Often when I mention the idea of a Disney vacation people automatically bring up how expensive it is to do and how they could never afford it. I'm sure this is true for many, vacations of any kind may just not be possible for some. But really, a Disney vacation is a lot more affordable then people think, especially if you prioritize your spending.
Everyone spends there money in different ways. Some eat out a lot, others love to shop and wear lots of nice new clothes. Some are really into decorating or renovating their homes, buying the latest technological gadget or driving the latest model of a vehicle. Cutting these kind of things out and putting that money towards a Disney trip makes it a lot more do able.
Since my husband and I married we have had a very well laid out budget that we try to follow as closely as possible. Every dime we spend goes onto that excel sheet so that we can keep track of where everything is going. This has allowed us to see how much every area of our life is costing us and how much we have to 'play' with.
Vacations are a priority in our family. The frequency depends on where we are currently at in life (ex. Savings, pregnancy, raises, etc) but we do plan for the next future trip. Right now we are planning on a Disneyland family vacation for early next May and we have begun putting money aside Into a separate account. It's been dubbed our 'Disney' fund and I find it very exciting to think about what that money will go too. So far we have our Disney passes taken care of plus a character breakfast. We've got a ways to go yet, but we still have another 14 months to get where we need to be, and it's fun to cross saved for items off the list.
I'm part of a Disneyland community board where we discuss these kind of topics often and it was interesting to hear how other one income families save for trips like this. Some said they don't do anything for their families birthdays except a home made cake and basic play date for the kids. Some skip eating out, others avoid local fairs and attractions like the aquarium and the museum. Whenever they opt to skip one of these activities, they tally up how much it would have cost them and instead put it into the Disney jar. Some are big on coupons, some sell items that they make via etsy or craigslist and others become consultants for companies such as scentsy or norwex.
I understand that many aren't willing to part with things like eating out or seeing the latest movie, and that's why I say that it all comes down to priorities. If you really want to take your family on a Disney vacaction, there is a good chance you can. It just may mean giving up other luxuries for the amount of years it takes you to save (wether it's 1, 2 or 5 years to get there.) Wether that is worth it or not to you is the real question.
To find out some ways to keep your actual Disney costs lower, read my blog Here