When you’re faced with the challenges of today’s economy, reducing your spending on entertainment is something you probably do without even thinking about it.
You don’t have to say to yourself, “Now isn’t the time for entertainment.” You might as well say, “It’s time to review my entertainment budget.” For many years I built businesses, so I had to watch my credit card budget while still finding ways to entertain and inspire. In this article, I’ll give you some tips on how to do that.
Get to Know Your Entertainment Spending Habits
Entertainment means something different to everyone. For some, it’s a luxury and they’re willing to spend a lot of money on it, for others, it’s the be-all and end-all of their health.
The average American household spends nearly $3,000 a year on entertainment. To some people, that may sound like an outrageous amount. But what’s considered “entertainment” these days? If you’re like most people, entertainment comes from all sorts of places and isn’t always as obvious as movie tickets or concert tickets to see a local band.
For some people, their spending on entertainment is the only thing they’ve to look forward to after a long work week. To others, this may seem frivolous and unnecessary, but these are the very judgments that can lead to poor spending habits and money problems in the long run.
In any case, keep an eye on your entertainment spending – whether you consider it a necessity or a vice. Entertainment budgeting apps can help you keep track of all the money flying out of your pocket for Netflix and chilling.
Use a Budgeting App to Track Your Living Expenses
It can be hard to keep track of where your money is really going. You might be tempted to think you’re spending less on entertainment than you actually are, or that you’re spending more on groceries than necessary.
With a free budgeting app, you can easily track your spending and find a way to save some money each month. Sometimes the best budgeting apps are the ones that work best for you.
Mint, for example, is a good option if you want to see all your accounts in one place. You can link all your accounts together – including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and student loans – so you can get a complete view of your finances.
YNAB (You Need a Budget), on the other hand, is a good choice if you’re looking for more help with your budgeting. YNAB not only helps you track your spending and create an entertainment budget but also helps you with the basics of personal finance, like reducing debt and building an emergency fund.
Entertainment Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
Entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive. The amount you spend on entertainment is up to your discretion, which means you can go without entertainment if you need to.
The truth is that people can have more fun camping in the woods than in a 5-star hotel. It’s the same with entertainment: it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and if you reduce your budget, you can experience something new and have fun, while saving up on your entertainment budget!
For example, if you’re used to going to a club every weekend and an average cost of $100 a night on drinks, try attending one of the free music festivals or art exhibitions instead. Even better, go with friends who aren’t interested in the same things you’re. It’s a great way to meet new people and discover new hobbies at the same time!
Another example: If your family spends $200 every month on a streaming service like cable subscriptions TV and pay-per-view movies (which adds up to over $2,400 a year), try to limit yourself to only when you want to watch specific TV shows so that all other expenses are eliminated! Here’s how you can save money.
Reduce Your Monthly Budget for Entertainment
Entertainment is often a big monthly expense but remember that cheap entertainment is also good entertainment! You don’t have to spend money to enjoy something. To control your budget, you need to keep track of how much you spend on entertainment and make a plan for the next month to reduce overspending. Here are five tips:
Keep Track of Your Spending With Budget Apps
With PocketGuard, Mint, and other apps, you can set reminders for various bills, such as phone or Internet bills, and be notified when it’s time to pay them. These apps can also be used for entertainment expenses by creating fake bills for yourself (for example, you could create a bill called “Netflix” that reminds you when the bill is due).
Get Out and Explore Your Surroundings
I think it’s good to be a tourist in your own neighborhood once in a while. There are always lots of free activities you can do outdoors that are for budget travelers. Go for a walk in your neighborhood, and explore parks and local hiking areas. You can even plan a ‘staycation’! It’s like taking a trip without leaving home.
During the lockdown, my husband and I bought an OCULUS Quest 2, a virtual reality headset. It’s only $299 and allows for travel, movies, sports, gaming, etc.
Some say it’s expensive, but it’s actually cheaper than a phone and if you’d to pay for a gym subscription plus movies for a year, you’ve already covered the cost. Plus you get lots of games (better than video games) like Star Wars, table tennis, rock climbing, fishing, a dance floor, a virtual live music venue, virtual travel options, and opportunities to meet people from all over the world.
Peak the Best Dinner Out Night
Many people tend to go out on weekends. Avoid those times and go out during the week instead. You’ll find that most places are empty. If you’d rather go out, choose a night when you can get two meals for the price of one or a discounted meal.
Create Your Own House Party
House parties are great. You can invite as many people as you want without being labeled the crazy party kid. You don’t have to be responsible for strangers in your house, which means you don’t have to watch your back all night. You can ask people to bring their own food and drinks. This is a great way to discover new dishes and cocktails while spending less money than going out on the town.
The best thing about house parties is the fact that you can decide everything yourself, from the music selection to the movie that’s on TV when everyone gets bored. You can create your own environment where you feel most comfortable. For example, if you’re hosting a Halloween party and you want to create a spooky atmosphere, you can turn off all the lights in your apartment, choose spooky music, and set up candles. If you decide to have a relaxed summer party with friends, you can choose more relaxed music and decorate with flowers and posters of beaches and palm trees.
Whatever kind of event you want to host, there are plenty of ways to make it memorable without breaking the bank
There are plenty of free ways to entertain you and your family without spending a dime.
- Go to a park or get outside. There are many parks, trails, and other outdoor places you can explore for free. If you’ve kids, take them to the playground or let them play a game at the park.
- Read a book or magazine. Whether it’s your favorite novel or a celebrity gossip magazine, reading is a great way to keep your mind active and entertained. Don’t have any books? Check out your local library for thousands of books, magazines, and other media you can borrow for free.
- Plan a trip. If money is tight now, you may not be able to go on vacation anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dream about it! Spend some time searching the internet for possible destinations, reading reviews, and learning more about where you’d like to go in the future.
- Volunteer at a local charity or non-profit. Not only can this be a rewarding experience, but many organizations offer training and educational opportunities that can help you advance your career.
- Free games: Free online games are a great way to pass the time and relax after a hard day’s work. You can also play with your friends and family or even with people from all over the world. If you’re interested in board games, there are platforms like chess.com, where you can play chess for free with people from all over the world.
Board games are always fun because they help you interact with other people and also improve your cognitive skills. Playing chess, for example, you can improve your problem-solving and decision-making skills while playing Scrabble you can improve your vocabulary and spelling skills. There are many other benefits of playing board games.