Lowering the Cost of Entertainment – 12 Months to Financial Fitness
3 min. read
By: FCU Team
A night out in town can be a lot of fun – until the next morning, when you see how much you spent. If your goal is to save money while still having a good time, finding things to do at home is a good, money-saving strategy to utilize.
Entertainment is Important
Times are tough, and going out to a movie, new restaurant or other activity is a great way to unwind. Unfortunately, it can be expensive. You often don’t realize how much you’re spending on purchases made in the moment. Rules you make for yourself before you go out, like not spending over a certain amount, can be broken to keep the good times rolling.
At Home Fun
Here are a few suggestions to get you started. Experiment and find your niche!
According to Pew Research in 2021, 23% of Americans said they hadn’t read a book in the past year. A relatively cheap, low-space and brain-stimulating activity, reading is a perfect home hobby. With dozens of genres and hundreds of thousands of books to choose from, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Learn a New Hobby
While hobbies vary in terms of the costs to get into them, many have a low cost to enter. For example, many of us learned to ride bikes at an early age, but if you missed that lesson, you can start now. The same goes for roller skates, skateboards and more. No need to buy anything new either, as folks are always looking to get rid of used items, meaning you can snatch up a deal!
Painting, gardening and cooking are a few other popular hobbies that are perfect to do at home. Research and try them out! Life’s too short to sit at home wondering how to pass the time.
Join (or Start) a Club
If you’ve found a hobby that can be shared with others, joining or starting a club can improve the experience. Taking the reading example from above, book clubs are a cliché example when people think of social clubs. There’s also clubs for movies, board games and beyond.
If You Do Need to Leave the House
If through one circumstance or another you find yourself out of the house, here are a few tips to keep you from spending too much.
While easier said than done, create and stick to a budget before you go out. If you decided prior to going to the movies that you wouldn’t buy anything at the concession stand before the film, follow through! If you’re going to a restaurant with friends and decide to drink water to save a bit of money, stick to water! We know it’s hard to curb these impulses, especially when there’s peer pressure involved, but the money you save is your reward.
As an extra incentive, get into the habit of checking your savings, checking and other accounts daily, that way the amount of money you have and what you owe isn’t a mystery.
Cash is King
If you truly want to control your impulses and stick to a budget, leave the credit cards at home (or at least in your wallet) and pay with cash. This is also good advice for when you go shopping. Set your budget, withdraw cash to match it and stick to it when you’re buying. Nothing drives home how much money you’re spending than watching it disappear before your very eyes.
Suggest Budget Options
If you’re part of a friend group that meets regularly and typically spends a lot of money doing activities, try suggesting lower budget options for your meet ups. You don’t necessarily need to let folks know you’re being budget conscious, but just know real friends will respect your money-saving hustle!