IT’S HERE: Am I the Only One Who Hates My Job

Hardcover-Book-MockUp

After months of learning and writing, my eBook has finally arrived!

Who is this eBook for? It would be easy to say for everyone, but that’s not really true though. It is primarily focused on the struggle that many experience in their job and career. I’ve pulled from my own personal experiences as well as what I’ve learned from others. I’ve also provided information and resources that got me through some of the toughest work experiences I had.

Why talk about it here? Well, shameless promotion for one. Another reason is saving money is really only one side of the equation. The other side involves making money. I personally believe that you’ll be more successful in your career if you enjoy what you’re doing. While you can make a ton of money, the time you spend doing it seems like an empty vacuum if you hate it.

If any of that appeals to you, you feel like you’re in a job you hate, or you’re just interested in getting a peek into a portion of my life, you’re in luck. For a special introductory period, I’ve lowered the price of the eBook to $0.99 for one week. Check it out below!

Money saving tip of the week: For those who have Amazon Prime and a Kindle, you can download the eBook for free through the Amazon Lending Library!

Disney World on a Budget: Dining Plan

Disney Dining

Last week I started a series about doing Disney World on a Budget. I covered their Special Offers and using Disney gift cards to pay for your trip. In this post we’ll be covering just the dining plan. Some people love the dining plan, some people avoid it, and others may not realize what it is.

First, let me explain for you what the dining plan provides. There are multiple levels. The quick service plan provides for 2 quick service meals (think burgers, fries, and chicken finger types of food most of the time) and a snack for each person each night you stay. The standard plan gives you one quick service meal and one table service meal instead of 2 quick service meals. From there you can go into the deluxe plans where you get 2 table service meals in a day and more. With the deluxe plans, you won’t be walking around Disney World. You’ll be rolling around or hauled in a cart after eating that much food. All of the plans give you a refillable mug you can use at your resort.

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to cover the standard plan that gives you a table service and quick service meal each day. I’m sure it is by far the most popular option that people choose.

Pros

  • Since the dining plan is baked into the cost of your trip, it makes it easier to budget for your trip.
  • You can use the snack credits you get each day to get items like cinnamon rolls for breakfast the next morning.
  • It gives your Disney World trip more of an “all-inclusive” feel.
  • You can use your table service meal for character dining experiences that would other otherwise cost you $100-150+ for four people if you paid out-of-pocket.
  • Disney World sometimes offers free dining during times of the year when the parks aren’t as busy. If you take the free dining, you can sometimes use the savings to stay at a nicer resort and still come out ahead.
  • It makes a trip less stressful since you don’t need to track how much you’re spending at each meal.

Cons

  • You have to stay at a Disney World resort to get the dining plan.
  • Even though the dining plan offers food at a discount, you can definitely do dining out-of-pocket for less than what you would pay for the dining plan. The dining plan includes desert with almost every meal, which isn’t necessary when paying out-of-pocket. Plus, you can probably get by with sharing meals at some restaurants, especially for kids. Otherwise, you’ll likely leave food on the table.
  • The dining plan does not include tips, so you’ll want to carry some cash with you to table service meals. Expect to pay a tip of anywhere from $15-30 for four people.

No matter what you choose, it’s a good idea to do the math ahead of time. You can look at the Disney World website to figure out about how much a meal will cost at various restaurants. Try not to let your jaw hit the floor when you see the prices. For us, the dining is part of the Disney experience, so we would have a hard time going without getting the dining plan.

How do you dine on vacation or at Disney? Let me know in the comments below.

Disney World on a Budget: Special Offers and Discount Gift Cards

Cinderella's Castle

As I stated in an earlier post, we recently returned from a trip to Walt Disney World. I had discussed one way of saving money on hotel rooms if you’re driving, but now I want to dive a bit more into other ways to save money on a Disney World trip. This week I’m going to focus on special offers and Disney gift cards.

  • Special Offers – When you go to Disney World to price your trip, you’ll likely see across the top of the page a place to enter in the dates of travel and how many people will be in your party. If you want to find the best deals though, you should go all the way to the bottom of the page and look for a link to their special offers. If you go through the normal booking process on their site, these discounts will not automatically be applied to your trip so it’s best to see what is available first. If they release a deal after you’ve booked your trip, you can give them a call and they will apply it for you. Check the special offers page often.
  • Gift Cards – You can pay for a Disney trip with gift cards and the best place to get Disney gift cards is at Target with a REDcard. With the REDcard, you can buy gift cards at 5% off. You can even buy extra cards to use while you’re at the parks. After you’ve found the best offer available for your trip, take 5% off with gift cards from Target using the REDcard. If you don’t live near a Target store, they can be shipped to your house through Target.com for free.

Check back next week as I cover the Disney World Dining Plan and whether it’s a fit for you and your family.

Any question or comments? Leave them below. If you know any ways to save money when paying for a Disney trip, leave those below as well.

Kids = Cash

Couch Kid

Sure, you already know that kids cost money to raise. Too much money sometimes. Have you ever considered turning the tables and raising some cash at your kids’ expense?

Check out the ideas below.

  • Tax Deductions – Kids are definitely a tax deduction and if you’re not taking the deduction already, you’re crazy! It doesn’t even put a dent in what you spend on them in a year.
  • Babysitting – When they’re old enough, you can have them babysit and make some money. They may not give it to you, but at least it’s money in their pocket that they shouldn’t be asking you for.
  • Rent them out – Neighbor’s lawn needs mowed? Friend’s weeds need pulled? Send your kid over and have them do it. Then you can make a back room deal with your friend for them to pay you directly. Just tell your kid they’re doing a service project.
  • Craigslist – If all else fails, sell them on Craigslist. Sure, I could have said Amazon or eBay, but I’m pretty sure they’ve got strict rules against that kind of thing. Craigslist is more of a free for all type of thing anyhow. You might get enough interest before your classified ad is reported. Remember, younger kids have the cuteness factor, but older kids can be put to work. Be sure to stress that in your post.

The most important thing to remember this April 1st is to be creative. Kids have creative ways of sucking our wallets dry, so you might as well be creative in how you fill it back up. Be sure to leave your creative ideas in the comments below.

Featured Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net