I used to think to myself ‘I’ll never be able to afford life along with paying for a trip to Disney’ but trust me it is possible. It takes time and boy has it taken me a long time to comfortably afford a trip to Disney and believe that I will have enough money to not worry about spending while I’m out there.
A way I like to think of it is that I am now working to afford a holiday I have always dreamed of. I am so grateful to be in a position where I can save money per month that I know is going to go towards my WDW trip.
Don’t get me wrong, I stare at deals to Disney constantly wishing I could just book a holiday and go but I don’t have that much money to book whenever I like; I mean, if I did I would probably be living out there!! It does involve saving and cutting back on other things you may enjoy. Obviously, it depends on everyone’s different money situations, but this is based on my own journey.
The closer it gets to my trip I know I may not be able to go out for meals as often as I do or buy myself new clothes. I want to be able to go on my first trip to WDW and be able to buy what I want or eat what I want. I don’t want to walk around worrying about how much money I have left or whether I should treat myself to an extra snack one day. A holiday isn’t about stressing over your money. I understand that Disney is a lot of money even before you visit and start spending in the parks. But, I believe you can do Disney on a budget and you can easily save your money by cutting back within the parks and not going to the most expensive places to eat etc, it’s common sense really!
I think there are some essentials that I will buy for my Disney trip such as a rain mac or a small fan. But since the weather is going to be hot, I can just wear the summer clothes I have already! The UK doesn’t get much of a summer so I have plenty of clothes screaming at me to be of use. Yes, I have already bought some new tops and I probably will continue to buy some, but you need to have control over how much you spend before you even get to Disney. Think practically and sensible about the purchases and whether it’s really needed.
As much as I love holidays, I know that by having my WDW trip next year, I can’t be booking another 3 holidays beforehand. I don’t even know if right now I’m going to book one before I go – it’s simply thinking about what may matter more to you, an extra holiday, or the ability to treat yourself while at Disney.
Like I mentioned above, the closer it gets to me going Disney, I will have to cut down on my spending when I go out with friends and family. I can still go out, but I may only buy 1 drink instead of 4. Or just have a main instead of a main and a dessert. You can still have fun don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to just sit in my room for months before I go Disney (what’s the point in that, you need to be happy!), but there are ways to have fun but also save your money!
Another thing that I think I may do is for Christmas and my birthday ask for money to help. Whether that’s money towards a piece of merch I want to buy when I go or simply just an extra boost to spend while I’m there, every little helps!
Something else I will try to stop is buying snacks on my lunch break at work. It may only be a 55p chocolate bar but if I did that a few days for weeks, it will add up. Don’t go hungry but maybe take an extra snack from home instead of buying.
If you work in a job where you can do overtime, I think that is a fortunate way to get more money before you go! I have contracted hours of 9-5:30 so I can’t get any more than what I earn. Whereas, Joe my boyfriend, if he gets asked to do a shift on a day he wasn’t working, he will say yes because that’s extra help for Disney – do the overtime to have that bit extra money to spend on your trip!
Another tip that works for me is to save when you get paid. I work out my spend for the month for the things I have to spend out for and then I know what I have left to save and keep for socialising. By saving at the beginning of the months you have then taken that money away already and therefore won’t spend it (don’t transfer it from your savings account unless you REALLY need it like for an emergency).
I don’t want this to come across in the wrong way but for me, I love to treat people and for birthdays and Christmas I can spend a bit too much than what is needed. Friends and family who love you, don’t care about how much you are able to spend on them. For Christmas this year, my family know I won’t go as crazy as last year because they know I have an expensive holiday to pay for and they want me to have the best time possible. Not that they ever expect me to spend money on them, but they know I like to, but this year it will be less for the sake of me not stressing about my money and them knowing I can treat myself when I’m away. Loved ones understand – don’t worry about the price tag.
Having a lot of money doesn’t mean your trip to Disney will be better. Money doesn’t mean everything. But to me, I want to have the money to do things I want. Therefore, with changes to my lifestyle and budget, I will try my best to have a comfortable budget ready for my trip! Think about ways you could cut back but still have fun and live a happy life!