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Teaching you to embrace today while making yourself a millionaire!

I wish I would have understood how easy it is to become a millionaire by starting to save small amounts of money when I was younger...

I feel compelled to share the simple concepts you can apply today....

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15 February 2009

Stefan Saves Sacks of Cash (Part 2) - A Guest Blog

Well good morning everyone. Stefan here with Part 2 of my "Sacks of Cash" guest blogging. In my first post I discussed the 3 simple changes in saving/spending money my girlfriend and I have made in our lives. To quickly recap they were taking advantage of fuelperks, grocery shopping once/week and using coupons, and not using my credit card. Easy things that don't really change the way we live, but affect the amount of money we have.

Today I'd like to talk about entertainment. Just because you're saving money and cutting down on spending doesn't mean you have to be bored or sitting around at home all the time. I'm going to discuss entertainment in terms of topics because there are so many entertaining things to do in our society, so let's start with the form of entertainment with which we are constantly being bombarded.

Movies

We can't seem to get away from them. With new blockbuster hollywood films being released every week, we're always being reminded that there are dozens of movies we need to see. However, movies aren't exactly cheap. At the local movie theater near my house a new release movie costs $9.50! That's 45 chicken nuggets at Wendy's (sorry I just realized I haven't had breakfast). Plus, not many people I know go to movies and just buy a ticket. No, they get a drink, maybe some candy, and who doesn't love movie theater popcorn? So your movie when it's all said and done can cost upward of $15. Well here's what my girlfriend and I do to make movies affordable.

If we wait long enough we can get the movie at Blockbuster for free. All you have to do is sign up for their membership program (free), and every month you can rent a non-new release for free. Yes it means waiting a little longer than most people to see a movie, but usually people forget about a movie less than a month after it comes out in theaters. However, my girlfriend loves the theater atmosphere, so the next best thing is to check out the cheap theaters. We have a movie theater less than 5 miles from us where movies on a Tuesday evening cost $0.50. Yes that's right, 50 cents! Both of us can see a movie about a month after it's been released for $1 total. That's a big difference from the $19 two tickets would have cost at the first run theater. Now I know there are some people out there that just have to see the movie the weekend it's released, and couldn't bear to wait months to see it. Well I can still help you, because matinee tickets cost considerably less than regular ticket prices. Usually matinee's are considered any screening before 6pm (might be 5pm, or 4pm depending on what theater and where you live). Our local theater has matinee tickets for $6.50, which is $3 less than regular tickets. It still may seem expensive to some, but if you just have to see it you might as well save the $3.

Oh, and when it comes to movie snack and drinks I never pay for anything at the theater. I know movie companies don't like people sneaking in outside food and drinks, but we do it anyway. Why spend $10 in snacks that cost $2 or $3 at the grocery store? Also, some theaters realize that the economy is down and people are spending less on movies, so those food policies have become a bit lax. The cheap theater near me encourages people to bring their own food and drink because they still get your money for tickets.

Sports

Sporting events are always fun to watch, and people really bond around their hometeam. The only problem is the high price of tickets. The local hockey team in my area has "cheap" seats for $20. I don't know about most people, but I'm not going to spend that much money to see a team lose all the time in a mostly empty arena. I still watch them on TV, but wish I could get cheaper tickets to the game. Well by keeping my eyes open I have done just that. I found a sale on tickets that wasn't advertised much that charged $12 for tickets that normally cost $50. I didn't just get a great deal on the tickets, that night is $1 hot dog night. So I can buy and eat lots and lots of hot dogs that normally cost $4 each. This is still not the cheapest example of going to a sporting event, but it's a good example of making the most of my money. I won't even spend $20 when the night is through and that's usually the cheapest tickets can be purchased. I'm also going to the game with 4 friends so we're going to have a great time saving money, eating hot dogs, and watching our favorite hockey team.

Other examples of saving money on sporting events are buying tickets to see minor league or less popular sports teams. Minor league baseball teams are in hundreds of cities in America, and the tickets to those games usually costs less than $10 for general admission seating. My local team has a new baseball park opening this season and tickets cost $8 for adults (sometimes less on certain promotional nights). Why not save money and support a team that doesn't get much recognition? My local collegiate women's gymnastic team rarely has more than a hundred or two hundred people show up at matches. Admission is free for students (I still have my student ID) and maybe $5 for adults. It may be a non-conventional evening, but it can be really fun and it breaks people out of their normal routine.

Art

Now I know going to art galleries isn't for everyone. It's not always the thing I want to do. But they are often free if you look for them. Recently an Andy Warhol exibit came through town, and my girlfriend and I wanted to go. We didn't want to spend a lot to see it, so we looked around for when tickets would be cheaper. Turns out that the first Sunday of every month is free admission to the public at the specific gallery at which his art was showing. So we waited until the first Sunday in January and spent 3 hours walking around a really cool and interesting exhibit. This isn't something we can do all the time, but once a month we can check out really famous artist's exhibits for free! We'd be foolish not to take advantage of it.

Outdoors

Nature is awesome, getting outside is good for you, and it doesn't cost anything! If you're lucky like me you may have metro parks in your area that are free to the public (or maybe have a $5 or $10 member fee for the year). If not, you probably still have a sidewalk. Get on your bike, or take a walk, a couple of times each week. Not only is the exercise good for you, but you can easily spend an hour or two biking or walking around. Enjoy nature and clear your head while you're out.


There are multiple other examples of ways to entertain yourself without spending a ton. I enourage you to post a comment with your examples and to share your knowledge with others. These are just a few things my girlfriend and I have done to save on our entertainment costs. I hope we'll find more ways in the future, and maybe in improve upon what we already do. And remember to look for coupons online and in the paper. If you're not using them you're likely spending too much.

Next week, either myself or my girlfriend will post about ways we kept our costs down while we were in college. We found so many of our friends spent way too much on the necesary items required for school, and we didn't understand why.

Stay tuned...

2 comments:

Janie said...

Our family likes to take advantage of our local library for DVD's, books, etc. We get on the reserve list and they e-mail us when the item is available for pick up at our branch of choice. The branch we frequent even has a drive thru window! Very convenient!
When we HAVE to see a movie right away-- we stop by the Red Box (movie machine) and for a $1/night we rent the DVD. You can also reserve items of interest to be 'placed' at your local red box to ensure it is in stock.
As far as sporting events-- some major league teams offer 2 for 1 tickets where one admission is paid and the second one is free or times where seats are half off. We have taken advantage of those a couple of times too.

Generation Millionaire said...

Thanks for the additional insights! As the economy gets worse - more and more people are looking for outlets - as we all need to have fun!
Keep the ideas coming - they are all awesome!

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