Everyone is having to tighten their belts a little these days. Prices are going up, but a lot of companies are still slow to hand out raises (if at all). But that doesn’t have to mean you have to give up the things you love in life! You just have to be a little more savvy about how you get them.
Entertainment and other luxuries are often the first on the chopping block when people are trying to tighten their budget. Instead of getting rid of these expenses, try lowering them with some of these tricks:
1 Bundle Services
You can pay nearly $100 for the Internet, depending on where you live and what speeds you get. You can pay nearly $200 for cable, depending on what channels you choose. You can pay another $100 for a landline. Or you can get all three for about $80 a month from Suddenlink. Similar deals are available through other companies — again, depending on where you live and what you get. You can even add on home security services if you like.
Don’t drop your cable for streaming services or drop your landline for a cell phone. Just get smarter about how you book these services and bundle them to get significant savings.
2 Get a Family Gym Plan
Why pay anywhere from $40 to $80 a month for your own gym plan when you can pay the same amount for a family gym plan? You can sign up for you and your spouse, or even for the two of you plus your children. Even if your children aren’t old enough to work out at a gym, getting the family plan that includes them can give you access to services like child care while you work out and to the indoor pool, for example.
Check out the YMCA and other local gyms near you to find out what family pricing is available and what services they include. You may be able to get an additional discount by paying ahead.
3 Look into Local Memberships
Is there a museum where you live that you love to visit but hate to pay the steep admission price? Check into a membership instead. You might pay $100 or more for the year, but after only a few visits, the membership will pay for itself. Most museums offer memberships at different tiers, allowing you to include your spouse or children for even better rates.
Other places that can offer memberships for discounted visits or entrance to special events include gardens, planetariums, conservation centers, zoos, and theme parks. You might like to visit these places for the classes or lectures for yourself, or you might like to take the kids for fun afternoon activities. If your budget is limited, pick just one or two places that you visit the most so you’ll get the best value from your membership.
4 Get Beauty Services at a Discount
A lot of places are now offering rewards and bulk pricing. For example, you can pay a monthly fee at Massage Envy for $60 and get a free massage and discounted body and face services, such as a one-hour facial for only $10. Other places offer you a free or discounted service after you have booked a certain number, such as getting a free haircut or manicure after you’ve already had 10.
You don’t have to worry that getting this discounted pricing means you’ll get inferior service. Everyone from chiropractors to estheticians is offering these kinds of deals because they know that there is greater profit in getting repeat business. It benefits them and you.
There are many other ways that you can save on the things you love doing. Check out Groupon or Living Social for discounts on services. Use a credit card that gives you travel points so you can earn free airfare. Find out what days local museums and other attractions are open to the public for free or a discounted rate. You don’t have to stop doing the things you love that let you have fun or make you feel special. You just need to plan ahead so you can find ways to enjoy them without spending as much on them.