How to Plan a Budget for Entertainment

With all the money in the world, you wouldn’t have to look at any price tags while shopping. Alas, that dream is just a dream and actively watching what you spend can be tedious and no fun. When it comes to buying things that we don’t need, some of us have more self-control over others and don’t need to budget, but others might need a limit before they blow all of their hard-earned cash on something like a boat.

That’s why you have to define what you consider entertainment. It can include spending money on:

  • Movies
  • Video games
  • Concerts
  • Sports games
  • Eating out
  • Impulse purchases

There are more things to add to the list, but in essence, anything that you don’t need to live and function are the non-essentials that fall into the entertainment budget.

Why Budget?

The reasons for learning budgeting tips mostly are for people to stop themselves from using the bulk of their finances on things they can live without. With a budget for entertainment, you can have part of your monthly income that you can use however and whenever you want. Rather than putting all your money towards “non-fun” things like paying bills, you can have money dedicated for you and only you.

The suggested amount for your entertainment budget is around 5-30% of your income, depending on how much you make. It’s ultimately up to you how much you put away, but it shouldn’t be the lion’s share of your income.

Here’s What to Consider in Your Budget

1. Eating out

Eating out often can “eat” much of your budget. You can get the best bang for your buck with coupons and specials to stretch your dollar a little further. Plan according to your budget and determine how many times you can buy meals rather than cooking yourself.

2. Movies

New movie releases come out all the time, but a trip to the movies can make a substantial dent into your funds. Plus, if you’re paying for your family, $15 per ticket + popcorn and drinks at an inflated price can mean up to $100 for just one night. Put aside enough for as many movie nights that your budget allows. As an alternative, you can consider streaming a movie and popping your own popcorn at home.

3. Sports

Being a part of the crowd during a basketball, baseball, hockey, or any other live sports game is much more fun than watching the game on TV, but tickets can be pricey and getting to the game might also cost you extra. Use your budget sparingly on live games and save money by watching at home with friends.

4. Beauty treatment

A spa day with massages and manicures would be a wonderful reoccurring experience, but these services cost your arm and leg that you just got waxed.  

Don’t feel bad about treating yourself, you don’t work just to survive. It’s your money and you can spend it however you want, but strategically. Give yourself a break from the real world with an entertainment budget that works for you.