07 smart ways to save money at festivals
Heading to a festival this summer? Here’s how to have the time of your life, without breaking the bank…
Music festivals are an amazing summer experience – acres of mud, flower garlands, and questionable drunken antics. But they’re also not known for being healthy for your student bank account.
Chances are, you’ve already forked out a fair bit of dosh on your festival ticket. On top of that, you also have to think about travel, camping supplies, and booze. Plus, you should probably factor in a budget to feed yourself at some point while you’re there too.
For festival newbies, especially, it’s easy to spend way more than you intend to. So we’ve collected together some tried and tested tips to help you cut your festival spending.
These are the best ways to save money at festivals on food and drink, camping, transport, and more:
1. Set a daily budget
At festivals, it’s easy to get carried away and spend silly amounts of money on alcohol and food. Decide how much money you’d be happy spending across the whole festival and divide this across each day. Either take that amount of money in cash (but keep it safe!) or use an app like Monzo which will allow you to set budgets for certain things and notify you when you’re overspending. Either way, don’t think you need to keep pace with your friends when it comes to buying things. Stick to your music festival budget and concentrate on soaking up that festival atmosphere.
2. Set aside an emergency fund
It’s worth setting aside an emergency fund in case point number one doesn’t go quite according to plan. The last thing you want is to be left with no money to even feed yourself, and end up having to borrow from friends. Always overestimate how much you’re going to spend. That way, you’ll have money left over if things go wrong.
3. Leave your expensive clothes at home
We’re not going to pretend that people don’t care how they look at festivals. Flower garlands, sparkly shorts, and bejeweled accessories are what festivals are all about. But one of the biggest expenses of the weekend can be replacing clothes that get damaged. So, leave the expensive gear at home and go for some cheaper favorites. With limited security, it’s also best not to bring your favorite trainers or jeans (or any of your gadgets in case they go missing from your tent. Remember, festivals are 80% mud, so anything you want to keep clean, leave at home.
4. Look out for free phone charging stations
There are loads of cool services that are often overlooked at festivals. But with a keen eye, you can bag some great free stuff. Often, you’ll find tents where you can cycle to generate power that will charge your phone. This way, you won’t have to buy portable chargers or payout at festival charging stations. However, there’s also a lot to be said for switching your phone off and actually enjoying real life for the weekend…
5. Bring your own phone charger
While some festivals will have free charging stations like the ones mentioned above, relying on this option is risky. If this isn’t available, you will be charged to… charge! Avoid this by investing in a portable charging pack. They’re not too pricey these days and are worth the long-term investment. We even post deals on them on our student deals page sometimes. Most decent chargers will be able to recharge your phone at least five times over. This should be sufficient for the whole duration of the festival. Want a really good one? Try Anker. If you’re feeling really cheeky, you could even offer a charge to another festival-goer in exchange for beer.
6. Keep your money safe
With tents being possibly the easiest thing to break into, keep your money and valuables on you all the time.Our advice? Invest in a bum bag. They’re the most fool-proof way to look after your money, and way safer than leaving your money in your pocket. They’ve even come back into fashion. If you’re really against the idea of wearing a bum bag, go for a money belt. They’re essentially the same thing but small enough to hide under your shorts.
7. Don’t buy a festival program
It can be tempting to pay for a festival program. But it really isn’t necessary and they tend to be overpriced. With a teeny bit of forward-planning, you can save yourself a pretty penny. Print out a copy of the line-up and a map from the festival website before you leave, or download the festival app. Unless you’re extremely sentimental and are working on a collection of programs from every festival you’ve ever been to, spending a tenner on a booklet you’re bound to lose in the mud makes zero sense.