Smart Money: How To Manage Your Entertainment Budget
Tips on saving money are always helpful, especially during a global pandemic that has closed much of the world. Staying entertained is a great way to bond with family, and also to stay sane. And there are several ways to stay on a budget while still keeping everyone in the family happy.
Rethink Your Television Watching Choices
Sure, there is Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Peacock. Quibi, HBO Now, Hulu with Live Tv, YouTube TV, and WWE Network, and almost 200 other streaming services, but do you really need them all? Look at all services you are subscribed to, and determine if they are all essential to have.
According to the LA Times, many services have cheaper options if you are okay with a few commercials here and there. There are also services that are free. For example, Pluto TV is a great option that won’t cost a dime. Platforms like Hulu, IMDB TV, and CBS: All Access has cheaper, ad-supported versions of their service.
Think Outside Of The Box
There are a lot of fun activities that can be entertaining that you may not have considered. As Nerd Wallet points out, library cards are free. And libraries are full of hours and hours of entertainment from books and music to games and audiobooks, and often, DVDs and Blu-rays.
Another fun option to stay busy is searching for free activities in your city or county. Once they start opening, many local museums, zoos, and aquariums have occasional free events. If not free, sometimes they offer discounts for locals. Also, if you are up for leaving the house and braving the outdoors, look for fun, free activities at neighborhood bars, parks, coffee shops.
Find Fun Activities That Can Be Done At Home
Hands down, the best way to save is to stay home — as long as you stay away from Amazon, of course (but if you do hit up Amazon, books are always a good option, and surely there’s a lot of books that you’ve been meaning to read that you haven’t gotten to yet). And there are a number of things you can do indoors to stay entertained. Many artists and organizations are having virtual events, concerts, and watch-parties during the pandemic. I know many of us miss happy hour, so why not do it virtually? Get a Zoom account, round up your friends, and takes shots in the comfort of your home.
As i Grad points out, many zoos and museums are currently offering virtual tours. For example, San Diego’s Zoo and the Sistine Chapel are letting people explore their grounds for free.
It’s also a great time to take all the extra time you have to learn a new skill. There are online classes to learn how to cook, learn a new language, play instruments, etc. You never know, you may come out of quarantine with a new talent.