We all have wants. It’s fun to go out and catch a show or grab a bite to eat. In order to be able to do so though it’s important to budget for it. In Lesson 1 we discussed the 50/30/20 framework. In this framework, the goal is to budget 30% of your income for wants such as entertainment, dining out, travel, etc. 

Take, for example, if your income is $1,700, in theory, you could budget $510 a month for wants. This actual number may depend on the amount you must spend for your needs and debt/savings. The framework says to allot 50% for needs and 20% for savings/debt, but that number may turn out differently given your unique situation. For example, you may feel it’s important to put more of the money you could use for wants towards your grocery budget. For the sake of simplicity though we will say you’re able to put that $510 towards wants. 

How would you spend that budgeted amount for wants? Dining out is expensive and a couple could easily spend $50-$100 depending on the type of restaurant and if they order drinks. To save money on eating out, check to see if the restaurant has some type of loyalty program. This way you can dine out and earn points towards a free meal, free item, or discount. Check for coupons online as well as ask what specials the restaurant currently offers. Dining during times like lunch or happy hour can also save you money. Groupon is another great way to save on dining out.

Are you a AAA member or a member of some other national group? Check to see if they have any type of discounts for dining out, travel, or entertainment. You could save about 25% depending on the type of offers they have. Sites like Groupon are another great way to save money on fun things to do. Check to see what discounts are available in your area that you may be interested in. 

For free entertainment, check social media sites and utilize your local library. Marion County Public Library System has great resources to help you save money on entertainment. Freegal, Hoopla, Kanopy, and Libby are just a few of the available resources that allow you to utilize digital platforms for free entertainment with your library card. If you love going to the movies in person though check to see if you can get a discount (Groupon, a membership, RetailMeNot) or choose a matinee showing to save the most. 

There are many ways to still have fun on a budget. Take the time to look for discounts or free alternatives. Your budget will thank you. 



Photo Source



Marion County Public Library System