While we’ve weathered the recent bout of inflation fairly well, lately, we’ve encountered a situation that many other Americans have. Each month, we end up a bit short with more expenses than income. To compensate, we’ve had to dip into our emergency fund. I’ve resolved to stop that trend and tighten our budget. One of the easiest ways to tighten up is saving on entertainment costs.
How We’re Saving on Entertainment Costs
Even though we’re trying to save in this budget category, we still want to have fun with our kids and build memories. So, we’re trying to do that as frugally as possible while recognizing that sometimes we have to spend money to save. Here are the strategies we’re employing.
Buying a Museum Pass with Reciprocal Privileges
We bought an annual membership to our local science museum for $90. This museum participates in the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) Travel Passport Program, which means we can visit any of the 350 museums that participate nationwide for free or at a discount. We’ve already visited another museum 90 miles away, so in two visits (including one to our local museum), the membership has paid for itself. Any other museums we visit this year that participate in the program will not cost us anything.
Combine Frugality with Fun Activities
We plan to visit farms in the spring and summer to pick blueberries and strawberries. The kids enjoy picking the fruit, probably because they like eating the fruit fresh off the tree.
We also live in an area that frequently has festivals, so we plan to attend some.
Finally, our area also shows free movies outside during the summer, so we will attend several of those.
Utilize Our Library Card
Yes, you read that right. Our library card can help us save money on entertainment. Sure, the library offers us free books, movies, music, and presentations, but it does even more than that. Our library card offers discounts or free admission to 19 different area attractions. For example, with one purchased admission to our local art museum, we get one free entry for another family member. Of course, we first check what our library perks offer whenever we want to visit a local attraction.
Recently, our family has been hiking every weekend. We did have to invest in hiking boots for all of us, but since then, we’ve not had to pay anything to hike local trails. This is an activity the kids enjoy and that we plan to continue year-round.
With a bit of research, we’ve discovered saving on entertainment costs for our family isn’t difficult. Of course, we need to be flexible with our plans and our activities, but this year we should cut our entertainment costs while still making memories with the kids. They grow up so quickly, and we only have a few years left before they go to college, so even on a budget, we still want to have fun with them.
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in New York, where she loves the natural beauty of the area.