Whether it’s the weekend at the end of a long work week, summer vacation, or date night, we need our entertainment. It’s how we blow off steam and connect with our friends, family, and sometimes ourselves.
Having unfocused time and energy can actually help us be more focused when it counts. Ask any teacher how they get the best performance out of their students. Most will tell you that their students do their best work when given occasional 15-minute breaks to play outside or talk with friends.
The entertaining moments in life also help us bond with each other and build incredible memories. With that said, our fun time can also drain our wallets. Below are three ways to keep that from happening.
Make a Budget
The three words no one wants to hear when making plans for fun are “make a budget.” However, when we decide to raise the roof and lose ourselves in irresponsible enchantments, how much we spend can seem to get away from us.
Making a budget and sticking to it can help retrain us from spending money we probably don’t have anyway. Want to throw an old-fashioned college frat party? Ask others to contribute and set a limit for how much you will spend on party favors like chips and beer. Want to take the kids to the movies?
Limit each child and yourself to one drink and one snack or eat before you go and eliminate the need for expensive theatre food altogether. Planning that summer vacation? Predetermining how much you will spend on accommodations, souvenirs, and eating out will help make that $5,000 trip remain just that.
If you are like the majority of people, you have entertainment habits. Maybe you go on a vacation to the beach every summer. Perhaps you spend the month of August every year on the open sea on your yacht.
Maybe you are the weekend warrior who makes every Saturday and Sunday seem like a day at the spa or your favorite amusement park. Whatever you choose to do, being consistent in where you choose to go and who you choose to assist you in your fun can potentially save you a lot of money.
For example, if you make a trip to Clearwater, FL every year and stay in the same hotel every time, first, the staff will eventually become familiar with you and your family and the needs you have. Second, many businesses offer discounts to repeat customers and are more apt to cut you a deal on future stays. They are also much faster about resolving any negative issues you may have.
Look for Free Fun
Want to know a secret? Having fun doesn’t have to cost you a dime. Look for the free fun and don’t tell the kids. Many museums have days where they allow students to walk through for free. There is nothing better than a few nights under the stars. Dinner is whatever you catch and your hotel room is a pallet next to a roaring fire. Go for a hike
on your local trails. Not only is it free, it’s great exercise. Need that movie fix? How about a night in with a Netflix and chill atmosphere with your significant other? Having fun isn’t about the money anyway. It’s about spending quality time with those you love and cherish and blowing off some steam in the process. Neither of which require cash.
Entertainment is necessary for keeping our sanity. Use the advice above to make sure keeping your sanity is not a venture that leaves your wallet empty.