When people think about going on a Walt Disney World Vacation, the first thing that usually pops into their minds is “How much is that going to cost?” It’s true, a WDW vacation may cost more than a non-WDW vacation, but typically, you have lots of time for advanced planning. WDW, for the majority of visitors, is not a weekend trip. It requires a lot of time off, sometimes traveling hundreds (or thousands) of miles, and needs to be coordinated with work schedules, school schedules, busy park times, park happenings, holidays etc.
So, what does all that time give you? It gives you time to save money!! Obviously, stashing a bit away each paycheck is a no-brainer, but there are many other ways to save that can help add to your “vacation fund” jar faster.
- If you haven’t done so already, make sure you purchase Lou’s book “102 Ways to Save Money for and At Walt Disney World.” It’s chock full of interesting ways to save money not only for your trip, but while you’re there as well. It can be very easy, especially if it’s your first trip, to go overboard on spending, so make sure you read that book before you go.
- Recycle bottles and cans for deposit instead of putting them in the recycling for garbage pickup. You’ll be surprised how many bottles and cans you can amass in a few months, especially if you have kids. With Spring and Summer coming and parties becoming more frequent, you can save even more. Now, you’re not going to pay for your whole trip this way, but it will pay for a few decent sit-down meals, especially if your trip is months away.
- Check your debit and credit card features. Check with your bank or your credit card provider to see if you can earn points with purchases, even if it’s not a national bank chain or a Disney Visa Card. Sometimes, you’ll even get double points for grocery or gas purchases or for credit purchases instead of debit ones. You may be able to purchase airline tickets, gift cards, or more with the points you earn.
- Look at your calendar. Do you have a birthday or special event coming up? Are there any gift-giving holidays coming up? Those are great opportunities to ask for Disney gift cards or money instead of a traditional gifts.
- Have a hobby, special skill or talent? If you have the time and the passion for it, try turning it into a side hustle. You can create an Etsy store, do freelance work, sell at craft fairs, etc. Save that extra income for your trip.
- Think twice before buying things. As our trips get closer and closer, I usually find myself saying, “What could that get you in WDW?” every time I buy something. I think twice before buying an expensive coffee, or a new outfit, or anything that I want but don’t really need. Instead, I take what I would have spent and stash it way.
- Save your savings? What do I mean by that? Well, let’s say you go grocery shopping with your store loyalty card, and you save $10 on your purchase. Transfer that $10 into a savings account, and save up for your trip. If you buy something online and get free shipping, take what shipping would have cost and transfer it. It really adds up quickly.
- Save $1378 in one year! How? It’s easy. Usually, this is started at the New Year, but you can start it at any time. Week one, save $1; Week two, save $2; Week 3, Save $3. See where I’m going? Week 52, the last week of the year, save $52. As the weeks add up and accumulate onto each other ($1 + $2 + $3….+$52), you’ll have $1,378 saved. Templates can be found online or you can create your own savings calendar. Want to save more? Just double the amount, so for week one, save $2 and for week two, save $4, etc.
I hope these tips inspired you. What are your favorite ways to save money for your WDW vacation?
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To learn more about Felicia and read her recent posts for the WDW Radio Blog, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post.