5 Easy Options for Cheaper Entertainment

Monthly Estimated Savings: $200

Everyone needs a break from day-to-day life, a way to celebrate and play with friends and family. Somehow it’s really easy to get trapped by the idea that this requires spending a lot of money. From commercials and tv shows to friends bragging on social media, it can seem that everyone but you is either going to concerts weekly or taking their kids to Disney World five times a year. We know it’s hard to not try to keep up with the neighbors.

Fear not. Even if it seems all your friends are multimillionaires, you, too, can have fun adventures. And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are five ways to save money and still enjoy your weekends.

  1. Scour the discount sites. Sites like Groupon and Travel Zoo often have deals on fun and interesting things to do from restaurants and bars to Ballets, concerts, and more. If you keep a lookout all the time, you may find something you didn’t know about in your own community. Wholesale clubs, like Costco, often have discounted tickets to amusement parks and movie theaters.
  2. Get it second-hand. Check sites like Craigslist or StubHub for people looking to unload tickets they don’t want or can’t use. Especially as the date gets close, you can often get incredible deals. If you’re willing to risk not being able to get in, right after kickoff, first pitch, or the start of the first song, the price being asked by a scalper will suddenly go drastically down. This tactic can save you a lot of money.
  3. Do something free. So, it is a bit cliché, but sometimes spending time is better than spending money. There are a lot of really fun activities that are free or inexpensive and will allow you to really connect with friends and family. Go outside on a hike, to a lake or river, or even to a park. Stay inside and have a lovely dinner party, a family movie or video game night, or a late night romantic dinner after the kids go to sleep. Check the activities section of your local weekly for free days or free events. Many museums and zoos have periodic free days. Some orchestras allow free entry to their dress rehearsals. Most cities regularly host free outdoor concerts or events as a way to bring people into a certain area.
  4. Take advantage of being you. A lot of people get discounts, but most of the time, you have to ask. If you’re a senior, a student, a kid, a police officer, a firefighter, a nurse, or a former or current member of the military, you might get a discount. It never hurts to ask.
  5. Volunteer. Large events and festivals are a lot of work. Often, event organizers are happy to trade a free or discounted pass for a certain number of hours of work. The big tip for this is to contact them well in advance for the best jobs. Picking up trash after a festival may not sound like a lot of fun, but it means not having to miss the music.

Now you can post cool pictures of what you did over the weekend. And you didn’t even have to go into debt!