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Weekly Update #4- Orlando Trip


Hey everybody!

I’m back from my visit with my sister and my nephew. I couldn’t be more stoked that I went. An amazing trip. I got to Orlando on Wednesday night/ Thursday morning at 12:30AM (just barely, though. I made my connecting flight by the skin of my teeth. 2 minutes later and they would have taken off without me.) Since my sis and her fiance are both Cast Members at Walt Disney World, we spent all of Thursday at Magic Kingdom with the baby. Friday was spent hanging out with my sister and other family that was visiting, while her fiance worked. Saturday was spent at Epcot and Animal Kingdom and I left very early Sunday morning.

Here’s a picture of me and baby on my favorite ride, Living with the Land, in Epcot:

Disney Pic


He was so amazing and seemed to love the rides we took him on (if sleeping on them means loving them, lol). The only ride he didn’t like was Haunted Mansion, which he just screamed and screamed and screamed on.

OK, so for the financial aspect of my journey, I had budgeted $200.00 (above the $70 I normally carry in cash) for the trip, but it ended up tallying $280.00, give or take. I took it all in cash and had too much change left over to count, I just threw it all in my change jar. I would have been pretty close if I had accounted for the $25 in baggage fees each way for my checked bag. Oh well, I’ll know better next time. The remaining $230.00 was spent mainly on food. I bought dinner on Wednesday (McDonald’s) when I arrived, snacks throughout Magic Kingdom on Thursday, dinner at Sweet Tomatoes Thursday night, dinner at Downtown Disney on Friday night and snacks throughout the day on Saturday. Given the fact we ate so much in Disney, the damage could have been much worse, but my sis gets a pretty nice Cast Member discount that could be used at each stop.

So, here’s what my budget looks like for February:

Weekly Update #4

I have yet to return the juicer (ugh), but I’ve vowed to do that sometime this week, hopefully as early as tonight. But thankfully, even though I spent a majority of week in Florida, I was still able to pay $497.85 on my student loans, which brings the tallies to:

Loan NameInterest RateOriginal Balance- May '09Current BalanceTotal Paid Off
Sallie Mae 015.25$27,837.24$24,462.48$3,374.76
Sallie Mae 024.75$22,197.02$19,189.15$3,007.87
Sallie Mae 037.75$20,692.10$655.99$20,036.11
Sallie Mae 045.75$10,350.18$7,723.61$2,226.57
Sallie Mae 055.25$6,096.03$5,356.99$739.04
Sallie Mae 06 & 074.75$6,415.09$0.00$6,415.09
Sallie Mae- DOE 015.25$5,000.00$0.00$5,000.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 025.25$3,000.00$0.00$3,000.00

My current slush fund balance didn’t change from the previous post:

Slush Fund= $2,577.57

For the following week, with V-day (Saturday) and my birthday (Sunday) coming up we have some plans for the weekend, but nothing that will cost a significant amount. I have some money budgeted and a pretty good plan for my V-day gift, but I can’t reveal how much and what I’m buying until next week (my GF reads this too, lol). How is everyone else going to spend their Valentine’s Day? Do you treat it like a holiday to celebrate your spouse, or do you see it as a “Hallmark Holiday”? Let me know in the comments! I know couples that do both. Some see it as a nice day to enjoy time together, and others just see it as another day.


  • Reply Jackie |

    We usually just do a card and I make a nice meal at home. This year we kind of splurged due to getting our tax refund. We just combined some big ticket items that we were getting to count as valentine’s day gift. I got an awesome Ninja Blender. I love this thing. Even though it’s $160 it does everything include being a food processor and I use it daily. We also ordered a total gym which will be here on Thursday hopefully. We will be going out to dinner with some couples from church on Friday. This is the most we’ve ever done around Valentine’s day.

  • Reply Ashley |

    What a fun trip! Being related to a Disney cast member definitely has its perks! : )
    Pre-babies we’d always do something on Valentine’s Day, but often went a less conventional route. Instead of dinner & a movie we’d go on a hike, get stuff to make our own at-home sushi, or something similar. We’ve never been big on gifts for V-Day, but I like to acknowledge it and spend some time together. : )

    • Reply Matt |

      Yeah it certainly does, lol. She gets free tickets for guests to use throughout the year, unlimited tickets for her family to the parks, 10-20% off everything in the stores, including food and they just go a 40% off perk for the holidays that hasn’t ended yet. It’s pretty awesome. And us too for V-day. I think we’re both happy as long as we get to spend time together.

  • Reply Den |

    Sounds like a fun trip – and while you probably could have spent less on snacks, it wasn’t an outrageous amount to spend. So glad you got to hang out with your nephew!

    • Reply Matt |

      Yeah I probably could have, but honestly, I wish I had the ability right now to have spent. With her having the child now, I know their budgets are hanging by a thread, so it would have been nice to pay for everything and really help them out. And thanks- he was amazing!

  • Reply jill |

    I’m 43 and my first trip to Disney was on January 16…(my daughter got married at the Shades of Green)…I love the Haunted Mansion. Anyways, we came back to NY and it’s about 10 degrees. I miss Walt Disney World 🙁

    • Reply Matt |

      Yep- I feel you. The day I got back on Sunday, I saw our 10 day forecast was showing this Sunday having a high of 0 and a low of -6. It’s bad enough having post-Disney depression, but to come back to weather that like is enough to make you go crazy, lol.

  • Reply Sue |

    I think you did FANTASTIC for the price of things in Disney – your sister must get one heck of a discount!!!

    We don’t really do anything for Valentine’s Day, but we honestly don’t really exchange gifts for any holiday – we have been married for 32 years, have everything we need, so usually just use the money to get/fix something around the house. This year we are getting new french doors since ours have dry rot at the bottom. Romantic, huh 🙂

    • Reply Walnut |

      I like your idea of romance, Sue. My favorite was the year I gifted myself a pair of torsion springs for my garage door.

    • Reply Matt |

      She does! The Cast Members get some real nice perks! Hahaha, someday I’m hoping to say the same thing- to have everything you need sounds like a fantastic realization.

  • Reply Jean |

    You were only there for 4 days, and you checked a bag? This surprises me, as frugal as you are. You should have easily been able to get by with a rollerboard & backpack for that amount of time. That would have saved you $50, and you would’ve been closer to your goal/budget. I’m going to Cancun next week for 4 days – no checked bags.

    • Reply Matt |

      Ugh…I checked a bag. No excuses there other than I packed a ton of winter clothes (and I used them!), I def should have known known better. Could be sitting $50 closer to my goal right now.

So, what do you think ?