Disney is a big part of our family culture. I grew up going to Disneyland and now that I’ve seen my own children’s eyes sparkle at the sight of Disney magic – we are hooked on Disney family vacations!
We are planning a Disney World trip for next year. My brother priced it out and we discovered that it will cost about $6,000 for our family of 5 to go to Disney World.
Did I mention we are saving for a down payment on a house and for our next baby as well? When we worked out our 2013 finances, our chances of going on a cheap Disney trip were looking pretty slim. We determined that I would need to earn $400 a month OUTSIDE of our regular budget. How does a stay-at-home mom earn that kind of money? With three children under the age of five, I do not want to take on a second job. So I made a list of every way I have made money since my college days and decided to start tracking and hitting them hard.
I’ve listed below the ways I have met our Disney budget so far in 2013. I was pleasantly surprised to discover how doable it has been so far!
So my lovely readers know, I will only list companies/programs that I have actually made money from. Some of the links below are affiliate links – meaning that if you decide to sign up for Swagbucks, I get more swagbucks. Same with Ebates. Just want to be up front with you! I’m making money/saving money with those programs, though, so I want you to benefit just as much.
1. Indoor Yard Sale. Online yard sales were big for us our first few months. I simply went on facebook and searched for our city plus the words “online” “yardsale” and “indoor.” I found five online yardsale groups in my area alone.
My husband and I went through our belongings and made a giant pile of items that we no longer use or love. FYI- we are living in my in-laws basement apartment – we don’t have a house full of antiques and lots of extras. But we did find a lot of things that we aren’t using and we were able to do $403 in sales so far this year. The best part is that my five-year-old daughter has got in on the action and decided to sell some of her old shoes – she’s happily made $5 for Disney so far!
2.On-line Giveaways/Sweepstakes. I love entering online giveaways/contests/sweepstakes. So far this year I have won:
- $5 Amazon.com gift card through a trivia contest via Love of Disney.
- Butcher’s Bunches Jam from Mama Mouse Says
- A Very Jane Bubble Necklace and concert tickets from Jani Serendipity
- Martha Stewart Wall Organizer from Organize and Decorate Everything
- Thanksgiving Point Family Pass from Utah Sweet Savings
- $25 Gift Certificate to Fab Decor
- $20 to Little Prince Couture
Only the $5 Amazon.com gift card counts toward our savings, but the rest of the prizes are nice ways to treat ourselves while on a tight budget! Be sure to check these web-sites out for more great giveaways.
3. Swagbucks. In January & February I earned $15 worth of Amazon.com gift cards. I earn “swagbucks” through my regular searches, daily polls, and a few easy surveys. I buy all of my diapers (cheaper than Costco) on Amazon.com so this definitely helps save us money.
4. Costco rebate. We have an American Express through Costco. It earns cash back from our purchases. We put our bigger purchases on the card and then immediately pay them off. We get a nicely sized rebate twice a year. This last rebate was 216.65
5. Freelance work. I received $200 for doing social media for a company and my husband received $75 for web work he did for a preschool. Think of any skills that you could use – babysitting, yard work, editing, etc.
6. Ebates. I do a lot of my Christmas/gift shopping online. I follow deal sites like Freebies2deals and local deal sites like UtahSweetSavings. Love the ease of having things shipped straight to my door. When I see a good deal, I first go to Ebates.com and then click through to the store via their site. Depending on the store, you can get anywhere between 2 to 16 percent cash back on your purchases. I received $13.79 in January.
7. Secret Shopping. I do restaurant reviews for several companies in the area. Typically you get reimbursed for your purchase and a little extra. So far this year, I have received $48.48 for secret shopping doing two shops.
These seven ways of making money have helped us meet our goals so far this year. We have our Disney World trip in sight! I will update the blog each month letting you know how we are setting aside that little bit extra for the big vacation.
What ways do you save money for vacation?