We Went to Disney on One Dollar!

For those of you that know our family or have seen our recent Facebook Live video (click here) you know how we did it, and you know we have a really hard time being normal! Let me start by saying there was no pixie dust or magic coupon code. However, the truth is, we really truly only invested one dollar of our family’s normal income into a Disney World Vacation. Hang with me . . .

A bit of a recap: In February of 2016 our family started the Doubling Project. (If you know this bit, feel free to jump ahead.) It was a homeschool project. An attempt to show our kiddos that if we doubled one dollar twenty times, we would arrive at one million! (It’s true! Do the math!).

So, my husband, Jamie, and the kiddos set out to our local Goodwill, bought a ceramic gnome for $1 and sold it that same day for $2. We continued the process (videos of our early purchases are on the blog), buying a $2 item and selling it for $4, a $4 item for $8, and so on. We made it twelve rounds–a little over $4000 in less than five months. Note: Our blog shows the last two rounds posted one year later . . . let’s just say we got a bit sidetracked with our side account and put our social media aside to figure out what in the world was going on.

Our rule was to at least double our purchase price, but often times, we would sell our items for way more than double. We reinvested the doubled amount and dropped the rest into a side account. During this time, our kiddos decided to double their own money by buying and selling. We created an account for them, handled their transactions but allowed them to make the decision as to how much they wanted to spend and what they wanted to buy. By now they could purchase whatever they wanted. At one point our now thirteen-year-old saved enough to buy a new iPhone 6S, and our son purchased (with 100% of his own Doubling money) the new Nintendo Switch.

The side account was growing as we were working our way up the rounds. We used it to go to the movies, out to dinner, and have a little extra fun without ever touching what we considered our budget for our monthly expenses–all of it originating from our original $1!

In late April of 2016, we received notice that Disney was offering their free meal plan. Without our kiddos knowing, we put down $200 of our side account money–knowing we had thirty days to cancel if we changed our mind. Unsure of whether or not we wanted to go, we didn’t tell the kiddos what we had done.

We began to make payments on the trip, all with the money earned from our original $1!

In the House of Brandenburg, we begin thinking about Christmas early–even the grandparents begin asking for lists! But that year, our kiddos had nothing to ask for. Everything they wanted, they had bought on their own. That’s when we began to get sneaky and hatched our plan . . . we would give them the Disney trip for Christmas! We put the Doubling Project on hold and began to work (double from) the side account—buying and selling our way to Disney. We spent our extra time at second-hand stores, yard sales, and auctions as a family! (Can you tell that family time is really important to us?)

We would leave mid-December. Disney allows cancellation without fees up to 31 days prior to the start of your trip. In our minds, Disney was almost like a savings account. If something came up, we would cancel and our kiddos would be none the wiser.

Because all our family is out of state, it is not unusual for us to leave for Christmas a week or two early. So, that is what we told the kiddos. We would have our family Christmas at the house two weeks early–complete with our own Christmas eve and day. We put fake dates on the calendars, conspired with grandparents, and made up stories about the Christmas cantata in Ohio and church Christmas party in Kentucky (I’m an author, making up stuff is what I do!).

In October we made our last payment to Disney, again using only money from our Doubling Project side account originating from the initial $1 investment.

Jamie and I used side account to money to fill the stockings and even purchase a few items to go under the tree–just for show. Oh, and did I mention we decided to fly! After figuring up what it would cost to drive and how much extra we would need to fly, Jamie decided we would take what we had learned through Doubling to buy tickets. Then it was our Christmas morning! (I’ll let you just watch that one whenever you get a moment!)


One dollar! We started with one dollar! Less than a year later from the purchase of our little gnome, we completely paid for a family vacation to Disney (over a $7500 value!) and made it back home in time to be with our families for Christmas!

This year we are doing it again . . . not Disney, but something super fun and a bit more simple! (We don’t want to put our selves in a position where we feel like each year has to outdo the next. It is about the memory, not about how much money.) Our kiddos are still doubling and have nothing to ask for except more family memories. (I know that sounds super sappy, but it’s true! We asked them!) We haven’t made it to a million yet–life jumped in the way, but we have decided to start over, and we are inviting YOU to join us!

This time we are starting with $5–it’s just easier, less small bills. We are taking eight weeks to help families earn a little extra without getting a second job. Do you want to join us? (click here) You don’t have to give us anything–no money, DNA, or background check! We love family and believe in teaching others how to regain their time. We are going to show you how to turn $5 into $1280 in just 60 days as a FAMILY! We’ll tell you where to buy and how to sell. We would truly love to have you follow our journey and let us help you along the way! We are always posting our finds and deals on Facebook, so give us a follow! Jump in at any time!


Until our next adventure – Lauren



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