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How To Budget At A Festival

Whether you are on a tight budget or able to splash the cash, we are here with some tips on how to make your money go further this festival season. It’s no secret that everyone is having to tighten the purse strings at the moment, so we thought what better way to help you spend less, but still get the most out of your festival experience, than to write a guide with our top tips on budgeting at festivals.

Set A Daily Budget

We have all been there, and it is really easy to get carried away at festivals and spend more than your monthly rent in a few days! Our first piece of advice for budgeting at festivals, is to set yourself a daily spend limit. Have a think in advance of how much money you would like to take with you and spread that over the duration of the festival.

If you can, split this between cash and card so that you are covered for all eventualities. Some banks, such a Monzo allow you to set up daily spend caps so you can keep better control of your money and you don’t overspend. The most important thing is to only spend what you can afford and feel comfortable with – don’t feel like you need to keep up with everyone else or what your friends are doing.

Young happy people drinking cider at a music festival

Cash Or Card

We would definitely recommend that you take some cash (as some places at a festival won’t accept cards), but only take as much as you feel you can keep safe. Nowadays most festivals will offer personal lockups, a great way to keep your valuables safe. We would never suggest leaving anything of any value in your tent so have a look in advance, to see what the festival has to offer.

An Emergency Fund

Always have an emergency fund available – just in case the daily budgeting doesn’t quite go to plan (nobody’s perfect!). Nobody wants to be in a position where they need to borrow money from friends, so always overestimate what you think you will need, and keep some back for emergencies.

Brothers Cider B-Bar at Glastonbury Festival

To Cook Or Not To Cook

Now, we understand that cooking can be a chore, even when you are in the comfort of your own home. But that being said, cooking at your tent can be a great way to save money. Food at festivals is notoriously expensive - if you work it out, you could probably feed yourself for a week with the money you can spend on festival food in just a few days.

Don’t get us wrong – festival food is good, really good. However, if you are on a budget, maybe only ‘eat out’ a few times over the festival and find other ways to eat at your tent with food you have brought in with you. Cooking at your tent with friends can be a great social experience, and a perfect way to catch up after a long day at the festival, watching the sun go down with a few ciders in hand.

But also, don’t be afraid to go and have a look at all the amazing array of festival food on offer, and try a few (or more) new things! If you are not sure what festival food might be on offer, check out our Guide to Festival Food.

Young people cooking food at their tents during a festival

Festival Moneysaving Schemes

Some festivals do offer a cheaper way to enjoy festival food. Glastonbury Festival, for example have a ‘Food for a Fiver’ scheme that runs for the course of the whole festival to help festival-goers go easy on their pocket. In 2022, over 300 vendors at the festival took part, and they are easy to find! Each participating vendor had a special, Food for a Fiver sticker on their menu and there are some great options out there for just £5!

The main thing is to find a way to make your festival experience your own. Festivals can be enjoyed on any budget, and they are a great place for ‘escapism’ so just let your hair down and enjoy what festivals have to offer.

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