10 Ways to Save Money on Entertainment

retirementIf you’ve recently decided to stick to a budget, you may have had to cut back on some of your spending – namely, your entertainment expenses. I know firsthand how much money my family and I were wasting on things we enjoyed. From watching television and movies at home on a rainy day to taking family vacations and just enjoying a drink with friends, we’ve racked up serious monthly costs that could be going towards something else. I thought it meant we had to give up doing things we loved.

How in the world can you afford to go to the movies, to a bar, or an amusement park when you’re on a budget? Does budgeting mean that you’ve cut out all the fun in your life? It doesn’t have to be that way. What I’ve come to find is it’s all about being mindful of your spending and, of course, finding affordable solutions to doing things you enjoy. Here are a few ways:

  1. Ditch cable

Cable television packages can get downright expensive. Spending close to $200 per month to watch maybe 2-3 hours of TV per day just doesn’t add up. Today, there are a lot of affordable options including satellite TV, online streaming services, and even affordable DVD rental kiosks.

  1. Find a Better Package

If you prefer to keep your television service package, consider finding a package that includes more of the channels you’re into and less of the ones you don’t. For example, if you love sports, you might opt for DIRECTV – NFL Sunday Ticket, which would allow you to watch all the sports channels at a reasonable rate.

  1. Subscribe to Online Magazines

If you’re still paying for magazine subscriptions, it’s time to stop. Instead of having them shipped to your home, subscribe online. These subscriptions are absolutely free and provide the same content you’d get if you purchased the magazine.

  1. Use a Lot of Coupons

Coupons are like money and should not be overlooked. I used to think that couponing was only for grocery shopping, but you can actually find a coupon for just about anything you enjoy doing. Sites like Groupon, for instance, make it easy for you to find affordable things to do locally.

  1. Check Out Happy Hour

Like enjoying a good brew with your friends? You don’t have to give up those trips to local bars to hang out with your buds. Instead, start going to happy hours. The drinks and food are often discounted saving you a ton of money.

  1. Travel Off-Season

We would always plan our family trips during the summers and choose some of the most popular destinations. What we didn’t realize, is that if we start planning our vacations during a less popular time, we could save a lot more money. Instead of hitting Disney in the summer, wait until the fall. Not only will you save money, it will be a lot less crowded so you and your family can enjoy it.

  1. Take Advantage of Free Events

When the weather permits, many cities hold events as a way of bringing the community together. Often admission to them is free and the vendors are affordable. Sign up to receive notices about upcoming events and take advantage of the times you and your family can have fun without spending a dime.

  1. Eat Out for Lunch

If you enjoy eating out from time to time, skip dinner and try eating out for lunch. The prices are a lot less than dinner, but the food is just as great.

  1. Get Creative at Home

Being at home doesn’t have to be boring. Get creative when you’re at home and find fun things to do. Play board games, video games, watch a movie through a streaming service, or even pitch a tent in the backyard and go camping. As long as you’re together, money isn’t much of an issue.

  1. Ask

This one came as a shocker to me, but it is surprisingly a good way to save money on entertainment. Prior to purchasing ask about discounts or promotions. You’d be surprised what businesses have that could save you money that simply isn’t well advertised.

Being on a budget doesn’t have to mean that you have to stop doing things you enjoy. It simply means that you have to find ways to do the things you enjoy with the amount of money you’ve budgeted for yourself. If you try each of these ten tips, I’m almost certain you will see a difference in how much money you have leftover at the end of the month. The best part, you didn’t have to sacrifice your happiness.

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