Tips on Saving Money for SLC and NLC
Tips on Saving Money for SLC and NLC
by Nolan Greisinger, Vice-President of Leadership Development
The long nights of staying up preparing, to the awards session, it all seems to pay off once we are at the next conference. Sometimes the cost of these conferences can add up quickly. But when it comes to each one you don’t want to miss out on the lasting knowledge and memories gained when attending States and Nationals. Here are some ways on making sure to get there, without the financial stress that may come along with it.
The first step is to make sure you know the price of the conference. From there you can start budgeting to make sure you’re in attendance. There are many ways to save money, whether that be you saying not going out with friends, or putting a little away at a time, both are easy ways to save.
There are many ways to make money for the BPA State Leadership Conference or National Leadership Conference. One option is to fundraise with your chapter. There are different ways that one might go about doing so. First look at what fundraisers you could do, and then next think about the best location for set. One of the top locations is to set one up at your local school. Your local school is a haven for things like this. It allows for a safe environment to raise money and awareness for your cause. It is always smart to reach out further though as well. Often times, if you reach out to local business, they are willing to sponsor your event or cause. Look locally before extending your research further. It is important to put that money away right after you receive it.
A very important aspect to making sure that you have the funds necessary to allow you to attend conferences is budgeting. One tip that heavily involves budgeting is to save throughout the year. The best strategy is to make this a line item in your monthly budget; saving just a bit throughout the year. This way you already have the cash in hand to pay for everything without taking from your actual checking account. Another aspect to budgeting and saving money for this type of thing is to plan and to register early. This goes hand and hand with saving throughout the year. Allowing for you to seek out the time in advance and set up a plan for saving from there. For example, if you have 6 weeks to save up for a $300 conference, you would budget $50 per week to meet that goal. Now that would not account for the spending money while in attendance. But with the early planning, putting a bit of spending money away will not be a hard step!
When sitting in the long seminars, or spending time getting work done, one could imagine they would build up an appetite. When traveling somewhere new it is always important to try something you have not done before. Make sure to find a good new place to indulge yourself with a delicious meal. One tip to this is to not overdo the eating out. Set a budget of how much you will eat out and stick to it. Find a grocery store and buy healthy snacks at a cheaper price. If offered, you can bring things to make sandwiches and buy other small snack stuff. This will prevent hunger and it makes two of the three meals in a day very cheap. It is far less expensive than eating each meal at a restaurant.
Always know where your money is going. If you lose track of where each dime is going, it can be hard to keep in line with your budget. Sometimes it is best that you keep a small notebook or tab on what you are spending money on. This allows you to check back on exactly what you bought. Even though it is always nice to save, you are there to experience as much as you can so do not feel bad for treating yourself every now and again.
As we continue to grow older, we will be visiting more places for more conferences. These conventions can be expensive, but with simple planning you can minimize a majority of the expenses. By doing so this can lighten the financial damage that can take a toll, and make for an overall more enjoyable experience. Those in BPA have spent countless hours of their time to make the SLC and NLC the best that they truly can be, and we cannot wait to see you guys there!