06 October 2015

31 Days: Budgeting for Disney

Disney World with Kids: Budgeting

Welcome! Today we will be diving into how I budget for Disney! It's not too complicated (I don't think... maybe I over plan a bit!), but I'll mention a few things that are important to include in your budget. You can make your budget as big or small as you want, but hopefully this will give you a good starting place. For a few more budgeting tips, feel free to check out my posts in the {Booking} Series from my previous 31 Days to Disney series, including a free printable!

Disney World with Kids: Budgeting

So above is what my personal budget looks like- this particular one was from two years ago. We've got your basic categories. I track what credit card I use to pay for each item (in Pay column), and plug in what I Actually (Act) spent vs. Estimated (Est) costs. And then I also like to track how much I'm over or under (O / U) in each category. Notes is self explanatory- you can see here I used it to keep track of confirmation numbers. The "Budget Totals" is where I like to sit down each evening and tally up how much I've spent each day (in the Act column, for "Actually" spent) and again how much I'm over/under. It just gives me a good idea if we need to maybe bring our lunch the next day, if we're a bit over budget, or if we just need to reign in spending a bit to stay on track. 

Some expenses to keep in mind, depending on your transportation, lodging, etc...
  • gas money 
  • parking (at the parks, airport, hotel, etc)
  • airfare (including any baggage fees, tips, etc)
  • toys (we like to purchase a few small toys for plane rides or road trips!)
  • shuttles (to the airport, to non-Disney parks if you're on-property)
  • rental car + associated fees
  • room fees (don't forget tax!)
  • any parking fees (not common, but double check)
  • housekeeping tips
  • Disney tickets
  • non-Disney attraction tickets
  • special events (Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party,  Night of Joy, etc)
  • behind the scene tours
  • if you're road tripping and stopping at sights along the way, don't forget to budget for those! You'll see we planned to stop at the Zoo along the way during this road trip :)
  • meals eaten in the park
  • groceries (if you plan to bring some meals to the park, or eat meals in your room)
  • snacks for the road/plane
  • Tables in Wonderland (a discount card available to Disney Vacation Club members, Annual Passholders, and Florida residents. Really worth the money if you go on a long trip and/or you go multiple times a year and enjoy eating at the sit down table service restaurants!)
  • souvenirs
  • gifts for family/friends (we always do a bit of Christmas shopping!)
  • miscellaneous (random expenses, extra bottle of water purchased at the parks, box of band aids, etc)
  • toys (if you plan to purchase items ahead of time to give to the kiddos, like glow sticks for during night time parades, "Tinkerbell gifts" waiting in the room, etc. I'll discuss these ideas more later in the series!!)
  • gift cards: you'll note that this is actually a "negative" number in our budget! I purchase gift cards at Target ahead of time, with my RedCard which gets me 5% off. So when purchasing a $100 gift card, it only costs me $95! SUPER easy savings when figuring that your trip will cost many hundreds of dollars, the savings can REALLY add up! Discounted gift cards can also be found at Sam's Club, and likely other big box stores. 

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