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Money Sense: Carnival Season savvy krewe member talks Mardi Gras - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Money Sense: Carnival Season savvy krewe member talks Mardi Gras money

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Lafayette, LA -

During the Mardi Gras season, thousands come out to enjoy the floats, festivities and fun throws, all for free--but for the parade royalty and krewe members, the party doesn't come cheap.

"When I grew up we didn't do much with Mardi Gras," said Lafayette resident Nelda Broussard.

That all changed when Broussard's daughter turned four years old.

"And she caught the bug," said Broussard.

For more than a decade now, she and her husband have been members of the Lafayette Mardi Gras Festival, Inc.

"And we're also officers, so we participate in everything that is done," said Broussard.

Anyone who knows anything about Mardi Gras knows that participating in everything comes with a pretty hefty price tag. Especially if you, like Broussard, have the costs for three grandchildren to take into account.

"If you are truly into Mardi Gras, you must have a plan. That includes a financial plan."

Broussard said budgeting money for krewe memberships, costumes, and attire for the five different balls she attends each season is a year-round process.

"We also have the major cost of throws. The average person has no idea how much throws cost. Only the lower end, you're talking about $35-40 a case for beads," said Broussard.

The Broussards stock up on at least 55-60 cases of beads every single year, but she said there are some ways she's come up with to cut corners.

"Sales," said Broussard. "I shop year round for formal gowns so that I will have everything I need when the season comes about. Also with the children's costumes, I make them myself. So I don't have the additional cost of a seamstress and that kind of thing."

The broussard family has come a long way since its first carnival season, and Broussard said they don't plan on stopping any time soon.

"At the end of that first year, I told my mother, I said, 'I will never do this again.' And she said, 'Yes you will.' And I said, 'Why?' and she said, 'When do our kids get to be little kings and little queens, little princes and little princesses?' This is a dream come true for the kids. That's why I keep doing it," said Broussard.

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