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!
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!
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!
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.
If it isn’t already, paying off debt needs to become your number one priority! When you live with debt, you are literally risking the roof being stripped away from your family. Living with debt is making you rely on someone else’s money for survival.
It’s time to become more self reliant and start paying off debt!
You probably don’t even realize it yet, but chances are you are living with a few subtle habits that are eroding the stepping stones for you to start paying off debt. Let’s shine some light on those habits to help you quit!
Our Debt Free Story
Back in 2012 there were two major goals hubby and I wanted more than anything! We wanted desperately for me to be able to quit my job to be a stay at home mom. We wanted to buy our first home in one of the most expensive cities in the country in order stay close to family.
The problem was that we owed over $20,000 in debt and those payments we were making made it impossible to put money into savings.
That’s when we realized we couldn’t move forward with any of our life goals with that debt weighing us down!
After a couple years of trial and error, we realized we had a few bad habits that needed to be broken if we wanted to get ahead of our debt!
3 Habits Holding You Back From Getting Serious About Paying Off Debt
1.Stop fighting about money with your spouse!
First and foremost, you need to get on the same page about finances with your spouse! You both need to have a clear picture of where you want to go. If you don’t know where you want to go then it’s impossible to know which path to take!
That is why so many couples can’t seem to look eye to eye when it comes to their finances. Sit down together and write out all your dreams for the next 1, 5, and 10 years. Then come together to figure out your financial action plan to start making those dreams a reality!
Once you both realize that these financial steps are actually getting you closer to what you both prioritize in life, it’s a lot easier to stay motivated and pay off that debt!
I created a Financial Unity Workbook to help you through this process quickly and painless.
2. Stop eating out and start meal planning!
You’re gonna need to find some extra cash to start suffocating that debt. The fastest way to find that cash is to take a look at how much you are spending on food each month!
CNBC last year reported that the average American household on average spends over $3,000 a year on eating out! Crazy! That doesn’t even include how much food waste (which equals wasted cash!) is happening within the home.
How much faster would you pay off your debt if you had an extra $3,000 this year? And that’s just the start!
Meal planning is the fastest way to cut back on eating out and to save money on groceries!
3.Stop swiping the plastic!
I sure hope I don’t need to tell you this but if you want to start paying off debt, it’s going to help tremendously if you stop building more and more debt. So just stop it!
It has been statistically proven that shoppers spend less money when they use cash. That has turned out to be 100% true for our family.
Before we switched to cash we thought we had a budget in place but every two weeks we would overdraft our bank account! But after we switched to our cash envelope budget it was like magic! We could stick with it!
Sticking to your budget is going to be paramount when it comes to paying off debt for your family! Using cash is going to help you get there!
What is your biggest challenge when paying off debt?
What seems to be your biggest hurdle to face when it comes to getting rid of your debt? Do you feel like it’s even worth it to be debt free? Let’s chat about it in the comments!
Thanks for stopping in and I’ll talk to you soon! Xoxo
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!
When it comes to getting started on a budget that you will actually stick with, there are a few budget basics that need to be established. It’s super simple and you can probably get this done in just a few minutes! I’ll show ya how!
Our family has had to learn the hard way with getting our personal finances on track, but that doesn’t mean you have to!
Learn from our mistakes and our wins and skip the hard part! I am sharing our real numbers today in hopes of painting a clearer picture to help you as you are getting started on a budget.
What you need to do is put yourself in the same shoes and ask yourself the same questions. These budget tips for beginners will help you set the basic groundwork for creating a hugely successful family budget that will not fail!
There was a time when we were deep in debt, no savings in site, and had zero hopes of being able to make a Disneyland trip happen. Then we realized that if we were intentional about our vacation spending then we could have an amazing Disneyland vacation on a budget! Can I show you how to do the same thing for your family?
Our family has started planning our second ever trip to Disneyland. Our first trip in 2017 was amazing and I have been dreaming about our next trip ever since we started walking out of the park on that last day!
Has your family ever done a Disneyland Vacation? I would love to hear how you saved money on your trip! Where did you splurge on your trip? Comment below and we can chat!
Main Costs of a Disneyland Vacation
There are four main costs associated with planning a Disneyland vacation.
