You might hate being cooped up in the house on the weekends. But at the same time, going out to eat, seeing a movie or doing other activities may put a strain on your budget. So if you’re trying to save money and reach financial goals, you have to get creative when it comes to your entertainment.
The good news is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great time. As long as you have a TV in your home, there’s the opportunity to invite a few friends over and all have a great time together. Host your own party next time you’re feeling lonely or starved for entertainment – you might just enjoy it more than you think!
1. Know your audience.
For a fun movie night, pick a movie everyone can enjoy. The movie you select should be determined by your guest list. If some of your friends prefer action flicks, group these people together for a night of action movies. On the other hand, another group of friends may prefer a romantic comedy. If so, choose these types of movies when this group gets together.
A few days before the actual movie night, take a poll to see which movie the group prefers seeing. As the host, narrow down your top three picks, and then ask your friends to select their top pick from the three – majority rules.
2. Be flexible.
At the same time, you don’t want to be a movie night control freak. Be flexible and recognize that the movie selection might change at the last minute. Although everyone previously agreed on a particular movie, the mood could shift once the night begins, wherein the group prefers a different type of movie. Be prepared for this, wait until everyone arrives before you pay to stream a flick from iTunes or another on-demand service.
3. Prepare snacks.
Movie night isn’t complete without food. But don’t think that you need to spend a ton of money. Remember, the idea is to have inexpensive fun. So while you want to provide snacks, keep it light and simple.
If you plan to prepare a meal, choose dishes that are cheap to make, such as homemade pizza, spaghetti or another dish you prefer. If you don’t have money to provide dinner for an entire group, pick up snacks like chips and salsa, popcorn and finger foods.
If you don’t plan to prepare a meal, notify the group ahead of time so they can eat before they come. You don’t want your guests showing up thinking they’ll have dinner. Another option: ask everyone to bring their favorite dish and spread out the financial burden. This potluck-style event will cost everyone less, but be the most filling option.
4. Make it comfortable.
If you enjoy entertaining, you might have a tendency to invite too many people to your movie night. It’s your house and you’re free to invite whomever you choose. Keep in mind, you also want your guests to be comfortable in your home. For that matter, only invite as many people as you can comfortably seat.
A movie can be 2+ hours, and nobody wants to be in an uncomfortable position for that long. So if you can only comfortably seat five people in your TV room, you should probably limit your guest list to five individuals. For those you can’t invite, host another movie night later on and extend an invitation to these people.
Movie night is an inexpensive way to have fun and catch up with good friends. Unlike many other activities, you can host a movie night for far less than what you would spend for a night on the town. This allows you to have more fun while keeping cash in the bank.