What the Taylor Swift Eras Tour Can Teach Us About Finance

A look at what the popstar made us do to our budgets.

Carole Hodorowicz 07.07.2023
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Taylor Swift Eras Tour

Sticking to a budget can be hard for any average person. But when you're a Taylor Swift fan, you'll do anything to make your wildest dreams come true and see her live in concert. With 106 dates total on The Eras tour (so far), Taylor Swift is projected to make around $1.4 billion in gross revenue, according to Pollstar.   

I’m one of the fans who contributed to Swift’s massive paycheck by attending the Friday and Sunday night concerts in Chicago. In total, that was almost 7 hours of screaming Taylor Swift songs back at her, just about 30,000 steps from all the walking and shaking it off, countless friendship bracelets, and one priceless weekend. And to everyone who wants to know the secret for scoring tickets to The Eras tour: Surround yourself with friends who are just as obsessed, crazy, and determined as you are to hear the bridge to Cruel Summer in real life, no matter how much Ticketmaster tries to beat you down.   

At the Chicago concerts, I talked to some other fans who went headfirst, fearless into the Taylor Swift economy. I’ve compiled some of the most memorable quotes below, but you can watch the full video on Morningstar’s YouTube and Instagram.   

How Did Taylor Swift Fans Budget for Eras Tour Tickets?  

“My budget was a thousand. I ended up paying $650 for both our tickets.”  

“Actually, this will be my third concert and I've spent under $600 total for all 3.”   

“I would say, for my max budget, it would be like I would sell an organ if I had to. Luckily, we didn't have to. We kind of lucked out [at] $350.”  

“I think $1,000. I was really ready to spend it all.”  

How Did Taylor Swift Fans Budget for Eras Tour Outfits?  

“I just wanted to look good, that's all I cared about. I ended up only spending 60 bucks.”  

“I bought everything for this. Well, actually, my man bought my boots. They were like a hundred or something.”  

“I just I've always loved her sparkly guitar. I play guitar myself, and so I just wanted to become her guitar. And I figured, well, nobody else is doing it so we might still do it. It probably cost about 100 bucks at least.” (To get the full picture, watch the video on Morningstar’s YouTube or Instagram to see all the impressive outfits and niche references to Taylor Swift’s career.)  

Would Taylor Swift Fans Do It All Over Again for the Eras Tour?  

“She is worth so much I would definitely do it again. I was planning to spend at least a thousand dollars. So, this is pretty solid.”  

“I'm gonna be in the same room as her.”  

“Ever since I was little, I've been listening to her, worshipping her. She's gotten me through every era, her life and my life.”  

“Yeah, but I might wear more glitter next time.” 

Yes, But Why Do Budgets Matter?

While making and maintaining budgets might not sound like fun, what you can eventually do with the money you collect certainly can be.

As Morningstar’s behavioural sciences team points out, the satisfaction of instant gratification beats prudent long-term money management – meaning it’s easier to spend than save. The reason budgeting is hard is it requires us to give up short term gratification in aide of long term gains – in short, it requires trade-offs. For example, you can buy a used car today, and afford a vacation next year. Or you don’t buy a cottage in Muskoka this year, and instead, you can retire 5 years earlier.

Morningstar.com director of personal finance Christine Benz says everyone--regardless of age, life stage, or income--needs a budget. "The key point about a budget is that it helps ensure that your spending syncs up with your priorities," she notes.

How Can Any Fan Budget? For Anything?

Even your budget can have a little more glitter, too. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a Taylor Swift fan or not!   

When it came to budgeting for my own Taylor Swift experience, I turned to Sarah Newcomb’s research on using a “needs versus strategies” approach, rather than a “needs versus wants” one.   

“Needs are fundamental and relevant to all people everywhere,” writes Newcomb. When using this framework, Newcomb refers to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:  

  • Survival,  
  • Security,  
  • Love and belonging, 
  • Esteem, 
  • Meaning.  

For me and other Taylor Swift fans, seeing Blondie live in concert checks every one of these needs. Here’s where the strategy comes in. Some strategies are more affordable than others. Your needs may be nonnegotiable, but your strategy can always change depending on how much you have at your disposal. Here’s how my strategy worked out:   

  • Getting my Eras Tour ticket: This was the most expensive part of my strategy and where most, if not all, of my budget was going toward. I was willing to put down what I pay in rent for one ticket. Look, I can hear you wincing, but I ended up getting tickets to two separate shows for a total of $476. Now can I get a high five?  
  • Getting my Eras Tour outfit: I raided my own closet for outfits and relied on my crafty cousin to help me make my own “I Heart T.S.” shirt from scratch. At most, this was $20 for the shirt and supplies. My cousin even threw in the ironing consultation for free, too!  
  • Getting to the Eras Tour: Luckily, I live in Chicago, so I relied on public transit and my own two feet to get me to and from the concert. Note to self: My fabulous red cowboy boots are better for photo ops than long distance travelling.   

Good luck to the Taylor Swift fans (Including Justin Trudeau, we see you) who have yet to go up against the Ticketmaster queue! Stay stay stay patient and remember your strategy. 


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About Author

Carole Hodorowicz  Carole.Hodorowicz is an Audience Engagement Associate at Morningstar.com

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