How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

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How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby N2FBoston » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:00 am

I'm sure everyone will have different answers for this depending on how much you are participating and how big your art and camp may be, but I was curious to see what people have to say on this. I'm trying to plan out the year and see how much I need to set aside every month to make BM 2013 happen.

Thanks for your help!
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:02 am

I don't have to keep track, so I don't.
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby Morrell » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:25 am

Because everyone approaches Burning Man differently, what we spend will not help you as much as you figuring out how you want to approach Burning Man (eg. tent vs RV). The initial investment in acquiring all that you will need to survive a week in the desert can be pricey but obviously subsequent burns will cost less.
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby Drawingablank » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:27 am

A lot will depend on your mode of transportation, how much luxury you want, how much gear you need to buy, etc...

Flying from the east coast and renting a vehicle (two of us) this years burn ran us about 1,800.00 each plus the tickets. That is everything spent on the trip and includes truck rental for the 12 days we were on the playa, gas, airfare, food, water, booze, and 4 days in the Sands hotel.

What is not included in that total was outfits / costumes, or previously purchased gear. We also had a 145.00 expense sending out 212 pounds of our gear via UPS.

We do a rather minimalist camp - just a shade structure and we sleep in the truck. We don't even bring a stove or grill and just eat cold food all week.
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby attemptress » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:31 am

my first time expenses included

-ticket
-gas
-car prep (i had to drive about 8500km total, lots of mountains, so I overhauled my car)
-food/lodging on the way there and back
-food/supplies for the burn
-bike rack and playa bike

i already had camping gear and shade structures were shared with my camp.

the first year will be my most expensive by far. I did a 5 week road trip that culminated with the Burn and had me living out of my car, couch surfs, another festival, and motels for five weeks. I'm gonna ballpark $4 or 5k CAD, not including car overhaul.

I could feasibly do it for around $1500-2500, where most of that would be gas for a very long drive.

I also now entirely understand why many burners spend the other 51 weeks preparing and tweaking. regardless of what you do, you will see ways to streamline your approach. and likely save yourself cash, too.

I could see it being feasible for doing it for less than 1000 if you live within a state's distance and work collectively and coordinate well with your camp.
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby TT120 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:05 am

All of it. Every last penny.
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:23 am

If I get away with spending less than $3000 (including camp dues, food, gas, RV, beer, wine, gifts, sheets for the bedding, jasmine body lotion for massages, champagne, bribes, Indian tacos, batteries, and on and on and on) then I've done something seriously wrong. But when you're me, and your philosophy is: Cost is no object, what does it really matter?
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:32 am

Please don't make me actually add it all up. I try not to think about it.. just do it.. just do it.. don't think..
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby trilobyte » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:38 am

My own experiences have been all over the board. I've known people who've made it for less than one thousand, as well as those who've spent more than ten. But the specifics of our answers don't actually matter. For financial planning purposes, save as much as you possibly can. Tighten the belt as many notches as you can in your daily life. Better to have more than you need (meaning you come back home and aren't completely broke) than to fall short.
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby N2FBoston » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:51 am

Thanks for the helpful replies! Although everyone takes different paths this is helping me get an idea of what people spent on their path so I can better chose my own. :D
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In perfect harmony.

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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby shykat » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:55 am

I believe that the event cost 3k per person. If you are not spending 3k , then someone else is spending more then 3k. I spend 3 to 5 k each year i go. The guys/girls spending 20k plus are covering the cost for the folks spending under 1k. IMHO.......
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby Chowski » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:13 am

I went this year (my second) by myself, so I really embraced radical self-reliance, after a three-year absence. Most of what I had used the first year was long gone, so I ended up buying (or borrowing) alot again. I'll try to break down what I spent:

Tent (used) $30
Camo netting $50
Stakes, ropes, zip ties (borrowed and purchased) $60
Lighting (solar christmas lights, el wire, camp lantern) $60
Food/Water $100
Alcohol $100
Clothing (made some, bought some used) $100
Ticket $340
Gas $80
Cigarettes $60
Travelling expenses (meals, tolls) $100
Bike (used) $50
Bike lights/fur $30
Gifting gifts $200
Car detailing after $150
Various supplies (toiletries, cup, vitamins, etc.) $200
Pet care $100
Batteries $20
Roof Rack $250
Borrowed or owned (free) things: coooler, ez-up, costumes, sledge hammer, sleeping bag, etc.

So it looks like my grand total was $2,080.00. I "went small" - no camp dues, no financial contributions to camp or placed art, no cooking. And next time, many of these expenses will be cut (roof rack, tent, lights, camping supplies). I may have also spent a few hundred more dollars on mood enhancers, but to lay out that expenditure might not be legally prudent, and I do not include that here.

Nope, BM is not cheap, but it is worth every single penny. Start saving now!
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby N2FBoston » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:16 am

Great break down Chowski thanks!
When shall I be free?
When I shall cease to be.
No more I but WE,
In perfect harmony.

Extremely inspiring and beautiful short story: The Egg by Andy Weird
http://www.galactanet.com/oneoff/theegg_mod.html
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby Savannah » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:22 am

My first Burn was about $1,000-1,200, on the absolute cheap (rideshare from 4 states away, free tent, shared shade). Including the ticket.

I spend . . . more than that, now (probably twice that) and like Junglesmacks, I don't really like to think about it. :) I just sock away as much as I can. I also re-use almost everything from year to year, and buy food not specifically designed for camping that I will actually want to eat later on, when (as usual) I only eat 20% of it at the actual event.

