Disney College Program Series: How to Save Money on the DCP

Let’s just say it now, being an adult is ROUGH! You work and you work and you work and you get a tiny paycheck and you just want to have a little fun, but fun requires money and you’ve got bills to pay! The Disney College Program is great because it’s a paid internship opportunity, however, it’s not going to pay you loads and there are so many fun things to do in Orlando that cost money. So what are you going to do?

This blog post is going to tell you some of our tips for saving money and being generally thrifty while on you Disney College Program. Honestly, we use most of these tips all of the time, but we went especially hardcore with these techniques when we started our Disney College Program.

BEFORE YOU START SAVING- Figure out your budget. Play around with a spreadsheet and figure out how much you’ll make each week. Don’t forget to also keep track of all of the expenses too. Have a list of your rent, car payment, insurance, etc. To a certain extent, you can control what you make. Pick up extra shifts if you need extra money. Over Time is your best friend! And sometimes you have to work more now so you can play later!

On to the savings tips…

FIRST TIP- We decided we wouldn’t eat out and would grocery shop and cook at home. Fortunately, I am a pretty good cook. But you don’t have to be. Have you heard of Pinterest? Follow me on Pinterest to find some easy recipes that are great for meal planning on a budget! And you know what, we eat A LOT of peanut butter sandwiches. This way, we take our lunches and don’t spend money at the cafeterias at work. Sure a meal might only cost $5, but $5 spent everyday, 5 days a week adds up to $25 per week and $100 over the course of a month! Do you know what you could do with $100?!? We saved for a couple of months and bought Universal Studios passes. And that was just from saving money on that one meal.

SECOND TIP- Find extra little ways to make money. Once you know you’re determined to grocery shop, there are a couple of apps that will actually make you a little extra money when you use them while shopping! When we had to get set up in the apartment, we earned over $25 using just app #1!!!

#1- Ibotta app– if you haven’t tried this app, you need to! You’re already going to be buying groceries, so why not make a little extra? You get “cash back” for certain purchases (verified with a receipt you scan into the app) as as for completing certain challenges within the app. Then you can redeem your cash back via Venmo (this is my new favorite method because it’s actually cash right into my bank account) or various gift cards. You can also get bonus cash back by inviting your friends to join in the savings fun. I’ve earned almost $300 by using this app!

***Join by following this link https://ibotta.com/r/hskqwnc or download the app and put in my referral code hskqwnc. The app is available for android and iOS users. By following my referral link or using my code, you’ll get a $10 bonus when you redeem your first offer!***
#2- Shopkick app- I don’t find this one to be as lucrative as Ibotta, but it’s good for an extra $25-50. And that could cover a meal or souvenir at Disney! Shopkick is still evolving and you can use it similarly to Ibotta or you can use your phone and scan items in the store to earn “kicks”. The nice thing about Shopkick is that you can redeem your kicks for a Disney Gift Card! You’ll get an email with a digital code that you can use to pay for your trip or to pay for things on your vacation. Invite Friends and you each earn 250 kicks!
***Try Shopkick and we’ll both get points toward a free gift card! 😀 Use code GIFT503676 or download http://getsk.co/gift503676

THIRD TIP- Challenge yourself to a NO SPEND WEEK. My friend and I were really ambitious one year and challenged ourselves to a No Spend Month. A month is a long time and sometimes you’re going to have to spend money. However, a Week is MUCH more doable! We have rules for our No Spend Weeks-

  • No spending on luxury want items- i.e. shoes, dresses, make up, candy
  • We can spend money on Gas
  • We can spend money on necessary items. For us this includes: milk, cheese, bread and eggs.
  • Stay off of Amazon. Online shopping will get you every time. It’s so convenient and amazon has such good prices… Just avoid it.
We’ve discovered that having a sweeping “Don’t spend any money” declaration just doesn’t work. But giving yourself lee-way for the necessities makes it a little easier. Just make sure you stick to it.
FOURTH TIP- Don’t use credit cards. It might be tempting, but if you don’t have the cash to pay for it, don’t buy it! Yes you should have fun on the Disney College Program, but don’t go into debt to do that! 
FIFTH TIP- Part A- Enjoy the FREE things! While on your DCP, you have a lot of free perks offered to you by Disney. You can go to any of the Disney parks for free. Ride the rides. Walk around the shops (Don’t buy anything if it’s a NO SPEND WEEK) even treat yourself to a snack. Which brings me to my last tip…
FIFTH TIP- Part B- Know about the discounts Disney Cast Members Enjoy! Keep track of where you can eat for the best deal. Know what merchandise locations give discounts. Remember that certain times of year Disney Cast Members get even BETTER discounts! Save and plan for those times. 
If you follow our tips, you’ll find you have the money you need for fun, and you’ll be able to save a little too, if you want. We’ve been able to pay all of our bills and save for fun as well! It’s totally doable!!! 

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