Day 9 of the Spending Freeze Challenge – Entertainment Traps

After a week of talking about food, let’s tackle another area of spending that might be a challenge this month – entertainment. Entertainment costs can seem justifiable – especially if they’re investments in family time – but a trip to the ballpark, the movies or another event can come with great cost. So, how you do you keep your family spending quality time together – outside of the house – but still stay within your spending freeze guidelines?

This week we’ll focus on several entertainment suggestions for your freeze, but I’d like you to think about events that you are already planning to attend this month. Maybe you already have tickets to an NBA game, are hitting up a fall festival or have promised your children a particular event. Here are some basic suggestions for the month:

  • Make an agreement with yourself or your family about food spending. If you’re heading to a sporting event, can you eat before hand? Pack snacks? Bring an empty water bottle than you can fill after you get through the gate? Water at a recent concert I attended was $4 for a 20 oz. bottle, but was unavoidable since the location had zero drinking fountains and did not allow empty bottles to be brought in and filled at the snack counter. Plan ahead and make your decisions based on your spending freeze guidelines.
  • Research parking options. My family and I saw a free outdoor concert this summer, but had the option of paying to park in a nearby garage. We skipped the $8 charge and headed to a local street that was open for parking. Find out how, and if, you can avoid parking charges before you head out the door.
  • Are souvenirs a part of your event? If so, speak to the kiddos before you go to address whether or not you’re paying $45 for a concert t-shirt (a common cost at any major show!) or if they need to ante up the money themselves. I heard a great quote from a parent on a radio program this month. She told her children “I am responsible for all of your needs, but only some of your wants.” Well said!
  • Talk to friends and family that are attending the event with you and ask for their support or tell them about your spending freeze. Maybe you’ll need to skip the dinner that everyone is going to before the game, but doing so is sure to save you money and keep you on track with your mantra for the month.

Day 8’s Post

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