What do you sacrifice?


I was wondering what Disney-fanatics might sacrifice to make frequent Disney trips happen I'm thinking about cutting back my hours at work which obviously would reduce my income. We are fortunate that most of my income is disposable income, but my biggest concern is not being able to afford our yearly/bi-yearly Disney trips. Tell me there's a way to still make it happen! :RpS_wink:


New member
My DH and I both work full time and our oldest is in college. We make sacrifices so that we can make our annual trip to Disney. We do not take any other trips during the year, we do not have memberships to museums or zoos and we do not eat out a lot. We put all of our change in our "vacation Pig" bank that I bought at Target. This is all of our tip money (mousekeeping and any table service) and laundry money. Any extra gets put towards next year or put towards a meal. We pay OOP for meals which we find is cheaper for us and I have a great TA who finds us the best deal on our room and tickets.

Disney on a "dime" is possible, you just need to decide as a family what is important to you and then put that plan to work. This year we are also purchasing Disney gift cards from Target and at the grocery store when we do our grocery shopping. This is another way for us to save without it hurting too much. We are going to use the gift cards for our meals.

I hope this helps.


tests unsafe roller coasts in china
We don't eat out a lot, drive less then stellar cars (but they are paid in full and get us to where we need to go!!), my job is what pays for the trips so I put in the effort to earn the money, we also are willing to stay offsite (generally at DLR) if needed or stay in a value resort. We don't need fancy to enjoy our trip....we just need to be at Disney!!!!


Well-known member
We drive our cars until the wheels fall off, bring lunch to work and cut our own grass. We put the money we'd spend on this stuff each week into a vacation fund. When you put the car payment in, it adds up


New member
When we decide on a WDW vacation, we immediately start to earmark money in our joint and respective savings accounts. A few months before a trip, I start to squirrel a few hundred per paycheck into savings for the trip (and I keep track quite efficiently of what money is Mouse money!). It seems to work out perfectly!

Tina Q

I save a ton of money matching coupons up with sale items at my grocery store! I don't pay more than $1.50 for a box of cereal or snacks. It's easy to do. We also use our tax refund for Disney!


This year we are also purchasing Disney gift cards from Target and at the grocery store when we do our grocery shopping. This is another way for us to save without it hurting too much. We are going to use the gift cards for our meals.
I love ths idea. I think I'll start doing this, but not tell DH. I can surprise him once we book our next trip!


the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
We set up an automatic monthly transfer of money from our checking account to a savings account to cover our vacation expenses. We treat it like any other monthly bill.


New member
We started a Disney jar this year and I am shocked at how much we have been able to save for our Sept trip. We put all of our change in it and then any other "extra" money we get. The kids love adding to it because they know it means, Disney! They tend to get money from all of their grandparents at Valentines, Easter, etc and then even contribute some of the money they get from Christmas and birthdays. I also toss in extra money here and there. It really has added up. I am thinking it might be a permanent feature in our house. We may not be able to do annual trips, but maybe every other year or so.


wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tag
Our luxury is time, not money. So we sacrifice trips elsewhere.


does anybody know how to change this?
We're the same as many when it comes to driving cars until they fall apart (evidenced by the 300,000+ mile Nissan finally dying last week!), and cutting out the stuff that doesn't really matter so we can afford what does matter.

I came to the realization years ago that plenty of things that people think of as "needs" are at most "wants" and may actually be "everyone else has it so I think we should too but we really don't enjoy it that much". So we both are very critical of anything we decide to spend money on, especially if it includes some sort of monthly payment.

Every few months I think I'd like a smartphone, but when I sit down and figure out what I'd use it for, I already have options to do most of the things it does without the added hefty price tag that a new phone and data plan would bring - so I put off that purchase once again.

We don't eat out very often, this includes vacation time where most people do eat out more frequently but we find that due to Mike's finicky eating habits and my happiness at saving money, we're happier stopping at a grocery store and eating in our room. This means I don't have to factor in much extra cash for food when I'm figuring our vacation costs, and that makes it easier to save for multiple trips.

I actually look at saving money as a game. The less I pay for the same experience as other vacationers, the more I feel I'm "winning" at the game. I do try to avoid celebrating in public or pointing and laughing, it's bad show. So, to me I don't really feel like we're giving up anything as much as I'm saving money to afford other things.


New member
I am kind of weird but I am very proud of the fact that when we traded in our 1999 Ford Explorer this past January, the Guy said he would not give us a $100...when we pressed him, he argued "It won't even pass inspection" LOL! We knew that was true, that was one of the reasons we were trading our car in that month just because at the end of the month a new sticker was due. We go with out take out coffee, lunches, we don't go out to movies or dinner...only on a rare occasion. I save gas, with no hear or ac unless kids are desperate for it, LOL. I food Shop, twice a month and spend about 375. for a family of 5. I buy all school clothes are summer clothes the previous year on end of the season clearance. I already have 70% of their school clothes for Sept. I am sure there is more but, we make it work. Sometimes this means a side job, or me volunteering on a board for a sport, so I do not have to pay a reg. fee... no new clothes except for the gift cards I get on my Birthday or maybe a consignment shop find. Yard Sales have decorated a good portion of my house too. In the end we do not mind, my kids do not really sacrifice, but me and DH most certainly do.


We cut cable and now only watch TV through hulu, which we'll cancel in the summer and we'll start back up again in Sept. There are very few shows that we watch.

