Spending on experiences rather than goods is on the rise, but so is the burden of student loan debt. 

San Antonio is synonymous with the Riverwalk, the Alamo, and Fiesta. That’s right, in April, it’s all medals, turkey legs, and flower crowns, oh my! 

The two-week celebration has been going on since the 1800s, includes 100+ musical, culinary and cultural events, attracts more than two million attendees, and brings around $340 million to the local economy. That’s a lot of chicken on-a-sticks…not to mention, a lot of spending for those enjoying the experience. 

A Fiesta enthusiast may attend two to three events, and spend anywhere from $20 to more than $100 per person, per event. From food and drink coupons to securing a safe ride home, partying adds up. So, why are people choosing to pay as much as a car payment to join in on the festivities? 

According to Fortune, consumer habits are shifting from spending less on material goods like clothes and jewelry to more on experiences like concerts, festivals, sports events, and travel. Many people, particularly Millennials, believe experiences create unforgettable memories, become part of their identity, and help them to bond with others in a more meaningful way than buying a new pair of sneakers can. This new spending mentality may also be in part to social media and the millions of “Instagram-worthy” photos creating major FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” among users. 

When uncontrolled, the cost of creating these types of memories and keeping up with friends online comes in the forms of overspending and debt. When combined with existing obligations, for example, student loan debt, people are struggling to manage their finances and are falling behind on their payments. The average student loan payment is between $200 and $300 a month, which can make any purchase from buying a new shirt to going out with friends a major financial decision. With Fiesta coming up, it seems irresistible to miss out on this ultimate San Antonio experience, so how can you still be part of the tradition, while being responsible and not going further into debt?   

If you’re braving the shoulder-to-shoulder Fiesta crowds, here are some money-saving tips so you can truly live in the moment.  

  • Attend free events. Check the events calendar for events with a free or low-cost entrance fee. You’ll still enjoy the company of your friends, and the many tissue paper flores and colorful papel-picado photo ops around town.
  • Swap and save, rather than charge credit. Preparing now and making small changes in your spending could mean a big payoff later. Rather than creating more debt by charging on your credit card, cut back on a few daily purchases like eating out and coffee, and put what you save toward your Uber ride downtown or a high-ticket event like Taste of the Northside.
  • Put some money back in your pocket with a long-term solution. If you’re set on having more money to spend on experiences and memories like Fiesta, wine tasting in Fredericksburg, or tubing the Comal River, then we have la solucion. My Education Solutions creates the financial flexibility you’re searching for by significantly lowering your student loan payment through true loan forgiveness.

  Student loan debt doesn’t have to stop you from #livingyourbestlife. Contact My Education Solutions at 1-800-618-1170 to talk to a local expert about your options, or visit www.myedusolutions.com and use the Student Loan Forgiveness Calculator to see if you qualify and estimate your savings in a few easy steps.   

Sources: http://fortune.com/2016/09/01/selling-experiences/ Fiesta 2016: Economic Impacts and Contributions Study