By Basia A Powell
If you live in Trinidad and Tobago, or another part of the world, and you love taking part in the carnival festivities, you can actually enjoy Trinidad and Tobago carnival and not break your bank accountant. Here are 7 Tips for being debt free after carnival:
It is important to look good, but looking good cost money. In order to do this, we suggest that you start planning your outfits at least four months in advance and capitalize on all the online sales during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Do not spend too much on your clothing as you may not want to repeat it for another carnival. You can spend a little more on your accessories, as these can be repeated. You can also recycle and exchange clothing with close friends and family members, for further savings.
Choose the parties you must attend and stick to those. Before you spend your money, try getting complimentary tickets from friends, associates and sponsors. There is nothing like a free party. Choose events that are safe and cheaper in price for example “cooler fetes” and breakfast parties as opposed to concerts and “All Inclusive” events, that tend to be more expensive events.
Avoid purchasing party tickets on your credit cards, unless you have the money in your checking or savings account to pay off your credit card bill at the end of the cycle. You do not want to be paying for your parties months after they ended. In other words, spend only what you have. It also helps to capitalize on the early bird tickets, months in advance on sites like islandtickets.com and eventbrite.com. Most times the price goes up closer to the date of the event. You can save quite a bit by being an early bird.
Many financial institutions offer affordable loans to locals to purchase costumes and party tickets during the carnival season. It is ok to take a low fixed interest loan that you can afford to pay back before another carnival comes around. This is a better financial option than paying your carnival bills with credit cards with high APRs and leaving high balances.
It is a known fact that Carnival time in Trinidad and other Caribbean islands is considered peak season for airlines and hotels. Many overseas visitors who are regulars, book their airfares months and sometimes a year in advance to avoid high airfares and hotel bills. You may want to consider connecting flights to get even cheaper airfares.
You do not need to pay your own accommodation and travel costs. You can share hotel, villa and Airbnb costs with family and friends. It is not uncommon for groups of friends to share hotel rooms, car rentals and drivers during the carnival season. This makes your trip more affordable and lots of fun. Carnival is even better when you have the people you love to share the experience and cost with.
If you live in Trinidad and Tobago, or you are visiting for carnival on a limited budget, delay attending parties until the last week of carnival. That is when some of the best parties take place. For most people, the Wednesday before Ash Wednesday is the peak of the carnival festivities. That is when the action starts! You can still have a blast for a week, while attending the best parties, instead of spending money on parties for two months. Its not how many parties you attend, it is the quality of the parties you attend at carnival time, without breaking the bank.
Hope you find these tips helpful.