Starting A Budget
The entertainment category is one of the hardest to manage when starting a budget. It can easily get out of hand when you are not watching it closely.
Track Your Spending
Many people do not realize how much they spend on entertainment. The first thing to do to get a handle on this is to
track your expenses.
When you track your entertainment expenses you might be surprised to see exactly how much money you spend on entertainment. I am not saying that spending money on entertainment is a bad thing. I think that entertainment is a necessary thing regardless your income. However, entertainment needs to be kept in balance and it is never worth going into debt over.
What Constitutes Entertainment?
There are some activities that are easy to classify as entertainment, going to the movies, going bowling or playing miniature golf. However, the entertainment category contains many other activities. What about going out to eat?
"Certainly," you would say, "going out to eat for special occasions constitutes entertainment but I go out to eat for lunch. That's not entertainment. Is it?"
I would argue that it is. If you are looking for ways to cut down on your spending, then making a meal is almost always cheaper than eating out. Therefore, I would classify it as entertainment because it is discretionary spending.
Likewise you would have to include all of your vacation costs, i.e. food, gas, lodging, tickets, etc. When you go out and leave the kids home with a sitter, your babysitting costs also are part of your entertainment budget. Additionally, anytime you have a party and invite friends over, your food and drink as well as perhaps some paper products also get listed under your entertainment budget.
Entertainment Brings Joy!
As I stated before, entertainment is a good thing. Entertainment can help bring joy to your world, especially in times of recession. However, it is much, much better to save up for your entertainment. Otherwise the debt you rack up will rob you of the joy that entertainment was designed to bring. Starting a budget and tracking your expenses will help you stay on track and help you stay in balance with regards to entertainment.
How To Make A Budget from Starting A Budget - Entertainment
Biblical Personal Budgeting Homepage from Starting A Budget - Entertainment