I mentioned in my Frugal Summer series, one of the ways you can save money is by watching what movie theatres you attend, as the cost varies significantly. Last Thursday on a whim, we almost went to see a movie. Now I have to say, we are infrequent screen watchers – in the last almost 11 months I’ve been a mother, we have seen 2 films in the movie theatre. One was a Christmas treat of a beloved children’s book (Hugo) and the other a film very special to my children, which also happened to be a Birthday treat (The Lorax). The film last week which we were invited to see wasn’t a favourite, in fact, as my children watch no tv, they hadn’t even heard of it. But it was hot and I think we all needed a change of scene. So we went on our merry way, only we ended up getting stuck in traffic and during that time my sensible side came out. I realized spending $50 on a movie was just not wise and it wasn’t exercising discernment. Sure other people may be able to do that, but we can’t, that $50 would give my daughter another physiotherapy session, and/or be almost a week’s grocery money. Just as I was fretting about what to do instead, I remembered we were near a wonderful park we haven’t visited in a while, so we went there and saw turtles and ducks in the large pond, went for a walk through interesting trails and to our surprise, enjoyed a free concert in the park – my two wee ones danced the night away. And when the temperatures got too hot, we began the journey home stopping at a wonderful library en route, where I read them a bedtme story (haven’t you ever had a bedtime story in your day clothes at a public library?). And despite the inital disappointment, my children went to bed filled with excitement about our day and I didn’t have to worry about our budget.
There is nothing wrong with going to the movies. There is nothing wrong with splurging every once in a while. But in this instance, such an impulsive choice was certainly not right, and we found a more frugal alternative, without too much heartache, with a bit of thinking and a bit of luck.