How to budget for entertainment

30 August 2021
How to budget for entertainment

Now more and more people are thinking about how to spend money more economically.

Sometimes people think that saving money is giving up entertainment, going to restaurants and giving up everything you’re used to doing. Although the creation of a budget is primarily a reduction in unnecessary costs and overall monetary savings. And of course this does not mean, now your life will be boring and monotonous! When you create your own budget, it should definitely have a column of "entertainment". Everyone should have money for entertainment, whether it is a meeting with friends, going to the cinema, going on vacation or a weekend in nature. This money should certainly be available. One of the main components for successful budgeting is knowing how much money is needed for each category of your budget. Of course, there are such types of expenses that are fairly consistent from month to month. For example, mortgage, loan repayment, insurance, training, as well as utility bills. But for a budget category such as entertainment, things can be confusing.

Your Budget: Defining Entertainment

Before you begin calculating your entertainment budget, you need to understand what exactly is included in it. For some people, watching a movie, going to the theater or going to a concert can serve as entertainment. But someone else would answer that premium cable television and electronic equipment should be included in the “entertainment” box. And where to make the costs associated with what you do to relax - going to a tennis club, playing golf?

Of course, you should keep track of your entertainment spending. So that your desires do not prevail over your needs. Before you spend a sum of money on entertainment, you must be sure that you have the funds to pay for mandatory categories such as mortgages, car fees, or education. According to the US Department of Labor, an ordinary American family spends a little more than $ 2,500 a year on development. This is approximately 5.5 percent of total family income. Some costs may overlap or be replaced. So, for example, going to a cafe can fall into the category of "food", and not into entertainment.

Simple Guidelines

Some financial advisors advise spending no more than 5-10 percent of the income after paying all the required payments for entertainment. Others advise spending 20-30 percent of their income on non-essential expenses, such as clothing, leisure, gifts.

Of course, one should not forget the fact that the higher the income, the more interesting you can build your budget. People with high salaries can have high mortgage payments. Or if you can barely make ends meet, you need to think about spending on entertainment last. The main thing that you should understand is that first of all you have to take care of priority payments, and only then about entertainment. As your debt decreases, you will be able to allocate much more for entertainment and other non-essential expenses.

Determining Your Entertainment Budget

It is undeniable that the amount of entertainment expenses depends on your monthly income. And also how exactly do you prioritize between the columns of the budget. If you lead a modest lifestyle, preferring dinner with your family and not having a meal in a restaurant, while having a high monthly income, you can justifiably spend a large amount of money on entertainment than one with a huge amount of debt and unstable earnings.

The main thing you should do is determine your total monthly income. Then calculate the costs of mandatory payments, debt payments. Then subtract this amount and you get a certain amount that can go on entertainment. And of course you decide what exactly to spend this amount. Whether it's a vacation, a wardrobe upgrade, or entertainment.

Alternatives to Consider

Not all recreational activities can be expensive. In every city there is such a place where entertainment can be budget or completely free. Information about local concerts, festivals, exhibitions can be found in free newspapers or on the Internet. Having been there, you are sure to get a sea of new experiences completely free! If you are a big fan of cinema, many cinemas offer discounts and bonuses on certain days of the week and hours of visit. Having bought a movie ticket, you can get a certificate for food and drinks at a discount.

Everyone knows that eating in a cafe or restaurant is much more expensive than eating at home. After arranging a meeting with friends at home, ask each guest to bring a meal with them. One will bring a snack, the second - drinks, the third - dessert. And you just have to cook the main dish. This will significantly reduce your spending and save time. Well, after the meal, watch movies, play board games. Having fun is not necessary to spend a lot of money.

If you are a big fan of reading books, use the Internet library and you will not have to spend some amount on the purchase of a new book. Now on the Internet you can find a lot of films free to download. Newspapers and various magazines can be found on their own official website on the Internet. Look for promotions in stores and use discount coupons.

Plan ahead

If you have an expensive event planned in the near future, make a budget in advance. So you can predict upcoming spending.

If you need to reduce your entertainment expenses, here are some tips on where and how to do this:

Eat at home, not in a cafe. Do not buy an annual gym membership. Instead, run in the park, use smart services for save money, do exercises at home by downloading the application via the Internet. Get rid of premium television. Hardly have time to watch TV all day long. Instead, you can install the application over the Internet and enjoy watching movies for free or at a great discount. It will be cheaper for you than going to the cinema.

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Authors and Editors

Scott Smith
Company Founder
Scott Smith is an investor, personal finance writer. Scott has worked in the finance and investing industry for for over ten years.
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