How do you save up for Vidcon & other cons?

katiefabkatiefab Posts: 31 Mod
Vidcon 2013 feels like it's a long way off, but the summer will be here before we know it! How do you guys set aside money specifically for cons like Vidcon, and how do you keep yourself from using that money for other things? How long in advance do you start saving? Any other tricks for making traveling less expensive?

I would offer ideas for what I do, but the reason I'm posting this thread is because I am incredibly bad at saving money and I could use all the help I could get~
~ message me if you need anything at all ~

Comments

  • BootyPrioriBootyPriori Posts: 20
    edited November 2012
    I save up here and there as much as I can but I get all my money for VidCon with my tax returns usually hahaha. You can open a savings account an put aside some money every week or every month. I start saving as early as right after VidCon. :)

    Crowd them hotel rooms with as many people as possible. Last year I paid $25/night, it was ridiculous. 

    The restaurants around Vidcon are unfortunately pretty expensive. You can go to the 7-eleven which is about 5 min walk from the convention center and get food for a 1/3 of the price of the other places. [EDIT: That is, if you don't mind eating crappy food for a few days]

    If you need to fly, buy your plane tickets early, I bought them last minute last year and could've saved up to $200 on them. Look if there isn't another airport not too far that you can take a bus to with cheaper plane tickets. Also clear your browser's cookies before booking flights.
    by BootyPriori
  • katiefabkatiefab Posts: 31 Mod
    Whoa, I didn't know the cookies/cache trick! That's really good to know, as someone who does a lot of traveling. I ended up eating at IHOP a lot when I was at Vidcon this past summer. It definitely adds up, but it was better than a lot of other options. I also normally try to bring a little bit of food in my suitcase with me, though that's normally just snacks that I can keep with me throughout the day.
    ~ message me if you need anything at all ~
  • shakes1327shakes1327 Posts: 37 ✭✭
    I generally calculate how much I will need far in advance, so that I have a goal to save towards. The easiest thing to do is figure out how much money you will need to save each month and set that money aside. If you can, create a separate account to keep that money in and DON'T TOUCH IT. At the very least, keep a tally of how much of your savings should be set aside for VidCon and how much is actually accessable for you to use. Don't ever include your VidCon savings a part of your total savings in your bank (or you will be tempted to spend it!).

    A couple years ago I made it a game to find savings wherever I could and added those savings to my VidCon fund. Tax return? VidCon fund. Skipped Starbucks today? VidCon fund. Bought something on sale? VidCon fund. It was great to see my total savings growing little by little.

    As far as saving on traveling... everything is cheaper in advance and it helps to split costs between as many people as you can. Things like VidCon tickets and travel can be paid for ahead of time, which helps to spread out costs so you're not facing a huge bill in August. When you're ready to purchase plane tickets, watch prices for several days before purchasing - they can vary depending on the day or time. Probably your best bet is to keep an eye out for seat sales on your favourite airline. If you can, travel on off days. Weekends are expensive!
  • I live in Australia and I've been saving since this time last year to get to vidcon 2013. My only tip is willpower. Just save money and don't spend it. Room with people to cut down on hotel costs, book things way in advance and always save much more than you think you need. Also shop around for flights a lot. Different time and dates as well as airlines and websites will give you loads of results (:
  • TheMeFundTheMeFund Posts: 30 ✭✭
    I don't tend to save for the events, I just throw it all on the credit card and then pay it off as time goes along. That way I don't have to worry about not getting the experience because of money issues.

    Adventure debt is the only debt aside from Education debt I can allow myself to have.

    Also, for the first few big YouTube events/gatherings I attended I just split the cost of everything with as many people as possible. For #NWYTG09 I slept on the floor of a hotel room that we had stuffed 8-9 people in (but ended up having like 12-15 sleeping in there because we didn't want to leave :P) We all ended up paying significantly less that way for the total trip. Be willing to crash with semi-randoms and sleeping on the floor for the weekend. In my experience you spend only a very little amount of time in that room anyway.
  • DanicaDanica IndernapolisPosts: 17 ✭✭
    I'm a huge proponent of the change jar coupled with never paying with exact amounts when using cash.
  • sarahsfastsarahsfast Posts: 4
    I live in Orange County, so luckily I don't have to pay for a flight and the entire weekend only costs about $200 for me. Last year I just heard about VidCon one day and bought my ticket a week or two later (after a pay check came). Then I just didn't spend anything for the rest of the month and I was fine. This year I have more money because I've been babysitting a lot, so that will definitely come in handy.

    I also have a change jar.
  • It honestly depends for each person. If you are good at saving money, this is no big deal. But if you're like me, prone to making silly impulse purchases, then you need some structure to save up the money needed for a con. I'm doing at least 2 cons in 2013, (Leaky and VidCon) and I have picked up some tricks. (WARNING: Here come lots of words.)

    Make a specific budget and stick to it. I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised just how well you do when you stick to your budget. Make sure to allot money for food and bills, obviously, but if you can, set aside some "Burn Money" that you can spend on whatever you want, like a movie or new shoes or what-have-you. That way, if you see a shirt on DFTBA or TeeFury that you simply must have, you can buy it and not dip into your precious Con savings! If you've tried setting up a budget, but you can't stick to it: TELL SOMEONE YOU NEED HELP STICKING TO THE BUDGET. A close friend or a BF/GF generally knows you well enough and cares enough to say "No, you don't need to buy that limited edition Stormtrooper action figure. You need to save."

