Fight ‘funflation’ with these entertainment savings ideas

Hands form heart with hands at live concert

Are you getting priced out of some of your favorite sources of live entertainment?

The bad news: “Funflation is real, with prices up sharply on many activities since the pandemic.

The good news: There are still ways to have fun without breaking the bank.

Pam Wills was wearing her reindeer hat and watching the grandkids enjoy ice skating on an outdoor holiday rink. She likes that it’s still an affordable family holiday event.

“It’s time together, very affordable, at just $10,” she said.

But many other activities are not so affordable. Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance editor at NerdWallet, has been tracking the rising costs of fun.

“Everything from concert tickets to going out to the movies, everything is costing more,” she said.

The most recent Consumer Price Index shows tickets for concerts and sporting events up nearly 20% from 2022 to 2023.

According to a Wall Street Journal/Credit Karma survey, 60% of Americans have been forced to cut back on live entertainment this year as a result.

Ways to Find Cheaper Holiday Activities

But Palmer says there’s hope.

“It just means that we have to put a little bit more effort into finding the good deals,” she said.

While one in five people say they are willing to take on debt to experience their favorite activities, she says it’s still critical to budget first.

Palmer recommends using the 50-30-20 method.

“That means that 50% of your take home pay is going towards needs, 30% towards wants, and then 20% towards debt payments and savings,” she said.

Using the money in your “wants” budget, she suggest you then look for deals.

Apps like Gametime will show you last-minute discounted tickets to live events and you can find sales on activities on Goupon as well.

Finally, she says think about what do you have access to for free in your community.

From holiday parades, to New Year’s Eve fireworks shows, to ice skating, you might be surprised by how many affordable activities are available near you, especially this time of year when everything is lit up for the holidays.

“You kind of have to be imaginative, maybe do a little homework but there are things out there you can definitely do,” one man watching his kids skate said.

That way, you don’t waste your money.

By John Matarese, WCPO

About the Author

John Matarese

John's goal is to help as many TV viewers as possible save money, avoid bad deals, know a rip-off when one comes their way, and be educated consumers. His informative weekly consumer segment "Don't Waste Your Money" now airs on 45 TV stations from San Diego to Tampa to Houston and Cincinnati. More.

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