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Where to Start When Budgeting Feels Like a Hopeless Cause

Our Pearls write me about it ALL the time and I know exactly how it feels. The complete hopelessness that comes when trying to figure out the first steps to starting a budget.

There are so many factors that play into the giant web that builds your family finances. The never ending expenses, your family income, emergency costs, and bills to name a few. Just thinking about it all quickly gets your head spinning!

Where in the world do you start? What numbers do you look at first? Right now it might feel overwhelming trying to decipher where to begin, but by the end of this article you will have a clear picture on what needs to happen first when it comes to starting a budget for the LAST TIME!

Figuring out how to start a budget as a beginner can be overwhelming. What about starting a budget when you are behind on the bills? Or starting a budget when you are deep in debt? There are so many challenges that can make budgeting for beginners feel impossible. Good news! That is not reality! Starting a budget is actually a life saver and can help you get rid of stress! This article is going to hold your hand through the entire process!

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November 2018 Family Budget Update

It’s time for another Family Budget update! In these updates is where I share the nitty gritty details of our real life family finances. All the details of what has happened in our bank account over the last few weeks.

I have been doing these budget update videos for over TWO YEARS! It’s crazy to see how far we have come! 

When we started we were in over $20,000 in debt and living off one income. We figured out how to start and maintain a budget that was based off our goals. This way KEY in keeping motivated to keep going!

If you don’t know where you want your money to take you, then you most definitely will end up walking in circles. Or in other words, living that paycheck-to-paycheck life. The life that we are all trying to escape!

Intentional goal based family budgeting is a major topic that I cover in depth in my online course, 30 Day Family Finance Rescue! I want you to get excited every time you work on your budget. You’re going to get pumped because you know that your budget is helping you reach your goals!

Enrollment is currently not open yet, Coming January 2019, but you can sign up for my free email newsletter to be the first to find out more info when it’s ready for ya! I’ll leave a link for in the description box.

 

 

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In this month’s family budget update, I am going to walk you through all the numbers that went in and out of our family’s bank account. We share all the numbers in hopes of turning on some light bulbs to help you manage your family's finances and set financial goals based off what you guys value most in life! Continue Reading →

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8 Disneyland Tips for Saving Money on Hotels That Will Slash HUNDREDS off Your Family Vacation Budget

There is a lot of costs to consider when planning your family Disneyland vacation. The good news is there is always a way to save on every single part of the trip! Today let’s dive into 8 Disneyland tips for saving money on your hotel!

Figuring out where and how to get the best deal on your hotel can be more complicated than you think. It’s not as simple as pulling up a price comparison website because they don’t take into account all the “small” things that can actually save you major cash!

To make sure you are absolutely saving the most money possible on your Disneyland vacation, follow these 8 easy tips!

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Planning your family Disneyland vacation on a budget you have to be sure and get the lowest price possible on your hotel! Use these 8 Disneyland tips for saving money on your hotel to make sure you save big on these 8 hidden costs!

 

8 Disneyland Tips for Saving Money on Your Hotel

There are always new hotels popping up around Disneyland and the prices are always changing. So instead of telling you exactly where to stay I want to equip you with the Pearl tools necessary to find the best prices on somewhere to stay during your Disneyland vacation!

1. Visit in the off season.

This is probably going to be a major factor into many expenses of your Disneyland vacation but has the highest impact on the cost of you hotel.

To take advantage of the lower hotel prices, shoot to schedule your family vacation sometime between January and Mid March or end of August through September. I know! That’s doesn’t leave many options but it can make a huge difference in the cost of your hotel!

It’s a great idea to always like to look at a Disneyland Crowd Forecaster like IsItPacked.com.

 

2. Make sure breakfast is included

It is really easy to find a hotel that includes breakfast. If you look at the cost of eating out for breakfast, having it included in your stay could save $10-$20 PER PERSON per day! That could save you around $50-$100 per day for a family of five!

There is always the option of packing your own hotel friendly breakfast food like milk, cereal, and fruit. That’s always a pretty cheap option!

 

3. You need a refrigerator and a microwave

Speaking of bringing your own food from home. Make sure that wherever you stay has a fridge or mini fridge! Especially if you are traveling with kids, you will want to keep some essentials on hand that you bring from home or grab at a nearby grocery store.

Buying items like milk, juices, string cheese, fruit, or applesauce pouches before you go into the park can save you over 50%!

 

4. Parking included

Another one of my key Disneyland tips for saving money is to make sure that your hotel stay includes the cost of parking. Sometimes if you book your hotel through a travel agency like Get Away Today you parking will be included but it might not be if you book directly through the hotel.

Hotel parking and even street parking in Anaheim can cost you upwards of $20 a night. If you’re staying an entire week, that’s another $100 that you are saving!

 

5. Free nights stay

Another great way to stack the savings is to find an offer to get a free nights stay. I see this all the time with Get Away Today! There is always several options of hotels that offer a third or fourth nights stay for free!

