You can have the best laid plans, that doesn’t mean that life is going to go according to your plans! Life likes to throw monkey wrenches in your way. You just never know what is going to happen from one day to the next. That is why it is important to be prepared financially for whatever comes your way. I know budgeting and finical planning can be a daunting task. That is why I created my Saving For Disney Course. Even if you aren’t saving for Disney, the principals I teach and worksheets can be used towards any savings goal.
You can read Brandy’s first post here!
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This post is long overdue! I have been going back and forth for the last month, over how much I should let you all in my life. Naturally I am a very private person, so the last thing I want to do is share my personal woes. Because of the timing and the way things worked out, I feel the need to share my story with you all.
Between May 10th and May 29th, I was able to earn an additional $225.00 mainly with Swagbucks. That gave me an extra $63.00 over the $300.00 I needed for the cost of food. The bucket with kids birthday, Christmas money, change, and all unexpected money had $187.00 in it. Between the $63.00 extra I earned and the $187.00 we had $250.00 extra. We gave the kids the option of Natural Bridge Caverns or a day in the river walk area of San Antonio. They choose Natural Bridge Caverns.
We left on Memorial day to avoid crowds in 6 Flags. That was a mistake! Normally it takes us 8 hours to drive to Dallas area from my house with typical bathroom/gas stops and lunch. It took us 13 hours! There were so many people on the road! If you have ever traveled in Texas you know we have great roads, but they are always doing construction somewhere along 1-35. Around Waco we got into 30 miles of one lane traffic on either side. That took us about an hour to drive through. I think it wouldn’t have been so bad if we had left early like we had planned. Wouldn’t you know it…late the night before when my husband was putting gas in the car, he noticed a nail in the tire. We had to wait for the tire shop to open at 8 am to get it fixed.
I had researched hotels close to Six Flags. On other trips we have saved money by staying at a hotel far away from where we are going. It does save money but often wastes precious vacation time on driving 30 minutes or more either way. A few years ago we decided we would rather stay as close as we can to wherever it is we are going even if it’s for less days. We stayed at a Hyatt Place right behind Six Flags. I had requested the top floor so that we could see the rides light up at night. The kids really enjoyed that!
I am normally a Hilton owned hotel girl. The reviews were really good for this particular hotel on Trip Advisor. The price ($109.00 a night) was excellent for a suite with free breakfast. I decided to give it a try. I was very impressed by this hotel. The rooms were large and clean. Breakfast was really good! The staff was super friendly.
Six Flags was really fun! It isn’t Disney, but for the price I feel like it’s a great deal. The Six Flags in San Antonio has a lot of rides for older kids, teens, and tweens. There really isn’t much for little ones. The one in Arlington is fabulous for little kids. They have a huge playground and large area with smaller children’s rides. In Arlington, we feel like it was created for families with kids of all ages in mind. For that reason if we go back to use the passes this year we will be going to Arlington even though San Antonio is closer.
We spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Arlington at Six Flags. On Thursday we drove to the Salt Lick for a late lunch/early dinner. Then on to New Braunfels for the night. Then on Friday we went to the Natural Bridge Caverns. It is very educational and unique. If you go fair warning- prep your kids ahead of time. They have a lot of souvenirs, an obstacle course, maze, a gold and gem mine area, and a cafeteria area. All of which are an additional cost. You could easily spend a couple hundred dollars on one visit. From the caverns we drove home.
Here is where it gets juicy! We got home on Friday June 1st. On Monday June 4th my husband went back to work. Everything seemed to be normal. When he comes home that night he tells me, “I made a mistake before we left on vacation at work. I think they want to fire me.” I said, “You are paranoid! They aren’t going to fire you.” He had been at his job for 16 years. It was what I thought would be the job he retired from. He had been telling me for the past 2 years that he felt like they were looking for a reason to fire him. That is why I thought he was just being paranoid. On Friday, June 8th after his shift was over they called him into his bosses office and fired him.
We had previously many times in the past year discussed what we would do if he got fired or laid off. That whole week we had been discussing what the future looked like for him and our family if he did get fired. I think we were as prepared as someone could be for a huge life change. That took away a lot of the stress of the unknown. He felt stuck at that job. Because of his years working there along with overtime, differential pay, and the benefits he made a very nice income. He can’t make that anywhere else doing what he did previously. For those reasons he continued doing a job he didn’t enjoy. We feel like him getting fired is a blessing in disguise. He will be going back to school in August for a 2 year program. The new career path he has chosen is an in demand field in our area and pays the same or better then he made before straight out of school. He is only able to go back to school because of the choices we have made with money.
Two years ago, I bought Kristin’s Saving For Disney Course when it launched. We immediately started following the principals she taught. Previously we had tried countless budgeting programs nothing stuck with us. We would do whatever budgeting course for a few months. Then it was either to much sacrifice, to many categories, didn’t apply to us, or a hundred other reasons why it just didn’t work for our family. There is something different about Kristin’s course. It seemed like it was made just for my family. I like to think she made it just for me! It is simple yet effective. She breaks everything down into small bite size relevant to your life morsels of information.
I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful I am to have enjoyed a paid for in full vacation during this season in my life! If we would of charged any part of this trip it would of been a huge burden on us right now. Instead we look back on our vacation and see it as a blessing that our family got to enjoy together.
Because of Kristin teaching us how to live on a budget, pay off debt, and pay upfront for things we want. We only need a small amount of money monthly to cover our necessities and month to month living expenses. My husband isn’t forced to hurry and get just any job to cover bills. He has time to go back to school and change his career path. All of these things are possible because of the Saving For Disney Course! Most importantly we don’t have the stress most people have when the bread winner of the family looses his or her job. That is why I felt so compelled to share with you all what I am going thru personally.
Thanks for reading!
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