3 Steps to Save for Your Trip to Disney! ~ Written By Poet Mase
So, the decision’s been made…you’re going to Disney! Congratulations! A world of fun and excitement awaits! Whether you’ll be staying for a day or a week, you’re in for a great time!
But first, you’re going to need to make sure that your funds will hold out for as long as you’d like them to. It’s no fun when money worries intrude on your time at the Happiest (or Most Magical) Place on Earth, and a little planning before the trip will keep the good times rolling. So, here are three steps to ensure that the magic never ends on your Disney vacation:
Set a Savings Goal!
Saving for a trip to Disney is a little like running a race. If you don’t know where the finish line is, you’ll have a hard time finishing. By defining a concrete goal, you can craft a timeline for your savings, making it easier to monitor how far you’ve come and how far you have left to go.
When setting your savings goal, it’s important to consider all of the expenses that go with a Disney vacation so you don’t end up kicking yourself later. What time of year are you going to visit? How long are planning to stay? Which hotel or resort fits your budget and preference? Which parks do you want to visit? Is a dining plan a good option for your family? Will there be any money left over for snacks and souvenirs? Tally up all of the relevant financial considerations, and you’ll be well on your way to a great vacation!
Stay on Track!
Just as important as defining your savings goal is making a plan for how you’ll get from here to there. There are a hundred daily temptations threatening to drain your growing vacation fund, so your best defense is devise a savings strategy.
If you have room in your regular budget, the best way to save for your family’s Disney adventure is to set aside regular contributions directly from your paycheck each pay period. By making automatic contributions, there’s less temptation to divert your dollars elsewhere. The key here is to make contributing to your vacation fund into a routine, regardless of the amount of money actually put aside every week or month, so even if it’s only five or ten dollars, stick to the schedule!
Once you start contributing, though, stick to your saving strategy by making your chosen account, cookie jar, or spot under the mattress untouchable. Staying true to your saving strategy can be difficult when unforeseeable expenses crop up, so try getting ahead of the game by identifying opportunities to spend less on daily purchases. Can you nurse one cup of coffee throughout the day instead of buying a second in the afternoon? How about cooking up some pasta instead of ordering take-out one night a week? If your resolve ever wavers, just imagine the look on everyone’s faces when they’re walking down Main Street U.S.A. after arriving at Disney on your vacation!
Plan for Fun!
Now that you’ve got your goal in sight and you’re chipping away with regular contributions, it’s time to think about ways to maximize your ability to pay for fun at the park.
When I was a kid, my family’s approach was to build a “slush fund” for fun things that would normally be out of the question for a family as frugal as ours – things like snacks, souvenirs, and video games. Whenever someone had some spare change – or even a few extra dollars – he or she would toss it into a large plastic jug. After almost a year of watching our slush fund grow, we counted it all up and were amazed by how much we had saved!
The slush fund is a great way to avoid tantrums and grumbling tummies on your trip, but it’s also a good way to get the entire family involved in saving for your Disney vacation. If the trip is going to be a surprise or if your kids are already responsible savers, you can even choose not to divulge the true purpose of the slush fund until just before the trip. Watch everyone’s excitement when the big secret is revealed!
Whatever your financial means may be, making a plan to pay for your trip to Disney is hugely important. With a little planning and self-discipline, you and your family will be rewarded with a magical vacation full of smiles and memories!
What are your favorite ways to plan for a Disney vacation? Share your ideas in the comments below!
Poet Mase is a writer of fiction whose passion for life translates directly to his work. A firm believer in the power of story to explain and to evolve notions of the human condition, Poet favors allegorical narrative structures that develop meaningful themes while relentlessly driving captivating plot lines. Poet is a founding member of the Order of the Raconteur and is currently working on several independent projects in the adventure and science fiction genres. His stories run the gamut from flash fiction to novel-length tales.
Prior to focusing on his creative work full-time, Poet wrote for IGN.com‘s Comics channel, contributing comic book reviews, interviews, and the occasional editorial as a freelance writer. Poet can be reached on Twitter at @PoetMase, on Facebook, and via his blog at http://poetmase.wordpress.com/
Do you want to be a guest author? Click HERE to learn how!