How do I raise money for this very expensive trip that I want to go on to receive two college credits for Spanish?
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Two routes that could prove to be lucrative sources for this type of trip would be business sponsorship and support from a religious institution. Many business are willing to donate philanthropic funds for purposes they deem worthy if they get some type of public recognition for doing so. You could write letters to local business institutions and ask for a monetary amount for sponsorship, and in return, offer to set up a newspaper story that describes the trip, its intended purpose, and the fact that you were sponsored in part by their business. This gives them "free" positive press and demonstrates a commitment to the community. This type of arrangement could be made with several businesses.
If you are affiliated with a specific church, you could talk to the church head about arranging a congregational sponsorship. Some churches will give a set amount from a fund while others will take up a special offering to be given to the student in need. Still other churches might put together a congregational dinner (each family contributes a dish, for example) with a plate price or donation given.
Regardless of the paths taken to raise money for the trip, the effort is a worthwhile investment in your education future.
The previous post gives two excellent ways of supplementing your expenses for the trip. Since I love to travel (and have been to southern Spain), I support your decision--sounds like a great way to get some college credits. First, start saving every penny you have--literally. I once filled a very large piggy bank with nickels, dimes and pennies (quarters wouldn't fit). I eventually broke it open and used the money (nearly $300) for a trip to the Bahamas. A job--be it part-time or full-time--would provide you with a resource. If you have any personal items of monetary value, you might consider selling a few of them: I have raised money for several trips selling a few collectibles on eBay. Your parents might be able to help you out, of course--possibly with matching funds or a loan.
The previous answers are excellent. Can you give us a rough idea of the expense of the trip? If we know that, we will have a realistic idea of how much you need to raise and of how you might go about raising such a sum. Don't forget to ask your teacher, department head, and dean (if you are in college) for suggestions. Often they will know of sources of money than you may not know about.
One thing you can do is really start thinking about how much money you are currently SPENDING and try to spend less. Yes, that coffee house coffee is a great and convenient way to start the day, but at $3.00 a cup, you could make a lot of coffee in your home coffee pot and put it in your cheap travel mug. By just not buying that one cup you could save yourself $20 a week. Start thinking about all of the "incidental" things you purchase: meals, snacks, movie tickets, impulse purchases during routine shopping trips etc. I think you might surprise yourself when you realize how much "small" money you throw away on things you don't really need. Always ask yourself if something is a need or a want.
I would have to agree with all of the wonderful suggestions the previous posters have provided. I would definitely suggest considering how you spend money now. Is the money you are spending absolutely necessary? Each time you go to spend money on something, take a look at the purchase. If you decide that the money is not worth the purchase, put the money you would have spent into an account opened specifically for your plans. You will not only minimize your frivolous spending, you will be saving for something you really want.
Work. Besides a payroll job, think of washing cars, babysitting, dog sitting, mowing, raking lawns, painting, etc. There are many things that you can offer to do for older neighbors that they will be glad to pay for if you do not charge too much. Contact board members of your educational system. Often they will donate or know of some group who will. See what your religious organization will do for you.
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