I know it might sound ridiculous, but if there’s one thing being a K-pop fan has taught me, it’s how to properly manage my finances. This is something that I learned the hard way.
Shortly after joining the fandom in 2016, I nearly drained my bank account, having splurged on artist merchandise I wanted but didn’t need. You see, I was new to the whole scene and everything just looked so tempting to buy.
Being a fan of someone can be costly. Think about all of the new vinyl releases, merchandise collections, and tours that happen each year – it’s a lot. Megatours going on this year from the likes of BLACKPINK, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen have even been accused of contributing to inflation as fans flock to stadiums and pay for their experiences and outfits.
Breaking down your spending sessions and taking account of where your money is going each month will help you form one of the most important, valuable habits possible. So, here are some tips and tricks to live your best life while supporting your faves.
Put the merch you no longer want up for sale
If it’s been a while since you last checked on your old fan merchandise, such as CDs, figurines, or even setlists from concerts, perhaps it’s time to declutter your stash. Give each item a good look and ask yourself if it’s still something you want to keep or if it’s better off listed on a marketplace online, where someone who has been looking for it can find it.
A lot of fans (myself included) resort to this when they wish to recover some cash back from all the spending they did in the past. I’ve found that people will pay an absurd price for vintage merch of their idols, and you may be surprised by what people consider valuable collectibles.
Utilize available online discounts
Saving money isn’t just about stopping all spending. If you’ve been pining over a merch item or are desperate to get your hands on your favorite artist’s latest release, don’t write it off entirely just because you’re saving.
Oftentimes, artists’ online merchandise stores have discounts sprinkled throughout the year, such as around the holidays or birthdays. It’s about being savvy, not scrimpy — and remember, life is all about balance!
Finding the right concert ticket prices
Take advantage of presale opportunities to buy concert tickets as it gives you a great chance of getting your top choices. Sometimes when big-name artists book a tour, they team up with music streaming services like Spotify to offer an exclusive presale code to their top fans. The code gives early access to tickets, allowing the most dedicated fans to get the best seats possible.
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If a show is likely to sell out fast, this is the best way to ensure you get a ticket at face value, rather than having to pay the often-expensive resale price. In addition to getting early access to concert tickets, you can also get early or exclusive access to merchandise, special edition vinyl pre-orders, and more at a low cost.
Also, if you have a credit card, check their rewards perks. Companies such as American Express often offer presale deals with Ticketmaster a few days before the general sale. If you're lucky, you can attempt all presales available before the general sale to give the best possible chance/choice of seats. This way, you might be able to buy tickets for the cheapest seats before they sell out.
Use savings tricks to fund your fandom
You can always use savings methods as a way to limit how much you spend on your favorite musical act without changing too much about your life. For example, if you think a tour may be coming up in a few months, put $100 every month into a high-yield savings account, where your money will grow with interest until it’s time to get a ticket.
Some banks, like Bank of America, and savings apps, like Acorns, offer a “Save The Change” styled feature where every time you purchase with a debit or credit card, the amount you spend is rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the difference between the actual cost and the rounded-up cost is automatically transferred into a savings account or investment. For example, if you purchase $3.50, the amount is rounded up to $4.00, and the extra $0.50 is transferred to your savings account.
While 50 cents may not seem like a lot, it adds up over time, and you’ll be amazed at how much you can save. This convenient tool can help you develop a saving habit without drastically changing your spending behavior, so give it a try.
Really can’t contain my excitement because… we’re adding 14 new shows to The Eras Tour. And I get to travel the world doing shows with @paramore!! Hayley and I have been friends since we were teens in Nashville and now we get to frolic around the UK/Europe next summer??? I’m… pic.twitter.com/kl1aijxR2oJuly 5, 2023
Make a trip out of it
If you don’t live in a major city or country like me, traveling to a concert is often your best option to see the artists that you love. If you’re already going to be traveling to see a band, it’s worth checking if ticket prices in other locations are lower.
For example, Taylor Swift tickets in Inglewood, California, in early August start (as of July 21) at $855, but tickets to see her in Mexico City two weeks later start at $526. If you were already planning to travel to Los Angeles to see her, you might actually save money by instead traveling to Mexico City.
Plus, you can consider combining experiences to save money. Rather than taking a girls’ trip to Nashville and then seeing Beyoncé a few weeks later in St. Louis, where you’d need to book a hotel stay, how about doing a girls’ trip to New Orleans when Beyoncé is performing there? Concerts are a great way to spend a night, and there’s nothing like seeing your favorite artists in person.
Remember, though, that while traveling can add some adventure to your concert experience, it also means that, logistically, it’s going to be more complicated. Creating an overall budget for the trip, doing your research, and booking a flight and place to stay early are all options I’d recommend. You can also make use of deals through certain travel-friendly credit cards.
After supporting your stars, don’t forget to cancel those subscriptions you don’t need
If your favorite celebrity collaborates with a brand or streaming service, it’s a no-brainer to want to support them by signing up for said network. But many let untouched subscriptions tap into their accounts without even realizing it.
Don’t even get me started on the “free trial” plans where you forgot to cancel them after the trial ended – don’t worry, we’ve all been there! Have a clear out of your subscriptions and save yourself a fair whack every month.
Remember your priorities
At the end of the day, it’s essential to remember that whilst spending money on the things you love is part of what makes our lives better, keeping your priorities in order should be the goal so as to ensure that your spending doesn’t get out of control. So be sure to try out these saving methods to make your money work for you from now on.
Victoria Goldiee is a freelance writer and editor with a keen focus on headlining the untold stories of underrepresented communities through her platform. Her work has been featured in Business Insider, Architectural Digest, The Telegraph UK, The Metro UK and more as she cuts across issues focusing on women, culture and lifestyle.
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