Two local friends of mine were guessing at dinner the other day that they spend about $3,000 apiece.

It will always cost hundreds more than you expect. Especially your first time. If you shop early and bargain hunt, hit sales, use coupons, go to discount stores for certain things, buy gently used equipment from friends and relatives, etc, you can get the most out of your money. And if you have relatives who buy you presents around the holidays, put camping stuff on your Wish List.

. . . With regards to the ticket price in particular, I believe it's Doc Pyro who is fond of saying: you're not paying $390 to get into a party . . . you're paying $1 to get into 390 parties. :D
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:24 am

I think somwhere in these threads it was estimated that the average was $1500.

I can do it all alone for right at $1000 included, but most of that is fuel for the 1800 mile trip there and back. 8)
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby Elliot » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:38 am

This one time at Burning Man.... A popular party bus broke down; the starter conked out. The owner fired up a satellite telephone. The next morning a corporate jet landed at BRC Airport with a professional bus mechanic, every tool on the planet, and a complete selection of new starters.
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby illy dilly » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:50 am

Elliot wrote:This one time at Burning Man.... A popular party bus broke down; the starter conked out. The owner fired up a satellite telephone. The next morning a corporate jet landed at BRC Airport with a professional bus mechanic, every tool on the planet, and a complete selection of new starters.

You've been coming back every year since then right Elliot?
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby Trishntek » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:09 pm

I believe the answer is directly proportional to how much YOU GIVE at Burning Man.
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby shykat » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:29 pm

Trishntek wrote:I believe the answer is directly proportional to how much YOU GIVE at Burning Man.


I totally agree....
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:40 pm

I totally disagree! :lol:

You can give plenty without spending a lot of money if you have a good imagination. 8)
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby N2FBoston » Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:55 pm

Wanna give some examples Figjam?
When shall I be free?
When I shall cease to be.
No more I but WE,
In perfect harmony.

Extremely inspiring and beautiful short story: The Egg by Andy Weird
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby Savannah » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:08 pm

Okay, you'll noticed that I am not Figjam (although we are frequently mistaken for one another) . . . but I wanna butt in about great cheap gifts. :)

Some of the best gifts in town are:

* Help or Assistance. (Help pounding rebar when you are exhausted, help raising your carport, help with anything arduous and physical, a ride somewhere when you are exhausted).
* Repairs. If you have the know-how to replace a bike tube for somebody or open a car with the keys locked in it, you're a hero.
* Hugs, for those who welcome them.
* Companionship, or an Invitation to go somewhere. Such things can be very meaningful.
* Food or drinks when someone else is hungry or thirsty. (This does not have to be on a large theme camp scale.)
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby N2FBoston » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:12 pm

Well done Savannah :D
When shall I be free?
When I shall cease to be.
No more I but WE,
In perfect harmony.

Extremely inspiring and beautiful short story: The Egg by Andy Weird
http://www.galactanet.com/oneoff/theegg_mod.html
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:12 pm

You can buy plastic whistles by the 1000s at Oriental Trading...

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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby Savannah » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:20 pm

Beware this wily Fish . . .

Listen to her siren song and you will wake up naked in deep playa, with NEWB written on your forehead in glitter pen and only a plastic whistle in your hand.
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby shykat » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:29 pm

FIGJAM wrote:I totally disagree! :lol:

You can give plenty without spending a lot of money if you have a good imagination. 8)




Yea you're right.... It does cost a bunch to bring a camp,art car,any art... if we all give out back rubs and get creatively cheap..... the event would suck...IMHO

and i'm not saying that the back rub guy is any less of a burner then the guy bringing that thing that makes you say "holly shit", i'm just saying is that that thing cost money.......Someone is paying for all that shit.....and i personally don't mind paying....
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby Elliot » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:35 pm

FIGJAM wrote:You can give plenty without spending a lot of money if you have a good imagination. 8)

Music! If you can sing or play an instrument, serenade somebody!
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:52 pm

shykat wrote:
FIGJAM wrote:I totally disagree! :lol:

You can give plenty without spending a lot of money if you have a good imagination. 8)




Yea you're right.... It does cost a bunch to bring a camp,art car,any art... if we all give out back rubs and get creatively cheap..... the event would suck...IMHO

and i'm not saying that the back rub guy is any less of a burner then the guy bringing that thing that makes you say "holly shit", i'm just saying is that that thing cost money.......Someone is paying for all that shit.....and i personally don't mind paying....

I think there's possibly an interesting discussion to be had on this topic, or close to it anyway. I absolutely know people who eat ramen all year, work for staff tickets, and bring minimal stuff. And then there are people I know who use more money for infrastructure and gas for the gennies and booze or whatever to gift. And then there are those millionaire/billionares who put even more in--although often in a less personal form. I could lose that top layer without any sense of something missing--I think. But the other two, I have no doubt, would be sorely missed. Personal income and moneys do shape how we burn, and if we burn, and on the playa, some markers of economic class are missing, and so it's easy to sorta think that the people around you are at the same level you are.

I have no idea where I'm going with this. However, plastic whistles from Oriental Trading are not what I would miss...
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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:05 pm

breathe deep, the playa is the dust of your ancestors

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Re: How much do YOU spend on Burning Man?

Postby AntiM » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:24 pm

But what if someone needs a whistle?

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