Miss Hawaii USA 2016 Top 5 - Photo: Travis K. Okimoto
Once you begin your pageant journey, it doesn't take long to realize that, like any other hobby or extracurricular, pageants take up time and – wait for it – money. However, the cost of competing should never keep you from trying. It’s more doable than you think.
What are you able to spend, and what do you absolutely need to spend it on? Take a minimalistic approach, and build up your pageant wardrobe a step at a time. If you are able to, try to spread out your big expenses such as your evening gown and pageant lessons. I’ll let you in on a secret: You don’t have to buy everything brand new. Many dress shops have a resale section, and many pageant girls are looking to sell their wardrobe. If you're really blessed, you may not have to spend a penny! I'm talking about borrowing and sponsorship. Two of my favorite words. Never be afraid to ask to borrow or to ask for sponsors. You have nothing to lose, seriously. The worst thing anyone can tell you is no, which sounds a lot better than a phone call from your credit card company. While you may not be able to borrow everything or get enough sponsors to cover the complete cost of your pageant, it can certainly relieve a financial burden.
Stick To a Budgeting Process
For example, many people find Dave Ramsey’s envelope system convenient and simple. Here is the envelope method in a pageant girl's nutshell: First, calculate your total income and figure out how much can go toward pageants. From there, gather envelopes and label them by what you need to spend. That may be “wardrobe,” “hair and makeup,” “travel,” “clothing,” and so on. With this budget, you allot a certain amount of money to your designated envelopes each payday or as you are able to, but no cheating. (Read: How to Create a Budget for Your Pageant)
This is where you have to roll up your sleeves, put on your lip gloss, and just do it. Asking for sponsors is not fun, but is it very rewarding. If you aren’t sure where to begin, start by typing a letter of sponsorship explaining who you are and the pageant you are competing in. Next, find a day to go out into your community and ask local business if they would like to sponsor you. You may be directed to someone else if you are speaking to an employee, or you could be asked to come back at a later date if the owner is not available. That’s just one instance where your letter comes in handy. Also, don't forget to ask friends and family if they will help sponsor you. Each little bit adds up. Thoroughly explain who you are, and tell them about the pageant you are competing in. Doing this also helps you to become more comfortable speaking which will be reflected in your interview. All the more reason to try!
Fundraise, Fundraise, Fundraise!
A fun fashion show, a small pageant, even cookie dough! With the help of family, friends, and pageant directors, fundraising can not only relieve a financial burden, but it can be fun. You can make this an opportunity to share your platform and to network with new people. Never underestimate the power of a good fundraiser and good friends.
Look into a part time or side job
Open an Etsy shop or sell a product. If you find a part-time job, that business could end up being your best sponsor. This is an opportunity to make good connections and even have fun making a little money. Keep in mind, you aren't supporting a family with this job, so it doesn't have to be anything big. However, a little bit here are there can go a long way. Who knows! You may just end up with a extra spending money for expensive health foods, am I right?
Don't forget about the little things
Last minute purchases before a pageant are often overlooked. You have your spray tan, hotel room, food, butt glue, you know – the necessities. These items are easy to forget when you are making your budget, but think forward every step of the way up until the pageant. Seriously, a frantic Target trip the night before the pageant can make you cough up more cash than you had originally planned, so add room in your budget for last minute items. Making a checklist of items to pack for the pageant can save you money and stress, so make that a top priority. Once you have your goals and your budget on paper, you are set. A woman with an agenda is a force to be reckoned with.
Her tip is: "Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made.”Learn More