I was thinking about this concept, which I’ve actually written about before, when I saw that one of my buddies was going to a football game recently. Here in the Chicago area, that means he was going to see the Bears.
Before we get into the cost aspect of his day, I want to share a little bit of context. This guy isn’t making a ton of money, and has been impacted by divorce. From what I can gather, money is probably tight.
So, when going to the football game, it’s an exercise in indulgence. Here’s why I say that:
- There are much cheaper alternatives
- You can have many more experiences for the same cost as that one day
Now, I totally get the idea of splurging once in a while. Also, a day of quality time with your kid can be priceless. Bonding and making memories is what it’s all about. So to be clear, I think that part of it is totally cool and I’m not being critical of that.
The thing is, this isn’t the first game this year he’s gone to. So while it may be worth it for non-financial reasons, it’s also a worthwhile exercise to consider other options to accomplish the same goals.
Let’s walk through the costs:
- Cost of the ticket is at least $80, so 2 tickets is $160. It could be more if the seats were good.
- Parking must be at least $20, at the least.
- Food at games isn’t cheap either, so let’s add another $20.
- Total costs: $200.
This doesn’t include driving costs, or any souvenirs. Again, this is all for one day.
Here’s what I did for the game: watched it at home. Total cost: $0.00.
Yes, I know that it’s not the same thing, but it’s worth considering if that incremental $200 is always worth it, when you can still have fun watching at home.
The same concept of looking at alternatives can apply to other activities. How about movies as an example:
- Alternative #1: Go to the theatre, buy tickets for two. Cost = $20
- Alternative #2: Rent a movie from a kiosk, keep overnight. Cost = $1.50
- Alternative #3.: Rent a movie from the library, keep for a week. Cost = $0.00
You could rent 13 movies for the cost of one visit to the theatre!
Okay, so I’m not all about finding the cheapest alternative at all costs. Actually, I really enjoy going to the movies. My point is that just like the football game example, there are ways we can still have fun without spending tons of money!
My Questions for You
Do you ever think about just how much we can save by considering alternatives?
When it comes to movies or sporting events, do you consider them to be splurges or normal expenses?