I’m a Disney shareholder. Last Christmas, my wife got me one share of Disney stock to frame on my wall from www.oneshare.com. (You can get a $10 off discount from www.mousesavers.com.) The other day I received my yearly dividend check from the Disney company – $.40. Just to make it clear that I didn’t misplace a decimal point, that’s 40 cents. Wow, I thought, it cost more to print the check and mail it to me than the amount of the check. Hardly worth it. I imagined the snickers from the bank tellers when I cash the return on my investment. What can I do with 40 cents, anyway?
The answer, to me, was obvious. It’s going in our Disney savings piggy bank. It’s only 40 cents, but when combined with pocket change, rebates, and savings from coupons, it adds up to around $300 a year. Or as I like to think of it, three nights at Pop Century. Think about that for a second – three nights of our vacation lodging paid for in bits of no more than a few dollars, usually only a few cents.
And that’s the frame of mind to keep when saving for your trip. When filling out the form and mailing in the rebate from an oil change, I may ask myself, “Is it worth the effort for only $5?” A better way of thinking of it is, “A cast member just offered me two free Mickey bars.” I could save even more money by changing the oil myself. If I were to change the oil myself for $15 instead of paying someone else to do it for $30, and then put the $15 saved into our Disney bank, that would pay for most of the tip to the bellman for lugging our luggage.
Spending 20 minutes clipping coupons—is it worth it? Well, if you can save $7 this week grocery shopping, think what souvenir you could buy your child for $7. If you put the money saved with your coupons in the Disney savings bank, that souvenir is paid for.
If I simply get a $2 brewed coffee at Starbucks instead of the $4 cappuccino and put the difference in my piggy bank, that’s a ride on the little train in Downtown Disney for my son. If I were to walk past Starbucks altogether, the $4 saved can pay for a delicious treat from the Main Street Bakery.
Keeping this frame of mind—that every amount you save, no matter how small, translates into a tiny part of your vacation—can be the Jiminy Cricket of your savings conscience. It will make it easier to make the small daily efforts to build up your vacation savings. And all these little savings, added together over the course of a year, can amount to a significant amount, even enough to pay for most or all of your lodging.
Is it worth it to save for my trip 40 cents at a time? I think so.
Contributed by: Mark Jeffries (NDD#102) Mark is the DDL Finance Blogger.