Back in college I was struggling to financially keep up with all of the events that I wanted to go to; I resorted to eating ramen with eggs everyday, having other people drive me around so that I wouldn’t have to pay $60 a tank for my car, and working two jobs on campus. Even this wasn’t enough; I had to dip into my savings to be able to buy extra items that I needed for these events (outfits, transportation, etc). Throughout my years of raving, I’ve figured out a few little secrets of my own that allowed me to afford all of the events I had attended! Here are five tips for anyone looking to save money for your next massive/event!
1. Two Words: Separate Bank Accounts
Wish you thought of that earlier, don’t you? This may sound like a little too much for some people, but a separate savings/checking account can go a long way for a raver. A separate account would easily display how much you have invested into something, possibly a future event that you’ve been dying to go to. It’s especially handy when your job directly deposits your paycheck into your account because after a few clicks on your computer (or smart phone) you can easily transfer money between accounts! Shop around before you set up an account with the bank you have; there are different banks that have high yield savings accounts that could give you free money. Hey, it might not be a lot at first, but the more you deposit into that account the more money you get back! Some banks that offer yield saving accounts are Ally (I use this one), Capital One, and Synchrony. There are plenty of others that you may be more comfortable using, just choose the right fit for you!
2. Get Crafty
Once in a while I splurge a bit on custom bras and it is so worth every penny! But for EDC I was dirt poor and couldn’t afford the luxury of buying outfits for all three days; so I went to Michaels (Joanne’s, Hobby Lobby, pretty much any craft store) and invested in a tub of diamonds, rolls of ribbons, pearls, and flowers to design my very own bra! My secret weapon to making a bra: a hot glue gun with lots of glue sticks. There are alternative fabric glues for gluing tinier pieces to the bra, but a glue gun can take care of 90% of your outfit. I look for inspiration through other’s custom designs, but don’t copy them. I take pieces from different outfits and combine them into mine to make it unique. Honestly, my bras aren’t the same quality, but I’ve created a couple pieces that I’m proud to say that are my own. So instead of buying a bra for around $90, I made mine for $35 (materials included) and paired it with my fave iHeartRaves bottoms, leg wraps, and fluffies, and viola I had a cute little EDC outfit!
3. Book Flights in Advance
I can’t stress this enough, you need to PLAN AHEAD OF TIME! Unless you’re rolling in cash, you’re going to be losing a lot of money if you wait until a month before the event to buy a plane ticket. Tickets are always cheaper when you book at least three months before your trip, so once you buy that festival pass think about transportation! Also, I’ve noticed that Southwest flight prices drop on Tuesdays (not guaranteeing anything though!). When I was booking my flight for TomorrowWorld, I thought I got a deal on this roundtrip from SFO to ATL for a total of $370. However, I got curious, so I checked Southwest every Tuesday to see if they had cheaper tickets. Luckily, I managed to snag a deal for a $300 roundtrip ticket and that extra $70 went to my booze-bag!
Another way to find cheap flights is to use comparison sites like Kayak and Momondo. I personally haven’t used these websites, but they each allow you to compare airline flights and prices. Some flights may have layovers and usually nonstop flights are a higher price. I’ve used Airfarewatchdog so that I could be alerted when the lowest prices were available, but I was constantly bombarded with emails so I stopped using them.
4. Sharing Is Caring
When you’re planning on going to an event that requires you to pack your entire life into a small bag like say, a camping event, remember that you don’t have to pack EVERYTHING. Talk to your friends and see what they have. You might have something that they need too! Before buying any new rave attire, I always ask my girl friends if they have anything I can borrow. Depending on what you need, it could possibly save you up to a $100. And when it comes to road trips, bring snacks to share with your friends! You’ll cut down on eating out, plus they’re more likely to share their snacks with you too. Other small things you can easily share are toothpaste, eyelash glue (for your face gems), and of course, gum! I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve made because of gum!
If you’re camping for an event, assign people to buy certain things needed for the group! My friends and I saved so much money when my boyfriend and I took care of the tent essentials (tent, tarp, light, all borrowed from our relatives) and the rest bought snacks, camping chairs, and alcohol! Plus, if you forgot something, there are usually friendly people around your campsite who would be more than happy to share with you!
5. Early Bird Tickets!
This is a given, but I still know a lot of people who lag on buying tickets and wait until tickets are at the last price tier or sell out. Don’t be that straggler that ends up having to pay nearly $80 more when you could have saved that money for your flight! If you’re paying through Ticketmaster or Live Nation, make sure you register for an account at least a day before you have to buy tickets for your event, that way all of your information will already be inputted and your tickets are just clicks away!
Hope these tips help you in funding your future raves! Keep it PLUR & rave on!