Entertainment Expenses

Whether it’s movies, dining out, video games, trading cards, girls/guys night out, fitness/dance classes, or whatever floats your boat, we all have some personal entertainment expenses factored into our monthly budget, right?

Mmm, nope.

I haven’t had this expense factored into our budget (for myself) because I find it hard to spend money when I have debt.  I’m also a bit of recluse and don’t have friends in the area to do anything entertaining with.

I always thought my husband’s $100 per month gaming budget was a little excessive.  He pays a monthly subscription to Eve online, for 5 separate accounts.

While my husband is gone on an underway, he had me set up an automatic payment to the new credit card on the last of his accounts that needed to be switched over.  I noticed that instead of paying $14.95 per month for a subscription to the game, he could be paying $131.40 a year (equivalent to $10.95 a month). That’s a savings of $48 per month on just one account.  He could be saving $240 a year on all 5 accounts.

When I questioned my husband as to why he chose the larger monthly payments, he mentioned sticker shock.  If you pay for a yearly subscription for all 5 accounts at once, $657 could give anyone sticker shock. So I’m going to be working on staggering those yearly subscriptions into our budget. 


I’ve been cooped up at home with a sinus infection and haven’t worked at all this week yet.  I get extremely tired and take lots of naps when I have a sinus infection and I’ve had several dreams involving dancing.  I really miss dancing, gymnastics and just being active.  I know I really should be rewarding myself with some fun/entertainment to keep me from burning out in this long debt payoff journey.  I guess the good thing about the type of entertainment I enjoy is that it doubles as exercise!


I could check out the trampoline park for $12 an hour, or go to open gym at a gymnastics center for a similar price.  I found a gymnastics facility offering adult classes for $84 a month or $22 per class.  Most dance classes range in price from $70 to $85 a month, or $10-22 per class.

Looking up the cost of my own possible entertainment sources made me realize that my husband’s gaming budget is not as excessive as I originally thought, at $100 a month.  Once we switch over to yearly subscriptions it’s looking more like $75 a month for his gaming budget; Similar to the cost of a dance class.

While I’m really leaning towards taking the adult gymnastics class or a hip hop dance class (both will allow me to scratch off items on my 30 before 30 list), there’s that big, heaping pile of student loan debt always lingering over me that makes it hard to justify spending any entertainment money.  Then again, my income will still be thrown towards my own debt and any entertainment expenses will come out of hubby’s income. Err…that didn’t really help to justify spending money, I feel like a douche for even saying that.

How much do you spend on your personal entertainment each month?  Each year?  What types of activities do you spend it on?


17 thoughts on “Entertainment Expenses

  1. Hmm… that’s a hard one. I’d say my spending probably averages $10-$25/mo. Every so often, I’ll get a video game or a book or something of the sort. When I used to play online, I played free games. I guess it’s safe to say that my entertainment budget is sadly non-existent! As I always say, don’t let debt stop you from living. You don’t want to look back to these years and remember “Oh, yeah. I paid lots of debt that year” vs “I completed the hip hop dance and had a blast”.

    • Is it sad that I get a little excited about the thought of saying, “I paid lots of debt that year”? 🙂 As Erin mentions below, my debt payoff will take many years so I guess I shouldn’t let debt stop me from living and enjoying life once in a while (and getting healthy in the process)! I also found out that I can try out the first gymnastics class for free! 🙂

  2. I think entertainment is such an important line item in your budget. If your debt could be knocked out in six months or a year, maybe you would just throw every dime at it. But your debt is huge (I know the feeling) and you can’t deprive yourself of fun money for years to come.

  3. I am stingy when it comes to entertainment. My idea of fun night out is a groupon for a $5 movie. I think I need to change my ways. I have been wanting to check out a few stand up comedians and get a little more laughter in my life.

    • Seeing a stand up comedian sounds like a lot of fun! I’m not a big fan of going out to see movies. I’m always freezing in the theater and the chairs are uncomfortable. I’d rather watch them from the comfort of my own home.

  4. I don’t really have much of an “entertainment” budget. I guess technically my food and dining out would be my entertainment, because that’s where I spend most of my money for entertainment purposes (happy hour with friends etc.). Entertainment is important. All work and no play leads to overspending for me because when I finally “let lose” I end up spending more than I had planned.

    • Good point KK. I also tend to overspend once in a while. I give myself a $50 slush fund every month and rarely spend it so my twisted logic somehow justifies overspending in the moments when I do let loose.

  5. Movies are one of my big categories. This time of year I like to see Oscar type movies. Right now I want to see Captain Phillips and The Dallas Buyers Club. I want to see Catching Fire too but I can wait for DVD with that one. Overall though my entertainment expenses are low. I rent red box dvd’s for 1.20 and have netflix streaming so that keeps me pretty happy.

    • Did you read the Hunger Games series? I’ll probably wait to see Catching Fire once it’s on Netflix. I’ve never heard of the other two movies you mentioned. Without cable, I don’t see trailers very often so I never know what movies are coming out.

  6. I don’t know if I should fret about not really having some kind of a personal entertainment, thanks to my frugal living. However, I do spend a very minimum amount on second-hand books because I am such a book work.

    • I’ve never been one to have much of a book collection. All the books I have were either free or old text books. It’s hard for me to spend money on books when I can check them out for free from the library. And it’s less stuff to pack/move (we move a lot).

  7. Haha, loved this post! I can totally relate to you about feeling bad about spending money on an entertainment fund when there is a lot of debt. My favorite form of entertainment comes from dining out. Even McDonald’s counts as a special treat nowadays. We take money out of our food budget for that ($140 for the month including groceries.) We also enjoy watching movies so we’ve hopped on to the Redbox rentals text messages and we get a free rental once in a while. Outside of that we have a $50 miscellaneous fund that can go toward other expenses (toilet paper, dog food, etc.) and we use whatever is left over to entertainment at the end of the month.

    • I’m not a big fan of dining out. The proportions are HUGE and I usually end up having to eat the same thing for lunch/dinner for 2 or 3 days afterwards because I don’t want to waste food.

  8. My entertainment expenses are over the place. There are months I will break the budget going out with friends…then there are months I don’t spend a dime on entertainment. I tend to be rather spontaneous so at times I might go for something that was clearly not factored into the budget…am yet to stabilize on that front!

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