How to Save for the Young Writer Retreat

The idea of spending an entire week at the YWW Retreat, away from home, in a new place…it might seem kind of impossible. Perhaps you would even need to travel across the country to make it to Lake Junaluska. That’s big.

And yet, it may be more doable than it seems on first glance.

Registration is open through June, so you have time to plan and save up for the retreat. Here are some different ways other students have successfully saved up for past student-organized conferences. One of these ideas may just be the right fit for you!

1. Carpool

For many students, the biggest expense will be transportation.  That’s why you may want to consider carpooling with other YDubbers to decrease the costs. When you split the cost of gas amongst yourselves, the numbers become significantly smaller. Not to mention how much more fun it is to travel with friends!

With so many students scattered across the U.S., the chances of someone living nearby is higher than you may think. We even have a community space for finding friends to carpool with! Visit the YWW Retreat Roommate Matchup space to find the perfect travel buddies for the summer.

Remember to talk with your parents first if you’re a minor before agreeing to carpool with someone!

2. Share Rooms

As we mention on the lodging page of the website, rooming with fellow YDubbers is an excellent way to cut costs. Having roommates can make the cost as low as $30/night!

Just like with carpooling, we have a space for this! Visit the YWW Retreat Roommate Matchup space to find people to share with.

Remember to talk with your parents first if you’re a minor before agreeing to room with someone!

3. Request it as a Gift

Christmas is around the corner, and a ticket to the retreat could be a perfect fit for your stocking. Letting your parents know you’re willing to exchange a potential birthday/Christmas present for the YWW Retreat can show how much you truly want to attend.

4. Start a Small Side Business

Teenagers around the world are making hundreds of dollars by hosting bake sales, selling old books, and doing odd jobs around the neighborhood. Some YDubbers even play instruments on the streets to earn money for the coming retreat.

It’s easier than you think—simply ask. Consider asking your neighbor if you could clean a part of their house, asking your church if they could use someone to mow the lawn, or seeing if you can host a garage sale with some of your old clothes.

5. Ask Your Parents for a New Task

Similarly, your parents might need some extra help around the house. Taking up a new chore for a raise in your allowance or offering to do some Spring cleaning can help add weight to your savings jar. It also shows your parents that you’re willing to work for the opportunity to attend the retreat.

How One YDubber Made it Work

(From Karynn H.)

“I went [to the student-organized conference] in 2022 and paid for my ticket, rooming, and a few other travel costs. My dad drove with me from Texas to Tennessee and helped pay for some of the travel costs, but I basically used all my savings for this trip. It was a big purchase for me and wasn’t money I had lying around to use on a whim.

“Here are a few things I did to earn that money instead.

  • Ran a small business. From 2021-2022, I ran a business selling resin jewelry and bookmarks with pressed flowers. I enjoyed making them and people were eager to buy them from me. This was a GREAT form of income and honestly made it easy putting my talents to use.
  • Had a job. The year before, I’d worked at a karate dojo as a receptionist. I knew my boss before being hired and only worked around 12-15 hours a week and then I saved almost every paycheck. A lot of what I put into the conference was a result of patient savings and not magically appearing money.
  • Did small jobs like babysat, held lighting for my photographer mom, dog/house sat, etc. These things really make a difference, every $15-$20 dollar job is that much money closer to your goal.

“There really are so many ways to save up money for the conference. You just have to be creative. Don’t be scared to host bake sales or craft sales and talk to people about what you are working for.

“You can do yard work, nanny, thrift/resale clothes, and a million other different thinsg. What really makes a difference is your grit and determination. Have the self-discipline to be wise about your money. I honestly had to say no to quite a few things I wanted and opportunities to afford the Ydubs conference and I have no regrets, it was a priority to me and I was willing to work for it.

“And seriously, pray pray pray. Trust God with the big things and the little things. Seek Him and trust Him with the desires of your hear.”

Ready to register for the 2024 Young Writer Retreat?