Are you wondering how you can save money showing livestock?
“Save money showing livestock” is not something show families put at the top of the list during show season. It should be. Showing livestock is expensive.
It may not be glitzy and glamorous to try to save money at the shows. But becoming money smart important for sustainability.
It’s also not easy to save money showing livestock. It takes discipline and support from the entire team to make it happen. If your show family wants to keep showing livestock, you have to be able to spend money wisely.
Here are some tips to save money showing livestock.
Make a Plan
Before show season begins, make a plan. Specific questions must be asked:
- How many animals will your show team need?
- What species will your show team need?
- What major shows will you attend.
- Possible fees of show expenses.
- Necessary expenses, such as hotel, food, etc.
These are just a few questions to ask before you even get started. Bottom line: Know what you need. Make a plan. Stick to the plan.
This is how you will determine how much money you will need for this year’s show project.
Make a budget…Stick to It
A simple budget will determine how much money you will need for your show team’s projects. After the plan is made, you’ll know what kind of budget needs to be made.
From the plan, make a list of all the possible expenses you’ll need. Along with income you MIGHT make from those shows. And I emphasize .
The expense side is key. When you understand how much money you could be spending, you’ll know how to cover and even where to cut out certain expenses to save.
Stick to this budget. The way funds are spent can make or break the sustainability of your show team’s career.
To start with, know what supplies you have on hand. Make a list of supplies you will need.
Make Inventory of Supplies Before the Show Day
Equipment and supplies needed for show day can be bought wholesale, in bulk, or at a reduced price if planned accordingly. Take inventory ahead of time to decide what you need.
Use your list of supplies as a checklist to know what you will need to purchase.
Shop around to ensure you’re getting a great deal for these products.
Finally, avoid buying many supplies at the shows. I’m not saying not to support the supply companies that set up shop! But, do be careful of your budget. It’s easy to go overboard.
Simply buy what you need from the supply companies ahead of time to avoid spending extra at the shows. Watch for sales and pay attention to where you can purchase supplies at wholesale cost.
Being smart will help cut cost in the supply area. Your other expenses are high enough! This is an easy one to cut back on.
Another easy way to save money is to plan and budget for meals.
It’s as easy as a deli meat and cheese sandwich. So simple, convenient and way cheaper.
If you are at a show for a longer period of time, you might not have a way to keep cold stuff cold. Therefore, it’s best to find a local grocery store or market for fresh and healthy ingredients. Purchase ingredients and use recipes that are easy to cook in a crock pot or portable grill.
Don’t forget your meat thermometer so you make sure you are cooking your meat to the correct temperature.
Not only is this a healthy way to eat, it is also a cheaper way. You’re already spending money to travel to shows and care for the animals in your string.
Use Funds Wisely
Now you know how much money your show team needs for livestock and living necessities. It’s time to save for the animals and all that comes with showing them. Start now and save more than you actually know you need.
Try to keep show and livestock expenses separate from living expenses. You can have a special place in the house or a special account in the bank.
Stay away from credit. Use the money you currently have to spend and stay within your budget.
Purchase the right animals for the competition level of shows your team wants to attend. For example, if your goal is Louisville, you need to budget for a very high dollar animal.
Finally, show expenses can add up rather quickly. Especially with hotels and meals. If possible, stay with friends and family near the show grounds.
I remember staying in our livestock trailer during shows to save money. We cleaned it, of course, and placed fresh straw down. Then, we each had a sleeping bag, pillows and blankets lining the trailer bed.
Those are some memories I will truly never forget.
It’s easy to chase the dream of the handshake and backdrop. The reality is that those dreams are for the few and far between.
Why is your family showing livestock? Think hard and remember why you started.
Think back to what your goals were when you began this journey. It’s easy to sway off the path. Competition is fierce and contagious. Everyone wants to win.
Make the best of the team’s experience by not having to worry about money. Use these tips to save money showing livestock. Make the experience more about the memories no one will ever forget.
What other ways could you save money showing livestock?
~ Much Love ~