1. Pictures-The above is my favorite Christmas tree from Disney. It was located at the marina in the campground. I have enjoyed spending extra time looking at and ordering pictures to make a scrapbook with in the coming months. We have ordered several calendars, mouse pads and other items as well. The bright orange box containing the first 600+ pictures I ordered arrived yesterday. I am planning to spend at least 30 minutes a week on my scrapbook with a goal to finish it prior to June.
2. Water Park Tickets- After some debate, we decided to purchase season passes to the water park that is 30 minutes from our house. The park opens the last week of May and is opened until September. This is an expense that is equal to our pool membership. We did purchase parking and have free passes for 2 days which means both Lily and Kendall will be able to take a friend with them this summer. The cost of the season pass was $12 more than a one day pass. We decided to try it out this summer and if we really enjoy then may consider in the future. I love water parks so I am hopeful that the kids will enjoy as well. A nice surprise was the $300 bonus I received on my American Express this month as well. This bonus will cover the cost of all 5 tickets!
3. Shopping- Our Christmas shopping is completed with all presents wrapped and either under the tree or mailed out. I was also able to use the extra time this week at home to get ahead with lots of food preparation!
4. I am so thankful to have had the last week off of work. I stayed at home until Tuesday, meaning I did not even leave the house. . Each day I was able to spend extra individual time with the kids working on homework and see how they are really doing in school. I planned ahead and prepared several meal or meal pieces to make the next month. We were able to hit several groceries stores including the meat store and have plans to avoid grocery shopping for at least the next 4 weeks. Matt and I also spent some extra time cleaning which means even more free time this weekend.
5. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year. I love everything about it! With catching up on shopping and cooking. We have decided to drive an hour south of us to visit the town of Christmas lights on Tuesday. I am more excited than the kids.
I really want to write this post and it has been in my head since our return but… I know these numbers are huge and almost scary. It is much easier to spend quietly but I struggled and searched for hours prior to the trip to locate and make a realistic budget and really nobody is talking. So I am going to be honest this is what we spent. We had the best vacation EVER and yes we will be doing some penny pinching in the next several months but we do planning on going back in a couple/three years after we have met some important goals, see bottom of post for these.
Disney Vacation package, including 6 day non park hopper ticket and dinning plan for 2 adults and 3 children $4913.62
Cheap hotel room (I will not be staying here again, got exactly what I paid for.) $41.41
Gas $115.22- I did observe that gas prices inside Disney World were $1.93 which were cheaper than our stations at home. We did not pay over $2 a gallon for the whole trip.
Food- Tips, drinks and other expenses outside of dining plan $523.83
Souvenirs– This did include a lot of Christmas presents but these are things we came home with $1575.94
Total Expense for trip:$7169.98
Pictures taken– 1425- this included Photo Pass and Lily, myself and Matt. I am planning to complete a scrapbook and so is Lily.
On our date night, which we both really enjoyed, we talked about another trip because this one was so awesome. Our goals to begin planning the next trip included paying off all credit card debit and having an emergency fund to cover one month expenses or approximately $3500. I am up for the challenge and would like to accomplish this in less than 2 years but God’s timing is always better than mine so I am going to wait and see.
Blogging: Goal: 14 per month Actually 16 post for the month!
Weight: Goal: Met and maintain weight of 175. This goal will be considered met each month that weight loss is achieved and once this weight is achieved, each month maintained is considered achieved. I did make some small gains/loss in the area. The last two weeks have been a real struggle.
Spiritual- Goal. I want to spend time reading and or studying the Bible at least 5 days a week for the year. Does half met count? I was doing so well until this past week.
1. Full Fund the budget each month. Fail
2. Emergency Fund to $2000. Fail
3. Groceries: Goal is for $700. Fail
4. Gas: Spend $400 a month . Fail but not as bad as I thought $435 for the month.
5. Eating out- $200 another decrease from even the previous month!
Disney- GOAL MET!
October was a long hard month for us. Part of the reason was that it lasted 5 weeks, another contributing factor was the restocking that was needed after spending less than $400 for groceries in September. I am looking forward to November with a more confident air! We are focusing on our Disney vacation. In order to start the month in a positive way hear are a couple of things that hopefully will help me achieve more of the goals.
1. Gas prices continue to drop, we have just finished paying all taxes for vehicles for the year and currently I don’t know of any repair needs for the month. I will be counting gas for the trip as part of the regular budget so I expect to stay right at $400.
2. We have already made our monthly trip to Costco, did that today. We ended up spending less than $400. We will be picking up our chicken order from Zaycon tomorrow so that will show allow us to not purchase any more meat until January. My goal for the month is to keep the grocery budget to $500 which will help to fund several other areas of our budget.
3. Our trip is mostly paid for, I have already made a list and purchased all the items that I *think* we need expect for cheap rain ponchos. The kids all have spending money and I am going to use “Disney Rewards” to cover the Bippity Boppity Boutique for at least 2 of the kids. We will be eating our while traveling but this should be a minimal expense of less than $200. We did eat out today but the plan is to eat at home until we leave for the trip.