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7 Easy Entertainment Trade-Offs

New Ways to Entertain Yourself

We all want to live our lives to the fullest. At every major life stage, whether a birthday, New Year, or even a tragedy, you likely ask yourself whether you've really been enjoying your life as much as you could be. Think about-or better yet, write out-a list of activities, items, interests and goals that you'd like to liberate from your daydreams and make a reality. Do you want to visit a tropical island, buy a new mattress, spend more time with your loved ones, or learn to salsa dance? After you write your list, then estimate the cost, in money and time, for each item.

Here are seven ways to cut costs, along with ideas to "invest" that money to yield a more exciting, fulfilling life-without going into debt to do so.

1. Cut your cable, save $10-$120 each month.
My local cable company actually calls their bare-minimum cable service "Lifeline." Fortunately, there are so many other ways to stay connected to the outside world that don't involve staying inside to watch it on TV. Here are some amazing things you can do with all of that extra time and money you'll have if you ditch the cable, movie channels, and/or satellite dish service:
  • Learn to dance. The cost of group dancing lessons range considerably, but can start as low as $7 per class. You'll make friends, get exercise, learn some new steps, and still come out ahead financially.
  • Attend a gallery opening. These are usually free, and usually provide free refreshments and music. With the time you save not watching TV, you can meet people, please your eyes and ears, and have fun.
  • Watch a play or concert. Before radio, movies and television, plays and concerts were "it." Every performance is different and the energy is intense. Of course this costs more than your average pay-per-view, but quality is more important than quantity. Without paying for cable, you could attend at least one performance each month-talk about something to look forward to!
2. Stop buying magazines, save $5 or more per week.
The headlines on newsstands are meant to reel you in and encourage you to buy on the spot. But magazines are expensive when you buy them at the store-nearly $5 or more each! And after a single reading, they get discarded. So what can you do instead of buying the latest gossip rag? Read more books. Someone once said: If you want to read more books, read fewer magazines. Good literature is usually found in hardcover form, not in the pages of a glossy magazine. If you need motivation or inspiration, join a book club. Remember to tote your book with you to the doctor's office, the school car line, and you'll become more literary by the minute.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes
Liza received her bachelor's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati and is pursuing a master's degree in nurse midwifery. She is the proud mother of one daughter.
Liza Barnes Rothfuss

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