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Friday, November 30, 2012

Powerball winner-what would you do with the money?

One of the winners for the record $588 Powerball winner came forward this morning- and the gas station they purchased it at is literally 15 minutes from my house. My mother in law drove by the gas station that night, nearly stopped, but bought a ticket from a gas station closer to home. It's just crazy to think how close we are to the winner. I always hope that if it isn't me or my family that won, that someone who needs/deserves it does, and that appears to be the case.

Something you'll usually find quoted from the winner- they always comment that they can finally travel. Actually, one of the exact quotes from one of the winners in the article I linked above-

"It's really going to be nice to spend time — not have to work — and be able to take trips with our family."

And that really hit home with me-why Disney is really my passion.

You travel with your family because you have fun, it's not the normal grind, you make memories. It's why I love Disney, I love my job, and I always will. Someone wins a giant pile of money-they aren't sure yet what they will spend the money on, but they can say they will travel. Because vacations, spending time with family, letting go of your job, not having to stress-a vacation is a place where you get to enjoy each other.

Think about a vacation-it's not a  brand new car, but a car is certainly useful. It's not a giant 3D/LCD/Plasma TV. It's not an iPhone. These items are definitely nice, and provide some momentarily happiness.

A vacation is times of joy, elation, bottled up excitement. Smiles, trying out new things you never would have. It's something you'll never forget. Look around your house- how many pictures do you have hanging up of your family on vacation?

One of the most popular vacations is Disney. Why? Because Disney is a one-stop-shop: food, entertainment, lodging, transportation, all the while putting you in a magical place with top notch customer service. Tell me you don't LOVE life walking down Main Street USA (until you get to Starbucks. Ok, ok, enough complaining).

You don't have to be a record setting winner to go and have the same feeling, make the same memories. Maybe it's once a year, versus one a week, but you get my drift.

The beauty of Disney is that it can be great for people who do want to save some money, and it's also great for those who have a little bit looser of a budget. While your experience will be slightly different, the end result is not-smiles, laughter, and a lifetime of memories.

I live in Missouri (unfortunately not Dearborn, Missouri, home of the Powerball winner), and we have been to Disney four out of the past five years. I'm by no means a member of the wealthy elite. I have a second job, in education. My husband works in minor league baseball. Some people are so scared of the cost of a Disney trip- yes, it's going to cost a little more than some vacations. All it takes is a little budgeting, saving, and a plan to go. It's that simple.

We allocate a monthly allowance to our Disney vacation, and it's not a crippling amount-what are we going to do instead? We could eat out a couple more times, buy a few more clothes, really, just waste the money... I swear, we could spend $200 at Target and have no idea what we bought but a gallon of milk. You put that money towards a Disney vacation, you will know, and remember, where that money went. I'll never forget my daughter screaming in pure joy and adulation the first time she layed her little eyes on the Cinderella's Castle, or when she gave Minnie Mouse a bear hug. My son, almost a year old, dancing with cast members at the Main Street Confenctionary (the Candy store) to a parade. Look at that look on daughter's face the first time on the Teacups ride-think any t-shirt I bought her could have the same reaction?

It just jumped off the page this morning when I read that quote, and I was reminded of how many times I have seen it in similar stories. Your children, grand parents-family-they are only this age once. Don't put off traveling, vacations, and the lifetime of memories you'll receive, for the extra money in your bank account to spend on other things. At the end of the day, this is what you will always cherish and hold on to.

To make a Disney vacation happen, it takes $200 to reserve your room. From there, you can make whatever payments you want, as big or as small. It's not THAT much-consider the value you are getting out of this purchase. I would pay a billion dollars for the memories I've had. You just have pay off your trip 45 days before your first day at Disney. I've planned trips on the smallest budget, and some budgets that I wish I could experience. Of course, like I mentioned earlier- you're going to have a blast regardless.

If you want to feel like you won the Powerball-carefree, happy, joyous- then send me an email at and I'll plan you the vacation of a lifetime.

Also, if you have, or in the future, win the Powerball, feel free to send me an email as well. Hey, you could bring me to be your personal Disney tour guide!

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