Turning Your Hobby into Vacation Savings #savingsunday

Photo Dec 03, 9 37 51 AM

Many of us have hobbies that we don’t even realize are hobbies. I an artist that loves to create to which I made my hobby of crocheting and sewing into a part-time business. Some people love to make woodwork items. Some people love to draw or paint. Some people love to write (another hobby that I love and why I started this blog). Some people love numbers and balancing them. There are so many different hobbies that people might not recognize in themselves.

These hobbies can make you a little extra cash for that family vacation that you are saving for. For example with a creative hobby, you can sell some of your creations. With a writing hobby, you can start a blog and make some extra money by advertising or doing sponsored posts for companies. For a numbers lover, you can offer your services to others like balancing their finances or helping others create a household budget. You can’t believe the ways you can make money by helping others.

When selling your creations, you can share those creations on your social media for friends and family to see and purchase. Also, you can use my post from last week and list your creations for sale on different local groups where you can meet up with the person to sell your creation in person. There are handmade websites like Etsy or Artfire to sell your creations but you will need to ship the items so you will have to determine your shipping prices. Last, you can look for local craft and vendor shows that have people come to you to sell your creations. These are all great and easy ways to make some extra money off of your hobby!

Update on our Vacation Savings: We didn’t do much shopping this week but a lot of selling. Shopping savings was only $25 because we really didn’t need to buy anything besides dog food which at petco we saved $15 between a coupon and our petco rewards. Plus, I had a few coupons that I used to get the few things we needed. As for the apps, nothing this week. Next week, Christmas shopping will get underway so this will hopefully change. As for selling, it was a big week on the yard sale groups for me. Most of what I sold was Danyella’s old clothes now that I have more of them organized to list. This brought in an extra $60 for the vacation savings and $60 for Christmas spending. Lastly, I sold more of my handmade creations and brought in an extra $30 for vacation and $30 for Christmas. Total for vacation savings for this week: $130 and overall $389! We are still off track for what we need to hit for goals but we are getting there. I can’t complain considering I am on bed rest with my pregnancy and getting this all worked out!

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Yard Sale Groups to Save for Your Vacation #savingsunday

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Week 3 of our ways to save for Family Vacation Savings is about utilizing the online yard sale groups, sites and apps. These groups and sites are a great way to clean out your house of items you don’t use while making extra cash in the process!

My go to when selling off unused stuff in my house is my local Facebook groups because I can meet people when and where it is convenient for my schedule. Facebook has made it easier to upload through their Marketplace. Since Facebook has created the Marketplace, you can upload an item to sell through there and then have it inserted into groups that you are part of, up to 10 groups. In the past, I would have to upload the item to one group and then copy/paste to each of the other groups. It was time-consuming to say the least!

My only complaint about the Facebook Marketplace is that people do not read the description to see that I will only meet people a specific locations and I will not ship the item. At least 2-3 times a week, people will message me asking me to ship the item to me but I don’t have the time to go to the Post Office at the holidays to ship a $5 item.

My most popular items that sell the fastest are kids clothes, accessories and toys. With the price of buying something new so inflated, especially kids and home items, more and more people are buying them used. On average, I bring in an extra $500 a month by selling off items I no longer need or items that people will give me that I don’t need but can use to make the extra money. Some months are a little slower with bringing a few hundred dollars but in August and November/December I can bring in $1000 because people are looking for back to school items and then items that they can re-gift for someone especially when they are still new and I just let the item sit there.

There are other ways to sell your unwanted stuff online like Craigslist and Ebay. I have used both in the past but honestly Craigslist kinda scares me. Ebay has become a long process and has moved into another world from where it started that is focused on reselling new items for more money.

Then you have the apps, which there are plenty, that you can list items for sale. Similar to the Facebook Marketplace, you list your items and then choose when and where to meet someone for the sale. With these apps, I have had the same dealings with people wanting me to ship a $5 item. My other experience has been people who set up meets and then cancel at the last-minute. Very rarely do I deal with that on Facebook. You can check out the apps I can used: Letgo, OfferUp, 5miles and Listia. There are a ton of apps for different phones but those are the most popular.

