Most people can stand to save a little cash and one of the first places they look to slash the budget is entertainment. Unfortunately, entertainment is also one of the most…well…entertaining parts of our lives. Nobody wants to give up on their fun, right? The good news here is entertainment can be trimmed without giving up all your fun. You have to pick and choose the forms of entertainment that are most important and get rid of the excess. Here are some easy tips:
Investigate your viewing habits – Entertainment begins and ends with the television for most people. Whether you view your favorite shows and movies online or through the Cable, we all partake of this type of entertainment in some format. How do you watch your shows? If you are paying for the one million channel system and only watch five or ten, you are not making the most of your entertainment dollars. Cut back on your channels and you will never even realize you did in most cases. Also don’t be afraid to switch or renegotiate services to get a better deal. When you call to renegotiate your rate, be sure to ask for the cancellation department. When you say you are canceling your service, they will almost always offer you a better deal. Most often the new rate will be for a limited time so be sure to mark down that date on your calendar and call to renegotiate again. This is a pain I know but I often end up saving almost $100 a month.
Consider an online experience - The beauty of watching your shows online and ditching the television is one way to cut your entertainment budget severely. All you have to do is investigate Netflix, Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and various other avenues of online viewing. You can generally find anything you want to watch…and watch it on your own schedule. Add in the fact that it is far cheaper than Cable and you have a clear way to save cash.
Consider free museums and parks – Pretty much every city in America offers up free entertainment in the form of museums and parks. Spend some time enjoying these with your family and bring along a picnic lunch. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a wonderful time at one of these wonderful places.
Buy seasonal packages - For ball games and various other entertainment venues, season packages will save you a ton of money. If you are a regular at the opera, for example. you may as well go ahead and spend the cash to buy season passes. At least you will get the best possible rate by doing so. We do this with a season ski pass. We also buy it early to get the cheapest price all year. The early pass cost equals just 4 days of skiing so after those 4 days it is like we are skiing for free!
Use coupons or vouchers – You can often find vouchers for restaurants and other entertainment activities at daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social. You can find great coupons for restaurants from the entertainment book. I buy this coupon book each year and always more than save the money it costs. I also love to follow restaurants on social media. They will often offer up special coupons for their fans.
Learn to entertain at home – Home is one of the best places to have a good time and there are countless ways to change it up. Have a family game night, bring the friends over for a cookout, hold a pot luck, or simply gather and play board games or just talk. Don’t be afraid to ask people to bring a dish. Most people are so happy to have a chance to get together that they are more than happy to bring a dish. Find some tips here to save on the food you purchase for the get together. The last thing you should have to do is spend cash when you are trying to save on entertainment. Make your own fun that is free!
Saving money on entertainment is really about paying attention to what you truly like to do. Generally speaking, we all have things that we simply love to do. Identify those things and invest your entertainment dollars in them. This way you get the entertainment fun that means the most, while trimming those things that matter little. Don’t be afraid to make drastic cuts, because you will find other less expensive ways to have a good time.