Since I'm already here, I thought I'd take a minute to share some planning I've been doing recently and share how it has been made to come to fruition. You remember a little over a year ago we took my Mama on a trip to Disney because she had cancer. We stayed in an amazing house dirt cheap and hit the parks two days straight. It was a good time, but my Mama wasn't feeling great. She's wanted to go back since then, but hello, expensive.
So a few months back she and Daddy decided they would plan a trip for Spring Break. She found another amazing house and they reserved it and then told us about it after the fact with an invitation to come along with them.
Due to the timing, only three from my house will be going, along with one of my brothers and his family.
We sat down a few weeks ago to hash out what costs would be covered and which costs I need to plan for on my own. Glory Hallelujah. It's going to happen!
So, here's how this went down:
I started with a small meal plan. We'll be taking snacks, cooking our own breakfast, etc... I over-estimated in each case to give myself some wiggle room in case we have any surprises. There is a good chance that some of these meals will be eaten at "home" and won't be a great expense at all.
Then, I made my envelopes and jazzed up my coupon organizer/vacation pouch for excitement purposes. I just used things I already had on hand.
Next, I made a small list to show through the back of my organizer so that I could highlight envelopes as they filled up. This saved me from having to open every envelope as I went. I also added in a few extra meals that were not on the original list because I was worried that a "surprise" might arise. I fully expect to come home with cash. Since we are credit card free, and I do not prefer to use my debit card on vacation, I've padded each area.
Then, it was time to fill those envelopes up.
So, this is how I have done that.
1. I sold a few things. We have been doing some Spring cleaning that has surfaced some things we were ready to part with anyway. Instead of donating them I posted a few things on Facebook and sold them immediately. This filled up several envelopes.
2. I applied Kendra's lunch money for the week (since there is no school) to an envelope. She doesn't always eat school lunch, but I do have a budget for it so that she can when she chooses. This allowed for us to fill another envelope.
3. I worked a few extra hours about two weeks ago due to a project, so I applied that to another envelope.
4. I gathered my spare change and combed it for pennies and quarters for the pressed penny machines.
You'll notice that I don't have spending money listed. My parents are gifting each grandchild a Disney gift card in their Easter baskets, so I didn't need to plan for that. In addition to the gift cards, their baskets will bear snacks like trail mix, fruit snacks and crackers with very little candy. We will take these along with us when we leave the house for the day to save on buying snacks. We'll get one special treat in the park.
I have been in charge of planning activities and table decorations for our first meal at the house. We have a family tradition that our first meal (with Nana) is always a big breakfast. This time she's purchased Mickey and Minnie waffle makers (on clearance at the Wal-mart). We'll have waffles, bacon and eggs. The table is always set to be fun and this time will be no exception. We leave the table decorated for the entire trip. It's a fun tradition that seems to get a little more grand with each trip.
We definitely have room to cut corners here, but I am pleased overall that this plan came together.
We're looking forward to it!
God is good, all the time!