Making Your Money Work For You


Georgia Aquarium Cost

A couple of weeks ago (July 2018) we took  a trip to the Georgia Aquarium in the heart of Atlanta. It was surprising at how much the entire day (or really just 3.5 hours) cost. Here is the break down of what we spent for 4 adults, 1 toddler, and 1 baby at the Georgia Aquarium.

We went before 11am so we paid $30.95/ adult ticket. The toddler & baby were free, as 2 & under are free, making the total for the tickets with tax $135.

$13/vehicle and we brought 2 vehicles for a total of $26.

We got the following food items for 4 adults & 1 toddler. We probably could have gotten less food, but you didn’t know what was going to be in the next line & didn’t want to have wait again, so we just grabbed as went through. Below is what we purchased:

2 chicken fingers with fries
1 hamburger
4 salad plates with some hot bar options
1 side of fries
3 cupcakes
5 drinks
Total spent on food: $112

We did not do any of the add-on reserve seating, tours, or behind the scenes experiences. These can range from $5/person to $470/person. Also, we did not buy anything in the gift shop. The total that we spent for our entire trip was $273.

The food was what I feel like wasn’t worth the price paid. The seating for eating was limited, and there weren’t very many healthy choices. The kids meal was a pre-made PBJ sandwich with a pre-packaged fruit cup. Overall it was an expensive day, but also a fun one for the toddler & baby that love fish!

How much does it cost to go to Walt Disney World in 2018?

My family (party of 3 — 2 adults & 1 toddler) went to Disney for 5 days/6 nights from May 6, 2018 – May 12, 2018. This post breaks down the cost and shows the total amount spent on this super fun & memorable trip.

—Hotel: My husband had some hotel points that we were able use. Had we not used hotel points the room that we got would have been approximately $150/night. This was a nice hotel room (Homewood Suites) that was a one bedroom suite. It had a small kitchen with a dishwasher, two stove top burners, kitchen sink, & small table. It had a living room area with a TV & pull out sofa. Then in the bedroom was one kingsize bed and the bathroom.
TOTAL HOTEL COST (if not paying with points): $900

—Transportation to Orlando: Since we live in Atlanta, we were able to drive to Orlando in a day. We did fill up the gas tank before we left and once during the trip each way (using the extra for gas while in Orlando). Gas was approximately $25/tank with 4 tanks, costing in $100 for gas.
Wear & tear on the car does cost something. Using the government reimbursement of 54.5 cents/mi at 450mi each way, the wear & tear by using the car cost approximately $500 for use of the car to get there.

—Disney Tickets & Memory Maker (for photos): 5-Day Ticket with Admission to 1 Park Per Day (Ages  10+) is $395 and for 2 adults is $790. Since our little guy is under 3, he did not need a ticket. The tickets do vary in cost depending on length of stay, if you get a park hopper. Head over to the tickets website (link here: for current prices.
With the tickets we purchased a memory maker in advance for the pictures, which cost $169. Then taxes for everything came out to around $50.

—Food: Most mornings we ate breakfast either at the hotel (included with our room), or we ate some of the groceries that we purchased at the beginning of the week. We spent an approximate $100 for these groceries.
We ate all of our lunches at Disney and here are the places & amount spent each day.
Meals at Disney:
May 7 – $50 at Mexican Pavilion (Lunch) – Epcot
May 8 – $40 Columbia Harbour House (Lunch) – Magic Kingdom
May 9 – $80 Garden Grill (Breakfast) – Epcot & $12 Mexican Pavilion (Lunch – Kid’s meal only) – Epcot
May 10 – $118 Tusker’s (Lunch) – Animal Kingdom
May 11 – $36 – Pinocchio Village (Lunch) – Magic Kingdom
Total for meals eaten at Disney of $336. This results in an average of $67/meal at Disney.
      Every day at Disney we also got a small snack to share and an extra bottle of water, which was about $20/snack, making that $100 total for snacks.
For dinner while in Orlando we ate at non-tipping restaurants outside of the park at places like Tom & Cheese, and Noodle & Co, which ended up being a maximum of $30/ dinner. This comes to a total of $150 for dinners.
Also, while traveling in the car we spent $20/meal on the road each way for both lunch & dinner, which totals $80.

While at Walt Disney World, we spent about $20/ day on Souvenirs for 5 days.

$22/ day for 5 days of parking of a standard size vehicle.

Final Cost Total:




The Cost of a Low Key Kardashian Baby Shower

First comes Love,
Then comes Marriage,
Then comes Junior in a Baby Carriage!

After a wedding the next biggest expensive party is a baby shower. While baby showers aren’t nearly as elaborate as weddings (or most aren’t) they are still something that can either the parents-to-be or the person hosting will need to make sure they have enough funds for. The baby shower in the cost break down below would be considered a very nice baby shower with a plated lunch and a custom cake & cookies. This baby shower was also held at a low key Country Club. The over feel of the very nice baby shower is more in line as a low key Kardashian Baby Shower.

Cost of Daycares in the Atlanta Area

Literally the day after I was cleared to drive after having my baby I went looking at daycares. I looked at 3 different places.

