The #BrokeWestie series is a collection of tips and tricks intended to help dancers minimize the financial burden of events. It’s no secret that events are by no means cheap, especially for students and young adults who may not have a Big Kid Job quite yet. How do you keep costs down? Comment below or use the hashtag “#BrokeWestie” to get your ideas featured on the YDO blog!
Planning for an event is easier said than done. In today’s fast paced world, there is so much on our minds that it is easy to lose track of early bird deadlines, plane ticket prices, and finding roommates. As a #BrokeWestie and a #brokecollegestudent, those missed deadlines or unshared expenses can add up quickly! Here are my tips for planning.
Create a Spreadsheet
By creating a spreadsheet, you will be able to keep track of dates, early bird deadlines, hotel rates, and estimated costs. Knowing what your costs are will help you set aside travel funds.
Here are some examples of column headings that I have in my spreadsheet:
Early Bird Deadline
Early Bird Price
Hotel Early Bird Deadline
Estimted Food Cost
Estimated Total Cost
At first glance, it may seem like a lot of work! Take it from me, the money you save is worth it. You can also personalize your spreadsheet by adding columns and formulas so that Excel/Google Spreadsheet does the work for you! For example, in the estimate total cost column, you can type “=” followed by clicking on cells and adding ‘+’ in-between. This will automatically total up your estimated total cost. If you want to become more excel savvy, I suggest watching YouTube tutorials since we do not have time for it here!
Bonus Tip: Add early bird deadlines in your Google calendar to get reminders as the date approaches!
Watch Your Airfare
Make sure you are familiar with low, average, and high prices for each flight. Ask your friends about their experiences and do your own research online! There are many travel websites that state the best time to buy, however, many of them share different times (Tuesdays at 3pm, Wednesdays at 1am, 30 days before, or 54 days before….). Staying familiar with average prices will let you know when you have come across a good deal.
Google Flights, Expedia, and other travel discount services also have an option to track your flight! Just type in your email and they will notify you when airfare hits rock bottom prices. #BrokeWesties can save $60+ just by buying your tickets at the right time.
Bonus Tip: Be wary of the ridiculously cheap airlines! Some of them charge to take a carry on onto the plane. Do your research to find out if the amount of paying for your bags is the same as another airline that includes baggage fees.
Create A Travel Fund
Depending on how many dance events you travel to during a year, this travel fund may vary from a piggy bank to a bank account. Set aside change or every $5 bill you come across. Small amounts really can add up! If you have an actual bank account, most banks have an option to have funds automatically transfer to your travel fund. Having money set aside will help you budget and feel less guilty about darting off to the other side of the country multiple times a year for dance!