Who says that you have to spend a bunch of dough to have a good time? Lots of people wreck their budgets by overspending on entertainment. You can have a great time with your family and friends without blowing your budget. All it takes is a little planning and an open mind to trim your entertainment expenses.

Here are 5 easy ways to save money on entertainment.

1. Check out the local attractions.

Look for free events and local attractions that are coming to your city. There are always free film festivals and theatre productions in town. Be sure to check out a local fair or visit the state park. All of these events will either be free or have a cost of just a few dollars. Zoos and aquariums have free admission or dollar days where you can take the whole family on a fun outing for a nominal cost.

2. Rent a Movie.

With the price of a movie now costing $12 to $15 dollars a ticket, movie rentals are becoming more and more popular. Redbox is a customer favorite because you can rent movies for just one dollar. Netflix offers rental plans that let customers rent DVD’s for just $4.99 a month. For under $5 a month, customers can watch movies on demand from their homes. If you want to score free DVD’s, check them out from your local library.

3. Visit a posh coffee shop.

Go to Barnes and Noble order a coffee and relax. You can peruse a few books, magazines, and periodicals. You can go with a friend or take your laptop and enjoy the complimentary Wi-Fi. Starbucks is another good option. Just be sure not to spend too much cash on lattes and pastries.

4. Break out the video game system.

You can combine family entertainment an whip the family into shape with a Wii. The whole family can engage in aerobics, strength training, balance games, and yoga. You can even compete against each other at tennis, bowling, golf, and baseball. You can have a fun active night right in your own living room.

5. Join a discount club.

Did you know that a AAA and AARP can be used to save you money on recreational activities?. College id’s, professional memberships, and club associations may entitle you to discounts that you didn’t know that you were eligible for. For example, an Entertainment Book membership could save you hundred of dollars over the course of a year.


Mark Riddix is the founder and president of New Horizons Financial Management, an independent investment advisory firm that provides personalized investing and asset management consulting. Mark is a regular contributor to Seeking Alpha and has written financial columns for Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area newspapers. Mark publishes his own financial blog, BuylikeBuffett.com and has written the book Your Financial Playbook.