If you read my monthly expenses posts, you may have noticed that I tend to pay months in advance for events that I’m planning to attend. Part of this is necessity (i.e. limited number of tickets) but there’s an additional benefit to paying beforehand.
You may have also noticed from my posts that I’m not super excited to open my wallet and shell out lots of money. However, I’ve been trying to get better at looking at the big picture and not being too cheap when it comes to costs involving experiences. I’m still cheap when it comes to material items and I’m not likely to budge on that anytime soon. So why would I be willing to prepay for something, knowing that I risk being out the money if I can’t attend?
Attending something already paid for allows me to fully enjoy the experience without worrying about cost or budgeting.
I try to prepay for as much as I can, especially when traveling. When I went to Ireland in 2014 with one of my friends, we booked almost everything well in advance. This included: flight, hotel, bus pass to get from the airport to the hotel, hop on hop off bus, Guinness Storehouse, musical pub crawl, and many day tours. Being an international trip, prepaying ensured that credit cards and currency wouldn’t be an issue. It also allowed us to determine the total cost of the trip well beforehand.
**Pro tip: Check the Groupon site for the city you’ll be visiting. We scored many half price/reduced tickets by doing this!**
So far this year I’ve prepaid for the Golden Girls bar crawl (held in May), the Bubble Run (July), and tickets to see a comedian (August). It’s almost like a gift to my future self. When the event rolls around, I just love the feeling of knowing the cost is already taken care of.
I know what you’re thinking: What if something happens and you miss the event? Won’t you be out that money? This is a great point and always taken into consideration. If I had kids or other obligations at home, I probably wouldn’t be as open to this but, for now, that’s not the case. And most of these things (outside of travel) are less than $40 so it wouldn’t be a huge loss if I was out that money. Many tickets are transferable so it’s possible someone else could use it if I couldn’t go. Besides, life carries risk and it’s fine to acknowledge and accept that.
Do you ever prepay for events or experiences? What is your preference: prepay or pay as you go?