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Having Fun Economically – Four Ways To Save On Leisure

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Having Fun Economically – Four Ways To Save On Leisure

“Hello everyone! Today I have a guest post from Steven, which is a personal finance guru with more then 20 years experience helping individuals and families improve their financial situation. Let me know if you would like to guest post on Finance For Geek.” – Vincent

Even though we may work a full-time job, eight hours a day, five days a week, we all have several hours each day plus weekends in which we are left to our own devices, using our down-time however we see fit. This leisure time presents us with some rewarding and relaxing opportunities, like engaging in hobbies, going out with friends, or consuming media on the Internet, television, etc. Leisure time is absolutely necessary for our overall well-being, but it can also become expensive if we don’t watch out. Here are a few ways to save on your entertainment budget.

1. Cancel all your print publications

Many love the feeling of having their favorite newspapers and magazines delivered to them. Leafing through a publication is a relaxing experience in and of itself, but if you have several paper subscriptions, you’re essentially throwing away hundreds of dollars, especially if you don’t read every single article (which most of don’t, despite our best intentions). Switching to online subscriptions is not only more economical, it’s more environmentally friendly, too.

2. Still buying CDs or DVDs? Welcome to the world of free streaming and downloading

For audiophiles and serious movie buffs, purchasing DVDs and CDs makes some sense. But if you aren’t in the business of collecting movies or music, then stop buying these items in stores. You can find nearly any album, song, or movie online for free. At the very most, you’ll pay a marginal fee. If you prefer watching movies on a bigger screen, invest in an adapter that hooks your computer to your television.

3. Instead of hitting the clubs, bars, and restaurants, consider throwing dinner parties

Entertainment venues, especially if you live in a large urban area, are wonderful places to convene and socialize, but after all the cover charges, drinks, valet parking, etc., having nights on the town becomes an expensive habit. You can have just as much fun hosting potluck dinners with friends. Take turns playing host, encourage everyone to bring an entrée or drink to share, and there you have it cheaper, healthier, more creative socializing without all the extras.

4. Before investing in a hobby or activity that you aren’t yet serious about, go cheap

You know the story you decide you want to start exercising regularly, you buy that expensive piece of gym equipment, and a few months later, it’s collecting dust in a garage or storage unit. Despite our vivid visualizations of having a toned six pack or being the lead guitar man in a rock band, we don’t usually put in sustained time and effort into a new hobby or activity. Not to sound discouraging sometimes we do.

But before you’ve reached the point in which you’ve consistently incorporated the new activity into your routine, spend as little money as possible. Instead of investing in a treadmill, start jogging every day. Instead of buying a brand spanking new electric guitar, amps, and paying for lessons from a pro, buy a used acoustic and a how-to book. Once you’ve reached a certain level of mastery, then you can logically invest more money as your interest grows.

These are just a few ways to save on our entertainment budget. While many people equate leisure with money, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a simple change of attitude and spending behavior, you can save and have as much, or even more, fun.

 

Steven is a personal finance guru with more then 20 years experience helping individuals and families improve their financial situation. Make sure to visit his personal blog, Credit Zeal, for free help and advice with credit repair and debt management. 

What about you? Do you have any tips to have fun while still saving on your entertainment budget? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    Miguel @ The Rich Miser
    Aug 17, 2017 at 8:06 PM

    Thanks for this info. For my wife and I, we cut down on entertainment expenses by reducing our drink orders at restaurants to one drink each. We also cancelled our paid Spotify subscription and use the free version, coupled with the free music channels that come with our cable tv package.

  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    Lance @ My Strategic Dollar
    Aug 18, 2017 at 8:17 AM

    I’ve certainly invested a large amount of money in hobbies that haven’t lasted all that long and it’s painful. I definitely recommend taking a longer look into the activities you want to do and make sure you’ll like them long-term before spending the money.

    Great post!

    • Avatar for Finance For Geek
      Finance For Geek
      Aug 22, 2017 at 7:42 AM

      Yes I’m also guilty of this… I’ve now changed my mind as in I do not buy anything before a real trial run for a few weeks 🙂 Made my life much easier and have now way less useless stuff!

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    Mrs. Picky Pincher
    Aug 18, 2017 at 9:09 AM

    I LOVE potluck dinners. We would do them during college when we were broke as hell. Everyone left full and got to leave with leftovers. It was really economical and we got to trade recipes. It’s so much fun. 🙂

    • Avatar for Finance For Geek
      Finance For Geek
      Aug 22, 2017 at 7:45 AM

      Yes so true! I’ve never really been a restaurant person and have always enjoyed 1000 times more a good old potluck dinner with friends. Can’t beat the price and the fun of it!

  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    J Savvy
    Aug 18, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    Favorite advice there is the potluck dinners over clubs, bars, or restaurants. Not only is it more cost effective, but by having a gathering with friends, everyone is able to contribute in some way and the social interaction is stronger than yelling over music. The experience is much more pleasant and the memories will be stronger.

    For the music… I will purchase an album if I truly support the artist and want them to succeed. Otherwise, a Spotify premium account between the fiance and I provides access to any and all music we could want!

    • Avatar for Finance For Geek
      Finance For Geek
      Aug 22, 2017 at 8:20 AM

      Yes for potluck dinners also I’m a huge fan of those! I’m with you on the music purchase, I do not buy any album at all, just relying on Spotify and YouYube for my needs, hopefully the artists will get their cuts out of it.. which I’m sure is not always the case unfortunately.

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    Dave
    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:27 PM

    Those are some good money saving tips. It is hard to imagine that people still get publications mailed to their house. And with streaming, who needs to buy cds.

    • Avatar for Finance For Geek
      Finance For Geek
      Aug 22, 2017 at 8:18 AM

      You might be surprised! We recently found out that my mother in law had still some publications which she was getting since early 90s for an astronomical price because the contract didn’t change at all. We just renewed it online for her for about 1/5th of the original price. People tend to “forget” some things when the amount is quite low.

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