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Old 01-16-2013, 05:01 AM   #21
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I mean REALLY! Who are the people who fill the stadiums and coliseums? Where do hundreds of thousands .... No hundreds of millions of people get the money to go to these places?
I suspect that they're the people who will have saved about $50k for retirement 30 years from now.

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Have come to the conclusion that we live in a cave and have lost touch with reality. We were shocked... outraged... unbelieving when we had to pay $2 to get into a Florida park. So, no kidding!... Do average families actually spend these kind of $$$ or are things like concerts or races or games a once a year thing?
We have one extravagance that we regularly engage in, and that's our annual vacation. We'll spend up to $150 a day on admissions, that's it. I see a big difference between a once a year thing and the regular weekly expenses that others incur.

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Sheesh...and I was thinking that I would treat DW to a movie $14.50 for 2, plus $3.95 for the popcorn bucket, and $3.50 for 3 coffees. Instead, we'll just wait a few years and see Argo on Netflix.
I think we have to draw a distinction with regard to certain things. From what they tell me, going to a football game is about the being there. The game is secondary. It is about the tailgating, the drinking of beer and eating of hot dogs, etc. Painting of face, wearing of silly-looking team (from my perspective) uniforms, etc. That's a unique experience (I suppose) that is worth what those people pay for it.

Watching the game for the sake of seeing the game - well - there are better ways imho.

And this extends to a lot of things, and my saying so will reveal my bias: I'm a very big proponent of television. Broadway musicals? I enjoy Broadway musicals best when I'm watching them from my easy chair, not cramped into a too-small seat in the second balcony with smelly-man next to me, mumbling to himself throughout the show. Motion pictures? Again, television wins, on the strength of (among many other things) the pause button, for use when I need to go to the rest room during the movie. Concerts? Palladia is an incredible television network. And so on.

But the point here is about money. Putting aside all the ways that all these (otherwise very expensive) entertainments are qualitatively better on television than "in person", they are also far better values on television than "in person". And that's factoring in the price of a big screen television, and DD5.1 surround sound system, and cable service to keep the entertainment flowing through the television (well, the price over and above what we would have paid anyway, if we were enjoying these entertainments "in person" instead). My contention is that television is a wonderful tool for economizing, and simplifying. In one device, if you open your mind to appreciating entertainment delivered that way as we have, you can greatly reduce, and reduce the complexity, of entertaining yourself and your family.

Oh, and incidentally: They have dramatic and comedic series on television, too.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:03 AM   #22
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DW and I ride bikes downtown to movies once or twice a month at $9.50 a pop or something like that. We occasionally go to small theater productions (probably in the $75 ea range). We very occasionally go to concerts in the $100-200 range. And once in a long while we go to a Broadway show, the last being Book of Mormon for a little over $200 ea. We went to dinner at the Inn at Little Washington Monday night for DW's 60th birthday at $450. That is an even greater rarity. I also occasionally golf at inexpensive (relatively) public courses. I can't see forking over $500 for Pebble Beach or its ilk. But lots of people build entire vacations and even life styles around playing such courses.

On the other hand, I check out or download about 100 books a year from the library saving about $1000/year towards all that other stuff.

Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:36 AM   #23
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We go to the movies about once a month at around $30 including popcorn and soft drink for the two of us. Used to once a week, but now use Netflix/redbox a lot.

Last year went to a white sox game for $35 a ticket. Plus 20 for parking plus 30 for beer/brat. Az dbacks games are about the same, but parking is cheaper. Spring training lawn seats at $8, $5 for parking and 30 for beer/food.

We used to have bulls season tickets (4) at work when Jordan/Pippen were with the bulls. I think they were about $20k a year. We'd bring clients/ friends, and go to dinner. Probably spent an extra $300 a night on food/drink for 4. We let the tickets go after Jordan retired. Haven't been to a game since.

I haven't been to a bears game in 10 years, but have gone to a few Az cardinals games over the past several years at around $75 a ticket. Also went to a colts playoff game for $160, with hotel, dinner, etc.

Used to have the NASCAR 4 race package at Chicago speedway up to 5 years ago. It was around $230 a year per person for the package.