How many of you have used yard sale groups, sites and apps to save some money?

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Our weekly update: Having Thanksgiving and a ton of doctors appointments this week, the week was kind of a bust with trying to save any money. I did some essentials grocery shopping (milk, bread, etc) and save $15. The apps helped me save an extra $12 (free eggs and free bananas coupons for Walmart from coupons.com) to put into my savings apps accounts. We did a little Black Friday shopping but that goes into my separate Christmas funds to be able to continue to pick up gifts as the weeks get closer to Christmas. I didn’t have any yard sale meet ups so no money for that section either. I did receive a few more handmade sales which half goes into our vacation fund so that brought in an extra $35. Total for this week: $50 and overall savings: $259. Slowly but surely getting there!

 

Using Savings Apps to Save for Vacation #savingsunday

Week 2 of our saving for your family vacation series is about utilizing the savings apps to your vacation’s advantage. I have posted about using the Ibotta app to save for gift cards but this post is going to feature 4 different apps to help you save for your family vacation.

Some of these apps are completely new to me so I am still learning how to use them but they have definitely added to my family vacation fund. The 4 apps are Shopkick, SavingStar, Checkout 51 and Ibotta (of course hehe).

Starting with Shopkick, this app is one that I have had for a while but never really opened it on a consistent basis until recently. With Shopkick, you have earn “kicks” or points by walking into specific stores, for scanning specific products at these stores and for making purchases (this is where you earn the most kicks). This is basically free money for your vacation just for walking around a store that you are already shopping at! Shopkick pays out through gift cards. They have many different cards to choose from but what will be most beneficial for our family is redeeming for Walmart gift cards and then using the Walmart gift cards to purchase Disney gift cards which can be used all over Disney World or redeemed to go towards our balance for the trip. You can do the same thing for your own vacation for restaurants or stores you may visit on your vacation. The only thing you cannot use a Walmart gift card to purchase is a the prepaid debit cards. Use code SAVE627743 or download http://getsk.co/save627743

The next savings app I have started using is SavingStar. This app is handy if you shop at stores that have loyalty cards because you can upload the rebates to card so they will automatically show up in your SavingStar account after you purchase the item and scan your card. For stores like Target and Walmart, you can scan your receipts for the rebates. Once you hit $5 in rebates, you can transfer your savings into a bank account, PayPal account or onto various gift cards.

The third app that I use is Checkout 51. Similar to SavingStar, you can upload rebates to a loyalty card or receipts for other stores. What I like about this app is that not all rebates are brand specific so just buying veggies or meat can save you money. Once you hit $20 then you can request a cash out which means they will send you a check. Be sure to allow enough time to cash out and deposit into your account for your vacation.

Last on the list is my favorite Ibotta! If you read my previous post about Ibotta, I detail how to use them and how great they are. With the holidays approaching they are offering even more stores both online and in person plus bonuses. Do you know how much you can save with Ibotta? So much money in rebates which can be cashed out to your PayPal or venemo account or redeemed for gift cards. This is always my go to app for rebates because I get the biggest payout. Use my referral code, hytctkm, and you can get a $10 welcome bonus. Sign up at https://ibotta.com/r/hytctkm

Our weekly update: This week I used ShopRite from Home to use the $10 off code to pay for the service fee and have less headache trying to walk around the store in my current condition. My budget was $175 which with my paper coupons and digital coupons plus some bonus purchase saving bonuses, I brought our bill down to $130! That is $45 for our vacation fund. Plus another $50 in rebates between all my apps (I am waiting to redeem them until it is closer to time I will use them). I had a few FB yard sale group sales so half of the money was $20. Lastly, I had a couple of handmade orders so half of that money totaled $40. Total for the week is $155! Adding that to last week’s savings and we are at $209 so far which is pretty good considering I had a rough week with my pregnancy and school.

Saving Your Cash for Vacation Part One of Four #savingsunday

Saving Money for

After many Sundays talking about how to plan your budget for your family vacation, I am going to spend the next 4 Sundays talking about how to squeeze out that extra money for your family vacation. Today, we are going to start with how to use cash instead of debit or credit cards to pay for your in-person purchases and collect the change to save for your vacation fund.

