Carnival is not cheap. I repeat, carnival is not cheap. But you already know that because you’ve either gone and went broke or you’re planning to, but your bank account says the only carnival you’re going to is the one with the ferris wheel down the street. Whether you’re plotting to go back or planning ahead, here are some helpful budget hacks to prepare for the steep cost of the greatest show on earth.

Skip the parties in your hometown. It’s hard to explain the energy, party atmosphere and vibes at carnival unless you’ve experienced it firsthand. Trust, it doesn’t compare to that Trap Paint and Sip Brunch. It’s OK to be OK with FOMO for a little while to save. And every penny you save can go towards fete tickets likes Soca Brainwash, breakfast fetes, Caesar’s Army AM Bush, which run between $100USD to $250 USD and are all inclusive with drinks and food.

Fly often for work or play? Use those points! Most major airlines fly into airports at carnival locations like Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Miami, and Jamaica. When booking your flight, stick with one preferred airline and maybe you can rack up enough points for your flight to Trinidad or the Cayman Islands, Toronto, or wherever carnival you chose!

Bring your lunch to work and cook more often. Not only is it healthy, it’s cost-effective! Say your lunch costs $10, that saves you about $50 a week and $200 a month to put towards fetes, flight, costume, and hotel. And you can meal prep healthy foods so you can enjoy double down on doubles and bake and shark!

Plan in advance. Like, way in advance! If you're missing Trinidad 2020, then start planning for 2021! Here's a suggestion: put aside a tiny percentage of each paycheck to a savings account just for carnival. And you can put extra money in that account whenever you are able to. Trust, you want to be financially flexible enough to grab tickets at a moment’s notice.

Paying in installments for costumes using carnival packages and concierge services is the way 99.9% of revelers pay for carnival. Trinidad alone can cost well over $5,000, but you’re not paying all upfront. Most people opt for carnival packages or some type of concierge service.

Most importantly: Don’t skip out on important things! Don’t skimp on security, safety, and convenience.