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Disneyland Budget for 1

I went on my most recent Disneyland adventure all by myself.  I needed some time at the happiest place on earth with no one nagging, whining, grumping, or annoying.  I had an agenda.  I wanted to find all of the hidden gems that I had read about on other blogs.  I was also wearing a boot on my left foot to keep it imobilized which made me slow and needing lots of resting areas. Read  Places to rest your feet at Disneyland. When I started planning my trip I also was on a very tight budget.  That loosened up a bit when I recieved a suprise bonus at work.  I still wanted to make the trip as least expensive as possible.  I made a budget for one person.

First decision was how many days and nights was I going to stay.  I opted for 4 nights and three days.  It takes 6 hours to drive from where I live to Disneyland.  Thus the 4 nights stay.  I wanted 3 full days at Disneyland. Once this decision was made I could now make a budget.

Hotel     $422.00       Please read this article Choosing a Hotel for Disneyland

Tickets    $220 for a 3 day single park during the least busy time of year.

Gas           $100

Food         $200  Two meals a day. I had breakfast at the hotel, refilled my water bottle, and brought in my own snacks.  This included meals during the drive days.

T-shirts   $60  Please read this article What to wear to Disneyland.

Back pack, pill box, external charger, moleskin, sunscreen, etc.  $50   Please read this article What to take into Disneyland that explains this catagory.

My total for a 4 night 3 day solo trip was a $952.00.  Next trip, since I already have everything I need to take in with me and the speciality T-shirts it, will be about $850.  It will be less if I don’t stay 3 days.

 

 

 

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Organized Yard Sale

You have been decluttering for a bit now.  Some things were given away. Some went in the trash. Some were listed on Facebook or Ebay.  Some of it is still lingering in bins in the garage.  Those lingering bins are the signal that it is time for a yard sale.

An average yard sale is not organized.  Stuff is jumbled in with other stuff. Nothing is tagged so if you ask what the price is and it seems high then you assume the other stuff is also high and leave.  Stuff is dirty or broken or just plain ugly.

So how do you take your yard sale from average to spectacular and money-making?

1. Cover your tables.  A twin sheet covers an average folding table.  Pick them up at Goodwill or another thrift shop.  Nobody wants to look at dirty tables.

2. Inspect every item for cleanliness and free of breakage.  If it is broken put it in the recycle. If it is dirty wash it.

3. Tag each item with a price sticker.  Be realistic about your prices.

4. Group like items together. Kitchen stuff goes with kitchen stuff.  Toys go with toys. Kitchen stuff and toys do not get mixed together.  Leave enough space between items so that it does not look like a pile of junk.

5. Have cash on hand. $10’s $5’s $1’s and quarters.

6.   Plastic bags and newspaper (for wrapping breakables) is a must have.

7.  Make signs that are bright and catchy. Attach them to boxes that you can set on the street corners.  If it is windy take some big rocks or bricks to put in the box.  At the end of the day pick up your boxes.  It is so disappointing looking for a yard sale and finding out the box is from weeks ago.  Plus it makes the neighborhood look trashy.

8. Advertise on social media.  You can pay for an add in the newspaper but this is usually unnecessary.

9. Greet each person that comes to the sale. Don’t be pushy but if someone looks like they are looking for something in particular go ahead and ask them.  Don’t make too much small talk unless they start it.  Definitely don’t tell them your life story.

10.  Wear comfy but appropriate clothing.  Have a chair, a bottle of water, and sunscreen.

11. Before the end of the sale decide what you are doing with the leftovers. Are they going back in bins for another yard sale later?  Or are you going to donate the stuff?  It is perfectly OK to do either or both.  Just don’t put it back in your house. That will defeat the purpose of getting rid of the clutter.

Happy Yard Sale-ing!

 

 

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Disneyland by Yourself

I am going to Disneyland all by myself in September.  There are so many hidden gems that I wanted to see last time and didn’t. I had two of my adult/almost adult children with me and as much as they tried to be patient so I could find the gems they just wanted to go on the rides.  I love them but I am not taking them this time. This time I will take as much time as I need to find all of the hidden gems on my list.

Yes I said I have a list of gems I want to see.  I am organizing my Disneyland trip. My Husband thinks I am crazy.  I know I am going to not remember every gem I want to see and where it is supposed to be so I am making a list and a plan.  I personally enjoy the planning part.

There are 6 parts to the plan.

  1. Budget – How much money do I have to spend and what am I going to spend it on.
  2. Travel-what roads and highways am I going to drive. Where are the bathroom stops?
  3. Where am I staying? Does it have a shuttle?
  4. What am I wearing, what do I need inside of Disneyland and how am I going to carry it?
  5. Schedule-what times are best for everything I want to do?
  6. The list and map of all the gems, rides, resting spots, and bathrooms.

