You Own Your Finances: How Much People Spend to Watch Movies
Many people falsely assume that living frugally means missing out. True, it takes compromise and adjustments to live simply and conservatively, but the sacrifices are often much less than what people think. Let me illustrate this point with a simple example: movie-watching options.
When I was young, I went to the cinema a ton. It just seemed like a good way to kill time. If those $50 million opening box office debuts are any indication, many Americans agree with me. But you've got to wonder, what does $10 times every other weekend add up to? It's $260 a year for 26 movies.
Discounted Movie Tickets
I've seen them at Costco, the apartment complex I used to live at offered them, and my wife's workplace also had a way to get them. It takes a little more work than going to the movie theater and just paying with your credit card, but you are saving quite a bit: $2.50 a pop in my experience. Go this route and your expenses become $195 for the same 26 movies.
On Demand TV
Nowadays, you can order movies right on your television set. The prices are around $2 a pop, so you are only paying $52 for 26 movies a year. Yes, you need to wait a few months, but do you watch movies because they are good, or do you actually watch them because they are new?
If you watch more than a few movies a month, then movie costs can go way up. Luckily, you can subscribe to services like Netflix, and for $9, you can watch a practically unlimited amount of movies, soap operas, and other TV shows for the entire month. You can give the service a spin via those Netflix free trial coupons too, but let's not even count that, because $9 a month is still pretty good, especially considering that some people are able to use this to substitute their $70-a-month cable TV bills.
Many grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores have these DVD kiosks where you can rent the newest movies for $1 a night. If you always return the DVD the next day, your movie-every-other-week expense drops down to $26 a year.
There are actually quite a few Redbox coupon codes being circulated on the internet, like the code DVDONME, which works once for every credit card that you own. If you are diligent about finding the codes, which is easy with coupon sites these days, then your movie expenses, no matter how many movies you watch, drop down to $0 (or thereabouts).
Now you might argue that going to the movie theater is not the same as watching free movies via coupon codes, and it's not. But many people are willing to wait the few extra months if it means saving $500 a year and still be able to watch a movie once a week. $500 may not be a ton to some of you out there, but multiply that by the infinite number of spending decisions that we make, and it quickly adds up. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what's right for you, but how much you save, how much you spend, and how you run your life are personal choices that you have to live with. You may not need the money now, but you might one of these days.
Financial decisions may not be easy, but they're completely yours.