Have you been looking at your bank account balance at the end of each month and wondering where your money is?
Obviously bills can sneak up on us and accumulate quickly. But did you know that entertainment expenses tend to be something that people spend an awful lot on as well? You might only spend a few dollars here and a few dollars there. But when you add your expenses at the end of the month, you might have a rather surprising total.
In order to help you reign in your costs, we’ve put together some simple tips. You can use them to help you cut back on the amount you’re spending on entertainment.
What Counts as Entertainment Expenses?
If you’re curious to know what you’ve been spending on entertainment each month, it’s important to outline what these expenses include. Typically, entertainment costs include anything you spend on hobbies and toys, audio and visual equipment, and playground equipment.
They could also include admission fees to places such as zoos and amusement parks, recreational clubs, and events/movies/shows/musicals. These fees are basically the “fun” costs if you will.
Once you look at how broad the category is, it’s easy to see how your expenses can add up quickly each month. So now let’s take a look at some savings tips.
Look for Discounts
As you start to look around, it’s amazing just how many promotions and discounts are available to people. Look at the movies for example. Instead of going to that new must-see movie on a Friday night, head to the show on a Sunday afternoon for a matinee. Matinees are typically half the price, and they are usually less crowded.
Amusement parks and zoos tend to be cheaper during the off-season. Also, there might be an early bird special at that golf course you wanted to check out. And perhaps the kids can visit the museum for free on weekends. Looking for discounts obviously requires research and planning, but the savings are well worth it.
Cut Back on Dining Out
While everyone loves being able to dine out at various restaurants, the fact of the matter is that eating out isn’t cheap! If you happen to buy your lunch for school/work each day, eating is even more expensive.
Instead, make a habit of dining in more than you dine out. You can still treat yourself here and there, but it should be a treat, not a regular occurrence. This also means packing your lunch and snacks whenever possible.
Maybe you find that you eat out in the evenings because you don’t have time to cook. In that case, you can always set aside time on the weekend to make meals in advance. Place the food in single, serving size freezer-safe containers. In the morning, you can then take out the containers you want, place them in the fridge, and reheat them at dinner time.
Entertain at Home
Of course, you don’t want to give up getting together with friends and family, but there are cost-effective ways to do so. There’s no need to meet up at the local pub, hot new musical, or new dining spot.
Instead, you can entertain at home. You can rotate so that everyone gets a chance to host. In so doing, you also spread out the costs of hosting.
Entertaining at home can be a wonderful opportunity to get out some classic board games or card games. You can also watch a movie on TV, play video games, or just catch up with friends while enjoying some great snacks.
Using Creativity to Your Advantage
Cutting back on your entertainment expenses is really about being creative when it comes to your choices and options. As you start to engage in these cost-effective habits, you’ll see that even though they are saving you money, you aren’t sacrificing any of the fun.
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