Trust me, I know that convenience of using a card to pay for everything at a store BUT having worked retail for many years, I have dealt with the times that card machines are down. Being on the other side of the counter and explaining that we can only accept cash can lead to many upset customers. This has taught me to keep cash on me and not rely on my cards.

Part of revamping my financial budget was learning to pay with cash because it can be so easy to go over my budget limit. Before I go into a store, I have my list in hand (which I am human and don’t always stick to that list) and my cash that has been alloted for that trip. If I can’t afford to pay for it with that cash in hand then I don’t buy it on that trip.

This is where the saving for your vacation tip comes into play! Whenever you pay with the alloted cash you have budgeted, take the change you didn’t spend and place it in your vacation jar. This has been how I have saved so much money because I have learned to use coupons and find sales to use to my advantage so when I allot $40 for a trip to Walmart for basic essentials and come away with a savings of $10 that goes right into our jar.

We have incorporated this savings skill learning process into Danyella’s schooling as well. Now she will equip herself with a calculator and our budget to see how much more we can save and how much more we can put into the vacation jar. Even if you start doing this with small things like your morning coffee. Say your coffee costs you $3.50 (I am a latte person in the morning) and you have a $5 bill to pay for it. For 5 days you will save $7.50 towards your vacation. Even small savings do add up!

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Update on our Family Vacation Jar Week 1:

Since I was extremely sick this week after getting the flu and tdap shots, I was not very active in making/saving/budgeting money. In our cash jar, we have saved $44.76 which is from the system above. Plus, in rebates we earned $9.78 from the apps that I use (more on this on my next savings blog post next Sunday). Unfortunately my other 2 plans needed me to be able to function and that didn’t happen so we fell short of our weekly goal but this is a fresh week and fresh start. Goal: $163 Actual Savings: $54.54

Small Vacation Budget Goals

Supermom Says

Now that you have your vacation destination set and your budget laid out, it is time to set your budget goals. The ultimate goal is to raise the money you need for the trip and spending money but breaking this big goal into small ones are what make each step feel like a great accomplishment. I love the feeling of setting a goal, whether it is a goal for a day, a week or a month, and achieving those goals. Time to put those goals into manageable ones for your family vacation! Do you have your Family Vacation Notebook ready?

For our family vacation to Disney World, we are first saving for the deposit and airfare which is only an approximate because the airfare rate can change. Then, we have to save for the balance of the trip. Lastly, there is the most important savings…. Spending Money!

I prefer to break these larger goals down to months and then down to weeks. This makes the big goals feel so much more achievable when you see them in small amounts. So what are your goals?

Starting with our deposit which is $1300 and due on January 1st. The balance will be $7130 which I don’t find out when that is due until I pay the deposit. That part is a little frustrating because it should be broken down on the payment options page. I am going to figure that the balance will be due in March so I am breaking that down for a 3 month goal. After that we will save for our spending money which everyone knows is alot when it comes to Disney spending.

As much as I wanted to begin my savings for our family vacation in October, life and unexpected bills and car repairs proved otherwise. So we are starting our savings in November. Breaking down our deposit over the next 8 weeks, we need to save $650 per month or $163 a week. That can seem like a lot since that is nearly our rent payment a month but it is achievable with my money-saving system that I have been implementing and strategizing. (I will go over these next Sunday!)

Danyella is already enjoying participating in placing our vacation savings into the savings jar which is starting to get some money in there. Along with the Savings Blog on Sundays, I will be updating how our goals are going every Friday on my Facebook Page: Kaella Boutique so that everyone can see how my strategizing and savings are going. Feel free to like our Facebook Page so you can follow along and share your own vacation savings stories!

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Vacation Savings Jar DIY #savingsunday

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This week we are getting hands on with our savings by making a savings jar! The kids love this part because we hit Michaels and the Dollar Store for fun stickers and a jar. I like to pick out a jar with the chalkboard stickers because we can write where we are going and a countdown on the sticker.

