Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter
Joined: June 2003
||Posted: Aug. 22, 2003 5:10 am/pm
I've been wanting to share this information, so glad this topic came up, so I can sit down and figure out all the expenses from our recent trip, and share our financial "planning."
Okay, to pay for our trip: We refinanced our house! Really! I had put the FTP on my credit card, because we jumped on it kind of last minute in June--hadn't really planned on a vacation this year. Then we got a letter from our loan officer saying we could really get a good interest rate if we refinanced. The closing proceeds in addition to not having a payment in September come to almost exactly the same thing as the FTP! So, that will pay off the card charges. It made me smile a lot to have this happen! Then we used the $1200 we got from the Child Tax Credit advance and cash set aside from several paydays leading up to the trip (including one of those "extra paydays" you get every year when you're paid every two weeks) to fund the biggest chunk of our expenses while there. Still used the credit card to pay off the room charges, but have already almost paid that off from savings and today's payday. One more payday and that's paid off. (Since our house payment will be $200 less each month, it will be easily accomplished--such a blessing! )
Our two older kids earned their spending money over the eight weeks before our trip by babysitting their brother and doing the things we consider jobs around the house (not their regular chores like keeping their rooms clean). I was generous with the amount they earned for each job, because I knew that a t-shirt was probably going to run them $20 or more, and I wanted them to spend their own money and not ask me for any! They both came home with cash. They were allowed $35 per day.
Here's what I budgeted. Can we be frank? (I know we can here on the Echo, and I think people should really know what it can cost to vacation at WDW) :
FTP at Poly concierge with limo transfers, Ultimate Park Hopper Passes, and airfare (for five): $5054 (remember, we had to come from the West Coast to WDW)
Main Meal per day $150 x 8 = $1200 (charged to room and evenutally credit card) (ACTUAL MEALS $618.34; other room charges: Pal Mickey $50, Passport $10.60, E-ride $38.34, Calls $2.25, Room service $33.27, Sitter $78--actually on credit card, Tower of Terror t-shirts because we JUST HAD TO HAVE THEM! $70) TOTAL ROOM CHARGES: $900.80
Other food per day $40 x 8 = $320 (ACTUAL $353.86--does not include whatever DH and older kids spent out of their allowance)
Souvenirs and misc. (mom, DS3, and gifts) $80 x 8 = $640 (ACTUAL $605.88 )
Tips & fees (babysitting, cabs, E-ride, strollers) $60 x 8 = $480 (ACTUAL: $135 tips for food service, valet, limo; $80 housekeeping tips; $40 that I spent on cabs with tips, think DH did some rides, too, where I gave him the cash out of the fee money, maybe another $60); $24 strollers; $70 Never Land; $25 tip to sitter--TOTAL $434)
DD & DS spending money ($35/day for each) $70 x 8 = $560 (I didn't make them keep track, but think DS came home with about $88, DD had about the same, I think--she ended up telling me not to give her the last couple of days' money because she didn't want to carry any more cash on her person--smart girl! )
One day car rental $120 (DH's credit card) (ACTUAL: a little less cuz they threw in the booster seat! )
DH's daily allowance $40 x 8 = $320 (ACTUAL--who knows! I didn't ask! I think I gave him some extra cash from the tips/fees money, too)
I divided all the tips, the food allowance, the souvenir money, the kids spending money, DH's spending money, into daily envelopes by topic. It was a lot of money and a lot of envelopes (which I put in one folder), and I felt like I was carrying Fort Knox with me through the airport, but it was important to me to pay cash for the majority of stuff and I didn't want to be running to the ATM every day. That's just me, I guess. Probably wouldn't recommend doing this unless you're a little easy with the credit card, like me. The in-room safe was invaluable here. We distributed the money every night or morning for the day--and of course whatever carried over was good for anything we wanted to spend it on.
I have to say, we were REALLY splurging, but I was still under budget in the long run. Our room charges ended up being "only" $900, and I can only think of one time that I used my credit card instead of cash at a store. But then, I ended up paying cash for our lunch in St. Augustine, so that probably balances out, because that should've been a "main meal" charge.
One of the rather unexpected expenses, that goes under the souvenir category that I didn't allow enough for, I think, was the various rollercoaster photos and portraits at SOA. DH used some of his daily allowance for a couple, I think. They are too precious, so make sure you save some money for those. ($13.80 for an 8 x 10)
From what I figure we spent $8348.54 on our vacation, roughly $1044 per day; or $209 per person per day. Good? Bad? You be the judge. I was happy with it.
One thing I don't have on here, though, is the stuff I bought BEFORE the trip like ponchos and fans and batteries, etc., so maybe add another $200 for that stuff--I did some Disney jammies for my son and some other Disney things as surprises to take on the plane--which reminds me, I HAVE to take a picture of those jammies--they have Mickey on a Polynesian surfboard with tikis on them! They were a perfect find for our trip, and I wished they had them in Tikiman's size because he NEEDS them!
I really hope this helps someone in their planning. I know we got away with a lot less on food than we would have if we hadn't been staying concierge.
Becky / WebTink
Seize from every moment its unique novelty,
and do not prepare your joys. --Andre Gide