The first year our family went to Disneyland, our trip was mostly paid for with the "Give a Day, Get a Day" promotion. The next year we used our coupon savings and last year we used some of the Etsy shop earnings. Our goal is to always use money that isn't part of our normal monthly budget.
When Zak and I started talking about next year's trip we decided to make two changes.
One: Disney World instead of Disneyland
Two: Save in a way that involves the kids a lot more. They understand that they give up some "extras" in order to go on our yearly trips, but they are getting old enough (and money management is something we want them to understand at a young age) to really be a part of the whole saving process.
After tossing around a couple of ideas (My brainchild: make vinyl signs that say "No soliciting" and have the kids sell them door to door. Still brilliant.), but finally settled on one.
This year we are earning money for Disney by selling trash.
Crazy? Even crazier-we have earned $300 so far, JUST THIS MONTH (and the month is not over yet)!
Our neighborhood is on the ghetto side, which is awesome because they throw everything away. From artificial trees to perfectly good strollers, refrigerators, desks, dollhouses, bookshelves, literally the kitchen sink.... You name it, I can find it on the side of the road on trash day. A lot of the stuff we give to friends/family that I know can use it, some we donate just to keep it out of the landfill, and some we sell.
The great thing is there is no up front investment, the kids are helping out (and so excited!!), they are full participating in the saving effort, we are teaching them first hand about paying tithing, and it's working better then we ever anticipated. My goal originally was to earn $200/month, but we have already exceeded that. Not sure if it will keep up, but I hope it does! And our local Goodwill is benefiting because I've been dropping off quite a bit there that I don't feel like selling but hate to see in the trash. Win. Win. Win.
Edited to add: Zak wants me to clarify that we are not white trash. Though it does sound like it from this post. We are merely saving the environment. But we're not tree huggers either. Not sure what category we fall into actually. People who make money in unconventional ways? The kids say we're a "trash picking family" but I just hope they don't call us that to their teachers at school. We might get some phone calls.