We live in one of the most expensive cities in the United States. Home prices continue to increase faster than most other major cities, but the high expenses don’t stop there. Utilities, transportation, food, healthcare, and taxes all on average are higher in this beautiful city. This post contains 5 ways to live debt free in a high cost of living city.
Despite those odds stacked against our wallet, there are a lot of opportunities to save money and grow our side incomes while living in a high cost of living area.
Without fail, every single time I do a grocery haul I get the question, “Why don’t you shop at Walmart?” Today is the day! Today is the day that I explain myself and share with you the Walmart vs. Target showdown!
Some people might “get lucky” or be blessed with an insanely wealthy inheritance. As for the remainder of us average Janes, it is vital that we get this finance thing figured out. Our family’s future literally depends on it!
Tough love alert!
Once you allow yourself to get over the pity party and perform a self-diagnosis of what negative money mentalities are holding you back, that is the moment you direct your family on to the course working towards an insanely exciting future.
I’m so glad we failed when we did! No joke. The fact of life is that we are not going to be perfect at most things. Especially not the first time we give them a go.
Here’s the thing, I am a huge believer that there is something to be gained, a positive, an upside, however you want to word it, there is always something to learn from every experience. No matter what!
You get to choose. Do you want to continue down the Debbie Downer road, or are you going to learn from you mistake and make sure that you do better next time?
Take it up a notch, not only are you going to do better next time, but you are going to rock it out of the park!
Are You Failing?
You’re not going to be perfect with your finances. There is always going to be room to grow. SO GROW!
One of my favorite quotes from “Girl Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis is, “Failure means that you’re living. Failure means you’re trying.”
Keep trying! Don’t you give up because it got a little uncomfortable!
The only way for you to truly fail is if you let the struggle paralyze you from moving forward. The only way you will fail is if you don’t keep going!
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.