Anyone dealing with debt or trying to increase savings wants more money leftover after paying bills each month. The safest and easiest way to do that is to reduce spending by cutting entertainment expenses. Here are some standard and some unexpected entertainment costs that are easy to go without.
Classic Entertainment Expenses to Consider Cutting
Unfortunately, if you need to get personal credit card debt under control, the first area to cut spending is in the entertainment department. The good news is that many of these amusement options are easy to replace with cheaper alternatives.
- Cable TV – In some cases, the cost of a cable TV package is more than an essential expense like utilities. Options like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime TV are much cheaper and can have just as much content. An even better option is to spend your time reading or pursuing other free activities.
- Movie Night – Going out to the movies is an expensive activity nowadays. Instead, look for free “Movie in the Park” events nearby or check out a movie from the library.
- Dining Out – Restaurants, even the cheaper variety, charge a lot more than what unprepared food costs from the store. Whether drinks are alcoholic or not, there’s a hefty markup there as well. Making a fresh meal together at home is a fun activity that saves on food related costs.
Less Entertaining Discretionary Expenses
Many discretionary expenses are entertainment-related, so these categories get lumped together a lot. Some “entertainment expenses” aren’t obvious, but they’re still nonessential. As such, if getting rid of debt is a top priority, then you should consider eliminating these expenses.
- Gym Membership – Staying in shape is important, but there are ways to do it that don’t cost $50+ each month. Activities like running or hiking are free. For strength training, bodyweight exercises to do at home are available online.
- Smoking – Cigarettes are expensive and costs are often increasing due to taxes on smoking. Cutting this expense can save thousands in a year depending on the severity of the habit.
- Clothes Shopping – Sometimes a new piece of clothing is necessary like a tie for work or shoes for jogging. However, shopping for clothes when your wardrobe is in good shape stalls debt elimination or saving efforts.
The bottom line is that if you’re serious about ramping up debt repayment or saving for a large purchase, some or all of these entertainment and discretionary expenses need to go. This is tough because these are the expenses we enjoy most, but it’s the best way to financially get you where you want to be.
If you need additional help getting out of debt fast, call American Consumer Credit Counseling today at 800-769-3571.