It’s easy to overspend on entertainment, especially if you are only spending small amounts here and there. However, these small regular expenses can add up, costing you more than you realize. The good news is there are ways to reduce your spending in this area while still enjoying your free time.
Consider the Value of the Entertainment
Start by figuring out what your regular expenses add up to, whether that is rent, utilities, mortgage payments, or other expenses. You can then come up with a discretionary budget. These are funds that can be used for the things that enhance your life and bring you joy. Try not to focus on how your budget limits you. Rather, consider why you are buying certain things and how they can enhance your life.
Think about the freedom that this budget can bring you. There are ways to save money in other areas so you can spend more on entertainment-related expenses. If you have debt from school, you could consider refinancing with a private lender. This can lower your monthly expenses enough to allow you to put more money toward entertainment.
Avoid Paying for Things You Don’t Use
You should also consider the services that you do not use as often. Even if you have not yet created a full budget, you can create one for entertainment expenses. Identify the things you are paying for and consider how much you use them each month. Make sure you include things like magazines, streaming, and music services. Looking at your total monthly spending on these areas can also help you take a step back and consider how much you really want to be spending.
Next, arrange everting in order from most important to least important. Things that you did not remember you had should be near the bottom of that list. If you are not sure about something, think about the number of times you have used it each month. You can calculate how much it cost you each time you used it. If you are paying $7 a month for a streaming service that you only use to watch one movie a month, it costs you $7 to watch that movie. Ask yourself whether it would be better to rent or even purchase that movie. Things like Apple watches can contribute to the spending creep up as well. Some of the top apps might be attractive but they are not all free and you need to decide if they even make sense for your life instead of simply purchasing them because they are the latest and greatest.
Using the Library
You don’t always have to spend money to have fun. The library is a free resource that allows you to browse and interact with many books, audiobooks, movies, and other media. Don’t think of it as something that only kids enjoy using. It can be a great resource for people of any age. There are plenty of DVDs and even digital movies that you can enjoy. Another advantage of a library card is that it does not expire. Some libraries even have games and learning kits, which can help people of any age learn a new skill. Some libraries offer knitting, woodworking, or other kits with all the instructions and tools to get started with these hobbies.