Third credit card paid off, time to celebrate

3 weeks ago I paid off my THIRD credit card since 2020 began, only two big guys left! So far I’ve eliminated PayPal, Amazon and Nordstrom. Only American Express and Chase left to go. This is a huge accomplishment for me, not even 3 months ago I was feeling completely helpless and crushed by my debt – the journey hasn’t been perfect but I’ve made great strides in just a few months.

This weekend Jordan and I are going to San Diego for CRSSD festival, our flights, event tickets and accommodations have been paid for in full with cash – no credit card. Thankfully I get paid the Friday we leave. I’ll pay all my bills, set aside an amount for groceries when we get back the following Tuesday, and put a small portion towards debt. I’ll be loosening the reigns on my spending during the trip, but will be mindful since we still have to buy flights for Patagonia in December which range $2K per person.

Even though I put $700 towards debt at the beginning of my last pay cycle a week ago – I’ve been pretty relaxed with spending this week. I’ve been shopping for warmer festival clothes (all consignment and discounted) and bought new shuffle shoes for the trip. I want to enjoy our vacation without going into more debt so I won’t be using a credit card (duh). Our Airbnb is a convenient 12 minute drive from the airport and a 15 minute walk from the venue. Flights and accommodations were cheap and our friend scored Tier 1 festival ticket prices for us – this will be one of the most cost efficient festivals I’ve been to!

The bigger festivals I’ve been to over the years have been Coachella 2017, Life is Beautiful 2017, Paradiso 2018 and Dreamstate 2019. Coachella was my first and most expensive experience – the tickets were $$$, the flight wasn’t too bad but the Uber from the airport to venue was super expensive ($150). I ended up sharing the ride with another gal at the airport so we split it. I had to buy all the gear for only two nights of camping, the food and drink was crazy expensive since the venue was in the middle of the desert and I didn’t have a car or access to a grocery store. I decided to leave early the last night to beat the traffic, so I scored a ride with another gal and paid for a hotel near the airport. Of course this all went on a credit card. Rookie festival experience.

Life is Beautiful was much cheaper, I went with my best friend Kat – the flights weren’t too expensive and we stayed with our friends who lived in Vegas. We also rented a car so no Uber surge pricing. The most $$$ we spent was probably on food, drink and shopping at the outlets. One of my favorite festivals! I loved the different music genres, being able to adventure the strip and have open drinks, the weather was perfect and the food was amazing. This one didn’t hit my wallet too badly since I had just donated my eggs and received $7K compensation. This was my reward for a pretty horrible egg donation experience (a story for another time) and hosting a successful Global CIO Summit at the Microsoft Executive Briefing Center.

Paradiso drained my wallet and my emotions. I thought this festival would be much cheaper considering it was hosted locally at The Gorge, but I was wrong. We split accommodations between 6 people but they were super uncomfortable. Jordan and I were the last to arrive so we got the shittiest option. Our ride from the Airbnb to the Gorge was unreliable and left us to find an Uber on our way back the second night. For those of you who don’t know, the Gorge is basically in the desert – the middle of nowhere. We were lucky to catch the last Uber out of there. Food and drink were crazy expensive like any other festival. The weather was pretty bad and there was a storm which kicked everybody out for a few hours. I swore Paradiso would be my last USC event and it was. USC is currently being sued and will no longer host any festivals, about damn time.

Dreamstate last November was amazing! Flights and ticket prices were reasonable and we split an Airbnb 45 minutes away from the venue between 6 people. Half the group drove down to Cali so we rented a car for the other half. Parking at the venue was less than desirable, but the music was amazing – some of the best from all the festivals I’ve attended. I met all the shufflers I’ve been following on IG for years, it was surreal.

I’ve definitely learned what works for me when choosing a festival to attend and how to keep costs at a minimum. As much as I love my friends, I prefer travelling in pairs. I don’t like waiting for everyone to figure out what their doing and working around everyone else’s schedules or wants. Although I’m not a driver, I know that renting cars can be pretty stressful – so I prefer accommodations being a quick cheap Uber ride away vs. a 30-45 minute drive. I definitely consider flights, any festivals on the West coast are going to be much more cost efficient than flying across the country. It’s also worth it to travel so a festival you KNOW is gonna be banger, instead of settling for a subpar festival experience because it’s local. Also not a huge fan of camping, but I’ll be stepping out of my comfort zone this December when we backpack Patagonia for the Solar Eclipse – it’s an experience of a lifetime I wouldn’t miss for anything.

All that being said, CRSSD is the perfect blend of everything I’m looking in a festival. West coast, diverse music, airbnb within walking distance from the venue, going with my partner in crime, and some god damn SUN. Wish me luck as I go on vacation with a “spend less” mindset!

~Jess

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