How One Disney Fan Saves Money


Today’s Money Saver Monday idea is brought to you by Jessica a Disney Guru fan that has an AWESOME money saving idea that is sure to help you be on your way to saving! Thank you Jessica!! 

My name is Jessica Heistand. I’m 26yrs old & a working mother of 14mo old twin girls so money is pretty tight in my household. My husband works the night shift so he’s able to stay with the girls during the day to save on daycare. Before we had the girls my husband & I took many trips a year (sometimes a week at a time) to Disney. We love it there. When we found out we were pregnant with twins we were so excited & scared at the same time. “How are we going to afford everything” was the question we kept playing in our mind over & over again. We knew all along that we wanted to continue our yearly vacations to Disney even after the girls came around (and especially because of them…what a great experience to have with your children). So here was the question. How are we going to afford our vacation to Disney on such an overly tight monthly budget? I thought and thought and thought of many things we can cut out to save money, but nothing was practical or realistic. I was about to give up on the idea of Disney for a few years when one night it just hit me.


My strategy for saving money

I pay cash for everything. I have a huge jar at home so everyday I empty my purse of all the coins I’ve collected throughout the day & also include $1 bills. At the end of every month I roll all my coins & head to the bank in exchange for bigger bills. The money that I have collected I immediately head to our grocery store where they have Disney gift cards. My savings ends up equaling anywhere from $25-$75 so I buy the gift card accordingly. I know that if I don’t do this there’s no way I wouldn’t end up spending the cash. By buying the gift cards I know that that money is there to be used toward our hotel, food, souvenirs etc. At the end of the year we have enough gift cards to pay for almost our entire trip & sometimes the whole thing. I currently have $375 saved up in gift cards for our next trip. I hope this helps a few people as it’s helped me.

Jessica Heistand

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  • I’ll second that Jessica! My wife and I do almost the same thing. We put our coins in 2 large jars, it’s easy to reach about $600.00 around trip time, when we cash them in. So give it a try, even if you aren’t able to completely pay for your trip,you will have the bulk of it covered this way.

  • Do you know if there are any fees charged to the gift cards if I save them for over a year? If not im buying them starting tomorrow.


  • I like the idea of collecting singles and change for gift cards, but we pay for everything with credit cards that we pay off every month – improve credit, but earn points. Disney Visa to earn points towards future trips and others to provide cash back.

  • Hi Joe, there is never a fee associated with the Disney gift card or for keeping a balance for any length of time. Check out this link for more detail and thank you kindly for stopping by.

  • we do almost the same thing but when i cash ours in we put it in the credit union where it is earning interest while it is in daughter loves when we empty out our change from my purse or her dad emptys his change out his pocket at the end of the day she excited and starts singing disney money oh yea. i laugh when we go shopping somewhere my 6 year old daughter and 10 year old step son look at the ground looking to see if they can find money to put in the jar.i guess cause they have figured out the more we put in the jar the more we have to spend in disney.

  • Ella that is so cute!! You have to get them on video singing that song. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Jenn I agree that Disney Visa is a great way to pay as well. It has some wonderful benefits. Thanks for stopping by!

  • This is the technique I used for our last trip and the one that I started using the handful of change we brought home from Florida with us to put toward our next trip! I am constantly laughed at because I only spend my ones if I have no other bills on me. I say “That’s my Disney money! I can’t spend it here.” My daughter has also gotten into the habit of watching the ground for change because she has her own jug that she saves her Disney money in as well. I finally got my sister into the groove of using cash in order to roll that change over into a vacation! I strongly suggest this strategy to anyone who has trouble saving for whatever reason!

  • Amanda thanks for your tips! I love to save those dollars for Disney how fun!

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