Here's a hint about my exciting news... Don't quite know? How about this hint... We're planning a family trip! We've never taken a family vacation with just the 5 of us. Since we live so far away from family, visiting family is usually our "vacation." Which is fine, it's nice to see family...but we have never gone someplace just for fun with just our little family. We've gone and stayed in a hotel, but that is when we are traveling to/from family or at a conference for hubby's work. I know I complained a bit about Hubby being so aggressive in paying bills and putting money in savings, but now I am SOOO thankful. He put money away to pay our taxes, but we ended up owing a lot less than what we though we would. So...if we continue being frugal, we are planning on a trip to FLORIDA in the beginning of 2009. We've done some research that January is one of the least expensive and least crowded times to visit "the Mouse" so that is our plan. I did call today to find out about reserving and booking the vacation, and they won't even come out with their 2009 rates until August... :o( so we'll have to wait to make concrete plans until then, so we'll just keep saving and making our plans. I have some friends who have just gotten back, and another friend who is going this summer, so I hope I can get some great tips from them. If any of you have been there and have any tips on how to make it more fun, and more economical, please pass them along!
One thing we are doing is letting the kiddos earn what we are calling "Mickey Money" I have made a chart with each Saturday until we leave listed. Each week that they keep up with their chores and keep their room picked up, I will put a sticker on their chart and when we are getting ready to go, we will count their stickers and that is how much money they get to spend on souvenirs while we are there.
When we were talking about the trip with the kids, we explained that we would not be going out to eat all that much, and buying extra toys will probably be out of the picture for a while. And, since we will be making the trip soon after Christmas, we will probably be a bit skimpy in the gift department. Saving money for our trip is what will focus on, believe it or not they were all fine with that. Bethany even went to her room and brought her piggy bank out to the living room and asked if that money would be enough, she's been saving "ALL MY LIFE!!" :o) How precious is that?