We have been wanting to take the girls to Disney World for over a year now but really couldn’t afford it unless we put it on a credit card. We actually had one scheduled for the beginning of 2014 but due to an unexpected job change at the end of 2013 we had to cancel. We’ve been trying to get out of debt the last two years so putting the trip on credit cards wasn’t going to happen. Earlier in 2014 Callean started watching dogs for neighbors through a website called dogvacay.com. We decided at the beginning of this year that the money she made with this would be used for the Disney trip.
Last September I saw a post on Facebook about how to save some cash. The post said to save every $5 bill that you get. I thought this was an awesome idea, so I got an envelope and we started saving. We really didn’t use cash much at the time and decided that using cash might make us watch our spending more because actually seeing the cash leave your possession stings more than swiping that debit card. We started using cash for eating out and other random expenses and the $5 bills started rolling in. Before we knew it we had $100. We started trying to find ways to get $5 back like giving exact change that would result in get a $5 back.
Saving cash got so fun we started adding extra cash to the envelope. Before I knew it we had $500, then $1,000, then $1,500. When we counted our cash before we left and we had saved $2,300 in cash. Unbelievable. We also had $2,000 from Callean watching dogs (would have been more if she didn’t fund my shoe fund).
This is how we used this money to pay for our trip:
We bought 4 Day Park Hopper Military tickets
$177 x 5 = $885 debit card
$254.20 debit card
$199 debit card
Cash – Food, parking, souvenirs, and random expenses
The cash was split up in envelopes so that we had a budget for each day. We put $200 in five envelopes for each day of the week and then $330 in an additional envelope for “mad money.” Mad money was for any souvenirs that we wanted for days where we went over our daily budget. We decided to only take $1,300 cash and to save the other $1,000 for another vacation.
We saved money by bringing our lunch into the park and only eating dinner in the park on nights we stayed late. We ate back at the condo three of the five nights. We had money left over the first three days. We decided to wait till the end to get souvenirs and we used most of the cash on Thursday and Friday.
We would also like to thank Nannie and Poppie for providing room and board for this trip.
This was a great experience and we were so proud of ourselves for being able to pay for this trip all cash. The kids really enjoyed it and will have these memories for the rest of their lives. Money well spent if you ask me. Now it’s time to start saving for our next Disney trip.