If there is one category that you guys want to splurge a bit on, you will have to rework your budget and find other areas that you are willing to cut costs in order to fund your splurge.
1.Save on Travel to Disneyland
My rule of thumb is that usually if we are traveling with two or more people, it is cheaper to drive than to fly. Now there is so much more that plays into that decision. Schedules, timelines of driving, or drivers.
If you decide to fly make sure that when you are searching for flights to take into consideration cost of luggage and times of flights. Depending on what time you are flying will decide how many meals you will have to pack or purchase at the airport. 🤑
2.Save on Park Tickets
You will NEVER find a discount if you shop tickets directly from Disneyland’s website when you’re planning a Disneyland vacation! Well… there is an exception for locals that I’ll tell ya about in a sec. So how in the world do you save money on your Disney tickets?
The only place I have ever seen offer savings on Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park tickets is through a FREE travel agency called Get Away Today. They are the experts in all things Disneyland!
One of their most popular ticket sales is when they offer adult tickets at kids prices! If you make sure to follow me on Instagram then you will be the first Pearls to learn about any promotions that Get Away Today is offering.
A recent amazing sale that you might have heard about if you are signed up for my newsletter was when they offered your 4th day free ticket! An entire day at the park for free!
As soon as I saw this deal I immediately started to see if I could plan a “business trip” to Disneyland next month! Just the hubby and I!! Ahh! I can’t wait! I sure hope we can get the babysitting figured out! SHHHHH!!! This trip is going to have to be kept a secret for eternity from our kids! They CAN NOT know that we went without them!
The exception for Southern California residents is that most years Disneyland offers So Cal residents a 3day park hopper or 3day one park per day tickets for just around $160. Which is a major deal! But tickets are only valid usually January through May. This option also is not guaranteed to happen every year. Fingers crossed!
If you are local and can hold off till the beginning of next year, you might want to take your chances because that is the very best deal on tickets I have ever seen! That’s what we plan to do next year for our family Disney vacation!
BONUS TIP: The more days you spend at the park, the lower the daily ticket price will be.
3.Save on Lodging
In my eyes there are three options to help you save money with lodging when planning a Disneyland trip.
Stay with someone you know (Lucky!!!)
Find a hotel that offers free parking, free breakfast, and 3rd or 4th night free
Find a vacation rental to split with friends or family
If you know someone to stay with, do that!
If your not that lucky (like us…) then you need to know if you will be vacationing as a single family or if you will be going in a group.
When our family travels just the five of us I look to Get-Away-Today again to stack the savings! I’ll look for ticket sales and they make it super easy to find hotels that offer free parking, free breakfast, mini fridge (to keep lunch/dinner food cold), microwave, AND a 3rd or 4th night stay totally free!
If you purchase your park tickets and hotel stay with Get Away Today, you can use code: PEARLS to save a little more!
Let’s be honest! This is where our family likes to splurge! We sure love to try out all the fun treats that can only be found at Disneyland! The copycat recipes come close but it’s just not the same!
I plan to do as many videos as possible when hubby and I go to Disneyland and one of those will be searching out the best bang for your buck when it comes to the food at the Disney Parks! Would that be an interesting video to you?
If you don’t care that much about the food from the parks, then be sure to load up your backpacks and strollers with all the food from home! Disneyland says that this is 100% okay! One of the many reasons we all love them so much!
When we went last year, we were able to find Disney themed snacks all over Walmart and the Dollar Tree. Stocking up on the themed foods BEFORE you go in the park will save you a ton!
When is Your Next Disneyland Trip?
Now that I went through writing you this letter, I am giddy with my planning! Reply to this email and let’s chat all about your next trip and brainstorm together how your family can save on your next Disneyland adventure! I would LOVE to hear all about your Disneyland savings hacks and vacation tips!
Let me introduce you to a new way of dating your spouse. It is the single most important date your marriage can’t afford to miss! If you can make the commitment in this moment to learning about and following through with the Budget Date, you will no longer have trouble talking about money with your spouse!
The idea behind a budget date is simple! Set a regular date where you and your hubby talk about your finances. It doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t need to be intense. But you need routine checkups to make financial course corrections as your lives change.
But first there are two things we need to address before we get to the shortcuts…