Picture this. You’re sitting at home, you have Rick and Morty playing for the 47th time in a row, and you start scrolling through various socials, like most millennials do while they’re deep in a Netflix binge. First thing you see when you open Instagram is the squad pic from day 1 of that festival everyone is at. Except you, because your bank account said you couldn’t make the trip. That familiar dark, gutted feeling starts to sink in. You want to look away but you just can’t, so you start clicking through IG stories. The feeling just gets worse as you watch the mind-melting lasers during your favorite artist’s set through a phone screen. Your squad got to experience that live without you. That mixture of envy and omnipresent anxiety full on hits. FOMO. We’ve all been there. The pain of knowing your rave family is having the time of their lives without you is all too familiar.
Planning for festival season is a bit bittersweet. You want to attend all the festivals all the time but, like the majority of us, unlimited funds are just a fantasy on our Pinterest life goals board. I wouldn’t bank on winning the lottery either.
From the festival pass purchase, travel, sleeping arrangements, camping gear and tequila, to the post-rave pizza, expenses really add up over the course of a festival weekend. So how do we do it? I’m here to share my budgeting tips and tricks to help you save some of your hard earned money and still be able to cover all those Monday morning bills when you return to reality.
Set a budget for the festivals you choose to go to. Swiping that credit card sight unseen can be dangerous and we love ravers with good credit! I ideally like to budget out $1,000.00 for each festival adventure, including the tickets, travel means, sleeping arrangements, etc. That way you may have more funds leftover from your Electric Forest savings account, for example, to put towards the next adventure.
As horribly tempting as it is to last minute send it to a festival, I strongly recommend against this if your financials get tight around festival season. Going into my 8th year of festivaling, I promise there will always be another show or festival in the future!
If a payment plan is available for the ticket, USE IT!
It’s so convenient to open up UberEats to have food delivered to your front door, but cooking at home ends up saving about $200-$300 a month. Try to limit yourself to only spending money on eating out once or twice a week.
Starting a couple months before festival season begins, set aside $50-100 a week in a mason jar. Don’t touch!
Pre-determine how much you want to spend at the festival over two or three days and only pull out that amount in cash. Leave the credit card at the hotel! I know how easy it is to start swiping the card once the $12 drinks start kicking in.
Sharing is caring, especially when it comes to festival fashion. Buying your girlfriend a bottle of wine for letting you borrow some rave staple pieces is always cheaper than purchasing a totally new outfit.
Having to fly to the festival? Always double and triple check your travel sites. SkipLagged is a great site, along with Google Flights, that can track prices. I’ve also found myself buying two one-way tickets over a round trip price because half the time, two one-way tickets are less than a round trip total.
Reusable water bottles will save you daily inside the festival, instead of constantly buying single-use plastic bottles. This will also helps reduce your plastic waste, yay Planet Earth!
I really hope this list helps a few of you get comfortably ready for festival season. It’s hard to enjoy a festival weekend when you’re stressing about finances in the back of your mind, or having to miss out on a weekend altogether. If you have any unique tricks or tips on saving up extra dough, please leave a comment below! Happy savings, festival squad!