Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thrifty Thursday: Ways to Save for Disney

Hello there! I'm starting a new blog series for Ways to Save for Disney, so Thursdays around here will now be known as Thrifty Thursday!

There are several ways you can save for your next Disney trip, but to get this series started I'm going to give you a pretty unique one- one you may not necessarily have thought of. And if you have, well, you rock because clearly you're on the same crazy brain waves as me! So, here we go...

I use my Flexible Spending Account to save. While I have currently used it to save for Christmas money, you can easily use it for Disney savings!

You can read more about an FSA through this link, but please check with your own employer about the details of the plan they offer. I'll give you the gist in short though to tide you over. Your employer may offer an FSA, an account in which money is pulled from your paycheck each week, pre-tax, and put into this account. The money is for medical or dependent care expenses. You may use the money in the account to pay for co-pays, coinsurance costs, prescriptions, and prescribed over the counter meds, or daycare costs. (Please be sure to check with your employer as guidelines for medical and dependent care are different. Also, in most cases, what you don't claim at the end of each year is lost, so be sure to use what you've set aside!) They give you a debit card that you may use throughout the year to make these payments/purchases, but they will also allow you to turn in your receipts and reimburse you.

What does this have to do with saving for Disney, you ask? Well, I currently use mine for Christmas money, but it would be excellent for Disney, too! As a matter of fact, I may just switch to that. Anyway, here's how it works... Rather than use the debit card all year, I simply pay for our medical expenses out of pocket as I normally would. Just before Black Friday (the biggest shopping day of the year, the day after Thanksgiving), I gather all of my receipts for the year and turn them in. I usually have a check or direct deposit in a matter of days. Just in time to do my Christmas shopping!

You have to spend the money on the doctor bills and prescriptions anyway, why not set up the FSA, save your receipts and cash them in right before paying for your vacation package, or cashing in right before the trip for that spending money?!

Simply assess what you spend each year on co-pays and scrips, glasses/eye care count, too, (or the daycare expense, but again this works a little differently) and decide how much you want to pull out from your check. I'll give you an example... I counted up our scheduled visits- a wellness visit for each of us per year, a couple special condition check-ups, and factored in some sick visits. Then I counted the co pays for my medicines taken monthly, and threw in a couple for those sick visits. At the end of this, I was comfortable saying we spent at least $500-$600 a year in medical expenses. To make it easy on myself I only designated $10/wk be taken from my check, giving me a total of $520 for the year. I may have undershot a bit, but like I said, if you don't use it, you lose it. At least this way, I know for sure I'll get enough receipts to cover it all.

That's a guaranteed $520 just in time for Christmas each year... or DISNEY!

Well, there you have it, my not so conventional tip for Saving for Disney! I've done this four years in a row now, so if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

This post carries a disclosure Level of 0. Please see my disclosure page for more details.

1 comment:

  1. Great tip! We have the FSA available at my job, but I've never signed up for it. I would have never thought to use it like this though - fantastic idea!