Here’s the second entry in our How to Save Big series:
The average American spends 5.6% of his/her budget on entertainment needs. Much of this can be cut down with careful monitoring and smart spending – here’s some ways you can go about accomplish this and saving big while still getting your entertainment fix.
1. Re-evaluate your cable needs
Over 82% of American households subscribe to cable provider services. This costs roughly $103 per month, which translates into an annual expense of over $1200, just for TV!
Try dropping premium channels such as HBO or Showtime. A more extreme route is to cut cable altogether in favor of alternatives such as Netflix or Hulu, that run around $8 per month. The majority of popular shows are available on these services so you won’t be missing out on much of anything.
2. Move magazine subscriptions online
Most of us have mailboxes flooded with various magazines each week, many of which are tossed in a pile and never read. If you still subscribe to a magazine you don’t read, cut the subscription. If there are any that you do read, opt for an online only version as this option is almost always cheaper since there are no printing or shipping costs associated.
3. Take advantage of student or member discounts
Student discounts are a godsend for many college students as well as many of those who are working but have enrolled in a summer class at a college once upon a time. Most college IDs will get you access to steep discounts to plays, highly discounted movie tickets, and museum tickets at a low cost. This is not to mention the discounts that they’ll get you on subscription services like Spotify and Amazon Prime. If you’re not a student, look into any potential organizations you could be affiliated with through your work
4. Buy used
An often neglected resource is used and refurbished tech. A refurbished product is one that once had a defect but has been fixed up by the manufacturer to work as designed. Refurbished products are available for items such as over-ear headphones, gaming consoles, and smartphones. They’re often available for ⅓ to half the price of their unused counterparts and usually are just as high quality. Just be sure that the product is certified and that there is an accompanying warranty.
5. Buy movie tickets in bulk
Even with everything being available on our computers, going to the movie theater still possesses an allure, especially for avid film watchers. Instead of buying a ticket that ranges for $13 to $16, you can head to Costco or Sam’s Club and buy Regal or AMC ticket packs of 8 or 10. These cut the prices down per ticket to around $9, saving you at least $32 and at most, $70.
6. Sync your visits with promotional schedules
Almost all attractions have certain weekends or months where they offer admission for a discounted rate, for whatever reason. Make a list of any attractions that you’d be interested in – ie. an amusement park or museum- and research the dates when these places are offering discounts. You can then coordinate your visits around these dates and have a good time while knowing you’re being smart with your money.