Is It Worth It?

If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you’ll know that I love to travel and go out to eat. I also enjoy going to the movies, which we do about once a month on average. But something odd happened the other day.

I was inputting my receipts into Quicken and my spreadsheet (which I only do about every 7-10 days) and came across a receipt for snacks at the movie theatre. (Mmm, popcorn.) Since I’m into details, I always make a note in Quicken of which movie we saw.

And I could not remember.

Not at all! I asked my husband if he remembered what we saw, and he couldn’t either.

“Do you remember the plot, or anything about it?” he asked.

“Nope.” I had no idea. Nada. All I could remember was that it was something I’d really wanted to see, and that I’d liked it a lot.

I did eventually come to the receipt for the actual tickets and then the whole thing came flooding back once I saw the name of the movie. (It was Rise of the Planet of the Apes, if you’re curious.)

Food for thought

But it got me thinking. Maybe we see too many movies and they’re all blurring together? We don’t get TV, but we do have Netflix and we watch 1-2 shows a week on that. (Sometimes movies, sometimes TV series.) When your entertainment blurs together like that, is it really entertainment? Or is it just filling time?

In other words, was it worth it? Both money-wise and time-wise? It’s pretty expensive to go out to the movies. We almost always go to matinees, but even those are $7+ a ticket here, depending on the theatre. Plus did I mention popcorn? We must have popcorn.

In this case I’d say yes, because it’s a fun thing to do with family. But it does pay (sometimes literally) to stop and evaluate the things you do as a matter of habit now and then.

“Is it worth it?” is a good question to ask.

What kinds of things do you spend money on regularly? Do you stop and check whether they’re still worth it to you now and then?


  • Peg

    FWIW, I don’t think you forgot the experience if you just couldn’t remember the name of the movie out of context like that. If the memories came rushing back once you cleared that hurdle, you just had a brain freeze. :) Glad you enjoyed your movie and I do agree that it’s worth evaluating things but I wouldn’t read too much into it. And it is supposed to be entertainment, not life altering nirvana. Have a good day!

  • I love this question. I used to sit through the end of a book or movie “waiting for it to get better.” Now, if I think there’s little hope that it will get better, I ditch it and move on. There’s so much junk that passes for “entertainment” that considering whether spending the time and money on a movie, TV show, etc. is an excellent question. There’s a certain mini-series I watched on TV years ago that I still remember – with a groan – and consider it five hours of my life I will never get back.

    • Glad you liked it :)

      I still kind of tend to do that for books, because sometimes they do get better later on, but not movies. If it’s completely terrible I’ll usually leave after the first 15 minutes or so and see if I can use my ticket for a different movie instead.

  • Interesting question, however do you remember what you were doing lat week? Probably not, I know I barely remember what I had fro lunch after a few days. Does it make it less important? No! We have cut down the number of movies we see because there are not as many good ones out there. Being selective may be frugal, but it also makes sense.

    • You know I actually do remember what I was doing last week. But, that could be a function of me mostly doing similar things each week — the unusual stands out, and the usual I know about.

  • I hardly ever go to movies theaters. They just aren’t my thing. However, this summer I’ve gone three times! That has to be some sort of record. But I went with great people and we hung out and had great conversations before/after which made it worth spending the money.

    • Sounds like you’ve had fun doing that this summer :)

      I enjoy going to the theatres themselves, especially on holidays. It’s just more exciting somehow. But there are several types of movies that I’ll only watch at home because I want to be able to pause it.

  • I forget what we saw, ate, or did a certain day all of the time. I just think it’s normal to concentrate more on the present and to log away the past pretty dang quickly, lol. But “was it worth it” is always a good question to ask. A fast food hamburger receipt would make me cringe more than the receipt from the mom and pop “Just Burgers” down the street. :-)

  • Loved this question! We loving eating out too, but when we started doing it too often, it became a convenience more than an enjoyable experience. We should start going out once a month to a more expensive restaurant or a new restaurant. That would make it move valuable again.

  • Great question. Entertainment does get blurred. Sometimes I actually forget the ending of movies. Guess it wasn’t that good? I’ve been reviewing movies lately so in a way I’m using my entertainment to be productive and it also logs the movie better in my head. Always looking for ways to get ahead!

  • I agree, it more than likely was only brain freeze. We’re rather selective about the movies we see. I check out several movie review sites online, and if it’s an average movie, we’ll wait for it to come on the dollar theater. The exception we make are for the summer blockbusters the kids want to see, like “Captain America” or the Harry Potter movies.

    • Sounds like being selective pays off for you. I’m usually the opposite — I don’t check review sites and just pick either based on the title or else based on what the others want to see (which usually ends up being an action movie, since everyone we go with is a guy except for me :P)

  • If it continuously makes you happy then it’s worth it. You can try alternatives and mix up your routine, but do what makes yoy most happy.

  • I am very busy and don’t get out to the movies as much as I might like at times. There are several films that I remember thinking I would like to see but end up missing. Ultimately, I don’t ever watch them and can’t tell any difference in my life. But Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one that I made sure to see. And I liked it but skipped the popcorn.