Entertainment

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 …

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 …

Six Free Games to Dig Into Over the Holidays

One of my biggest time management weaknesses is gaming. I love taking breaks to try out a new free computer game. Most of the time, though, the game’s not engrossing enough to hold my interest. This list is filled with the exceptions. Here are six free computer games that are so filled with incredibly enjoyable …

A Frugal Man and His Nintendo DS / DSi

I’m a video game fan, and I’ve been one since I was tiny. During my life, I’ve owned an Atari 2600, a Nintendo Entertainment System, a Super Nintendo, a Sega Genesis, a Game Boy, a Game Boy Advance, a Nintendo 64, a PlayStation, a Game Cube, a Playstation 2, a Nintendo DS (and a DSi), …

Categories: Entertainment

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 Pricey Hobbies More Economical

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 …

Making Frugality a Game

If you have a spouse or a close friend and you’ve both recently made a commitment to saving money, why not try making it into a competition? First, a big disclaimer: my wife and I are naturally competitive with each other. We compete at the most absurd things – who can blow up a bigger …

Thoughts on Bridge

The photo above depicts Warren Buffett and Bill Gates at a bridge event in Omaha, Nebraska in 2006. They were spending an afternoon playing bridge, an intellectually challenging and quite enjoyable card game that only requires you to have a deck of cards, three friends to play with, a pencil and a pad to keep …

Make Your Own Kind of Music

Quite often, I’ve mentioned that learning your own musical instrument is an incredibly frugal hobby. Almost every time I mention it, someone asks some follow up questions along the lines of: “How can that be frugal? Instruments are expensive!” Recently, I wanted to put that to the test and show how inexpensively a person can …

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