Entertainment

Choosing Income-Positive Hobbies and Projects – And Fifteen Examples to Get You Started

Like almost everyone in America, I fill my spare time with a number of projects and a handful of hobbies. I have a number of things I’ve consistently enjoyed over the years – reading books comes to mind, as does computer programming – as well as hobbies that I’ve jumped into passionately for a while …

My Timeless Strategy for Buying Electronics

I write for a living, mostly for websites. It’s not surprising that I have a great deal of use for a number of electronic items. I have a smartphone, a reasonably modern computer, a laptop, and an iPad Mini. Almost since the day I graduated from college, using computers and other electronic devices has been …

Using an Inexpensive Streaming Video Box to Replace Cable Television

There is an astounding amount of quality movies and television series available on Netflix. There’s a shocking number of great channels available on Youtube. Add on top of that the many, many other streaming services out there, both free and paid, and you begin to realize that there is far more than enough television content …

The Future of Cheap Television

A few days ago, at the Consumer Electronics Show, an announcement was made that I think points toward a future, a few years down the road, of very inexpensive television service for anyone, regardless of their interests. World Wrestling Entertainment – yes, the professional wrestling company – announced an online streaming service a la Netflix …

Junk Food for the Mind

“To see things in their true proportion, to escape the magnifying influence of a morbid imagination, should be one of the chief aims of life.” – William Edward Hartpole Lecky Recently, I enjoyed a great article at The Happiness Project entitled “Avoid the Dangerous Allure of “Potato Chip” News.” The article compares most news reporting …

Categories: Entertainment

Keeping Hobby and Entertainment Spending in Check

A few years ago, I was a big collector of DVDs. I amassed a collection of almost 1,000 DVDs of all kinds, and I was pretty proud of the collection. We had display cases in our living room showing all of them off. Now, if you do a bit of “back of the envelope” math …

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Used Books

Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

75 Things Worth Watching on Netflix Streaming

I consider Netflix streaming to be one of the best bargains out there in entertainment. For $9 a month (assuming you have a home internet connection), you gain access to an enormous libraries of commercial-free films and television series. You can choose what you want and, if your internet connection is fast, you’ll be watching …

Taco Bell’s Beef Problem

Over the past week, the fast food restaurant chain Taco Bell was sued for claiming that the taco mixture used in their products was actually beef. According to USDA standards, a beef mixture served by businesses must contain at least 40% beef in ordered to be labeled as such, and the lawsuit alleges (with some …

Netflix Streaming

As I’ve mentioned before, I consider Netflix to be an excellent low-cost alternative to cable. Having Netflix gives you access not only to almost every DVD known to man (sent to you in the mail), but you also have access to their extensive streaming library. In other words, if you have high speed internet at …

Doing the Math on Renting a Movie

It’s Saturday evening. The kids are in bed. Sarah and Trent want to stay up late watching a movie. What’s the least expensive option? Redbox If we’re already thinking about this earlier in the day, there are several Redbox machines within ten miles of us that we could visit as part of our shopping trip. …

Ways to Enjoy Your Hobbies with Minimal Spending

One big problem that many people have when they adopt a frugal lifestyle is the perceived reduction in enjoyment they’re going to have in their hobbies. Entertainment spending is one of the obvious places to cut in a budget because it’s not a base need, but it is a very painful cut. If done recklessly, …

Trimming the Average Budget: Entertaiment

This is part of an ongoing series about how to trim the budget of the average American. As this series focuses on such broad-based tips, some will work for you and some will not. You’re invited to mention in the comments the tips that you found to be the most useful for inclusion in a …

Is Netflix Worth It?

Jenna writes in: My husband and I have been talking about signing up for Netflix, but we’re just not sure if it’s worth the extra monthly bill. Do you have any thoughts or pointers? Sarah and I have been on-again off-again Netflix users for most of the past decade. Our experience taught us a few …

The Frugal Introvert: Fifty Ways to Have Fun By Yourself on the Cheap

After my recent popular post on 100 ways to spend a money free weekend, I received a most interesting comment from a Lifehacker reader named HFC: It looks like a lot of free things are boring and/or require you to actually have friends. Aren’t there any fun things I can do by myself? This comment …

Making Expensive Hobbies More Financially Manageable

Before my financial turnaround, I subscribed to several expensive hobbies. I loved to golf on the weekends, I played Magic: the Gathering somewhat competitively, I collected DVDs (of certain directors, actors, etc.), and I thought it great to eat out as many meals as possible at high-end restaurants, among others. Each of these hobbies was …

Categories: Entertainment

Starting a Natural Collection

My wife and I are both natural collectors. As a young boy, I carefully collected thousands of baseball cards, spending my allowance each week on Topps wax packs. Later, in my teen years, I collected Magic: the Gathering cards with a ferociousness. I come by this naturally – my father has been an avid coin …

The Tug of War Between Frugality, Hobbies, and an Emergency Fund

Quite often, I admire my cousin and his wife for some of the frugal things they choose to do in their lives. They buy late model used cars and drive them until they need replaced, eat out only on extremely rare occasions, and know cold which generic products are basically the same as the name …

The One Hour Project: Clean Out Your Media Collection

This post is part of The One Hour Project, in which you can spend just one hour to put your finances in a better place without a big lifestyle change, through frugality or other financial choices. Most of my friends have huge shelves full of DVDs and CDs that they rarely listen to or look …