The kids love to decorate with the stickers and talk about how we can save money for the cool trip. They can come up with some awesome ideas on how they can help us save money. Usually it consists of giving up a favorite food they like to eat so it is one less thing to purchase in the grocery order or giving up toys or other things to sell on the yard sale groups. I love hearing them get into all of this and it gives them satisfaction to be a participant in the vacation planning and saving instead of the adults telling them what we are doing and how we are saving for it.

Our jar is Disney themed but you can find cool beach, camping and other destination stickers and you can reuse the jar by taking the stickers off using Goo-Gone or soap and hot water which saves for the next trip. Even if you are using this for your spending money on the trip, it teaches the kids how to save and have fun doing it.

What are you going to put on your Vacation Savings Jar?

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Setting and Keeping Your Vacation Budget

Setting A Budget

We are on to Step 2 which is the most important step…. Setting your family vacation budget! Now that you have set your where and when, we get to look at how much this whole trip is going to cost. I am using our budget for Disney World to walk you through my thought process for budget setting.

Our plan for our Disney World  trip is set for July 1-July 7, 2018. Being an animal lover, we want to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge so that is our resort of choice. In the past, I have stayed at the Polynesian on the  concierge level which was a great benefit because they have a buffet of food and snacks all day long plus we had a better view from our room. Personally, it was worth the extra money. At Animal Kingdom Lodge, concierge level gives you the view of the Savannah with the animals which would put Danyella on cloud nine. This put us at $5525 for the week-long stay with access to food all day.

I did toy with the option of staying at the Polynesian again because of the access to the monorail which makes traveling between parks a lot easier with a baby.  At the Animal Kingdom Lodge, we will be utilizing the busses to get around. (Thank goodness for strollers and baby carriers!)

The next thing I added to our package was upgrading our Park Tickets to the Park Hopper with the water park option. It added more money to our overall cost but it is worth it because we will be going to different parks through the day so we have time to bring the baby back for naps and breaks. This put us at $5812 to add the Park Hopper option.

Something that was suggested to me from a yearly Disney World traveler, was to get the Memory Maker package because they will take better pictures then we will take. Her pictures proved it! So we added the $169 Memory Maker to the package which put us at $5981.

When I was at Disney, 15 years ago, there was no Dining Add-On Option for our vacation package so I consulted others that have been there and they all say that the Dining Plan was a must especially when you want to do the character meals. I got lots of tips on how to use this plan to get the best benefit out of it. Now add $1359 to our package price to make it $7340.

Onto our travel plans…. With an infant we are flying a direct flight from Philly to Orlando and using the free transport that Disney offers from the airport to the resort. This added $934 to our package. Plus I opted for the $155 travelers insurance just to be on the safe side. This put our Package total at $8429! Holy Cow!!

One of the nice thing about booking your trip through Disney, you can start with a deposit instead of paying for the whole trip up front. The deposit price includes the flights so that they are booked immediately. Our deposit for the trip is $1288 which is due immediately in order to book the trip and the balance is due on January 1st, 2018

For us, this will be our starting off point because we don’t have the $1288 just laying around the house but we will be finding ways to save this money. Yes, this will change our flights and possibly our price but we are not ones to use credit cards to charge things for entertainment purposes. Overall, with spending money our budget for this trip will end up being $10,000! Wowzers but this includes our travel, lodging and food which is the bulk of any trip. The rest will be just what we want to buy or spend money on!

Now it is your turn to get the budget in place for the major expenses: travel, lodging and food. If you destination doesn’t offer a package like Disney then you will need to make the package yourself. There are a ton of apps that can help if you choose to travel by car that will help with gas mileage and prices so you can add this to your budget. Then you can look and compare prices for the lodging to add that to your budget. The last big cost to include is your food. If you are renting a house in your destination, you can bring your own food and save a ton of money! There are so many ways to save on food if you look at what restaurants are in the area of your trip.

I hope this breakdown helps in your budget setting! Next week we will look into the savings jar and breaking your budget down to small goals. disney