Festival season is swiftly approaching! This means that travel plans are underway, time off requests are in, and outrageous outfits are being put together. Ideally, you have your festival tickets already purchased and are putting away money towards all of the other expenses that come with a concert ticket, especially festivals that involves camping. Most of us, however, have rent, utilities, children, etc., making it difficult to start saving early in the game. There’s also the fact that there are festivals every weekend, all over the country and it seems as if everyone has a killer line-up these days, making it even harder to choose what to spend your money on. The key is to choose a couple you have been dying to go to and start a budget.
You don’t have to miss out this year! Boosting your bank account can be easier than you think. Check out our 8 tips and tricks for saving money this festival season.
1. Lists, Lists and More Lists
It may sound silly, but making a list can save you a lot of money. Start with the list of items you’re going to need for the weekend and figure out if there is anything you may be able to borrow from family members or friends. This is especially ideal if you only plan on attending a couple of events. It’s not necessary to purchase expensive equipment you’re only going to use once. Make a list of things you’ll need to purchase and keep your eyes peeled for sales early.
Also, don’t forget to make a list of things to pack. This is important! Believe me, it’s not going to be a happy start to your weekend when you realize you forgot something as essential as your tent poles or sunscreen. Sure, the General Store will have it, but be ready to pay an arm and a leg if you take that route.
2. Buy Your Meals Beforehand
Having meals prepared doesn’t mean that you can’t eat festival food. There’s going to be yummy dishes that you’re going to want to try and by no means should you deprive yourself all weekend. Just remember that you’re going to be paying something like $8 for a pulled pork sandwich or chicken teriyaki.
The key to saving money when it comes to food, is to choose wisely. Set aside a small amount for treats and buy something you really want or can’t get anywhere near your hometown. Hit up the grocery store before you go. Make sure to purchase items like ready made salads, fruit, cheese, and trail mix. If you think only bringing a box of granola bars for the whole weekend because you’ll be too busy raging is a huge mistake. You’re going to end up eating the cheapest food you can buy with little to no nutritional value and the stomachache won’t be worth it. (Plus you save money on Tums and Pepto)
3. Keep the ATM Trips to a Minimum
No one wants to carry around a lot of cash. In fact, many of us don’t even have cash in our pockets nowadays. At a festival though, it is essential. There are going to be vendors that only take cash and besides, who wants to swipe their cards 35 times in one weekend? Imagine the fees and the time you waste waiting in line.
The fee to take out money can be upwards of $6 and most banks charge an additional fee for not using one of their machines. Save yourself the hassle and make a trip to the bank before you head on your trip.
4. Have a Purchasing Plan
If you’ve been dying to put some original artwork up in your apartment, then don’t spend it all on beer. Finally found that amazing article of clothing you have been dreaming about since you saw it last year? Go for it. Just take a moment to think before impulse buying everything in sight and you will have cash for the important stuff.
5. Live the General Admission Life
Some people are all about the VIP life and that’s totally alright. Just remember, if you’re spending hundreds, even thousands, at one festival, that you’re eliminating your chances of attending a lot of events this summer.
A lot of festival goers would agree that general admission is equal to (if not better) than VIP. Sure, there may be some waiting in long lines here and there, but you will meet a heck of a lot more people and you’ll spend more time enjoying the music than you do your cushy cabin. To each their own, just make sure to check out the included perks to see if it is worth the extra cash!
6. Buy Your Tickets Early
This one took me years of attending festivals before I realized how much money I could be saving by buying them early. If it is an event that you know you’re going to want to go to, try to fit the ticket price in your budget months in advance.
If worse comes to worst, you can always sell your ticket if you can’t attend. You’ll save yourself up to a couple hundred dollars, but if you really can’t swing it that early, there’s no shame in asking for a ticket for a Christmas gift!
This year, a lot of festivals are finding a new way to help our planet by trying their best to eliminate single rider cars by charging a fee for anyone who attends alone. It may be a little irritating to some, but it saves a lot of space for those fests that have car camping and it is a great way to make new friends.
Carpooling is a great way to save money on gas. If you carpool with enough people, they may even give more money than what gas is worth! Ka-ching!
8. Camping Hacks
Have a plan for what you need to bring and make sure you are not over packing. There are tons of ways to save money when it comes to camping, everything from water bottle showers to ways to heat up your Spaghettio’s. Also, consider what you will actually use over the weekend (DVD player? Probably Not. Portable Fan? YES!) and study up before you spend a fortune on a portable toilet tent or an expensive camping stove that you won’t even use.
Any tips or tricks for saving money that we forgot? Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!