    Plan ahead, buy ahead. Don't buy your plane ticket and your registration and book your room all at once. Some of these have built in costs, so know which of them do, as well. This can make the saving feel less daunting, since you're saving up $500 for the flight, not $2000 for everything! If you do it in stages, you will have money ready sooner for some of the things you have to buy. For Example: VidCon has discounted Registration for early registrants. If you have the money now, why not do it? Look everywhere for flight deals and hotel discounts, and look at the fine print! Some airlines charge exorbitant fees for baggage, take that into account when you budget.

    Don't be scared to say something. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Festivus are all this month. Don't be afraid to tell people that you're saving up for a con and that you'd really appreciate cash over a giant tin of candied popcorn (I'm looking at you, Grandma). Some people will still give you other stuff, but those people who are rubbish at present-buying will usually jump at this offer. If you're about to graduate or have a birthday, feel free to bring up the con then as well. (Some people think that giving cash is impersonal and cold, but if you tell them that you would REALLY PREFER cash, generally they'll do it, in my experience.)

    Get a job. Yes, it's hard. But if you don't have a job, and you can get one, why not? It's a good way to make money, I've found :P I'm not a fan of paying for a con plus interest for a year after I go, so I don't use credit cards. There are lots of places hiring across the country, you just have to be willing to lift stuff or flip burgers or fold jeans. It's not glamorous, but if John could work at Steak-N-Shake and as a truck-loader, so can we!

    I could go on for another page or two on saving, but I'll spare you guys :) I hope this helps!
    "Who's scruffy-lookin'?"
  • TheRosePhoenixTheRosePhoenix Posts: 3
    There are lots of little ways to add up money, and lots of ways to keep it safe (from your hands or anyone else's).  For example, at my local credit union, you can create a savings account or a partition of your savings account just for a specific purpose, and you have the option of adding a password/phrase that you must give if you want to withdraw any money from that account. Here's the trick, by adding the password, you're protecting your money from yourself: if you make the pass phrase something like "I know I'm spending my VidCon money" or something like that, while the teller may look at you funny, you're making a formal, verbal acknowledgement that you are removing this money from your con fund and therefore it should be used only for its designated purpose or a real emergency.  I've done it, it really does deter you from using that money.  These kind of savings-only accounts are almost always free to open and have a pretty low minimum first deposit (mine was $5), plus you can look for any matching perks or whatnot they might be doing.  
    On the earning money side, one great way that my youth group is using is to ask for donations in a rather unconventional way: clothes.  It may be hard to get people to donate money, but as Spring approaches (in the northern hemisphere), people are cleaning out their garages, basements, and closets, and you can cash in on this by helping them and yourself at the same time: ask them to donate their old clothes to you, then sort and sell the clothes either to a local resale shop or an online site.  You won't get much per item, but if you amass a bunch of clothes you can come in pretty well with the dough.
    Another thing to think about is your skill set: if you are a master at editing or a math whiz, look in to some paid tutoring options; circulate your information to friends and such to pass around to those they know who might need it.  Love animals? Walk the dogs in your neighborhood or (if you're adventurous) clean up those doggie surprises in yards for money.  Offer tech support to those who might need it, they'd probably prefer you in their house over a stranger that they have to pay twice as much for. 
    Where there is a will, there is a way.  There's also those simple things like comparison shopping, carpooling, and trading meals out and paid actives for packing your own lunch and having a game night in with friends.  Also, if you usually go the route of plastic money, carry cash instead-- it's been proven in many ways that you're far less likely to spend cash, especially a larger bill like a 20 or 50. 
    Good Luck!
  • AdamTheAlienAdamTheAlien Canby, Oregon/Tacoma, WashingtonPosts: 36 ✭✭
    I tend to just determine I'm going to an event, Vidcon or otherwise. If I'm certain I'm going, and determined it will happen, the details get sorted as time progresses, because there's no other choice. If I allow myself to doubt it, or think, "Well, MAYBE this will happen, if I save up enough," then it usually (almost always) doesn't happen. The more determined I am, and the less I allow myself to consider anything other than "This WILL happen," the quicker and more easily the problems and barriers are sorted out, including financial barriers.
    - Adam J. Manley
  • GenvieGenvie Posts: 92 ✭✭
    edited July 2013
    katiefab said:
    Whoa, I didn't know the cookies/cache trick! That's really good to know, as someone who does a lot of traveling. I ended up eating at IHOP a lot when I was at Vidcon this past summer. It definitely adds up, but it was better than a lot of other options. I also normally try to bring a little bit of food in my suitcase with me, though that's normally just snacks that I can keep with me throughout the day.
    I know you posted this ages ago but one tip is DO NOT EAT AT IHOP. Seriously. My boyfriend & I spent about $30 with a tip on just two of the pancake specials & drinks. It was so much more expensive than my local ihop. GO TO DENNYS. Seriously. They have a $2, $4, $6, & $8 menu. I'm fine with the $2 two pancakes most of the time or if I'm really hungry I'll get one of the $4 option (2 pancakes, 2 sausage, 2 eggs... OR endless pancakes). When I'm at a con, I have no problem with eating pancakes for lunch or dinner a few times. I usually end up spending only about $5 at Dennys (including tax, tip, & a drink). Also, at the Hilton foodcourt, they had a pizza place that sold pizza by the slice for about $3. It was a great place to grab something fast. If I know the menu, I'll go in and think "Okay, I wont spend more than $5" otherwise I'll be enamored by the pretty pictures and go "OH, look a milkshake! And seasoned fries! And an order of mozzarella sticks!"... then suddenly my cheap meal became $15-20 and I didn't even eat half because the two pancakes would've been fine.

    Here's Denny's $2, $4, $6, $8 menu if you've never seen it before. Personally, I can find better things on the main menu for less than $8 but the rest are pretty good deals.
    http://www.dennys.com/#/menu/menu-2-4-6-8

    PS Plus Dennys has free wifi, ihop doesn't.
    by Genvie
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