trip is Couponing to Disney – the person who runs it does all kinds of things to save money and shows you what she does and deals she runs across, then shows you how much she’s saved by doing those things towards her family’s trip.