Tracy's blog entry yesterday about the cost of dining out caused me to reflect on the costs of entertainment, because that's what dining out is for me; a social occasion. As such, how does it stack up with other forms of amusement, on a fun/hour basis?
My entertainments roll like this:
Dining out: The carte for my wife and I usually hovers around $25-28 when we meet friends at a restaurant. Add 10 miles of driving cost to reach $30. We might be there as long as an hour and a half, if the waiter is patient and the place uncrowded, so our fun per hour is $30(.5)/1.5, or $10.00 per hour.
Reading. I recently finished The Assassin's Wife by Margaret Atwood (great book), which I bought at Half-price Books for $4.98-- plus tax, $5.35. Add a buck for the trip to the store, $6.35. It took me around 15 hours to read, so my f/h = $0.42 per hour. I could have shaved this to almost nothing via the library, but they don't like it when I write in the margins.
We watch a lot of TV, perhaps 90 hours a month (mostly baseball for me) and have about a billion channels on our cable package. Our monthly bill is around $90. The big-ass televsion set us back around $600, and should last four years, I hope, or $10.50. This puts our television f/h at $1.14 per hour.
We do go to the movies occasionally, a 10 mile round trip ($5 for each of us). Add an $8 ticket for a two hour flick, and our movie excursions f/h is $6.50 per hour.