When it comes to cutting corners and trimming the budget, one of the more annoying things to cut can be the entertainment allotment. Sure, it’s a smart idea and a wise way to reduce your outgoing cash flow, but it can start to feel boring after a while. But I’ve found a few ways to get around that that I think you’ll agree are great alternatives to overpaying for entertainment or going without it entirely.
If you want to really see a change, drop your cable service and subsist on online video. Many networks stream their offerings a day or two after they air, meaning you can watch cable and broadcast shows via the Internet at your convience. Hulu is a great site that offers new and classic TV series from a variety of networks. You can also turn to YouTube. True, most people know and use YouTube for personal videos or short clips, but they offer a growing number of movies to stream for free! Click here for more.
Another resource for lower-cost entertainment is DVD-by-mail services like Netflix, which includes the ability to stream movies on your computer in the subscription cost. It’s a small price to outlay in exchange for a reduced cable bill, and you’ll get to enjoy some entertainment options without forking over more than $100 for a pricey cable package.
There are also tons of free ways to entertain yourself on a budget. The public library is still the best place to go for free media, from books to CDs and DVDs. Seriously, don’t overlook the library if you’re looking for a thrifty entertainment fix. If you want to get out and see the world away from a screen, I suggest taking a trip to a local park, or even a state park. A walk or picnic in the park is a great way to spend an afternoon that won’t burn your budget, and many public parks also host free performances by symphonies and bands.
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of just getting out in the world and seeing what it has to offer. Take a bike ride or a walk, or make a date to catch up with friends. There are dozens of ways to entertain yourself that don’t have to be about money.