How Much Should My Entertainment Budget Be?

Entertainment is an interesting category when you begin to think about a strict weekly or monthly budget. In fact, when most families sit down to begin talking numbers regarding a budget, entertainment is one of the last categories to make the list. Why is that?

Entertainment is not an essential category on your budget. Usually, entertainment consists of things that the family would like to do, and not of the things that they need in order to survive or even to live comfortably. In fact, some families may not have anything left for their entertainment budget when living expenses are taken into account.

If you are looking to start a new family budget, then figuring out how much money you should put toward an unnecessary category like entertainment can be confusing. In this article, we will look into all of the things that you might consider when deciding to look into the portion of the budget defined as “entertainment.”

Set Some Boundaries

Before you can really begin to budget your money for the category of entertainment, you probably need to set some boundaries about what entertainment means to you. There are some obvious uses like a visit to the movie theater or going to a football game. However, others might argue that the cable bill or the Netflix service should also be considered as part of the entertainment budget.

No matter what you decide, you should definitely include all of the activities that you like to do on a regular basis so that you know if you are spending more or less than your allotted budget. For example, if you like to play in an online casino in Canada for real money, then you probably want to make sure that you include a percentage of your entertainment budget for that.

Average Entertainment Spending

If you look at data from 2009, there are some interesting numbers that talk about what the average person spends on entertainment each month. About 5.5% of the average person’s salary went toward expenses related solely to entertainment in the year of 2009. This is not likely to be much less than our numbers are today.

Our Guidance

If you were to go speak to an average financial advisor, you would more than likely be advised to spend no more than 10% of your take-home income on “wants” such as entertainment. Keep in mind that take-home income refers to your income after taxes and other expenses have come out of your paycheck.

There are advisors who will allow for a larger portion of the budget, but most of those advisors will also suggest that a large portion of that money be saved for vacations or even gifts for birthday parties and other special occasions.  Ultimately, the decision is up to you.

What is Your Budget

No one can tell you how much is right for you to budget for your entertainment expenses. You will need to take into consideration how much money you currently make as well as how much you spend on other things. If you have a lot of debt, then your entertainment budget might be quite a bit smaller than someone else with the same salary as you. It all depends on your circumstances.

Final Thoughts

Entertainment could be argued as one of the more important pieces of the puzzle to your budget. However, most people would agree that your debt, your food, and your living expenses are much more essential than the entertainment category. For many, this is one of the most difficult areas of spending to control, but with enough will power it can be done.