Also used to attend a hockey game or two a year from $50-$100 per ticket, plus parking,food,drink.

Went to an Elton John concert a year or so ago. I think the tickets were $180? each.

We don't do opera, theatre, symphonies, etc. All good times, but we're cutting back on entertainment as we go into retirement.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:36 AM   #24
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We go to shows, live performances, and sporting events. Often we invite along our children, and more recently, their children. These things are expensive and demand budget sacrifice elsewhere, which we are happy to do, and hopefully more often in the future.

TV is not an alternative way to see the same event, it is a different category of events. Nothing wrong with it, but comparing the two doesn't make much sense to me. Certainly not a value proposition.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:29 AM   #25
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We go to shows, live performances, and sporting events. Often we invite along our children, and more recently, their children. These things are expensive and demand budget sacrifice elsewhere, which we are happy to do, and hopefully more often in the future.

TV is not an alternative way to see the same event, it is a different category of events. Nothing wrong with it, but comparing the two doesn't make much sense to me. Certainly not a value proposition.
Concerning sporting events, in my opinion only of course, I would have to disagree. I see it as an alternative/better way to see same event. I get a better viewing and comfort experience, without the hassles of travel from watching the game at home now, since big screens and HD were invented. Now, I must admit, I am all about the game, not the peripherals. But, I will go occasionally just for that, but only at a fraction of what I used to, because it is not as important to me.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:42 AM   #26
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Precisely the point. And to be clear, those "peripherals" may be things people enjoy and place value on. I value a fine kitchen knife - my brother uses those silly "as seen on teevee" knives. That's okay... we all have different preferences and even when they are directly contrary to each other, they're still both equally valid. As such, I find Michael's earlier statement "comparing the two doesn't make much sense to me" to be troubling: Perhaps he doesn't perceive how the value of B could be higher than the value of A, because he prefers A - that does "make sense" - but it almost seemed like he was insinuating that valuing B higher than A lacks sense, and if so, that is a stronger, and invalid, statement imho. I don't like the idea of sitting in that too-small second balcony seat to see a Broadway show, but I acknowledge that others might see that as a worthwhile decision.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:48 AM   #27
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Other than 1 or 2 movies a year, I don't go to any of those other things any more. The last sporting event I went to was in 1997, at the U.S. Open Tennis Center (the Arthur Ashe Stadium had just opened). I had gone nearly every year in the 1990s and it is actually a pretty good bargain to go during the day because you get a whole day of tennis for under $50 (back then, I am sure the price has doubled since then). No other sporting events since the early 1990s, as my interest in sports was waned nearly totally.

I have been to one Broadway show in the last 24 years and that was 10 years ago and it cost $100 per ticket for orchestra seats. They, like sporting events, are money pits to me.

As for movies, my ladyfriend sometimes gets gift cards for them (her rewards program from her credit card) but it is 50-50 as to whether the theater chain is showing the movie we want to see. If we can't use her gift card then it will cost us about $11 per ticket. I never buy any overpriced food there but my ladyfriend usually does.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:11 AM   #28
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I hate crowds. I won't go in movie theaters either - especially when we have a top viewing environment at home on our own schedule. We're so not into sports.

But I have no problem with occasionally splurging to see or hear something special. It's been a while though.......
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:14 AM   #29
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Concerning sporting events, in my opinion only of course, I would have to disagree. I see it as an alternative/better way to see same event. I get a better viewing and comfort experience, without the hassles of travel from watching the game at home now, since big screens and HD were invented. Now, I must admit, I am all about the game, not the peripherals. But, I will go occasionally just for that, but only at a fraction of what I used to, because it is not as important to me.
I think our views have more in common than not. jmo
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:21 AM   #30
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As such, I find Michael's earlier statement "comparing the two doesn't make much sense to me" to be troubling: Perhaps he doesn't perceive how the value of B could be higher than the value of A, because he prefers A - that does "make sense" - but it almost seemed like he was insinuating that valuing B higher than A lacks sense, and if so, that is a stronger, and invalid, statement imho.
I hope you're not too troubled. Not insinuating anything, just stating a personal view.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:25 AM   #31
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I hope you're not too troubled.
You've put my mind at east.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:29 AM   #32
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I can't remember the figures, but if you want sticker shock, try going to a Cowboys game. The cost of tickets, parking and price of a beer, puts it way out of reach of what I'm willing to spend and is also indicative of why the real fans don't attend their home games.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:29 AM   #33
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My wife and I go to our very good local theater for live plays about six times a year. It's expensive, but we enjoy it and I like having a top-notch venue available.

