No matter how short your purse strings are, it is important to enjoy life. Most traditional forms of entertainment cost money. When you are saving, entertainment items are the first to go because they are deemed unnecessary, but if you don’t reward yourself for all the hard work you put in, life can seem dull and lead to having a very negative outlook on life. Fear not, if you think outside the box you can come up with many ways to entertain yourself for free or almost free.
Every town has a library and this is a great way to get a lot of free entertainment. Most libraries are now linked so that you can request materials from other libraries and then pick it up at your library for free. Even if you don’t like to read books this is a great way to save money.
You can check out books, movies, cd’s, magazines and even ebooks and audio books all for free. You won’t need to subscribe to Netflix or rent movies anymore. Instead of forking out money for tracks on your mp3 player, borrow the cd’s you want from the library and download them to your computer and player.
Another common entertainment expense is cable or satellite television. It seems like every year the price just gets higher. Hulu.com is a free website where you can watch all your favorite television shows. Plus, you can pick when you watch the shows. You don’t have to worry about Tivo or recording shows you missed.
Everyone enjoys eating a fancy meal at a nice restaurant, but when you add up the price of your food and tip, it just doesn’t seem worth it. You can buy a couple of nice steaks for the price of a pizza. In addition cooking a nice meal can be far more entertaining than being served a nice meal.
Instead of going to dinner with a group of friends, host a pot luck dinner party. Everyone can bring their own dish and you will be treated to a buffet. If you are new to cooking there are a variety of websites that give step by step direction to make countless dishes. Allrecipe.com is a great site for finding new recipes and you are able to read reviews of the recipe.
If you feel like going out, try checking local websites. Many communities offer free concerts and events that are open to the public. You can always opt for some old favorites, like going to the beach or park to hang out. Spend the day fishing, flying a kite or simply going for a walk someplace scenic.
Every once in a while it is nice to go out for drinks, but the mark up on alcohol at bars and clubs can be ridiculous. For the price of one beer, you can buy a six pack. Instead of going out for drinks, stay in and play cards, board games or even a few drinking games. Chances are you will have more fun staying in and letting loose than going to a bar full of strangers, and if there is room for everyone to stay over, no one has to be a designated driver.
Chances are for every activity that you have to pay to do, you can find a more cost effective way to do it at home. No one wants to spend life working and not ever having money to enjoy life. When cutting back, you don’t have to cut entertainment out of your life, you just have to come up with a more affordable option.