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Entertainment Budget
Old 08-20-2011, 02:51 PM   #1
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Entertainment Budget

I tracked my expenses for many years but in the last two years I have been lax so I want to get back on track . What does everyone have for an entertainment budget ? That includes eating out , movies , shows, etc. not including travel as I have this categorized in a separate expense. Thanks ! I just want to make sure that I am not being too thrifty or too extravagant .
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:56 PM   #2
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I spend about 3-5% a year on entertainment. I'm not sure if that's normal or not. I'd love to know too!
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:49 PM   #3
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Our "mad money" budget is not strictly tracked. We go to the Legions, VFW, and the local Polish Home for draft beer pitchers (never liquor or wine) and eating out. We go to a low cost Chinese buffet about twice a month. Once a month we may go to a "real" restaurant, where we promptly go into sticker shock and afterwards return to our usual haunts.
Mr B estimated we spend about $350 per month on beer and dinners. Very low cost, very nice on the budget.
We do not go to shows or concerts at the local Casino. The tickets are too expensive (even the cheap seats) for our tastes. If there is a good group at the NYS Fair, we will attend a free afternoon show.
http://www.nysfair.org/chevy-court
Movies are $5.35 per month, on the Netflix 2 DVDs per month plan. We never go to theatres unless there is a movie I just have to see on the big screen.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:53 PM   #4
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I budget about $400 a month for entertainment, which represents about 8% of my net monthly income. I define entertainment as spending money on something fun that isn't part of my fixed expense. Entertainment is kind of a loose term, because if I was married I'm sure she would say that my daily newspaper and sports tv packages should count as part of my entertainment money, too. I consider that a fixed necessary expense! Sometimes I spend it sometimes I don't, but it's there if I want it. I probably spend around 4k a year on vacations mostly to Tahoe, Vegas or St.John (live in Missouri) usually about 6 times a year.You can go on a hell of a lot of vacations when you book cheap flights and are splitting rooms costs with a girlfriend instead of a wife
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:54 PM   #5
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Our entertainment budget is $300/month (movies, concerts, exhibits) and a $300/month separate dining out budget.

We track to budget using Quicken and regular downloads from the bank account.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:02 PM   #6
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We spend about 7% of our budget in the category labeled Cash/Dining/Entertainment.
That covers the cash we get from ATMs for "walking around money" used for all small purchases, restaurant dining, and all other entertainment expenses like tickets to shows, etc.

I don't break the category down any more than that, but this seems to work pretty well nearly every year. Occasionally something special comes along, when the amount might go up to 8% of the overall budget, but generally it's below 7%.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:04 PM   #7
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Does tool purchases at Harbor Freight classify as entertainment expenses?
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:11 PM   #8
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Does tool purchases at Harbor Freight classify as entertainment expenses?
LOL
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:13 PM   #9
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Does tool purchases at Harbor Freight classify as entertainment expenses?
Only if your language gets colorful when you hit your thumb with a hammer or skin your knuckles using a socket wrench to loosen that rusted bolt from h*ll.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:15 PM   #10
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The total for eating out, tickets to shows and such are about $1200 a year for the two of us.

Egads....that sounds so low. Guess I've been deprived all this time and didn't know it.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:17 PM   #11
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Does tool purchases at Harbor Freight classify as entertainment expenses?
Only to guys !
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:26 PM   #12
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Only to guys !
What?

Remember "Tool Girl"?...
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:31 PM   #13
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30 to 60% of budget(Mr Market depending) on a look back basis. I used to be cheap but I trained thirty years in New Orleans.

I try to keep minor stuff(basic food, shelter, taxes and insurance, etc.) to a minimum to leave wiggle room to party, travel, remodel, buy adult toys and live to eat -so to speak.

Heh heh heh - I mean what else is ER for? Right! Saints play the Texans tonight.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by unclemick
30 to 60% of budget(Mr Market depending) on a look back basis. I used to be cheap but I trained thirty years in New Orleans.

I try to keep minor stuff(basic food, shelter, taxes and insurance, etc.) to a minimum to leave wiggle room to party, travel, remodel, buy adult toys and live to eat -so to speak.

Heh heh heh - I mean what else is ER for? Right! Saints play the Texans tonight.
Your lifestyle unclemick is what I'm aspiring too. I plan to get there soon!
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:41 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by packrat44
Does tool purchases at Harbor Freight classify as entertainment expenses?
In my budget, tools have their own expense category.

As for entertainment, I combined dining, entertainment, and travel into one category. It's our biggest expense at 23% of total expenses.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:53 PM   #16
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I have a category for Entertainment/misc. I budget $100/mo(10% of budget) and am under as usual.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:01 PM   #17
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We now spend about $60 (don't go out!), but cable and internet are under utilities. After retirement we have forecasted between $400-750/month. That is a huge difference, but here there's no place we want to go, and in NYC...
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:20 PM   #18
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Mr B estimated we spend about $350 per month on beer and dinners. Very low cost, very nice on the budget.
If that's what I have to do to be frugal, sign me up!

I have no idea what we spend. We are currently trying to get a handle on that and develop a budget. I would guess maybe $300-$500 a month, which includes extra fuel for my fishing trips. We live in the middle of nowhere so eating out going to the movies is a big deal and usually includes running errands or picking up some groceries.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:39 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by unclemick View Post
30 to 60% of budget(Mr Market depending) on a look back basis. I used to be cheap but I trained thirty years in New Orleans.

I try to keep minor stuff(basic food, shelter, taxes and insurance, etc.) to a minimum to leave wiggle room to party, travel, remodel, buy adult toys and live to eat -so to speak.

Heh heh heh - I mean what else is ER for? Right! Saints play the Texans tonight.
Way to go! That's a great philosophy. You can't take it with you.

So far this year, my total monthly entertainment expenditures have been a little under $308/month, and eating out every day accounts for all or nearly all of it.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:08 PM   #20
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30 to 60% of budget(Mr Market depending) on a look back basis. I used to be cheap but I trained thirty years in New Orleans.

I try to keep minor stuff(basic food, shelter, taxes and insurance, etc.) to a minimum to leave wiggle room to party, travel, remodel, buy adult toys and live to eat -so to speak.

Heh heh heh - I mean what else is ER for? Right! Saints play the Texans tonight.
Unclemick, I wish you were really my uncle...we would have such a good time together.
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