Dreaming of a Disney Vacation? There is no denying that a Disney Vacation is expensive, but it’s an expense you can start planning, budgeting and saving for ahead of time.
It is a dream of mine to earn my Coast to Coast runDisney Medal (running a half at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in the same calendar year) and I am setting my goal for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend January 2019 for the Dopey Challenge (5K, 10K, Half and Full Marathon) and the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend September 2019 for the Dumbo Challenge (5K, 10K and Half Marathon).
I have the dream, now what is it going to take to get there? The first step is putting some numbers down on paper and decide it this trip is doable budget wise considering we have 1 child soon to graduate from college and enroll in medical school, another in the next year headed to college, plus one still at home.
Disney has a great online tool that is associated with their Disney Vacation Account program that will help you Estimate Your Budget in 3 easy steps:
Step 1: Select your Disney vacation destination.
Step 2: Complete the form, using the links within the form to help you estimate costs. Remember, prices may change from time to time. Your estimate does not necessarily reflect what the actual cost of your vacation will be at the time of booking, and does not represent an actual reservation.
Step 3: Click “Calculate” to view the total estimate–which should be used for guidance only as you save for your vacation.
But I have a simpler suggestion, being an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner & Affiliate of Academy Travel/mickeyvactions.com, let me build you a free, no obligation quote on a Disney Vacation of your dreams. I will do Step 2 for you based on your desires/wishes, instead of you having to spend all the time doing the research. From that quote, you can complete step 3, which will give you an idea on how much you need to save each month to reach your goal.
$5,370…Okay, I know I really can’t live with that number without choking and breaking out in hives. This translates to about $250 a month that I need to budget in my already tight budget for the next 2 years, so this is going to call for getting VERY RESOURCEFUL…
But I know that it can be done, last November I was able to get away for a week with the girls for a run-cation for Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon. My total budget for my trip was…
I had a year to SAVE & EARN $2500 without dipping into my already tight household budget, because after all I was already being selfish by taking a girl’s trip without the family. Thanks to some of my runDisney Gal pals I not only met my goal without taking a single penny from the household budget, but I came home with money in pocket to pay for a good chunk of our Disneyland tickets last spring.
Here is how I did it
- $600 (Deluxe Hotel Accommodations at the Beach Club)-Purchased by tutoring a student 2 evenings a night for 3 months
- $397 (plane ticket)-Purchased with my SW Rapid Reward Points thanks to putting dd’s college tuition each semester on my Chase Rapid Rewards card and then paying the card off each month from savings
- $352 (race registration)-Purchases by writing a couple of Professional Development courses for my school district during the spring of 2016 and presenting them in the summer
But here is what happened with what I refer to as my “Disney Penny Apps” …
I set out to earn $1369 and ended earning $1401.15 in 11 months…
- Swagbucks $700
- Walmart Savings Catcher $81.14
- ShopKicks $100
- PerkTV $175
- Ibotta $110.25
- CheckOut51 $15.40
- Pact $65.36
- Ebay $154
I am totally stunned that I could earn over $1400 simply by putting my insomnia (thanks to RLS) to work and learning how to work a few apps while doing what I was already doing…exercising/training for my run and household shopping.
Once you have a goal and estimate in hand follow My Life in Ears on Saturdays, (really every day would be nice), for Saving 4 Disney. I am going to explore and share creative ways to not only SAVE money but to MAKE a few “Disney Pennies” along the way that that you can use to grow your own vacation fund, as I grow mine!
Next week, I am going to discuss the pros & cons of setting up a Disney Vacation Account and where am I going to stash my savings so I don’t spend my Disney Pennies before it’s time.