Our family is less than 6 months away from our third trip to WDW. We will be arriving in June and staying through the fourth of July.
Because of how we do Disney when we go (it isn’t cheap! ), alot of saving is required. That means that our kids have to understand that sacrifices have to be made if we really want to get there. They still continued to want treats, trips out to eat, nice Christmas presents, fun-filled (expensive) birthdays, and the reality is that we couldn’t do all that and make a trip happen in 2010.
Once we came to that realization, we developed a plan to include them in the saving and planning, that made them eager to say no to themselves instead of feeling bad when they couldn’t have what they wanted. I was amazed at how this system motivated them! I thought I would share it with everyone and then ask others how they involve their children in saving for a trip. Here is how our system worked:
Each kid got a little bank filled with candy at DTD in 2007. We put their names on them (After they ate the candy :laugh:)and asked them to budget part of their allowances into the banks each week. I made a bulletin board that hangs right in our kitchen with a map of each park and a list of the attractions on them (see attached picture). We figured out how much our trip would cost in total and then counted up all the attractions (including restaurants) and then divided the total cost of the trip by the number of attractions at the parks we want to visit. We figured that each attraction was worth about $35 in our case.
Each week when the kids get their allowances, they count their total Disney Money. When they have $35 total they get to highlight an attraction in their color and the money goes into our Savings Account for the trip. (My 9-year-old dd just told me a month ago “I’ve highlighted the lazy river at BB for you mom, so when you are floating along, think of me”) The cool thing about this is that many times my kids have taken money that they were going to spend on some little unnecessary item and instead put it in the Disney fund because they wanted to finish off a park or because they decided it wasn’t a priority anymore compared to the Magic of WDW.
This year for Christmas, they each got money from a relative and it went into the fund. DH and I have skipped dinner out and gone for coffee instead and put the money in our Disney Bank. The kids gave DH Expedition Everest this year for his Bday and colored him a picture of our family at the top of the mountain instead of buying him a gift. He loves the idea of being on the ride knowing the kids gave him that experience for his Birthday.
The kids are also trying to find work by mowing lawns, weeding gardens and babysitting because they love seeing their color on the board, highlighting their favorite attractions (DH and I highlight most of the restaurants and such to save the best attractions for the kids).
When we were 8 months away from our trip, we added a countdown calendar to our Disney Wall and that is even more motivating.
Anyway, I thought I’d share how we got to Disney in 2010. I’d love to hear other ideas from other families on how they made their dream come true.