- Personal Finance
Save Money On Your Guilty Pleasures
We all have little vices, things that can turn a horrible day into a slightly bearable one, or even a great one. A lot of people save these vices, or guilty pleasures, for special occasions, or just for when they want to feel special. Most people have a hard time justifying the money they spend on these things, so they only choose to indulge in them once in a blue moon. Just by slightly tweaking the way you buy your guilty pleasures, you'll be able to enjoy them a little more often.
These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things...
A few of my favorite vices include good coffee, great music, cheesy magazines, and movie outings. However, I live on an average income, so I don't always have money lying around to blow. However, by simply adjusting the way I spend money on the things I enjoy, I've been able to indulge in more things more often.
The average person cannot afford to drop $5 a day on a cup of coffee, much less multiple times a day. But there are easy ways to get the gratifying feeling that you get from a great cup of coffee a little more often. Some coffee shops offer free refills, or at least discounted refills on brewed coffee. There's usually a stipulation that you must remain in the shop to cash in on the refills, but the atmosphere and company you find there may soon turn into another guilty pleasure! A lot of shops also offer rewards programs or frequent flier cards. These cards are usually "buy X amount, get one free," or they may give you free syrups and upgrades when you use them. The rewards program cards are my personal favorite, because you seem to save more money that way. For example, if your favorite drink, at it's most basic form, is $2, then you add syrups and extras, those up-charges can bring your total to $4 or more. If you have a card that gives you those extras for free, you can save up to $2 every time you purchase your drink! If you're someone who gets coffee from a coffee shop everyday, that could save you up to $14 a week! If you're someone who enjoys lattes and cappuccinos as opposed to brewed coffee, a great alternative is a brewed coffee with whatever flavor you enjoy, plus a little cream. Baristas will usually add whipped cream on top of your coffee for no extra charge! You'll usually find that this alternative doesn't taste all that different from the specialty drink you're used to, and it'll taste even better once you realize it's half the price!
Speaking Of Coffee Shops...
If you're someone who enjoys music and attending concerts, but often find the price of tickets to be more than you're comfortable spending, your local coffee shop could be the answer. A lot of coffee shops have open mic nights and nights designated for local bands to play. There's usually no charge for the entertainment, and you can use the saving strategies above to get great deals while you enjoy a night listening to great music.
You can't stand in line at any store without being bombarded with magazines on every side depicting celebrities, recipes, national news, and gossip. If you're like me, you may peruse some of the various titles while you wait, but you have a few that you always make a beeline for. The glossy covers and catchy headlines make them great impulse buys, but it's only great for the magazines, not so much for your wallet. But there are ways for you to enjoy your favorite magazines for a fraction of the cost! Magazine stand prices can be a budget breaker, especially when a single magazine can run you $4-$5. But if there's one magazine you buy consistently, you may want to consider buying a subscription. Subscriptions to most popular magazines run about $11-$15 per year, usually with a magazine printed every month. Do the math and you'll see that even at $15 for a subscription, that's only $1.25 an issue! What a deal! If even that seems a little too steep for your budget, most magazines have websites that offer articles, quizzes, horoscopes, and advice columns, just like the magazine. Some even have web exclusive material, things you wouldn't even find in the magazine! Best part is, those websites are absolutely free!
Buying a movie these days can cost you a hefty chunk of change, and let's not even talk about how big of a dent a movie date will put in your wallet. But sometimes we all want to get lost in a different world for a few hours, and movies are a great way to do that. And it doesn't have to break the bank! If you'd like to enjoy a movie in the comfort of your home, Redbox is a great choice. You won't find a new release in Redbox the day it comes out because of clauses that require the company to wait 28 days from the release date before it can stock the movies in their machines. However, if you're willing to wait a short time you can enjoy new-ish movies for only $1 a night!
Sometimes a movie comes out that you just HAVE to see, and you can't imagine waiting for it to be released on DVD, much less another month for it to come to Redbox. Then you find yourself scrounging for change to afford the ghastly cost of a trip to the movies. But there are ways to cut your costs when you can't avoid a trip to the movies! It's a widely known fact that most theaters have discounted rates for matinees, but most people don't know that there are even cheaper options! Matinees are usually considered to be movies shown before 5pm, but most theaters will offer an even cheaper price for the first movie time shown each day for each feature. Other theaters will have super bargain prices during set times of the day, such as 4-5pm. With these options, you can easily find the price of a movie ticket to be around $5 a piece! Popcorn and drink prices can be pretty steep, but there are combos that can help cut the prices, and you'll usually find that you can get free refills on large popcorn and drinks! So grab a friend, split the snacks, and enjoy a day out at the movies!
Ready To Start Saving?
There are tons of ways to save money, especially on the little pleasures in your life. Buying in bulk, taking advantage of freebies, and signing up for rewards programs can be the key to enjoying your occasional guilty pleasure a little more often.