There are all kinds of "credit" offerings that require no intrest at all like exchanging a percentage of the ticket for rent payment. It could be less than the space usually gets or it could exceed all expectations and pay more than the space would normally raise but the credit comes with no strings, no monthly payments and no accumulating intrest.
Same thing with key people that need to be paid, pay day is in November when the reciepts have all been accounted for.
Materials can be from genuinely helping someone get rid of three trailer fulls of 3/4 inch plywood and stacks of 2x6s that were left on a property and now are a haven for possible rodents and a fire hazard. In other words work by you equals free.
Focusing on paying cash for only raw materials instead of buying turn key props, literally picking things up on trash day like odd furniture and file cabinets that might be a lab scene. Sort of having a predetermined idea of what can fit into scenes and things that can be repurposed into things that look like other things.
It is a little easier if your day job has you traveling all over the place seeing what the disposable society is wasting. Being around contractors that over buy building materials and would rather give stuff away than have a never ending storage bill for things they may never use again. Most real construction jobs want the new stack of materials dropped off by a truck because the customer paid for it. They aren't into recycling stuff that has been in storage for a year or waste labor on trying to get the nails out of things.
It is an entirely different mind set. I'm not saying become some weirdo hippy dumpster diver that also managed to stock up on 6 months worth of food that way too but, there are opportunities everywhere.
There are also lots of new haunt start ups where they bought $125,000 worth of crap and marketing and everything is for sale at 20 cents to 30 cents on the dollar that can be transformed with left over paint and a tint kit. So you do indeed spend some money on gas, trucks, 2 meals a day, mass quantities of coffee and dog food. Some dollar figure per day that in the real world might be considered poverty. You do end up with monthly storage bills where others just refused to do that. So you don't have an outdoor kitchen but you have a sustainable business.
Your time is worth money. That is the goal of how many customers need to show up, not some payment that needs to be met. If you use credit or get a loan, that 20 to 30% income is going back to someone else and not you. Generally in any business that is the total percentage of profit actually available and some one else wants it. You get nothing. There is no reason to buy expensive things and expect to turn a profit 3 years down the road. BY finding some opportunities it is the same as getting paid now by saving money. If a free 2x6 can be ripped on a table saw and become the lumber for a whole wall, you just saved $7.50. Well, you just earned $7.50 in about 20 minutes. You find materials on craigs list $1 a sheet of plywood or $3 a sheet or some whacky deal where you have to take all kinds of crap and sell what you don't want or can't use. Trade it for labor to help move things around or screw things together or paint base coats on things. You are making/earning money.
Anyone can spend money but very few know how to make money. If everything was free, the pressure is totally off. Even if only 50 people show up you profited because everything was already paid for. Don't quit your day job but afford yourself the time to look around a bit. The other mistake everyone does is it will happen by such and such date. Bullshit, it will happen when all the stuff is here and there is nothing better to do than open the booger up. Once you have all the tools then others get excited about what opportunity can really be. People that have stuff and see your stuff as something they would have to spend a small fortune on. And typically they don't have the time or the skills to do all of this. So you get paid.
There is no rhyme or reason to how and when exactly a certain thing gets built, it comes when the deal is there or the materials become available. You get entirely out of the consumer society. Those are the people who buy tickets to escape the daily grind. Credit is something created to make you a better consumer. Not really a business owner that can just pay for things and be able to do exactly what your said you would do.
Look at all the things around you and see things in a different perspective. Haunts are the best thing in the word because everything is supposed to look damaged and old anyhow. Try not to bring home termites but, why take brand new stuff and spend so much time making it look old.
Any topic you want to bring up, lighting, sound equipment, computers, everything has demanded the newest tech every 2 years and as a non consumer who cares if a prop is actually running on an atari 600. It is the same damn processor, always has been as the you program it fancy boards for $550. Someone is using that as a door stop right now somewhere.
How did people make things before there were all of these fancy things in cans and bottles at the big box stores to be convieniently purchased by Joe the consumer and his family. You just made something in the future on prices from the past. Your brain just took 1968 prices and times ten happens and you get paid the difference. You don't have to go all the way back to the 1500s but history and science helps.
Not just haunts or haunting things, I watch people all the time go rent a building, buy all the crap they think should be in there and buy all the special tools, all top grade stuff before they even really know how to do what it is they think is their business of a lifetime. Then they find out no potential customer is as excited about what ever it is and the rent is still due every month and the work they do get, they find out is is work they are doing to pay this rent. Then it isn't fun for some reason. They shut down and don't want to do any challenging work and would rather shut down and stop because it wasn't magic. There is always an excuse, they didn't get the second loan, the locations wasn't right, they found out you had to pay people you hired before youself and fill out all kinds of forms. Instead of just going to work to begin with and earning everything at a pace that you can not lose with.
The collection plate will be coming around soon, dont be skimping.
Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.