Let me start by saying that this post is not about how I save money to go to Disney World, but rather how I tried to help a social media acquaintance understand that she could do a lot of things to save money and take her family on their much desired trip to Walt Disney World. I’ll write a post one of these days about my own process for saving and being able to visit Disney yearly as a single mom.
I have communicated with several people over the years in Disney World related social media groups. Several years back, one of these people (I’ll call her Belinda for the sake of this post) messaged me asking if on one of my trips I’d bring her back a few inexpensive or “free” souvenirs because she and her family had always wanted to go to Disney World but she thought she’d never be able to go in her lifetime. I really didn’t know her at all but I told her I’d see what I could do for her. I also tried to explain to her that she could make a plan to save a little at a time and take her family on the trip even if it might take her a few years to save.
After a few weeks of chatting on Facebook, Belinda gave me some insight to her family’s situation. She wasn’t working and her husband apparently was working two jobs to make sure they could pay all of their bills. She seemed to be actively looking for a job but you can never really know what people are doing in real life and I had no idea if any of her story was even true or not. I partially was concerned she was hoping to scam me out of money, but as a single mom, I plan out where my money goes and I certainly wasn’t going to send anyone I didn’t actually know in real life any money.
I sent Belinda information that I found about some jobs she could apply for and some ideas for earning extra money. I used to donate plasma (for money…I’m not sure why it’s considered a donation when they pay you) so I asked her if she was able to do that. There were some years where the money I made from the plasma over the course of a year covered my Disney trip for me and my two boys. She said there were no places near her that paid for plasma donation so I went on to suggest selling things she no longer used, whether that was a garage sale or selling on eBay, etc. She said they didn’t have very much as it was so that wouldn’t work. She also shot down any other suggestions I made over the weeks and months that we chatted online.
Because I had been nice to her, she asked if she could get my address so she could send me something that she made for me. I thought this was going towards scam city again but I went ahead and sent her an address in case she was serious. Less than a week later, I got a package in the mail with a homemade wreath that Belinda made for me. It was cute and I immediately thanked her and told her that this is something she could do to help make money for her Disney World trip. If she was spending money on items to make stuff like this, she could try selling them and use that money for her trip fund. She said that she rarely makes things like this and that she didn’t have time to make stuff and try to sell it, but she still had no job so I wasn’t clear on what she was doing with her time and I decided not to ask because if she had wanted me to know, she would have told me by now. Also, I noticed that no matter what I suggested, she made an excuse for why she couldn’t do it.
I suggested that if her family ate out at fast food places or any other restaurants, she could save that money instead and work on just cooking and eating at home more. She said they hardly ate out and that they had to use food banks, etc for groceries. I really felt bad for her if all of this was true. I had plenty of years barely making it paycheck to paycheck and luckily I have a close family and my parents and my aunt and uncle always made sure everyone had food if it came down to it, but I get living under conditions where you can’t do anything extra because of a very limited budget.
After more than two years of keeping in touch with Belinda via social media, I had grown to realize that she was absolutely not going to take any advice I gave her about saving money to take her family to Disney. I did bring her back some things from a few of my trips and mailed them to her, and she was always very happy and grateful. Then one day, she messaged me and told me that she was having a bad week and was going to be having surgery and that she’d feel better if I sent her some stuff from my Disney World collection. I looked through my collection and found a handful of things I was willing to part with and sent them to her. The next week she messaged me and said thank you but that she still felt down and she wanted me to send more stuff…
I’ll admit that I’m not always 100% kind to everyone. If you start to be mean or try to take advantage of me, my family, or my friends, I’m drawing a line. Even though I’d been chatting with Belinda online for a few years, I didn’t really know her and she was starting to make me feel more and more that she was hoping I was going to somehow send her gifts all the time or maybe she thought I’d raise money for her and her family to go to Disney World. I decided I was done playing this game or whatever it was with Belinda.
I wasn’t mean to her, but I let her know that I had already sent her what I was willing to send her and that I wouldn’t be sending her anything else. She told me that I promised to do so and that she was upset that I was going back on my word. Let me be clear in saying that at one point I HAD promised her that I’d send her a few things if I had anything else I was willing to part with, but she didn’t want the things I had. She didn’t want park maps or paper coasters and the random little stuff I bring back with me. I’d already sent her Mickey note pads, pens, collectible transportation cards, character button pins, and even one of the popcorn buckets I had since I don’t really do anything with them. But she wanted more. But she wanted something better. I said no. I wasn’t mean about it, I just apologized and said I wouldn’t be sending “better” stuff just because she wanted it.
I offered to help her with trying to find ways to save money and do a Disney World trip as inexpensively as possible, but she said no thanks. She said she’d never be able to go and she was sad that I wasn’t going to keep sending her stuff. But a month after this happened, she posted pictures of a beach vacation that she and her family took. I know that’s not the same price wise at all compared to going to Disney World, but I took this to mean that she might have been lying about how completely broke her family was. Or maybe she did save money for this vacation but she had hoped I was going to pay for her and her family to go to Disney. I don’t know. I tried to chat with her about her beach vacation and she basically said that she didn’t want to discuss it because her and her husband had just had an argument.
I stopped chatting with Belinda after that and I don’t even see her on social media anymore. Maybe she blocked me? I don’t know, but she clearly didn’t believe me when I told her I’m not rich and that I just plan and save (and work full time) in order to go to Disney World as often as I do. All I know is that I hope she’s Ok, but if I ever run across pictures of Belinda and her family at Disney World, I’m gonna ask her for all of my stuff back. Just kidding….sort of. °O°
I have had several people like this in my life. My hubby and I work hard and put in lots of hours to do what we do. When we were young, starving students, I put aside every penny I could find to travel. And, somehow, we managed to do so when none of our friends could. Traveling is my “happy space.” Thanks for the post. 🙂