by Lori Prather
As our family began planning for our 2013 family trip to Walt Disney World, we made a commitment that we wouldn’t go into debt for a week of magical fun. We wanted to be able to fully enjoy our vacation without worrying about what we would face financially when we got home. While we had to become more aware of our monthly budget and stay focused, we found other small ways to increase our spending money for the trip.
- Swagbucks – I cannot tell you how much I love Swagbucks. I earn Swagbucks almost every time I shop online by going through their website or app. I earn Swagbucks for completing surveys. I earn Swagbucks for watching videos. I earn Swagbucks for reaching my daily goal. I earn Swagbucks by redeeming a code they post each day. I earn Swagbucks for my referrals (shameless plug). It is so easy. All it takes is 500 Swagbucks and you can redeem those for a $5 gift card (ex: Amazon). I’ve learned to save my Swagbucks I redeem them for a prepaid Visa card. The prepaid Visa cards can be tricky because they have to be used online. So, I go to the Disney store and buy a Disney gift card for the amount of my prepaid Visa card…and Disney ships me the gift card for free! Easy Disney money!
- Kroger – Usually, Kroger runs a special each month for 4x the fuel points when purchasing gift cards. We use the money that we’ve saved that month for Disney and purchase Disney gift cards during the promotion. It’s an easy way to rack up on fuel points – which saves you money at the pump – so you’re indirectly saving for Disney! Who doesn’t want to save $1/gallon almost every time they fill up?
- Ibotta – I have found Ibotta doesn’t pay big for me personally, but it does add up over time when you are consistent. It’s super easy to go in and select the stores where you normally shop. Then, select the rebates, make the purchase, scan the product’s bar code and then the receipt. The rebates usually range from $0.25 to a couple of dollars; but, I recently received a $5 rebate from an Old Navy purchase. Just let the money add up and then you can redeem your Ibotta earnings for gift cards or cash it out to your Paypal account.
- Shopkick – I really like this app primarily because it’s now just part of my shopping behavior. Whenever I go into a store (like Kroger, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc.), I open the app and get “kicks”…just for walking in the store! Then, they give you extra opportunities to earn kicks by scanning different bar codes of products throughout the store and/or purchasing certain products. Shopkick is best used consistently because the kicks add up slowly until you get used to using it.
- Disney Vacation Account – This is just a great tool to help you save money for any of your Disney trips. You can set it up to draft money from your account weekly or monthly or on a one time basis. You can also load your Disney gift cards to this account. While this is not an investing tool, it is a great way to help you save for your trips…and they do reward you a little. You’ll be eligible for a $20 Disney gift card for every $1000 you spend on qualified vacation purchases with your Disney Vacation Account.
- Target – RedCard members get 5% off all purchases —- including gift cards! The sell Disney gift cards in the stores and online. Instant 5% savings.
Going on a Disney vacation can be expensive, but there are lots of opportunities out there to help you save money for your trip. My family believes that it is well worth making every day sacrifices to save money so we can truly live “in the bubble” while we are there.
While you aren’t going to get rich using these tips, I have discovered that I don’t feel as guilty buying the extra ornament or t-shirt or Dole Whip when I know that I’m using money that I earned by doing simple tasks like snapping a picture of a receipt. As a lover of all things Disney – Disney vacations, Disney food, Disney souvenirs, every little bit helps!
Connect with one of our expert travel agents for more tips to make the most of your vacation investment!