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How to Still Have Fun on a Budget

Everyone needs a way to kick back and relax, but entertainment can get expensive. Between pricey tickets to movies and sporting events, specialty hobby equipment that costs a bundle and entertainment services that may seem to charge more than they’re worth, it’s hard to have your fun and stick to your budget, too.

Fortunately, there are ways to save money on entertainment costs. Here are a few creative tips to get you started.

Turn a hobby into income

Do you have a secret passion you can monetize? Maybe you’re sensational at sewing or you have a unique talent for bottle-cap art and people would pay for your creations. You can save on entertainment costs by selling your products on sites like Etsy or eBay. You’ll earn the cash you need to fund your hobby — and maybe some extra pocket change.

34% of Americans already have a “side hustle” and 24% planned to start one in 2021, according to a recent Zapier survey.1

Buy season passes

If you have a favorite amusement park, zoo, trampoline park or entertainment center, it may be worthwhile to invest in a season pass. These often cost as much as (or even less than) two one-day entrance tickets.

Give up cable

In 2021, there are so many fantastic alternatives to cable service, and at great prices. A video streaming service like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu can be a great replacement for cable. Some services, like Sling TV and HBO Max, will even allow you to stream a specific channel online.

Stream your music

Downloading from iTunes is rapidly going the way of the CD and cassette tape. Today, it’s all about streaming music services, which allow the user to listen to virtually any song for a modest monthly subscription fee. Some popular options include Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Google Play Music, which cost as little as $10 a month.

Ask for a discount

Before paying for a hotel stay, amusement park ticket or rental car, find out if you qualify for a discount. Lots of entertainment venues will offer discounts for older adults, students, veterans or members of AAA, AARP or the like.

Split entertainment memberships with family or friends

Share the cost of a music, movie or video game subscription with a friend or a roommate. Some services even allow you to add a user living at the same residence, so you can split with someone and get the same benefit for half the cost.

Take a virtual tour

Thanks to COVID-19, you can now get an up-close look at the most fascinating places in the world. From famous museums like the Guggenheim in New York City and Musée d’Orsay in Paris to safaris you can take from the comfort of your home at places like the Houston Zoo and the San Diego Zoo, there’s no shortage of entertainment you can get for free.

Stay local

Keep your eyes and ears open for local festivals, sporting events and performances at little or no charge. You can get your entertainment fix at a fraction of the usual cost while supporting your community.

If you’re craving travel but want to save some dough, check out these five amazing Arizona adventures that will keep you close to home.

Watch for happy hour

Lots of museums and recreation centers offer discounted entrance tickets during their slowest time of the week or day. Plan your visit around “happy hour” for the most savings.

Volunteer at special events

Offer to volunteer at theater and music productions in exchange for free tickets. This can mean helping to usher people to their seats or assisting with setting up and breaking down the set before and after the show.

Purchase group deals online

Before taking a trip anywhere, check if you can get discounted tickets on sites like Groupon, LivingSocial or TravelZoo. Why pay full price if you don’t have to?

Keeping yourself entertained doesn’t have to cost a bundle. Use our tips to find creative ways to cut back on entertainment costs without sacrificing any of the relaxation or the fun you need.

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The material presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as financial, investment, or legal advice.