Archives for Budgeting - Page 3

Budgeting

Drive or Fly?

For our family, simply getting to Orlando (or Anaheim for that matter) is an undertaking. We live in the middle of Illinois—936 miles from Orlando. With 6 people, we generally assume it’s less expensive to drive when we travel, an assumption that was probably formed in childhood back when gas cost less than $1/gallon! I’ve done the math and it actually cost the same amount to fly to Orlando as it would to drive, without even considering the time and stress factors: According to Google Maps, it’s a 19 hour drive. Our kids have a hard limit of 3 hours in the car before one of them starts getting car sick and the rest try to kill each other. Assuming we left before dawn to maximize the time the kids are asleep or at least drowsy, we could do it in two days: Day 1: Leave at 4am, drive...
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Budgeting

What Makes the Magic Happen?

Disney magic is different for everyone. As I’m planning our return to Disney World, I’ve seen a lot of information on visiting Disney on a budget, cutting costs, and so on. Some of it makes sense, but I’m staring at a hard decision: What’s essential, and what’s not? I knew when I started this journey that earning enough money above and beyond what I need to contribute to our family budget wasn’t going to be easy. I still don’t know for certain that I’ll be able to pull it off. Freelancing is a high-risk career – I may be drowning in work one week and have nothing to do (except blog!) the next. I won’t know for sure that I can pull off this trip until every last dime is actually in the bank. I priced out different options recently, and it really hit me – staying at a...
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Budgeting

Disney Dining Plan or Pay With Cash?

I’ve seen a lot of blog posts out there criticizing the Disney Dining Plan on the grounds that it may or may not offer a significant cost savings depending on the restaurants you choose and what you order. Ok, that’s fair. But I’d like to share why our family wouldn’t do Disney World without the dining plan: It’s a vacation. Maybe some people enjoy budgeting. Not me. I don’t want to think about money when I’m on vacation. That doesn’t mean I go nuts and buy everything in the gift shop. It does mean that I don’t want to have to keep a running total in my head of how much each meal is going to cost, whether we’re over or under budget. I don’t want to stress about being broke by the end of the week because I didn’t pay close enough attention to prices at the beginning....
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Total cost: $5000

A friend asked me this morning whether my math was correct. Yep, $5000 is the total cost for our family of 6 to spend a full week at Walt Disney World. First, we’ll take advantage of one of the great deals Disney offers for off-season travel. Right now, it’s Kids Eat and Play Free. Last time we went, we took advantage of the free meal plan. Plus, we go in early September, which is one of the least expensive AND least crowded times!  We never waited more than about 20 minutes for any ride or attraction.   Pin It
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How much is this going to cost?

Last time we went to Walt Disney World, we got to the resort late Monday night, and left mid-day Friday. That gave us basically three and a half days there. By lunchtime each day, the kids were exhausted, overheated, and overstimulated so we went back to our hotel for nap and quiet time until dinner.  This time, we would like to be at the resort for a full five days, so we’re going to try to arrive late Sunday and leave early Saturday. We want to stay at a moderate resort, but due to our family size we’ll need two rooms. Hopefully I can get connected ones. For this trip, we’re hoping to travel with another family. If we can add just two more people to our party, we’ll have the 8 required for a Grand Gathering, and all the perks that go along with that. We’ll also be...
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