We had a year left on our contract for our smartphones, but they were costing us $140/month so I opted to pay the early termination fee of around $500 total for the both of them. I figured it was about $1140 cheaper that way and DH has a phone through his work that they pay for (and he doesn't use it often either) so he figures that is all he needs and I still use my smartphone to connect with WiFi and I can still technically use it to make emergency calls.

I stopped working in January so I'm challenging myself to save as much money as I can for our trip all on my own without actually "earning" any money since I no longer have a paycheck coming in. I do stuff like swagbucks in the morning and at night when the kids are in bed (earned $75 this month), and I even shop online at some stores that have in-store pickup, but I earn cashback by ordering online.

I also LOVE my target red card (debit). I love the 5% off on Disney gift cards, but I also love shopping online at Target which gives me free shipping, 5% off and I get cashback (the cashback goes straight into my Disney fund)

My passion is Disney and DH is into retro video games, which works out well because they are so much cheaper. Occasionally, he treats himself to a $3 or $4 game for one of his older consoles (I'm happy he's not into Xbox 360 or Wii U, because we both can't afford expensive hobbies LOL)


Any mobile/cellphone can make emergency calls btw by design, SIM/No SIM, any network that the phone can detect, no credit on the phone etc.


expert on dietary needs and disney dining
Our vehicles are a 2000 Pontiac Montana, 2000 Buick LeSabre and 1984 Ford F150 (that's not a typo). We only have around 110K on the Montana and 60K on the Buick (this is the one I drive to work and I only live 7 miles from work) so we should have them for years to come. When we were last looking for a vehicle a few years ago we looked at older vehicles with low mileage and bought the Buick. For our next vehicle we'll do the same. We also try to plan our errands so there's not as much driving required in order to save a bit on gas.

Our only cell phone is my work phone. I know we'll need to get DD15 a basic phone when she starts driving but it'll be a pay-as-you-go for which we'll only provide what we consider to be enough minutes to check in regularly with us. Beyond that she can get a job. It's a want, not a need. She texts using her Nook so it's not like she can't text with friends. We'll do the same for DD12 when she's starting to drive. We're mean parents according to DD12. Figaro is right about the emergency calls on a phone that doesn't have any kind of plan. When I worked for Sprint I saw the company scramble to implement it because they were required by law (they don't do it out of the goodness of their hearts).

I never buy coffee. I'm lucky that we have good coffee for free at work but even if we didn't I wouldn't buy it. I'd just bring it from home. I actually have a single serving French press if I want to go fancy.

I bring my lunch to work every day. I think I go out with people from work maybe a 4 or 5 times per year.

We don't go out to the movies often and never go to expensive shows and concerts. We don't go to many places that have high admission costs. We take advantage of the free or really cheap admissions offered by our library. We get DVDs from our library so no renting (we do have an expensive cable package so we do also watch a lot of shows from that but no additional cost for renting on top of that). For books I get a bunch of free Nook books from Barnes & Noble and we borrow from the library.

Our town allows the use of the town dump for free for residents. Lots of people pay for the convenience of having a company come pick it up weekly. It takes DH maybe 20 minutes total from the time he leaves the house until he's back home for him to go to the dump himself.

I have money direct deposited from my paycheck every pay into a vacation bank account.

Merida, I love having online orders shipped to the store. Usually the shipping is free without any kind of code or minimum price. The real benefit is that when things are shipped to my home I'm not very likely to get around to returns if something doesn't fit right (clothes) or isn't exactly what I was expecting, but if I'm at the store anyway to pick up the item then I'll just return things that need returning right away while I'm there. I hate shopping but I'll try stuff on that's already set aside for me. So, I save that way by returning stuff I would otherwise not get around to returning but bought because it looked good online for a good price.


does anybody know how to change this?
Our town allows the use of the town dump for free for residents.
Wow, that's an amazing perk. I can't tell you how much money we spent on dump runs when we were building the house, it was awful.


expert on dietary needs and disney dining
We have the highest tax rate in the entire state. It's included in that. We do have to pay a fee for dumping of large items like mattresses or major appliances. I'm not sure how it would work for a dumpster full of stuff. We'd have to rent a dumpster and generally the hauling and dumping of the stuff is included in the rental. It's a good question. We've been able to bring cleared tree limbs with no restrictions on size so I guess we could bring contstruction materials if we're willing to toss it in the right place.


New member
I love all the ideas of how everyone saves money, we do lots of the same things. Drive our cars into the ground, pack lunches, brew our coffee etc. But to be honest, I don't view it as that much of a sacrifice, it's just good money management! I don't want to waste my money on a bunch of junk someone else is trying to get me to buy. Seriously, who needs that much plastic-y crap in their house!

Another trick I find that works well is to get the points cards at stores you use frequently. Grocery store, department store etc. Every year I buy stocking stuffers for free on points with my cards and it works well for kids clothes and birthday party gifts. I also do the change jar thing but I also add any bills I find in pockets. If you forget about it, it's mine! By the time we head to the world this summer I will have saved $1700 in random change and bills. That's food and spending money paid!


expert on dietary needs and disney dining
Good reminder Gcchick42. I charge everything to a rewards credit card and pay it off each month so no interest and free rewards.

I'm like you; I don't see this as sacrificing. I see it making concious choices about how to spend my money. Far too many people that I know take a very passive role in money management and just spend as the idea strikes and then don't understand where their money goes. I honestly believe that actively evaluating how you spend your money is the biggest thing anybody can do towards achieving whatever financial goal(s) they want including but not limited to vacations.