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7 Easy Entertainment Trade-Offs

New Ways to Entertain Yourself


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I already do all 7 of these and I'm still poor as crap. Looks like this article was targeted solely to middle- and upper-class folks. Report
I'm sorry. Entertainment is the only thing that makes living in the middle of no where bearable. The nearest natural foods store is 30 miles away, as is the movie theater, library, any sort of exercise facility, restaurant, vet, hospital, etc. At the current cost of gasoline, I make every effort to make only one trip to town a week and if I want to see a movie that day, I will. I've definitely given up on theater snacks, but it's impossible to bring anything of our own to our theater. You never know when they'll decide to search you.

I did without tv for 9 years and now pay for the only service we have available, satellite. I suppose I'm supposed to do without internet too, because our phone company can't be bothered to extend the service 7 miles up the highway? Nope. We have satellite internet too. It stinks, but it's all that's available.

I imagine it can seem wonderful to do without out when you're young. I did, but not because it was my choice. Now I revel in the luxuries I can afford and don't bemoan the ones I can't. Report
It's ironic that some of the suggestions for cutting spending actually cost money, thereby minimizing the cost savings. For instance, theater tickets, dance lessons, etc. Not only is there the cost of those items, there is also the cost of getting to those places. Dance lessons usually require a specific number of lessons, so you are committed to going to the studio a certain number of times. How many additional miles does that add to your standard driving? How much gas? If you live in a city & have to take a taxi, that can get expensive. Public transportation may not be available to those places.

I live in an area where the nearest grocery store is more than 5 miles away, so cutting out driving is impossible. Instead, I combine my errands, and if I have to go to the mall, which is 40 miles away, I do all my shopping in one day. I keep a running list on the refrigerator of what I need, and what stores I have to go to, so when I do shop, I don't forget anything. When I need clothes, I shop the outlet malls, or sale catalogs.

As for the movies, nobody says you HAVE to eat at the movies. If you must, then bring your own drinks & snacks. Make a bag of microwave popcorn & bring your own bottles of soda or water. I do it all the time. With my refillable water bottle, the water is free & the popcorn is less than $1.00 for both of us.

There are movie rental subscriptions, or you can go to your local video rental store instead of going to the movies or paying for premium movie channels through your cable TV. On the other hand, Pay-per-view is cheaper than going to the movies if you calculate the cost per person, and include the gas you save by staying home.

Three years ago my husband & I gave up our cell phones because they were costing us about $100 per month & we rarely used them. Instead, we opted for 2 phones where we pay per minute for each call. We've saved nearly $3600 in those 3 years because we only use the phones for emergencies.

I stopped buying books (fiction) because I only read them once anyway. Instead, I utilize the library for books and videos. I rarely read magazines because they average over 50% advertising for things I don't want or need. I get my news from TV & the internet.

Before offering suggestions, please think them through thoroughly, and consider the additional costs incurred by making some of the changes suggested. Nowhere does this article mention cutting out the daily lattes! Report
i have to agree with some of the comments. cutting a cable bill to go to the theater just won't work. a single opera ticket costs as much as my cable bill, and i get to watch movies & opera & concerts all month on TV. music lessons? to be effective you need to go at least once a week; this would cost WAAYY more than the savings suggested in the article.

the article's advice about eating in more often is certainly true; however as a single person, i find eating in all the time to be isolating and just a bit depressing. i enjoy a meal out in a lively place where i can interact with people, and gosh darn it, i just get tired cooking for myself since there's nobody to help either with cooking or cleanup. eating out is an expensive habit, i'll agree--but i'll always try to find a way to have at least one dinner out a week, so i don't turn into a hermit. Report
I live in a rural area where alot of the cuts would really hurt. especially in the winter. The gas it owuld take to get to the nearest gallery or dance class would cost more than the cable.
I agree with not eating out, to a degree. I cook all week long and look forward to the weekend when we eat out at modestly priced restaurants or get healthy takeout.
I could cut back on a lot of splurges, but we only go around once. As long as I am not deep in debt, I am gonna remain among the living! Report
Thanks for the tips. I would like to add your point about saving money at the theater. I discovered the public library once again and guess what they have? DVDs, CDs and yes, VHS tapes! As long as you turn them back in on time, there is no charge. That's better than renting. Report
While I liked the spirit of the article, it was disappointing. Most of these suggestions weren't good substitutes. I want to know how to get deals on what I want, not activities I'm not interested in. I don't want to learn to play the guitar. Tell me where to get free music that's legal--it exists! Just go to a site like, they have a free song each day there. Or collect points from drinking Coke or Pepsi, and get free mp3 music downloads, and free movie rentals too. I have a huge library of music I haven't paid a cent for this way. When I want to read a magazine, I want to read about current events or some specific topic, not a book. I read them at the library and the gym, where they are free. My library even lets patrons check out magazines and return them. I also found some great magazine deals on discount publishing web sites, including ebay. I got several magazines for $2 - $3 for an entire YEAR that way. There are great bargains to be had in places/web sites people aren't even aware of. Many museums offer free days/nights too that aren't generally promoted. That type of thing would be more interesting to know. I was hoping to find some I was missing. Report
I've already lived by these rules for years. But gas and other costs continue to rise. How can I save NOW? Report
I've already lived by these rules for years. But gas and other costs continue to rise. How can I save NOW? Report
cutting the cable doesn't work if you work from home (plus it's $10 a month!). we don't eat out either so that saves a lot and haven't set foot in a movie theater since 1999. oh yeah, you can get music cheap wt/out illegal downloading - although that's a very good choice also (no, i don't download anything on my laptop ) - : copy the cds from your friends :D:) Report
we have cell phones but they use a top off card and only use phones for cable here we buy used vhs tapes then resell them at flea markets. if we can buy it used instead of new that's what we do. also we use our motorcycle instead of our car/truck whenever possible.cancel insurance during winter and use only one vehicle. we have started recycling, have cancelled trash pickup and saved over $200. Report
Well this is kind of a silly article. Most of the suggested alternatives cost way more than what is suggested to give up. Like cutting out tv to go to a concert or play? You're going to give up a whole month of entertainment for one night? Yeah right. You're not really "cutting back on spending" like the article is titled, you're just spending it elsewhere, and MORE at that. Re-title the article. It's a little misleading. Report
These are just a few ideas to get started. "But will a little creativity and brainstorming, nearly everyone can find a way to cut back on spending in a way that will improve their quality of your life even more." Report
I can't QUIT doing anything on this list, because I don't DO anything on this list. Report
I have to disagree with the comments so far. The point of this article is to show how you can re-appropriate your money in a different way to be able to afford new experiences without spending more. It's simply a new way of thinking about how you spend. Report

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