Planning your family Disneyland vacation on a budget you have to be sure and get the lowest price possible on your hotel! Use these 8 Disneyland tips for saving money on your hotel to make sure you save big on these 8 hidden costs!

6. Book early

The closer you get to your travel dates, the more likely it will be that the cost of each night’s stay will go up. So book your trip as soon as you have the cash!

 

7. Share a house airbnb

Yes, technically it’s not a hotel but it’s a lot easier to say “save money on hotels” rather than “save money on your place of lodging”. So… ya get me!

If you are able to share a vacation rental and split the cost with another family, this has to be one of the best Disneyland tips for saving money! Or if you have a large family and would need to rent two or more hotel rooms, this might be an excellent option as well. We are talking savings in the hundreds!!!

When considering vacation rental there are a few things you need to consider when comparing the price.

  • The cost of breakfast that would have otherwise been included in your hotel stay
  • Cleaning fee (Usually $150-$300)
  • Service Fee (Usually $150-$180)
  • Distance to Disneyland (Disneyland parking is currently $20 per car per day)

 

8. Distance to park to save on shuttle and/or parking

The entire reason you are looking for a place to stay is so you can go enjoy your time at the happiest place on earth! So a another one of my Disneyland tips to save money is to take into consideration for your vacation budget is the cost of parking, shuttle, uber, or however you plan to get there.

The very best option is to find a hotel that is close enough to the park that you can walk. This could save you the cost of parking at the park or taking a shuttle from the hotel.

If a close hotel isn’t a budget friendly option, look into the cost per person of using the hotel shuttle versus ordering an Uber. (I have to give credit to my hubby for this idea!)

If there are just a couple of you in your party then the shuttle is probably the way to go since the cost is usually around $5-$8 per person each day. BUT if you have a party of three or more an Uber might work out to be cheaper since a ride from a hotel within 2 miles of the park will cost you about $8 each way and that cost can cover several people!

If you haven’t used Uber before, you can use my Uber CODE: brittanyc16157ue and you can get your first ride for FREE! (value amounts vary by location)

 

BONUS! Mock Scenario – Hotel Cost Breakdown vs. Vacation Rental Cost Breakdown

To help give you a better visual of what the cost break down of hotel costs versus AirBnB costs, I created this worksheet for you to take a look at.

Make sure to watch the video to get a better explanation of how I got the numbers for the cost comparison.

 

Planning your family Disneyland vacation on a budget you have to be sure and get the lowest price possible on your hotel! Use these 8 Disneyland tips for saving money on your hotel to make sure you save big on these 8 hidden costs!

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November 2018 Meal Plan & Grocery Haul

This post about our family budget meal plan contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting Pennies Into Pearls by using my links!

November is the start of the holiday season! It’s the time when things can get out of control with your meal plan and food budget if you’re not careful. Family gatherings, treats at the kids school, or parties with friends, it can all add up!

This month, I am committed to sharing with you how my family deals with all of these  “unforeseen” events and plans for them as much as possible.

Use this family budget meal plan this November and feed your family for under $520! You will start to save money on groceries as soon as you use this family budget meal plan! Continue Reading →

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7 Steps for Making Christmas on a Budget Amazing Even When Money is Tight

Going into debt for Christmas is not an option for us Pearls! Christmas on a budget is the opposite of a bad thing! It means that you will have strategically told your money what you want it do this Christmas rather than wondering where it went.

CNBC.com reported last January that on average most Americans went into over $1,000 in debt for Christmas alone. It will take those families month’s to pay it off and will end up paying a ridiculous amount in interest. So much for that “black friday sale”!

If only they took 30 minutes to sit down and write out their Christmas budget…

 

Christmas on a budget is a good thing! Take the Debt Free Christmas challenge now and stick with cash this holiday season! Use these 7 tips to make Christmas on a budget the best Christmas your family has had yet! Continue Reading →

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7 Savings Accounts Your Family Will Be Lost Without!

Did you know that your savings goals could be pointless if you don’t have more than one savings accounts? Mass financial destruction is caused by unorganized savings accounts!

This doesn’t have to be you! There is a simple solution to help you start reaching your financial goals! It’s as simple as separating your savings into multiple savings accounts!

Our family currently has 7 and counting…

Did you know that your savings goals could be pointless if you don’t have more than one savings accounts? Mass financial destruction is caused by unorganized savings accounts! This doesn’t have to be you! There is a simple solution to help you start reaching your financial goals! It’s as simple as separating your savings into multiple savings accounts! Continue Reading →

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Casual Couponing for Beginners to Save Hundreds Each Month

Nobody has the time to do any extreme couponing! But is there still a way to make couponing work with a busy schedule and still save any money? There are a few super simple techniques for couponing for beginners that will help you do exactly that!

I found a way to make couponing quick and still help our family save a chunk of money every month and that’s what I want to teach you today!

15 minutes a week using this system of couponing for beginners will help cut over $100 out of your grocery shopping budget each month! Here are 10 super simple techniques for couponing for beginners that will help you do exactly that! Continue Reading →