Over the years I’ve wasted my share of money
if not more. While my car was one of my biggest splurges, entertainment spending was close behind.
I may have grown up taking advantage of cheap entertainment, I can’t say that trend continued as I got older. Instead, as I got more money in my bank account, the more I justified spending money to keep myself happy.
Here are some specific types of entertainment that I wasted money on:
1) Concerts – I’ve always been really into music, but growing up in a small town did not make for very many opportunities to see live music. So when I moved to Vancouver for college, I was all over checking out all my favorite bands in person.
I’d have to dig out my collection of ticket stubs to know just how many concerts I’ve been to, but I’m pretty sure it’s been at least 20. It’s enough that I’d struggle to list them all anyway.
The only thing that’s saved me is a lack of interest in newer music and not a lot of good concerts coming to town in the last several years.
Not only are concert tickets expensive, but so is drinking at the beer gardens. It may have added up to a lot of money, but it wasn’t a complete waste as those memories will last a lifetime…at least for the concerts that I wasn’t too drunk to remember
2) Sporting Events – Since moving to Vancouver after high school I’ve become a bigger and bigger fan of the local sports teams. There’s just something about seeing sports live where you soak up the atmosphere and truly experience the excitement.
Between hockey, football, soccer and even basketball (RIP Vancouver Grizzlies), I can’t imagine how much I’ve spent attending live sports. Sometimes you just don’t really want to know the actual total. There’s no way I’d remember each individual game I’ve been to, but they did provide a high level of entertainment. Some provided only short term memories and others will be remembered for a long time to come.
Again with sports, there is the beer factor which nearly doubles the actual spending. Overpriced stadium beers add up very quickly. I could also include the nights out at pubs watching sports. Then there have been a couple sports road trips – a daytrip down to Seattle to watch Seahawks and a trip down the west coast of the US to catch 4 Canucks road games.
3) Dining Out – We all have to eat, right? But do I need to try half the restaurants in town and order take out or delivery every week? Something tells me that cooking would’ve been far cheaper.
Most of those meals were pretty tasty, but I can’t really justify the cumulative cost for all that food. Those memories disappear by the next day unless it was a particularly good meal.
If I had ever been into proper budgeting, this is one area that would’ve stood out as something that I needed to get under control. Since it’s unnecessary food spending, I do consider it entertainment spending. It was just something to do.
4) Movies – When I was in my teens, my mom owned a video rental store and of course I eventually worked there for several years. So I’ve always been in the habit of watching the latest movies.
In the small town I grew up in, there was only a single movie theater and it had a single screen. That meant that only 1 new movie would be playing each week. That definitely limited how many movies I’d go out to see. Having free access to rental videos might’ve played into that a bit too.
That all changed when I moved to the city. Suddenly there was no free movie hookup and a lot more movies to see at the theater. Back then there seemed to be a lot of big movies that you just had to see in the theater too.
Just going to watch movies wouldn’t be too expensive, but $5 popcorn is just too tempting and who gets $5 popcorn without a $5 drink to wash it down? And maybe $4 candy to balance the salt with some sugar. Make this a weekly outing and it’s not very cheap.
5) Big Screen TV – I made the mistake of investing in a big TV not long before they started dropping in price. So like my car, it lost a lot of value early on.
I don’t really regret getting a big screen TV, but the timing was unfortunate. Because watching sports and movies is a big priority for me, I feel like I’ve gotten good value out of it. At least it makes me less tempted to go to the theater or to live sports. To many people it would seem like a waste to buy such a big TV, but that’s a matter of perspective.
If you’ve always wanted a nice big TV, you’re in luck. I am co-hosting a giveaway where you can win a Samsung UN50EH6000 50-Inch 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV. Looks pretty sweet to me. To enter the contest refer to the rafflecopter widget below.
This contest has been brought to you by QuoteMeAPrice.com, a website I’d be sure to visit if I was looking to sell my structured settlement. Ok maybe I’d need to have a structured settlement for that to be an option. Anyways, good luck in the contest! It runs until the end of May 2013 and is open to everyone.