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This week’s episode of the DISUnplugged had Theresa reading off various ways people save money for their Disney vacations. I’ll share my methods at the end of this post, but first I’ll share my thoughts on a few ways that were mentioned on the Podcast.
One I subscribe to is not going out to lunch/Dunkins every day. I figure I probably save a decent amount of money doing this regularly. Another idea that was mentioned that I use is having a dedicated savings account for funding. My main bank, ING Direct, makes this wicked easy. You can set up sub-accounts-I have one that’s just vacation money.
One idea that I am not at all a fan of is the idea of adjusting your tax witholding at work to get a large tax refund. The idea of giving the government an interest-free loan of your money isn’t something I’m cool with, but if it works for you, then great.
Before I start discussing my methods, I’d like to point you to a few Disney blogger peeps who are utter pros at this: Reward Site Roundup, Couponing to Disney, and Mouse Money Fund. Also check out my page on Easy Ways for Extra Disney Money.
While Theresa said that survey sites did not work for her, as you know, I am a huge fan of doing surveys and shopping through Sunshine Rewards. You can cash out for Disney Gift Cards or Paypal. I also supplement this with earnings from Swagbucks (I cash my Swagbucks in for Amazon gift cards, which I use to buy things like my Xshot), and Mypoints (I cash out for gift cards to CVS, and then put the amount into my Disney fund). My Disney Visa is used as much as possible to get as much free Disney money as possible.
I use my ING Direct account to put money aside for my trips. Back when I was a college student, 20% off my part time earnings went straight to the Vacation account. At my old job, I’d pay for FSA-eligible items with my Visa, then the eligible amount would be deducted from my FSA account and direct deposited into my account, so it was easy to move it. I also cash in coins at Coinstar before I go.
In terms of airline rewards, you know how much I love Jet Blue. I belong to their True Blue club-I do not yet have enough points for a free flight, but I was able to earn extra points earlier this year by joining their on-line community. You can also earn points by shopping through them, which I never have done. I’ve linked my Hilton Honors and my True Blue accounts, but my stays don’t translate into True Blue points. Monitoring my airfare through Yapta enables me to bank JetBlue credit for future trips-when I book my flight for my August trip, I will have $38 in JetBlue credit.
What are your preferred ways to save money towards a Disney vacation?
Credit: Free images from acobox.com