Five ways you can spend less on entertainment

Canada Life - Jun 15, 2022
To help you stay on budget while still doing the things you enjoy, check out these tips
Group of people playing and recording music in a small apartment living room.

How much do you spend on entertainment every month? It’s probably more than you think. 

After a busy day, whether it’s in a virtual office, managing a home with young kids or tending to a long list of chores, everyone needs to unwind. Dining out, post-work drinks or simply staying at home watching your favourite show all involve spending money in some form. A lot of people often forget to add entertainment to their monthly budget, or they don’t realize how much they are actually spending on entertainment.

The average Canadian spends around $4,624 annually on entertainment, which means that a monthly budget of $385 is dedicated to leisure activities. This includes dining, drinks, hobbies, outings and subscriptions to streaming services.

A 50/20/30 budgeting strategy is recommended. This means that once you calculate your monthly income, you can divide it by dedicating 50% of your income to necessities, 20% for savings or debt repayment and the rest 30% of your income can be your ‘fun budget’. However, for some lifestyles, 30% of a dedicated budget may not be enough. It comes down to your salary, your expenses, and your priorities.

To help you stay on budget while still doing the things you enjoy, check out these tips.

1. Coupons

Browsing through online coupon sites, you may find deals for food, drinks and other interesting activities. To make the process easier, you can now install extensions for coupon companies on your web browser. This kind of extension is a plugin that applies any valid coupons for an online purchase automatically at checkout.

Another way to receive coupons is to subscribe through emails to companies and organizations. For example, food delivery services often email promotional deals and coupons codes. And you can always use the paper coupons that restaurants still mail out.

2. Share subscription plans

Many subscription streaming services offer plans that allow multiple individuals to share one account. This way you pay less as you can split the monthly fees for streaming platforms amongst family and friends, instead of everyone having an individual account. There’ll be a limit to how many people can share.

3. Happy hour or specials

Going out after work with friends or colleagues can be a fun way to unwind. But, even if you go out twice a month, you are spending around $40. Consider taking advantage of happy hour while still fulfilling your social quota for the week. You can also take advantage of specials promoted by restaurants, such as lunch specials, two-for-one or daily specials. Some restaurants also allow customers to ‘Bring Your Own Wine’ (BYOW) or ‘Bring Your Own Beer’ (BYOB). You can save money by buying a cheaper bottle of wine or beer at a grocery store.

4. Freebies

Look for potential free activities in the city you live in. You don’t always have to spend money to spend time with your family and friends. Look at museums, art galleries, walking tours, while also taking advantage of outdoor spaces, such as beaches, having a picnic at the park, going star gazing or reading books from the library. With a quick online search, you can find free activities available in your community.

5. Volunteering

Volunteering is another way you can make your daily routine a little more entertaining. This way you are not only having fun, but you’re also giving back to the community. You can volunteer at organizations that align with your hobbies and interests, while also taking part in exciting opportunities and socializing with other volunteers. For example, if you enjoy leisure activities that involve arts and crafts, you can research organizations that are looking for volunteers to teach art classes or lead an art project.

If you’re interested in adding entertaining activities into your budget, I can help you create a plan.