How to turn your Coachella ticket into $42K

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Coachella — the time of year millennials and music moguls alike frolic in the California desert, snapping perfect Instagram shots and nodding their flower-crown heads to the beat of the music.

Day 1, so happy to be here! 🤗 #coachella2017 🎡🔥 #revolvefestival @revolve

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But what if I told you that you could turn the cash you spent on your Coachella trip into more than $42,000?

Well, you can, thanks to the power of compounding interest.

As a millennial, I know how much our generation values experiences; we were raised on that YOLO mindset, after all! And while skipping the concert might sound like a quick way to catch some serious feelings of FOMO, if you save or invest the cash you would typically spend on a trip to Coachella, you’ll be the one really provoking envy from your friends.

I’ve compared the cost of Coachella to different investment scenarios, so you can determine whether all the frenzy over music festivals is really worth it.

Festival season? Pricey. The feeling of retiring rich? Priceless.

Cost of Coachella

Roundtrip airfare to Los Angeles metro area, based on the average airfare from major airports in the U.S.: $209.33

Shuttle from LAX to Coachella: $140

Admission to concert and shuttle pass: $474

Food and beverages: $150 (estimated two basic meals a day plus one beer and water)

Lodging: $640.50 (splitting the cheapest three-day, two-person hotel package within 10 miles of festival grounds)

TOTAL: $1613.83

Coachella or invest?

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Scenario No. 1: You invest in stocks

Here’s what would happen if you invested the cash you would spend on a Coachella ticket in the Standard & Poor’s 500, and it returned at the average rate we’ve seen over the last 30 years (which is 11.50 percent).

Initial investment: $1,613.83 (the cost of your Coachella trip!)

At the end of year 1: $1,799.50

At the end of year 5: $2,781.75

At the end of year 10: $4,794.88

At the end of year 20: $14,246.10

At the end of year 30: $42,326.69

Scenario No. 2: You invest in bonds

Here’s what would happen if you invested the cash you would spend on a Coachella ticket in investment-grade bonds, and it returned at the average rate we’ve seen over the last 30 years (which is 7.27 percent).

Initial investment: $1,613.83 (the cost of your Coachella trip!)

At the end of year 1: $1,731.18

At the end of year 5: $2,292.34

At the end of year 10: $3,256.12

At the end of year 20: $6,569.65

At the end of year 30: $13,255.14

Scenario No. 3: You invest in a 60/40 blended 401(k)

Here’s what would happen if you invested the cash you would spend on a Coachella ticket in a 60/40 blended 401(k), and it returned on an average rate of 9.81 percent (the average total return on a bonds and stocks portfolio).

Initial investment: $1,613.83 (the cost of your Coachella trip!)

At the end of year 1: $1,772.17

At the end of year 5: $2,576.87

At the end of year 10: $4,114.58

At the end of year 20: $10,490.39

At the end of year 30: $26,745.93

Scenario No. 4: You stash it in a high-yield savings account

Here’s what would happen if you stashed the cash you spent on a Coachella trip in a high-yield savings account, based on the interest rate associated with the best savings account listed on Bankrate.com, (which is 1.10 percent).

Initial investment: $1,613.83 (the cost of your Coachella trip!)

At the end of year 1: $1,631.59

At the end of year 5: $1,704.57

At the end of year 10: $1,800.41

At the end of year 20: $2,008.55

At the end of year 30: $2,240.75

So there you have it; ditching Coachella for some good old-fashioned #adulting can turn you into a money mogul.

Want more tips and tricks on how to save? Follow me on Facebook!

Sarah Berger

I am a journalist and penny-pinching millennial living in New York City on a budget.