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Before you plan your Disney vacation (or any vacation for that matter) you will need to save the money for the trip. In my opinion, vacations should not be financed on a credit card, you should carefully plan and save up the money BEFORE you go. Your vacation will be so much more enjoyable if you know you have the money to pay for it.
If you have credit card debt, I would suggest holding off on a vacation until the credit cards are paid off, I would suggest just stick to cheap vacations like visiting family members or camping. No, camping at the Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort doesn’t count!
Here are a few examples of things you can do to add to your vacation fund:
Save a little each month: One way to save money is to simply add a vacation fund category to your budget. You can take some money out of your paycheck every month and set is aside specifically for a vacation. Gradually, it will add up. We don’t actually do this, I just add money I consider to be “extra” money to our vacation fund.
Rebate Checks: You can add all rebate checks directly to your vacation fund. This is one simple way I save, I figure I already paid for the items out of our grocery budget, so when the refund check comes in the mail, it’s like FREE money to me. So, in the vacation fund it goes!
Sell Unwanted or New Items: You can sell some of your unwanted items around the house. Have a garage sale, sell on Craigslist or Ebay. You may be amazed how quickly the money adds up. Check out how Heather at Queen Bee Coupons was able to earn $1000 just by selling items around her house.
I have sold some items on Ebay that I picked up really cheap at Target. Don’t worry, I didn’t go crazy buying everything in sight, I just picked up a few item that I thought would make me a little extra money. You can see an example of how I sold new and used items on Ebay for a total profit of $740.
Watch for Promotional Offers: Keep an eye out for promotional offers where they offer FREE cash or products. Currently a new bank in our area is offering $150 in cash for FREE if I open an account at their branch. If I chose to open the account the FREE $150 would go straight into my vacation fund.
Get the Disney Rewards Credit Card: Say What? I tell you know to finance your vacation on a credit card and now I am telling you to get a credit card with that cute Mickey Mouse character on the front. Seems kind of contradictory, doesn’t it? I am not suggesting you finance your vacation with the card, here is what we do (this may not work for everyone, it’s just an option). With the Disney Card I earn 1% cash back on all my purchases. I know it doesn’t sound like alot, but it adds up. I have all of our utitilities automatically paid each month with the Disney card. Then, the Disney card gets automatically paid every month directly from my checking account. It’s fabulous! I don’t have to write checks, it’s all automatic. Plus, I earn money for our trip. I also use the card for big purchases, like our kids braces. We had the money saved up for the down payment on my daughter’s braces, I used the card to pay for them and once again the money was taken directly out of my checking account when the bill was due.
The main reason why I got the card in the first place, is because they offered a FREE $200 credit after my first use of the card. That was $200 in FREE money I was able to add to my vacation fund.
Tax Refund: Did you get a tax refund this year? You could take part of your tax refund and add it to your vacation fund.
Trade in Video Games: Amazon has a great program where you can turn in old video games and earn Amazon gift cards. You can’t technically use Amazon gift cards on your vacation, but you can use them to buy items like diapers and such that you would normally buy and take the money you would have spent and add it to your vacation fund.
Once you start the planning process, you’ll have a better idea of how much money you will need to save for your trip, but for right now, just SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!! I would love to hear from everyone, how do you go about saving for your vacations? Do you save a little each month, or do you try to earn extra money for your vacations. Please share!