Day: January 16, 2016

Budget Bootcamp Day 15:How To Include Entertainment In Your Budget

budget bootcamp day 15 how to include entertainment in your budget
Include Entertainment

With all of this talk about budgets and budgeting, I don’t want you to feel that living on a budget is restrictive.Sure a budget can be restricting, especially if you are already stretched thin financially.It is perfectly fine to include entertainment in your budget and there are several way’s you can include some of your favorite entertainment in your budget, just don’t over do it.

Let’s face it, when we start budgeting, the first place we look to cut costs is with entertainment. I know you don’t want to give up all of your fun. The good news is that you don’t have to, entertainment can be trimmed without giving up all of your fun. Today I am going to give you 5 tips to help you include a little fun and entertainment.

Review your viewing habits

For some people, entertainment begins and ends with the television. Whether or not you view your favorite shows and movies online or via cable, we all partake of this type of entertainment in some format. Many of of us watch our favorite shows on cable. If you are paying for enough channels to entertain a small army, yet only watch a few of them yourself, you are not making the most of your entertainment dollars. Cut back on your channels and I bet you won’t even realize they are gone. Also, don’t be afraid to shop other carriers in your area, or negotiate with your current carrier for a better deal. If your current carrier refuses to give you a better deal, then threaten to take your business elsewhere. I used to work for a large cable company, and whenever someone would threaten to leave, we would automatically send them to the retention department. This department can offer specials that regular representatives are not privy to. Now these rates may be good for a limited time so make sure that you write down the expiration date, so that, you can call and renegotiate again. Another alternative is the Roku streaming T.V. and media service. I have a Roku and I love it. You can also check out other streaming services, such as, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, or Netflix for your entertainment needs.

If it is FREE, it may be for me, and it may be for you too

No matter where you live, at some point in time your city offers free entertainment in the form of museums, and parks. If you are local to the Birmingham area, we have the Schaeffer City fest. This is a FREE concert held at Railroad Park. My family and I absolutely love it. We have seen Grammy Award winning band, The Roots, American Idol winners and Birmingham natives, Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks, hip hop artist, Common and several local bands, all for FREE! There were food trucks available as well as beverage booths. We also enjoyed a night Railroad Park. listening to the Alabama Symphony Orchestra FREE!. We brought our picnic basket and plenty to drink and had a wonderful family evening listening to music ranging from Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn to popular movies. As you can see, you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a little entertainment.

Season tickets save tons of money

If you are a fan of baseball, basketball, football or the opera, why not look into season tickets? You will receive the best possible rate by purchasing season tickets. We do this with Birmingham Barons Baseball.

Coupons and vouchers

I am a huge fan of Groupon! There I can find coupons and vouchers for restaurant’s and other forms of entertainment. Living Social is another amazing site for entertainment deals. One other avenue I use is the Entertainment Book, I buy this book every year from my school aged grandchildren. I have restaurant and entertainment, such as, golf, movies, bumper cars etc, for the entire year. The money I save more than makes up for the cost of the book itself. I also use apps on my phone and I sign up for email coupons from my favorite restaurants. Another great idea is to follow your favorite restaurant on social media. Sometimes they offer discounts exclusively for their fans.

Entertain at home

This is my favorite thing to do. I cook the entree and my friends bring beverages, side dishes and desserts. We play games and talk all night. When we have family night we eat, pay games with the kids and sometimes we even tell ghost stories. There are so many things you can do at home, and the best part about it, everyone can pitch in to help save on the costs.

Saving money on entertainment is really about paying attention to what you like. I never would have thought that I would enjoy the symphony, until I went to a performance for free. We all have things that we enjoy doing. Identify those things and spend your entertainment dollars doing them. This way you get the entertainment that means the most and cut out those things that don’t. The main this is to not be afraid to experiment and to cut the things that you don’t like. Make drastic changes if you have to, but make sure that you budget for those things that aren’t free.