For myself, since I have chosen for my values that my freedom is first and foremost paramount to my happiness and survival, I have found many ways to entertain myself without spending any money or at least spending hardly any money.
To entertain oneself, one can blaze through ten dollars and ten thousand dollars in about the same time and magnitude. And the pleasures acquired are nearly identical.
For myself, sometimes I will walk around the mall and just window shop. Doing this for me does NOT bring forth temptations to buy, it is only as a passive amusement. I often go to “free days” for the Museums here in Chicago, looking at the beautiful paintings at the Art Institute, the fish at the Shedd Aquarium, the starts at The Adler Planetarium, and the dinosaurs’ bones at the Field Museum.
The other times, I walk by the lake, and watch the sunrise and sunset along Lake Michigan. Often, I ride my mountain bike around on the bicycle trails in the woods. Anytime you are around nature, your “entertainment” needs are fully taken care of. If it is raining or cold, I make a beeline to the Chicago Public Libraries (if I am in the city). If I am in the suburbs as I am now, I will make another beeline straight to the Niles Public Library.
I love books so much that I really believe all the “entertainment” I will EVER need in my life can be found at the tail end of my library card. The library card is only needed of course if I need to take books home for the evening. During the day, I am sitting in one of the couches, immersed in fantasy tales of medieval knights and dragons, or reading about far away lands or reading about religion and spirituality.
I will usually at the end of a day at the library pick up some travel CDs, like those by Rick Stevens or Globetrekker, A Lonely Planet, and just go home and travel around the world. I suppose that actually GOING to those places would be nice, but it is not at all necessary for me. I have been throughout Asia and Europe physically years back, and I did enjoy physically being there, but reading and watching videos of tour guides there is a close second. And it doesn’t cost me one red cent.
At the library and local universities and schools, there are absolutely free concerts by amateur performers (esp. the high schools doing dancing like ballet and band practice), and at the library and universities there are free seminars just about everything. I personally live in a place that has a free bus service for everyone (Niles Free Bus), and although I own a car, I hardly ever use it. Mostly, I ride my bicycle, which not only saves on gas but also saves on costly maintenance, and am able to travel to all those places without any cost. When using my bicycle, I have the added benefit of getting good exercise.