There are several main websites that I use for my planning.  Official Disneyland Website,  Pinterest  and Google.  I usually do my research when I am sitting with my Husband while he watches his TV shows.  I can get a lot accomplished and still spend time with him.

Stay tuned for future posts for each of the 6 parts of the plan.

 

 

 

 

 

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Money, Money, Money!

How much money do you make? What do you spend it on? Does it make you feel secure? Does it make you happy?  If the answer to any of those questions are “I don’t know” then you have an issue.

How much money do I make?

That is usually pretty easy to answer if you are on a salary and it never changes.  Even if you work hourly and don’t get overtime you can pretty much figure out how much you make. There is a big difference in how much you make and how much you get. After taxes, insurance, and retirement are taken out  “how much you make” is very different.  My yearly salary looks really good. Reality is I bring home about half after taxes, insurance and retirement. Do you know how much you are really able to use for daily living? Do you have goals for your money?

What do I spend my money on?

I am married so I don’t get to make that decision all on my own.  How we decide on how much we spend on those things are based on needs and the market.  We have to have somewhere to live, transportation, food, and utilities. We decide how large a home, what location, and how much of a payment we are willing to have.  We decide what kind of transportation we need, how much it is going to cost monthly, and will it function for our needs.  Food and utilities are dependent on the weather, the season, our diet, and the market. This fluctuates month to month.

Others can be cussed and discussed.  Some of the things that we discuss is vacations, home improvements that will add comfort and value but don’t have to happen, and the non reoccurring expenses like running shoes.  These are things we “need” but can live without if we have to.

We have an allowance that is just ours for our stuff that isn’t shared. I use mine for pampering; hair, nails, pedicure, housekeeper, and lunch with my best friend. My husband uses his for shooting matches and anything needed for those.  Having an allowance helps us not fight over money.

Does your money make you feel secure?

Are you comfortable with the amount of money you make? Can you provide for yourself and your family? Are you able to save for emergencies and the future? Is your life comfortable? If the answer is no to any of these there is a solution to your problem.

Take a look at your employment. Do you qualify for a higher paying job that will give you the same satisfaction as the one you have?  Do you need more training or education to get that job? Do you need a side hustle?

Take a look at your expenses. What are you buying that you don’t need? What are you throwing your money away on that could help make your life more comfortable elsewhere?  Our biggest item that we throw money away on is eating out.  Fast food and inexpensive restaurants add up to large amounts of money if you are eating out multiple times a week. What is sucking up your expendable income? At the end of your month look at your bank and credit card statements. Print them out. Use different colored highlighters for different categories. Then total each category. There are also different programs out there that can automate this for you.  Make a decision of what is important to you to keep and what to do without.

Does your money make you happy?

Are you using your money for things that make you happy?  My “extra” money goes for experiences and fabric. My husband’s goes to shooting matches and the equipment needed.  Just to brag a little,  he made #1 of the Governor’s dozen this year.  What do you want your money to do for you?  Do you need a lot in the savings to make you feel happy and secure? Do you need to go on vacations? What about sending your kids to college or trade school?  Take a good look at what makes you happy and adjust your budget and intake to help you achieve that.

Money can cause and eliminate a lot of mental turmoil. It can control you or you can control it. You have to know what your values are on money and what your values in life are and then reconcile the two. There is always a solution to how money controls your life as long as your pay attention to what money is doing for and to you.

 

 

 

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Buying used: save money, save the earth.

I love buying used but I hate shopping.  Unless it is yard sales and thrift shops.  Growing up I wasn’t allowed to go to yard sales or thrift stores.  When I asked why my mother said “we are not Those kind of people”.  That was her answer to a couple of other questions I also asked.  I am not sure what “Those” kind of people are but I have become one.

I craft and sell on Etsy and through this blog.  Sewing is tranquil and helps me unwind from being a social worker.  Sewing feeds the creative part of my inner soul. It can also get really expensive if buying retail from Hobby Lobby even with the 40% off coupon.  I do buy some things from Hobby Lobby. It is the only fabric store in our small town. The majority of my fabrics, threads, ribbons, zippers, and notions come from estate and yard sales.  Occasionally I find sewing supplies in the thrift stores also. This brings down the cost of being creative.

By buying at yard sales and thrift stores I provide a service to those who are selling and the the earth by “recycling” not needed stuff that may have gone into the landfill. Other peoples unwanted stuff becomes my useful stuff.  I only buy things I will actually use and will use in the near future.  When it comes to fabric the near future is the next five years. The majority of my home is furnished and decorated with finds from yard sales and thrift stores.  My clothes come mostly from thrift stores. Except for underclothes those are exclusively brand new.

Buying used also helps the community and yourself. You are providing an income to people that need it the most whether it is the person having the yard sale or the thrift store that provides a community service.  Buying used is almost always a win-win for all involved.

Share with me in the comments how and what you buy used. I enjoy hearing your ideas.