Daycare A – The Goddard School)
– Good location – A few minutes away from our house. Convenient for both of us to take or pick him up
– Good staff – they were knowledgeable & friendly. Anyone could tell how much they love the kids
– Fun atmosphere. All of the classrooms were decorated with kid crafts
– good security with 2 sets of doors to get in & each family’s had 4 digit unique code to open the second set of doors

– Crowded facility- in the infant class there were 16 babies. This seemed like too many to me. With germs spreading like wildfire at daycares I wanted my baby to be around as few kids as possible. The infant room also seemed extremely small given the 16 kids, as well as all of the other rooms were maxed out.
– Franchised own – with being a franchise their is a greater risk of the daycare being sold versus a company owning it. With a franchise it would depend a lot on how good that particular owner was. The director that we spoke with had only great things to say of this owner; however, he had owned another daycare else & sold it previously. So I would be concerned that if it were sold that the new owner wouldn’t be as good.

Daycare B -Legacy Academy)
– Excellent Great location – both my husband & I would definitely be able to take or pick him up
– We know 2 Families that send their kids there & are happy with it

– Bad online reviews
– Lack of Security – one set of doors that anyone could walk through
– Unprofessional staff – the 2 people in the infant room when I was touring didn’t seem to even like babies. Granted the main teacher wasn’t there that day though.There was one poor baby crying for attention at one of the staff’s feet & had I not been touring the daycare, I seriously doubt she would have picked him up. Also, the director that gave us the tour didn’t know very many details & I believe she had been there for awhile.
– Franchised own – according to the bad online reviews the owner that purchased it 5 years ago is only interested in money. Again being a franchise it is super dependent on the individual owner.

Daycare C)
– Wonderful facility (they even have a water park for the preschoolers)
– Very nice staff- I could tell that the infant teacher really cared for the babies
– Seemed very focused on education
– Excellent security with finger print identification & bulletproof glass windows
– Owned by a private company, so not dependent on an individual owner
– We know 1 family that sent their kids & were happy with it
– Location is not the best. It would take me a round trip of an hour to take him and then another hour to pick him up

Based on these Pros & Cons I rated them as follows:
Daycare C – Best
Daycare A – The Goddard School – Good
Daycare B – Legacy Academy – Worst

Now on the to the money part…….
Daycare C is $16,404/yr
The Goddard School is $13,520/yr
Legacy Academy is $12,021/yr

Given the differences between the daycares we went with Daycare C, which I deemed as the best but most expensive option. I was actually surprised that Legacy Academy wasn’t cheaper, because it didn’t seem to be up to par to be $1.5K behind The Goddard School. With Daycare C I truly believe that we are getting what we are paying for. I didn’t mention this in the Pros as I believe that all 3 daycares do this but included in the cost are diapers, wipes, & ointments, which makes the $16.4K a year easier to swallow. Since this is where my baby is spending the majority of his time during the work week, I definitely wanted him to have the best and out of these 3 I’m glad we went with Daycare C 🙂

Look out for Refinancing PITFALLS!

While there are different reasons refinance, such as needing access to more cash or needing to make a smaller monthly payment, the overall obvious reason would be to improve your financial position. In order to ensure that doing a refinance will actually improve your financial position, you WILL have to do your homework up front and run the numbers in advance. Thinking that refinancing will automatically help you is wrong.

The REMOTE Benefit That Employers Overlook

ID-10033816With the current technology available consisting of laptops, internet, software
applications and mobile device, some employers are overlooking a key benefit to offer their employees. The cost of this benefit is actually not even a cost but a cost savings for the employer and the employee. The benefit is the flexibility to work REMOTELY. Granted as with any benefit employees need to realize that if you abuse a benefit, then at some point you will loose it. I am an expert on working remotely given that I have had some remote days for 75% of career. It has been one of the wonderful things that make putting many extra hours worth it, by having the flexibility of not having to go into the office every day. Over the course of my remote days I have noted the following benefits for employers and employees.

The TRUE Cost of Moving

ID-100294809Over the course of the past couple of months, I have found a loved one a new house, purchased the new house, helped move them, updated their old house, gotten the old house on the market, and now am in the process of the old home being under contract with less than 2 weeks until closing.
By having an actual TRUE example, I’m going to lay out the foundation to consider what to BUDGET for your next move.

Keep in mind that the entire point of budgeting out the move and knowing the TRUE cost is so that you can plan ahead. This way you will know exactly what you can and cannot afford. The last thing you want to do is move into your new place with remorse of over-spending and not preparing a budget. Here are the big items to consider:

Is there Value in Peer to Peer Lending?


Last February I signed up with one of the reputable peer to peer (P2P) lending sites. I had heard good things about peer to peer lending from several blogs & articles. Even on one of Suze Orman’s last episodes she said that if you have everything else in order (like an ample emergency fund, contributing to your retirement fund, no debt, etc.) that she thought P2P was just fine.

The Real Money Boss…is Coming To Town!

There are 2 Types of people in this world…those who work for their money & those whose money works for them!
Ok really, most people are a blend of the 2 types listed above. But my goal is to be more of the latter, so that I can have enough money to spend my time doing what I want to do and less time doing things that I don’t want to do….like work. The purpose of The Real Money Boss is to help all of us get more to a point of our money working for us!

There are no more results.