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For some people, buying clothes, or shoes, or food, is a temporary high. There’s nothing like walking out of Saks Fifth Ave with a bag full of new outfits for work, or eating a five-course meal at your favorite steakhouse. And at the other end of the spectrum, are the savers and budgeters, who have well-stocked savings accounts and only spend on the bare necessities.

And then there are us. The people who lock in tickets to Ultra the exact minute they go on sale. The people who might eat McDonalds for lunch for a week straight just to be able to afford a parking pass to EDC Las Vegas. The people who work 60-hour weeks in order to pay for Coachella. But, we are also the people who may be some of the happiest, most positive, and fulfilled individuals in the world.

A lot of my coworkers stare at me with confused expressions when I tell them I spent $400 on my EDC Las Vegas ticket alone, not including flights, hotels, or amenities. They simply cannot comprehend the fact that I would choose to spend that large chunk of money on listening to “a guy press play and stand behind a stage raising his arm when the beat drops.” This is, of course, in part due to the fact that I work with many people who are married with kids, have never listened to an EDM song in their lives, and only take in the negative connotations with the scene. But it’s also partially due to the fact that they’ve probably never felt as passionate about anything as I do about dance music.

I wouldn’t say I’m the best budgeter out there. I do like my food and my clothes. But at the same time, I know where I have to cut back to make my music festival dreams come true. When my rave squad told me they were trying to make EDC Las Vegas a reality, I knew I had to make some cuts. I attempted to shop less, buy groceries instead of going out for lunch, and stay in one night over the weekend. Even though it’s hard to see my friends spending their money on $200 tabs at the bar, or a new pair of Louboutins, I don’t regret the fact that most of my money is spent on shows and festivals.

There is no way to describe the feeling of walking into a festival, wandering from stage to stage, and meeting people from all walks of life. Not to mention seeing all of your favorite DJs at once, oftentimes doing exclusive back-to-back sets that are talked about for months. A recent article, published on fastcoexist.com, uses scientific support to prove that spending money on experiences rather than things will make us infinitely happier in the long run. Dr. Thomas Gilovich, professor of psychology at Cornell University, explains that many people initially think that a physical object last longer, and therefore it will extend our happiness more than an event or moment in time. This is untrue, however, as he explains that once we adapt to that item, and its ‘newness’ wears off, the appeal is lost. Experiences, on the other hand, become a part of us, and stay with us for the rest of our lives, even once the event itself has ended.

In addition, the companies that put on festivals have studied their target demographics and made necessary changes and improvements in order to make attending festivals more feasible for 20-somethings. For example, almost every festival nowadays offers a payment plan, which is the only way someone like myself made EDC Las Vegas a reality. Payment plans can be as little as $29 bucks a month (Electric Zoo 2015) and run for spans of up to 8 months long. These plans usually exist for both GA and VIP, and give people who aren’t making loads and loads of money a way to make their dreams come true. Another great example is Ultra. After people complained at the price of last year’s GA ticket (almost $450), Ultra listened, and lowered their Tier 1 price for the festival’s 2016 dates to $249.45.

I will never once think twice about spending most of my money on festivals, and if you love the scene like I do, you shouldn’t, either. The memories that you make will be way worth the few hundred bucks, and the hard work that went into earning that money will pay off. And for those of you who aren’t old enough or making enough to attend, don’t worry. Festivals are popping up all over the country now, and many have payment plans.

But at the same time, make sure you plan ahead of time and budget to make the festivals a worthwhile experience. No one wants to get to Vegas for EDC, after spending money on your ticket, flight, and hotel, and have no extra spending money while all of your friends are buying drinks, merchandise, etc. Even putting 20 dollars away a week adds up, and can move mountains in the long run.

But beyond anything else, enjoy your festival season, and remember that these memories will last a lifetime.

Full Article on Experiences vs. Things: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3043858/world-changing-ideas/the-science-of-why-you-should-spend-your-money-on-experiences-not-thing.


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