Author Topic: How much do you spend on entertainment?  (Read 3612 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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How much do you spend on entertainment?
« on: March 14, 2014, 06:17:07 AM »
Really, do you ever go out and spend money?  I don't' mean this in a bad way, I am hoping to learn how to budget for going out. 

Also, my kids are asking for (fairly expensive toys for Easter) and they think they are getting them.  Hmmm….

Back to the entertainment budget.  Here are some examples of what my family spends on

-- Museum / zoo memberships.  We have a family of 5 so the membership is often the same as one visit.  This is fairly economical if we use it.  We currently have 3 local museum memberships, one at the botanic garden and one to the Zoo. 

-- Last year we had a great time at the Renaissance Fair, but we spent a ton. (This is the reason for this post.)  I would love to go to the Ren Fair again this year, but, it is not cheap at all.   If I had my way, I would go once with the kids and once with my husband on a date.  We are talking about approximately $40 entrance fees,  $5 ice creams, $3 and $4 rides and games for the kids.

(Side note we do not go to our state fair often, but the prices are nearly the same to eat and do rides or games.  There is a very inexpensive park we can go to a few hours away that has $0.25 rides, we will go there -- hey I should set aside some budget for that too, the ice creams are still $2.)

We'll take the kids to the movie theater a couple times a year.   Going on a hot summer day is nice.

We want to get out once in a while, and when we do, I do not want to get too concerned about budgets.   A few years ago, I was a bit bitchy when my husband got a $5 beer at the Zoo, and you know what, I should have just let him have the beer. 

I want a couple date nights too. 

How do you budget for these things?


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Re: How much do you spend on entertainment?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2014, 07:57:48 AM »
Last year I didn't budget anything and wasn't really frugal, although I did write down all my expenses. I spent around 1300 EUR on entertainment, including restaurants, excl. vacations for just 1 person. Looking at it now I think that's way too high. It's about $150 per month.

This year I'm not really budgetting either, but I'm trying to get more grip on it. I'm hoping to spend around half of what I spent last year (about 75$ per month). But that's for one person.

Just out of curiosity Do you give gifts for Easter?


  • Bristles
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Re: How much do you spend on entertainment?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2014, 08:39:49 AM »
The adults in the family each get an $80 slush fund for whatever we want, and it often goes to eating out without the kids, but also covers personal expenses that we just don't want to run through the budget -- hobbies, fancy beer, books, random personal expenses.

We have a $60 family entertainment budget, which will cover either a movie and snacks for the five of us (if we go to the cheap theater) or some other outing. We don't always use this, so it rolls over to the next month.

We  have a $100 annual membership to the science center, which we use frequently. It also gives us free access to similar museums when we travel, so it works out well.

Our shared hobby has some expenses, but I don't have a good handle on those. Our car gas is high year-round to get to semi-weekly meetings and during the busy season we travel on weekends and eat out more than usual, but our base organization pays for hotels. I haven't done the work to try to budget for it, so we just try to keep the expenses down and adjust as they come. When we move this summer, those expenses should drop dramatically because everything will be a bit closer and not require as much road time and overnight trips.

Writing this out, it sounds like a lot, but it sure doesn't feel like it when we're struggling to keep to the budget. :)

* No, we don't give gifts for Easter. If we remember it at all, there's chocolate, jelly beans, and dyed hardboiled eggs for an egg hunt. But we're unusual in our area, I think. The stores are packed with giant shrink-wrapped Easter baskets right now. Surely someone is buying them.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: How much do you spend on entertainment?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2014, 12:06:26 PM »
too much...
around $400/mo
that's mostly going on dates/dinners/drinks


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Re: How much do you spend on entertainment?
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2014, 12:10:36 PM »
$6/mo in 2011, $9/mo in 2012, $0/mo in 2013.  That's for two people.

We obviously don't spend that every month, we may spend $30 one month, then nothing for several months.  Being in Vegas, we get a lot of cheap/free entertainment (shows and such).

It's all in what you count as "entertainment" though.  Like the poster above me, FRX, counted dinners, which goes under our food (eating out) category, not entertainment.
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  • Walrus Stache
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Re: How much do you spend on entertainment?
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2014, 12:27:09 PM »
Our kids are grown but while raising them we set aside a yearly amount for fun things and then when that was gone that was it.  For instance we lived close to a big amusement park that was not cheap. We went once per summer. We ate at the park-that was part of the fun but once you paid the admission fee the rides were included.  One year we wanted to take them to DC so we saved $ for 2 years and then went.  Our kids knew they were only getting gifts for xmas & b-day. For Easter I put together baskets with candy for them-I only bought high quality candy but just less of it.  I think you should look at what things you want to do as a family for the year and then see how much you need to save a month to make that happen.  If it ends up being too much $ then look at what you want to do the most and cut out some of the rest.  Also when we decided to do something fun it was agreed that we were not going to be concerned about the $-we saved for it and would enjoy. In that circumstance there would have been no decision about the $5 beer.  That does not mean however that we bought the kids whatever they wanted.  We liked to go to the movies with the kids and they knew the treat was going and that we were not going to buy snacks/drinks,etc.  This enabled us to go more and they never even asked since they understood that was not happening.


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Re: How much do you spend on entertainment?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2014, 12:45:18 PM »
One thing my family does is buy the memberships we normally would buy as gifts. For example, my sister's family membership to the children's museum was a Christmas gift.

That may help you avoid increasing the entertainment budget for Easter gifts. Just spend what you'd normally spend that month, but make it more Easter-themed.