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Non-Frugal Entertainment

June 16, 2008

I don’t spend a lot of money on entertainment. Not because I hate going out and don’t like doing things, but because it just adds up so easily and I just don’t have the budget for it right now. I’ve cut my savings to what I feel is an appropriate balance between fun and security. T doesn’t have that large of a budget for things either, so we spend our weekends doing less expensive things. The beach, swimming, scrabble (seriously), sitting on my roof, cooking, hiking, visiting the farmers market, museums, walking 3.5 miles down the beach on empty stomachs (that wasn’t a very good plan, actually)….

Except when parents come to town, bearing generosity.

T‘s mom was in town and treated us to a day at Universal Studios. I hate to admit it, but being out in mainstream society doing non-frugal things was absolutely a blast. Sure, we also had fun walking along the beach the day before, but Universal Studios was just so… entertaining! It was such a treat for us. I had a blast, from the Mummy roller coaster to the studio tours (the Waterworld show was quite lame though). It was a really great day. I smiled, laughed, screamed and took a lot of pictures. I visited Wisteria Lane, T got squirted in the face by a dinosaur, and I remembered that theme parks aren’t just for little kids. I loved it.

Frugal bloggers like to wax poetic about evenings on the porch with loved ones, card games with friends, and sunsets on the beach. Those things do have immense value, but…. Universal Studios is fun too!

It reminds me to plan for these things, and do them. The tickets were $54 each for the day (ouch!) and $12 to park, but that isn’t a unaffordable amount. (I did jump in and pay for lunch for T and I before his mom could get to the register, and it was a shocking $20 for cafeteria style crap. Recommendation–bring your own food, and go to the newest most popular ride first.) It isn’t in my average weekend, but we could have made it happen on our own.

[Note: I didn’t even have a post category for “fun” or “entertainment”. Gosh I’m boring! I filed this under “My Favorite Things”, which I know I originally intended to use to write a post about iGoogle and other neat web tricks I love. Oh well.]

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2008 8:53 am

    I think that when you’re frugal so much of the time, it’s worthwhile to treat yourself! Universal Studios isn’t that expensive (although I haven’t been, this is mainly because I cannot stand driving in LA anymore), and there is only so much out there that is truly free. If you don’t take a break, though, it get very boring. Or you snap and spend $1000 in a weekend.

    Have you been to the Griffith Observatory yet? This is probably my favorite place in LA (then again, I am an astronomy nerd), and if you pack a lunch and don’t do their shows (seriously, don’t do the planetarium show: it is lame, they don’t show you stars, and I got motion sickness!), it’s free! Plus, seeing the sunset over the hills and watching the lights come up over the city is breathtaking!

  2. June 16, 2008 9:13 am

    @paranoidasteroid – It isn’t that expensive, but I set my entertainment budget down at 50/month. Boring, yes. can’t wait until we move in together and I don’t have to pay crazy rent on my own

    I’ll have to check out the griffith observatory. We went to the planetarium show at my bf’s university. So lame. A 15 minute powerpoint and then a show led by a guy who couldn’t find the big dipper.

  3. June 16, 2008 10:42 am

    Create a new category!!!!!!

    I’ve never been to the Universal in CA, but I’ve been to the one in Florida. I had a great time! I don’t think that this type of trip should be an every month expense. However, I think the point of saving up for travel/fun helps to make sure that these types of trips are still possible.

  4. June 16, 2008 12:02 pm

    I usually spend my weekends doing frugal things – renting movies from redbox ($1/night), playing cards, writing, reading books from the library (free), meeting my sister for coffee ($5), windowshopping, etc. Great fun! Every now and again, though, I’ll get free tickets to the movie theatre or we’ll go ice skating or something along those lines. It’s important to maintain a balance.

  5. tom permalink
    June 16, 2008 12:03 pm

    Sounds like fun… I’ve only been to Universal Citywalk… which was pretty cool in itself.

    I agree that treating yourself once in a while is a much needed break! Besides getting out to the bar for happy hour, my wife and I enjoy seeing a movie at the theater every now and then. I know, I know… way overpriced, but we enjoy the whole experience (popcorn, sour patch kids, and all).

  6. June 16, 2008 8:23 pm

    I love days like that! I try to go to Disneyland once a year (it’s a 2ish hour drive from where I am in Southern California) – and yes, it is pricey, but DEFINITELY worth it, especially for a full day πŸ™‚ I also try to buy tix on craigslist which makes them significantly cheaper, and we always bring our lunch in a cooler! Glad you had a blast.

  7. June 17, 2008 2:14 am

    Hey you have to have a blow out every now and again, it is allowed. Although i always feel guilty after spalashing the cash, i guess it must be my frugal gene.

    We are only here once sowhy not live a little every now and agian, even if it does stretch those purse strings just a little. πŸ™‚

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