Frugal Fun for Less Money

Frugal fun is learning to save money with inexpensive entertainment at home and out on the town. My approach to frugal living includes lots of inexpensive fun, and yours should too.

Did you know that about 5% of what the average American spends is directed toward entertainment? That doesn’t sound like much, but if the average American makes $35,000 a year and puts 25% of after-tax income into savings, they spend about $1,200 on entertainment. That's a lot of movies, pizza and beer.

Entertainment is a substantial part of our cost of living, and most of it is discretionary spending. Since discretionary = choice, we should make sure we choose entertainment that gives us the maximum return on money spent. That's frugal fun.

For instance, if you like movies, you can buy your own movies to save money on recurring entertainment. I have heard of people going to concerts and movies multiple times to enjoy the same show. If you like it that much, why not just buy a copy of the movie, music or music video? It makes much more sense to me.

I have a collection of movies that I enjoy watching from time to time. They are old, but I don’t get tired of watching them because they are quality productions that have lasting value for me. A small portion of my movie collection for when I take time to relax and be entertained at home.

Going to the movies today can be an expensive proposition. Movie prices are nearly $10 per person. Don’t even think about the cost of goodies to snack on, because that's another $10. When it comes to movies, I encourage you to "just say no".

So, for about the price of a movie, you can buy and watch a movie at home for many years.

I also suggest you buy older movies to reduce the cost of your video entertainment collection. The Shawshank Redemption is a great movie. It's entertaining and engaging each time I watch it. New, it cost about $20 to $25. Today, it costs $10. The value of the movie hasn’t diminished, just the price.

You can’t possibly watch or own all the movies that the movie industry churns out each year. There are just too many. If you are working for a living, you don’t have the time to see them all, and if you aren’t working, you won’t have the money.

Get cheap movies for your collection by waiting. Discount stores have quality DVD movies for less. The longer you wait, the lower the price. And, you’ll enjoy it just the same.

Lincoln theater in downtown Cheyenne.

Have you ever had the opportunity to watch older movies at a second run theater house? I don’t mean movies from 50 years ago, but movies from 2 months ago.

Movies shown at these discount movie houses usually cost a lot less.

In Cheyenne, we have several second run movie houses that offer frugal fun on the movie screen for $1.50. What a great way to save money.

We pay at least $8 to go see first run films. A month or two later, the Lincoln Theater in downtown Cheyenne shows the same films for $1.50. That’s movies for less, 80% less.

That’s like going to 5 movies for the price of one. Can you name one other thing that is reduced over 80% just because it isn’t the latest item in the marketplace? Me neither. Cheap movies are a cheap night on the town.

I don’t watch television at all. I prefer to use the Internet for entertainment because it is there when you want it, and you can avoid most of the annoying commercials that television programs are built around.

Websites such as You Tube and Glumbert offer funny, bizarre and entertaining videos. And, the videos are just about the same length as our attention span. Think of a trailer for a movie, and you know what I am talking about.

I don’t spend a lot of time on the Internet, but it is a source of frugal fun that doesn’t cost any more than what I pay to have e-mail. Better yet, it is archived variety entertainment that is instantly available when I want it.

Note: Make certain you are protected by anti-virus software before surfing around on the Internet. One nasty bug can ruin your frugal fun. I use AVG Internet Security. AVG has a free version you can download.

Just like movies, the latest music demands more money because more people are asking for it. If you buy older music you can lower your cost of entertainment.

When cassettes were coming into fashion, the “record stores” were getting rid of their stock of LPs at discount prices. I took advantage of that and wound up with a nice collection of records that I still enjoy today.

This is about half of my LP collection.  Music I enjoy on special occasions.  This is my version of what grandma and grandpa did with the old 78 records they had in the basement.

No matter if it is old or new, music is a wonderful value in terms of entertainment. You can listen to it repeatedly in the car, at home, or while you stroll about town.

Like movies, you can’t enjoy all of it now, so you’ll have to pick and choose what you’ll buy now and listen to, and what you’ll want to buy later. The latter purchases will save money for you as they can be had at discount prices.

Zing Wing flying toy that is great frugal fun.

How about outdoor frugal fun? Have you ever tried Zing Wings? They're a great outdoor toy that can be enjoyed by nearly all ages, and they're educational as well. See my friend Tim Huff at Zing Wings, and tell him Clair sent you.

No matter what your interest, there are countless ways to have fun as part of your approach to frugal living. Who says fun has to cost a lot of money?

Done with Frugal Fun, take me back to Frugal Living Tips

There certainly is a broad scope of topics here at Frugal Living Freedom. When you think about it, money permeates so very many activities in our lives, therefore, being frugal encompasses a wide range of interests, from being employed to taking a vacation, and just about everything in between. Enjoy the variety, pick up some new ideas, and start making frugality a part of your signature.

I'm a big proponent of being debt-free, and I mean entirely debt-free - no mortgage payment. It's not essential for financial freedom, but you'll love the feeling once you get there. If you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, how much more could you do for yourself with your current level of income? I suspect plenty.

If you ever hope to see an abundance of wealth, you need to plug the hole in your boat. The wealthy don't necessarily make lots of money, instead, they know how to hang onto what they make, and make it work for them.