Disneyland is expensive. We know that. For the cost of a trip to Hawaii, you can visit Disneyland instead. And, there’s a million reasons why we keep choosing Disneyland (although Hawaii’s pretty nice, too).
Because of the cost, most families work on finding creative ways to save for their trips – either for the entire cost or a portion of it. My family makes everyday sacrifices so that we can afford the life of traveling that we do.
Today, I’m sharing some of our tricks.
- Read a lot? For years, I’d buy a book at Target each week as I bought groceries. And, since I read about a book a week, this came to around $520 a year. While saving for last year’s 2 week summer vacation, I traded buying books for going to the library instead. Total savings: $260 over 6 months
- Consider sending lunch to school with your kids instead of allowing them to buy. Our children buy 1-2 days a week and I pack lunches during the other days. This allows us to save quite a bit of money (packed lunches cost less than $1, where as school lunches cost $2.25). Packing them also ensures they get healthy fruits and vegetables each day, too. Total savings: $351 for 3 kids over 6 months
- Trade expensive name brands for generics when shopping for groceries and bath products. I started this years ago to see if my children would notice. No one did. Test out a few items at a time and gradually figure out what works for your family. There are a few staples that I know not to skimp on: certain cereals, Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese, etc. But, for the most part, we buy generics. Total savings: $300 over 6 months
- I go to a movie each week, typically on Sundays, solo. It provides me with a nice escape from real life. I go before noon most weeks because a ticket will cost me $6.25 instead of $12.50. Some theatres offer free popcorn on Tuesdays (a typically slower night of the week) or other incentives. Research what your town has and adjust your schedule if regular movies are your thing. Total savings: $162.50 over 6 months
- Trade Whole Foods for Sprouts or the equivalent. I love Whole Foods as much as the next consumer, but it’s expensive. Give Sprouts a try, or a similar option in your area. Total savings: $300 over 6 months
- My husband and made the decision long ago, as we saved to build our first house, that dining out was not going to be part of our usual expenses. It’s afforded us the travel life we want and hasn’t had much of an impact on our everyday lives. But, if we were used to that expense and we cut out one meal a week, I’d estimate we could save, on average, $50 a week. Total savings: $1300 over 6 months
- Take a thorough look at your bills and see where you can improve. Cable, Car and Home insurance, and Phone all likely have the possibility of being decreased with a phone call or two. If you were to cut $25 off of a bill, you’d save more than you think. Total savings: $650 over 6 months
- Another significant way to save money is to consider sacrificing a luxury or two. Facials, nails, hair and more all cost a lot of money each month. There are some things I won’t do myself (coloring my hair, for example….I’ll totally screw that up). But, others, I can handle, like nails and facials. If you could save $50 a week, the total is significant after 6 months. Total savings: $1300 over 6 months
Plan Your Budget According to Your Trip
Regardless of what type of Disney trip you’re taking, know what you want to spend and then figure out how you’ll save for it. For example, if you have 6 months to save $3000, you’ll need to find $500 a month to make that happen.
If I made all of the changes above – which are not entirely life changing – I could save $4,623.50 in 6 months. That’s a lot of money! You can also find a plethora of weekly savings charts online if you think that will help. Check my Budget Pinterest Board, too, for more ideas.
Each family is different and each will consider different ways to save. Take a look at your finances and find a way to adjust your budget. If the end result is worth it, you’ll find a way!
Do you have other ways you save? Find me on Facebook. I’d love to learn your tricks!
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