We Paid Cash: A Disneyland Vacation
A testimony from Kiersten who blogs at The Aspiring Mom
My husband and I have two children, ages 4 and 6. We have longed to take them to Disneyland for years now. However, vacations haven’t been a possibility due to mismanaged money.
In January of 2012, my husband and I decided to change the way we spend money: we started a budget! We used Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” program and it has revolutionized our finances!
When planning this vacation we came up with a budget amount that included gas, tickets, fun money, treats, eating out, hotel, parking, and so on. We found tickets for two days for $99/person and, because my mom was going to come with us and help cover some of the parking and hotel expenses, we estimated a total round trip cost of $850 for our family.
We only had about $200 saved for this trip in January. We wanted to go in March, so we knew we would have to come up with something clever!
We decided to go through our home and garage to find things to sell. The smaller items we sold at our local Swap Meet. We listed the larger, more valuable items on Craigslist.
Believe it or not, we made $300 at the Swap Meet in just one day. We came up with the remaining trip money by setting aside our blow money from our budget and selling items on Craigslist.
I’ll be honest, it wasn’t as magical as it may sound. In fact, it was a lot of hard work, posting and re-posting items, scheduling with people, and so forth. But it was worth it!
At Disneyland, we paid cash for everything! We planned our meals wisely: eating breakfast at the hotel, bringing pre-made snacks, and eating dinner at Disneyland. (I had made sandwiches for lunches, but accidentally left them left them at home! However, we managed to eat lunch and dinner in the park while staying within our budget!
We had all of our trip expenses divided into separate spending envelopes: Parking money, food money, fun money, and coffee money. The kids also each had three envelopes of their own: $7 for a treat, $15 for a toy/accessory, and $20 for a toy/accessory. They had two days at the park and only this amount of money to spend.
They were so happy to have their own money and buy their items. They spent a lot of time looking and deciding what they would like the best, and trust me, those items are precious to them! I was impressed with their decisions and how this cured the “give me” attitude.
My husband and I are so pleased with our new lifestyle! It’s liberating to take such an amazing trip without incurring a penny of debt or financial burden!
Kiersten is a wife and stay-at-home-mom of two beautiful kids, ages 6 and 4. She is also a Masseuse who loves running trails, hanging out at the beach, and taking in the beauty around her! She blogs at The Aspiring Mom.
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