The Ever-Increasing Price Of Fun

I once asked a woman how much of her income she spent on entertainment. It was rather high (more than 50%) and she was unapologetic about it too. Now we’re experiencing inflation with no clear end in sight. I wonder if she still holds onto that number. It’d be bigger now.

My weakness is tasty food, not necessarily trendy, but I do tend to obey my tastebuds. I revisit places with tasty food because I can remember the taste on my tongue even while I’m sitting on the couch at home. Lately, that has become more challenging because of rising prices. Most of the hidden and not-so-hidden gems I’ve added to my local catalog have increased their prices, not once but twice now in less than a year’s time. This is not counting the increase that many eating places added as a surcharge due to COVID like an extra 10% or a dollar that’s added to my bill that was never on the menu. Let’s not forget the added cost of door dash and other such delivery convenience services.

Food is more expensive at the grocery store too but I don’t feel the pinch as much there. I don’t tend to place limits on my grocery bill. Like the gasoline bill, you need it and while you may complain, you pay it anyway. That’s certainly part of it. Now I lean more than ever on eating at home. Trying new recipes weekly, and enhancing tried and true meals have become part of my new normal. I’m no chef and I miss my regular haunts but I now eat out less and less.

The same can be said for entertainment. Every time you leave the house you spend money. I’m no miser. I like nice things and fresh entertainment but I think I need to find more house parties where the atmosphere is more laid back and I can just bring a bottle and have a great time. A lot of entertainment is digital anyway. Movies, Music, TV, and books can all be had with a click of the mouse or a tap on your phone. I’m not going to become a hermit but what does it cost you to go out for a few drinks, $20, $30, $40? Add some food to the tab and double all of that as the cost of a date and you have a monthly bill that rivals a luxury car payment.

When it’s just me, it’s not so bad. I don’t do much of anything excessively. I have a few places I still like to hang out that don’t cost too much. Truth be told I can still afford to live how I’m used to but it doesn’t have the same value at these higher prices. I could be investing all the extra money I’m spending for the same size or sometimes lesser experience I’m getting. Not all tasty food is overly expensive. The same goes for entertainment. Dating, and being social is where it gets you and the ever-increasing cost of living isn’t helping. Maybe I should just shut up about my first-world problems. Maybe I really should be looking into living in a van. #vanlife.

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