6 Ways to cut your Entertainment Budget & still Have Fun !

save-money

There are many ways you to slash your entertainment budget and still have loads of fun! I mean no one wants to be stuck in the house and be bored staring at the four walls, right? I know I sure don’t but I also don’t want to spend all my hard earned money on various entertainment. There is a great saying in a song “Everybody’s working for the weekend.” but not everyone can afford it and even if you can, it doesn’t mean you should. After all you might be saving for a college fund, or an upcoming marriage, or a special vacation away; whatever it is that you are planning for in your future, cutting where ever you can will help fatten up that piggy bank.

So where to start? Have a look at your current spending habits that fall under “entertainment”, everything from skating, book clubs, golf plans and packages, movie nights, video games, dining out, extra-curricular activities and more.

Let’s have a look at which entertainment habits are the most expensive. You may just want to chop these ones altogether. However, if they are also ones that you just can’t live without then I would recommend a compromise. Limit extra – curricular activities to one paid one and include one that is FREE each year ! This way you have to rethink exactly what you are enrolling in or doing and also spend some time researching other alternatives.

freeWhen going to the movies, one trick I use is to attend only when movies are 100% FREE, BOGO or Tuesday night specials. This way a movie night out for two would cost us at maximum $10. How can you get free movies, for one I utilize my Scene Card as often as I can without going out of my way to create additional spending that isn’t required. I use my Scene Card at Harvey’s for example when we eat out on occasion or when we go on BOGO nights, I use it for the first ticket I purchase. These Scene points add up and for every 1000 points you get yourself another FREE general admission ticket to use down the road. Another way I used this year to get both FREE and BOGO movie tickets was searching out special programs. I found that General Mills and Cineplex Odeon had a deal going where if you purchased X quantities of food, in this case cereal or snack bars, you would get special codes inside the boxes to apply to your ticket purchases. These codes were either completely free or two for the price of one.

Cancelling newspaper and magazine subscriptions is another great way to save money. Since most papers and magazines have online sites where you can read full articles I don’t find the need to spend additional funds for a hard copy. On many sites you don’t even have to physically visit them, you can subscribe have their articles delivered to you daily in your inbox. How’s that for fast and a great reminder to read them and convenient since you can view it on laptop, phone, tablet and many other reader devices.

If you love to play video games then here are a few tips for you too. I am always utilizing local garage sale sites to see when new games are posted so that I can save money by buying used. Often people play them for a day or two and then either don’t like it or complete it and move on to another game. For me this is a great money savings since I don’t need to purchase the game at NEW face value price. Another method I use is to play online games, no subscriptions, like through Steam and I look for games that are FREE to play. My favourite game currently is NeverWinter and although it certainly is possible to make in-game purchases, I simply don’t. I “grind” through the game to get what I want, makes purchases on their auction house and find friends to trade with.

My favourite way to save on my entertainment budget is to slash dining out. Don’t get me wrong cause I do enjoy eating out, especially if it means I don’t have to cook. So maybe my first suggestion, don’t hit me, find someone else to cook! 😛

OK, more realistically however is to first off limit the number of times you will go out in a month. Secondly cook most meals at home. This has more benefits too than simply saving money. Some of the benefits to eating at home are knowing what exactly the ingredients are in your food, eating healthier meals, eating appropriate portion sized meals, avoiding the extras like drinks and desserts and more. This one may be hard for some of you to tackle but once you start to cut down you will surely enjoy a nice home-cooked meal.

Another suggestion back to “not having to cook it yourself” might be to host a few potluck dinners, even if they are just on the weekends. At least this way you and your friends only need to cook a portion of the meal and you can all enjoy the food AND each others’ company too. What a great way to save and have fun!

Cancel your satellite or cable T.V. service. We did this years ago now and have never looked back. In fact I think I’m so much happier to sit down knowing exactly which movie or series I will watch tonight without flipping through hundreds of useless channels, wasting about 30 minutes and still not deciding and then when I finally figure it out I’m bombarded every 15 minutes by commercials telling me to buy more useless crap that I don’t need. Urgh, can you hear the frustration in my voice just as I think back to those days? I don’t know how anyone does it. Now I sit down with my DVD or rental and spend the time actually viewing what I want, when I want and besides a few previews I’m relatively left alone. I even exchange movies with friends and family; borrowing a few that I don’t have in my own collection.

I’m sure you can think of plenty more ways to cut your budget in half or maybe even more.

I will leave you with this final thought. Not all entertainment has to be paid for, consider spending more time with the ones you love, going on strolls in the city or along the boardwalk, hiking a trail or going to the beach. These are experiences that along with the enjoyment of your special someone will last much longer than any “paid for” entertainment service your money can buy.