Entertainment

20 Great Games to Play with Stuff You Already Have

Playing games at the kitchen table is a regular part of life at our house. I play games after school three or four days a week with my children, as well as a family game night most weeks. Sarah and I play games together one or two nights a week, and I have a regular …

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 …

Music for Free – Comparing Nine Free (and Legal) Online Music Options

Right now, there are a ton of legal ways to listen to music online for free. Sure, you can buy mp3s so that you have complete freedom in terms of when and where you want to listen, but if you just want a radio-like service with a bit of control, there are many free options …

Categories: Entertainment

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 …

Are You In Need of a Media Diet?

“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

Seven Wonderful Inexpensive Board Games for a Game Night (or Three) with Family and Friends

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of playing board games. A good board game can be played hundreds of times and fill countless evenings with family and friends. A good board game can make you think and make you laugh. A good board game makes a great gift, too, and they can often …

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 …

Infinite Games

When I was going through the items in our garage loft as part of a spring cleaning of the garage, I came across a small shoebox that’s been a part of our camping gear for years. When I opened the top of it and peered inside, I got excited. There’s more fun in that small …

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 …

Experiences Trump Things

In a corner in my office on a single shelving unit rests a collection that I’ve been building for fifteen years, my board and card game collection. The collection has been built from a lot of sources: gifts, trades, thrift store finds, ding-and-dent sales, and contest winnings make up a significant portion of what you …

Categories: Entertainment

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. …

MMOs and Financial and Personal Balance

Charlotte writes in: I just wanted to suggest that you write about MMOs. My husband and I have been playing World of Warcraft since we were in college for about five years. We play about two hours each evening and maybe three or four hours on raid nights (two nights a week). We don’t have …

Categories: Entertainment

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

Entertainment – $2,698/year Clocking in at an average of $225 a month in a family’s budget is entertainment – and that excludes reading. Going out to shows, watching movies, listening to music, playing games, participating in sports – they’re all incorporated under this banner. The breadth of this category means that what one person considers …