We went to a Viking's game this year for the first time because my brother got half price tickets through work. That was a great time, and I'm very happy I spent the money.

We don't get to the movies much, but it isn't because of the cost. It's just hard to get out, and hard to find a movie that both of us want to see.

These things are somewhat expensive, but if you are saving a third of your income already, I don't see the point of trying to save a few percent more. It's not going to make much difference in our retirement date, and you can't take the money with you.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:33 AM   #34
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You've put my mind at east.
Is that anything like a "moral compass"?

If anyone remembers a Three Dog Night live eight-track album from the early 70s, after the first or second song, you can barely here some crowd chatter in the background, and one of TDN asks them "what?", then the crowd says something again, this time audible enough to make out "we can't hear".

To which he replied "See, you should have bought the $5.50 tickets in the front..."
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:35 AM   #35
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Is that anything like a "moral compass"?
LOL
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:41 AM   #36
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...We also rent very new releases through our Xbox and Amazon for about $5 a pop. The latter can be more fun because you can be more comfy in your own home. We see a movie monthly-ish.
....
DH is a pretty big movie buff and usually likes to see the Oscar nominees before the show, so we pay $8 or less per ticket for this pleasure. Last week we saw Les Mis and the couple behind us was just so distracting. I thought how nice it would be to watch all movies at home on a big TV even if we had to forfeit the timing with the Oscars for most of the nominees.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:44 AM   #37
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Is that anything like a "moral compass"?
I thought it meant he had seen the light

Back on topic, while there is no denying the cost of live entertainment can be astronomical, there are good options which are still affordable for the average family. One of the great pleasures of FIRE is having the time to search them out and take advantage.

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If anyone remembers a Three Dog Night live eight-track album from the early 70s, after the first or second song, you can barely here some crowd chatter in the background, and one of TDN asks them "what?", then the crowd says something again, this time audible enough to make out "we can't hear".

To which he replied "See, you should have bought the $5.50 tickets in the front..."
Great story.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:52 AM   #38
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Back on topic, while there is no denying the cost of live entertainment can be astronomical, there are good options which are still affordable for the average family. One of the great pleasures of FIRE is having the time to search them out and take advantage.
I think one of the great opportunities that retirement would afford us is the ability to spend more time enjoying the live entertainment our own family produces. That's surely worth the price. My nephew is in a "real" rock band, with contracts and a manager and fans and such. (No "real" money, at least not yet.) I think frugality does come down to finding cost-efficient entertainment.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:56 AM   #39
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Is that anything like a "moral compass"?

If anyone remembers a Three Dog Night live eight-track album from the early 70s, after the first or second song, you can barely here some crowd chatter in the background, and one of TDN asks them "what?", then the crowd says something again, this time audible enough to make out "we can't hear".

To which he replied "See, you should have bought the $5.50 tickets in the front..."
I attend probably 3-4 rock concerts a year, with all of them being bands from the 70s and 80s. What I enjoy besides the music, is the vast majority of attendees are my age. When some youngster in the area stands up and starts "moving to the music" they are universally yelled down, so we can see. In my younger days, I don't know if I ever sat down, now I rarely stand up.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:27 AM   #40
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I've done my fair share of rock concerts in my youth but I don't have much desire to brave the crowds now. I don't watch sports so that isn't a choice I have to make. A few years ago I had a business trip to New York City and I splurged for a Broadway show. I have to say, it was a wonderful experience. A couple of years later I returned to NYC for vacation and went to another show and thoroughly loved the experience again. So I would say that if you really want to do it then save your money and do it. I've noticed that a lot of people who cringe about the price of something have something else in their life that they pay for without thinking about the price. Say you don't want to pay concert/sports prices but you think nothing of buying a boat. The problem in ER is finding out if you still like the events you enjoyed when you were younger.
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