One of the popular dictionaries defines entertainment as being the following: 1 - the act of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment, 2 - an event, performance, or activity designed to entertain others, and 3 - the act of receiving a guest or guests and providing them with food and drink.
If we look at entertainment as being any of the above then clearly there are many forms, some of which require money and others that may be had at no cost whatsoever. What the dictionary definition does not address is the importance of entertainment in our day to day lives, and how much money we should allocate in our budget for such activities.
Doctors have been advising the public that taking some time out on a regular basis is good for both physical and mental health and well-being. Studies have shown that too much work and very little ‘down time’ takes its toll on a person’s body and mind. To this end, it appears that entertainment of one form or another is advisable, but aside from the health benefits entertainment can be a source of fun and a way to connect with friends and family.
Given that participating in some form of entertainment is healthy it then begs the questions of how much entertainment is beneficial and how much should we spend on such activities? As entertainment comes in a wide variety of forms, it seems only natural that the cost of entertainment will vary quite significantly also. For some that cost may be as little as a few dollars a week, while for others it can add up to hundreds of dollars a month.
To gauge how much money should be spent on entertainment you would need to know what form of entertainment a person enjoys and how often or long that person would enjoy participating in that form of entertainment. Let’s look at sports as an example of entertainment. A person can either enjoy the act of watching sporting events on television, going to live games, or participating in the sport itself. Each of these forms of entertainment incurs different costs, with watching sport on television likely to be the lowest. Participating in sporting events and attending live games can both be quite expensive if done regularly.
There are plenty of forms of entertainment that can be enjoyed for little to no cost at all. A family picnic in the park or a walk along the beach can both be a relaxing, rejuvenating and entertaining way to spend leisure hours at very little cost. Many hobbies can also be entertaining and yet not cost much on a week to week basis once the initial cost of materials has been covered. Gardening is another that provides a lot of satisfaction, entertainment, and enjoyment, with a reasonably low cost attached, once the necessary tools and plants have been purchased. For many gardeners, just the acts of selecting, purchasing and planting can bring great joy and relaxation, with the ongoing benefits of being able to enjoy the results on an ongoing basis.
On the other hand, there are plenty of forms of entertainment that can make a serious hole in the wallet. Take yachting or car racing for example. Both of these forms of entertainment can have both initial and ongoing costs that reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of the year. Attending live concerts, theater performances, the opera, orchestral performances and the like on a regular basis can become quite expensive based on the popularity and fame of the entertainers. Travel is another form of entertainment that can soar into the thousands quickly.
Attending movie showings at a local theatre is something that can be enjoyed by almost everyone, at least once in a while, and there are a great number of people who will visit a movie theater almost every weekend. Listening to music is hugely popular as a form of entertainment with people of all ages, and the cost can vary from just a few dollars for buying recorded music once in a while to hundreds of dollars for attending live performances by famous artists.
So how much is the right amount to spend on entertainment and fun activities? This largely depends on a person’s income, the leisure hours they have at their disposal, and how much enjoyment they get from the entertainment they choose. Provided a person gets the relaxation and enjoyment they seek, and the money spent is easily afforded there should be no limit on how much time is spent on entertainment.