WOW!!! Brandy has proved that when you have a goal you can achieve anything. She was able to make this happen in only 9 short months.
Let me just start by saying Walt Disney World was a dream come true! It was so much better then I ever could of imagined. To see the joy that all my family experienced while at Walt Disney World made all the scrimping and saving worth it. Along this journey I experienced a full range of emotions. From wanting to delete my SB account because surveys didn’t credit, to crying tears of joy that I was taking my kids to Walt Disney World, all without touching any of the money from my husband’s paychecks.
If you think you can’t afford your dream Disney vacation. Let me remind everyone that has been following my journey and all of you that have never heard of me before. We are a middle class one income family of 6. After bills, savings, and needs there just isn’t any money left for vacations. Much less pricey ones like Walt Disney World. If I can earn over $6,000 for a Disney vacation so can you!
I want to thank Kristin Cooper without her Saving for Disney course, none of this would of been possible. I have always couponed and looked for ways to save money. Honestly, I thought I knew it all when it came to saving money. I didn’t see how she could teach me anything new. I went ahead and purchased the course more out of curiosity then anything else. That was one of the best decisions I have every made. I have learned so much! From budgeting smarter to ways to save on utility bills. If its about saving money its in that book.
We spent $950.00 on airfare. To fly out of my local airport it would of been almost double that. We drove 6 hours to Houston. Saving us $800.00 even after the parking fee and gas. We used the Parking Spot. They meet you at your car and help you load your luggage onto there shuttle. Then they shuttle you over to the airport. The total cost including tip was $45.00. Parking at the Houston airport would of cost me around $100.00.
We did a magic your way 5 day package, without park hopper at Art of Animation for a grand total of $3797.28. That amount of money is daunting, I know. I really wanted to stay at the cabins at Fort Wilderness, because of the kitchen area and its a moderate resort. My husband and myself decided to let the kids pick. They choice the Lion King Suite at Art of Animation. I was a little bummed. When we travel we normally stay at Hilton Garden Inns or the Hampton Inn, both are owned by Hilton and have impeccable service and are incredibly clean. Art of Animation is a value in my mind I thought this was going to be a step up from a roach motel. Boy oh boy was I wrong! I will be staying there again.
We enjoyed 4 table service meals. The rest were quick service options and snacks. I added $800.00 to a Disney gift card for food. I did the Sam’s Club Yak and Yeti deal twice, giving me $240.00 at the cost of $200.00 to be used at any Landry’s restaurants. The table service meals where Be Our Guest, Garden Grill (half of us), Nine Dragons (half of us), T-rex, and Yak & Yeti. I had Instacart deliver a few groceries, mainly milk, water, yogurt, bread, cheese, and produce. That cost me $108.00. We spent $125.00 on food and drinks to and from Houston.
The kids saved their allowance, birthday, and Christmas money to use on souvenirs while at Disney. I only took $100.00 for my husband and myself to spend on souvenirs. We aren’t big souvenir people. My husband got 2 shirts for a total of $51.00. I got a necklace for $21.99. We got 2 charms, for my nieces at $4.99 each, and my grandma and mother in law each an air plant for $8.99. Unfortunately for us we left our stroller outside when we ate at T-Rex and it rained. The stroller was soaked by this time is was 4:30 ish my 3 year old was super tired and whiny. We decided to buy a beach towel to cover the fabric of the stroller so that Nico could sit in the stroller and not get wet. The beach towel cost us $29.00. That brought my total spent on souvenirs to $129.95.
I have so many more things I want to share. If I share them all, this will become a book instead of a blog post. Be on the lookout for future posts detailing what I learned, tips, tricks, and details!
Below is a breakdown of where the money was spent. We bought and ate whatever we felt like. Vacations are the one time of the year we go all out. Normally we really think about every purchase. It was really nice to spend and not think about it. I could of easily spent half of what I did on food.
Airfare – $950.00
Magic Your Way Package – $3797.28
Food – $1233.00
Souvenirs – $129.95
Tips – $220.00 ($75.00 was cash paid, the rest was charged to the room and paid with Disney gift cards.)
$5.00 a day to Mousekeeping for 5 days = $25.00
$10.00 to bell hop each time they helped us = $20.00
$10.00 to Taxi drivers twice and Magical Express driver = $30.00
$10.00 to Instacart for grocery shopping and delivery = $10.00
$135.00 at 5 Table service meals
My total spent was $6330.92!
That is so much money! I will tell you what a relief it is to come home and know that it’s all paid for. Below is the breakdown of how I earned or found the money to pay for my trip.
Swagbucks – $2632.60 (includes $372.60 from panel I got into from SB)
Selling stuff – $721.00
Ibotta – $643.05
Medical budget excess – $590.43 (Includes credit at my dentist office of $115.36.)
Grocery budget excess – $529.25 (Includes grocery budget for the week I was gone.)
Checkout 51 – $213.10
Christmas budget excess – $160.00
Gas budget excess – $160.00
SYW points from sweeps – $114.71
Disney Vacation Account bonus – $60.00
Ebates – $48.30
Savingstar – $38.80
Returned gifted pants – $33.00
Gift Card for Target given – $25.00
Sam’s Club membership deal – $25.00
DealDash offer from Swagbucks – $20.00 (Received SB credit of $20.00 for completing the offer and 2 x $10 gift cards)
In home mailer coupons – $20.00 (Used to purchase Disney shirts for my husband.)
Lost book refund – $18.00 (My library will refund the cost within 30 days, if we find the book.)
Class Action check – $15.00
Seventh Generation refund – $12.99
MyPoints – $10.00
Best Buy rewards – $10.00
Energizer rebate – $10.00
Visa checkout Starbucks deal – $10.00
MPlus – $10.00
Bing Rewards – $10.00
Mileup – $10.00
Mobisave – $8.99
Free Milk from a neighbor – $6.00
One Opinion survey – $3.25
Total Earned: $6715.47
That leaves us with a balance $384.55 for my next vacation! We are discussing a few different options. Check back to see where we decide to go next.
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