How To Save Money On Entertainment!
This is one of those areas where we often feel like we deserve something. Well, if you are in debt for things that you have ‘deserved’ in the past, then you know this trap. In order to save money on entertainment costs, you need to see what things you and your family could enjoy that do not cost money, or as much money, as you are used to spending.
The obvious ‘no brainer’ so to speak in this whole scenario is that if you don’t have the money to spend or are feeling the pinch of financial stress, then spending any money on luxuries like vacations, concerts or eating out is just childish behavior. It is the “I want to” attitude. If you have kids, then you’ll remember that early childhood period when the answer to your questions was “because I want to”.
While certainly the truth in their minds, your child is not understanding the importance of delayed gratification – this concept does not exist to a child at this age. If you are living your life this way, not saving money and spending what you make on things because you want them, you are headed for trouble.
In fact, most U.S. Americans are in this sort of trouble. There is no other place in the world that has the type of debt amassed on revolving credit that we do here. Why do you think this is? In part, it is because we have some belief – and who knows where it came from – that because we work hard we deserve to spend it. Do you think this is any way to learn how to save money? Will your kids learn any differently if you continue with this behavior?
All right, so we’ve laid out a brief look at the problem, now it is time to do something about it. So, how do you save money on entertainment costs? The first place to look is in what ways you currently spend your money. Some people will give you formulas for determining budgets and such for different categories. This can all be helpful, but I am not going to introduce that concept here. This is just an introduction to the philosophy of saving money, not the course on exactly what step to do next.
Determine where you are spending the dollars you are making coming in. How much do you spend on entertainment costs like eating out and leisure. If you make a large income, then you may not need to cut back to nothing, just be reasonable. If your leisure spending is totally out of balance with your income, time to re-evaluate. If you have kids, you’ll need to determine what activities you can participate in that do not require long car trips, plane rides or admission tickets to get in. Don’t worry, your kids will be fine. It’s amazing how few kids are teased because they didn’t go on vacation when they were 5 years old! Seriously, get over it. The vacation is more for you than it is for them, so give them a memory in other ways. There are places close to home where you could give them just as much of an experience that they will remember forever. If it is just you or you and a partner, make exploring your local attractions or own backyard your next vacation destination. You’ve heard these called “stay-cations”. It’s a great term because it captures the essence of both the vacation element and the fact that you don’t have to leave far from home.
The over riding point is this: you still need to enjoy time off of work, you just don’t need to spend yourself into anxiety getting it. Just like with the other advice given on Save Money Topics, there is always another way to make it work. You shouldn’t fret over doing it the way so and so said or compare your financial stance with your neighbors. It is hard to imagine a feeling until you experience it. There is something inexplicable of enjoying time with family that is created from the combined energy and time together. Try it, you’ll like it.