We’re in the midst of festival season again, so if you’re looking for a carefree summer of great music, food and sunshine without having to worry about your bank balance when you get back, here are some ways to keep your finances in check.
Go to free festivals
There are many free festivals out there, and the deals team at MoneySavingExpert.com have put together a free tool to help you find them. Visit www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/free-uk-festivals and you can search for events taking place near you.
There may also be ways to go to festivals which normally carry an entrance fee for free, by volunteering to give some of your time through a charity, as a steward, for example. As well as having the usual festival fun, you’ll be helping good causes.
Share the love
Festivals are all about sharing experiences – so why not also pool your resources to cut the cost?
Visa has teamed up with financial expert Jasmine Birtles, founder of moneymagpie.com, to offer money-saving tips for festival-goers.
They suggest that if you’re travelling with a group of friends, you should make a list together of everything you’ll need and co-ordinate who is packing what before you go.
As well as lightening the load, a bit of planning ahead can also save you from having to fork out for these items on site where they could be pricier. Sharing transport by using a shuttle bus or carpooling could also help to save money.
Many festivals offer “early bird” tickets that can be considerably cheaper than buying nearer the time or turning up on the day.
Keep tabs on your stuff
The last thing you want is a massive bill to replace stolen or lost valuables. If possible, leave valuables at home, and certainly not unattended in cars and tents. Only take as much cash as you need and store it on your person, or consider using designated lock-up areas if these are provided.
Tim Downes, a senior claims manager from Halifax Insurance, says: “Summer events such as festivals can be a haven for pickpockets as people are more relaxed than normal, so it’s important to be adequately insured for belongings outside the home.”
Halifax Insurance suggests taking photos of each valuable item you’ll be taking with you and storing them on a device that won’t be travelling. Keeping receipts as proof of purchase will help to speed up any claim you may have to make.
Immediately report anything lost or stolen to the police and ask for a crime reference number as your insurer will require this if you need to make a claim.
According to Halifax, a smartphone is the second most popular item people take with them to a festival, after their wallet. Halifax suggests leaving your swanky new smartphone at home and substituting it for an old mobile while you’re at the festival, which will be less attractive to thieves – and you won’t have to replace if it gets broken. If you do have to take a smartphone, make sure it is insured and backed up.