Whether you’re looking to start your child out in the pageant life, or you’re looking to star in a pageant yourself, you’re already looking at a pretty expensive endeavor. However, you don’t have to throw your life savings at this hobby in order to become a success. There’s actually quite a few things you can do if you want to live the pageant life, but you don’t have the pageant budget. These ten tips should help you steer through the world of pageanting, while keeping a tight hold on your budget. Before you know it, you’ll be starring in an event while still keeping on track with your finances.
1. Set a Budget
One of the first and most important things you should do when you decide to try out a pageant is to sit down and make a budget. Make sure you budget in your finances and food money, before you place money into your pageanting budget. By doing this, you know what money you actually have to play around with, without forcing yourself to put expenditures on credit cards. You can then sit down and budget how much you will need to save before you begin to enjoy the pageant life. Sometimes, you can find cheap pageants, so you will be set financially while other times it may mean sitting on the sidelines before you try a pageant for yourself. No matter what you choose to do, try to put your pageanting money in a separate account or simply keep cash on hand for these expenditures.
2. Look For Free Pageants
Believe it or not, but there are free pageants out there that you can utilize. This is especially true when it comes to children’s pageants. Typically, local pageants tend to be set at a low price, if not free. So, you may want to start at the local level when entering your child into a competition. You may want to ask around local stores to see if they can steer you in the right direction. You might want to look online for these pageants too. Although they might not be the classic definition of the pageant, websites like CuteKid, can help you get your name out there. This website also gives out lots of great prices just for applying. Young adults might want to look for pageants through their high school or college. Typically, schools can help you with admission fees and more.
3. Know Your Coverage
If you’ve found a pageant that you want to be a part of, then it is important to check out a few things before you apply. For starters, some application fees will actually take care of your food and hotel prices. These can really benefit you, especially if you don’t want to look around for cheap options while you’re concentrating on the pageant. Of course, not all pageants will do this. So, if the fee looks to be a bit high then make sure you do a double take before you accept the price. You should also do the math to see how much money if would cost you to pay for your own hotel and food, if these items are covered. Sometimes, pageants will hike up the fees, which will mean it’s probably best to say no to these pageants. If you find one that suits your budget and is a good deal, then you should be ready to go.
4. DIY Clothes
One area that can leave you practically bankrupt when it comes to pageants is the clothing. In most cases, you have to purchase multiple different items for each phase of the pageant. This is a major problem, considering most of the items you will need already cost a lot of money individually. Luckily, you can quickly make your own costumes to help you stand out from the crowd and save some money. There’s a lot of patterns that you can purchase for next to nothing to help you get started with your evening gown, dance costumes and even bathing suits. If you’re looking for help on a child’s glamour dress then the internet has a lot of options for you.
5. Play on Natural Talents
You might not expect it, but taking part in the talent section can also cost you a lot of money. Between coaches, choreography, costumes and more, this portion of the pageant often leaves the most people struggling. This is largely because people are playing on skills that they have to build rather than their own natural talents. You might be surprised as to how much you can conquer when you actually use the talents you were given. It doesn’t matter if doesn’t matter if it is showing off your ability to solve huge equations in a record amount of time or the 4H skills you have worked so hard on, as judges will just be impressed to see your natural abilities. Of course, if your talent is dance then use it to your benefit. Try coming up with your own routine and showing it off on talent day.
Part of the pageant is having a good head shot to help you land spots in a variety of different pageants. Many pageants won’t even consider you if you don’t have a good photograph of yourself to send in with your application. Believe it or not, but taking a good photograph isn’t entirely hard. There are lots of tutorials that can help you take the perfect image for your applications. Family and friends may also be able to help you with this costly aspect of the pageant world. If someone has a professional camera and the ability to take a good head shot then you’re going to save a small fortune. Of course, if you can’t do it yourself or have someone help you out, then you might want to look into hiring a student. Many students are eager to have the experience under their belt, so they won’t charge a lot.
7. Host a Pre-Pageant
As you know, it costs a lot to get into a pageant and to get all of your outfits and training down. So, it is always best to be prepared for everything that might come your way. Invite some friends and family to help you out by hosting a fun pre-pageant. You can ask a few people to be judges and a few to be contestants and the audience. Once you have it all set then show off your skills as if you were standing in front of the real judges. Your loved ones will be able to give you some constructive criticism to ensure you have all of your ducks in a row for the competition. Make sure people are completely honest with you though, so you can make adjustments to your routine.
8. Judge on Winnings
Choosing pageants can also be crucial when it comes to saving money. You should try to pick pageants that will help you in the long run. For instance, children and young adults may benefit the most from pageants that give out scholarships to the winning circle. Although you are pouring money into the pageant without financial gain, your child will be getting the best reward for their efforts when they don’t have to worry about taking out large student loans. If you aren’t worried about college then go for competitions that might help you further your hobby. The more money you can save in these areas, the better off you will be.
9. Stay Local
One of the keys to saving some money on pageants is to stay local. Usually, local competitions won’t cost as much money to enter, so you’ll be able to have a bit more fun with the pageant. Of course, local competitions often branch out, but if you are pushed through to a round further away your expenses are often covered. When choosing pageants, try to always pick placies that are within driving distance for the day. This will help you avoid hotel costs and ensure you aren’t spending a fortune on gasoline. The closer the competition the better though, as it will give you a chance to get ready for the competition in your own space.
10. Utilize Winnings
Of course, if you begin to compete and win in pageants then you’ve already done your budget a huge favor. Instead of splurging the winnings on other things, you should use the winnings to go towards other competitions. From clothes to application fees, these winnings will ensure you aren’t taking money away from the household in order to fuel your love of competitions. With winnings, you can also put more money into items like clothes, which will help you win more pageants. This will bring up your reputation in the competitive world, so you can compete more and enter higher staked competitions.
Entering into a pageant can be a lot of fun and a lot work, which is why so many people get so much out of it. However, the problems it can bring to the budget also detours many people. These ten tips should help you get on your way to enjoying the world of competitive pageants.