As you watch your net worth sink along with the stock market, you might be thinking that you just won't be able to do culture anymore.
Don't worry - there's still hope, if you're smart about how to find less expensive opportunities in the arts and entertainment.
Here are some places where you can save money, and still get the experience you'd been looking for.
Live opera is a great spectacle, but there are times when you just can't justify spending the money to get to the real thing.
Fortunately, the Metropolitan Opera of New York has a solution: opera in the movie theater.
The Met, one of the world's premier opera companies, has for several seasons now been transmitting select live performances into theaters around the U.S. and internationally.
Here's a guide on the Met's Web site to the selection of performances and the dates. If you want in on the tickets as soon as possible -- and many of the performances do sell out -- you'll need to start booking in August.
BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage) has long been the method of choice for wine connoisseurs who want to enjoy a special from their collection.
But it can be an economical way to enjoy vino with your meal. Restaurant markups on wine can often double or triple the price. So, it's probably even worth paying the corkage fee (the amount a restaurant charges to serve a wine you bring in yourself).
Restaurants that are particularly accepting of BYOB often include those that serve cuisine from predominantly Muslim countries, and don't provide alcohol for purchase. Many restaurants that don't have a liquor license won't have any corkage fee at all.
The catch is that you should be familiar with the BYOB policy. Some restaurants are very picky about it -- especially since your money-saving plan will eat into their margins. Many places won't allow you to bring in bottles that they offer on the menu, or have other requirements. The best plan is to call ahead and ask what the restaurant's policy is before you cart in that beautiful Bordeaux.
5. Giving to Charity
Charities are hurting along with everyone else, and some are in particularly bad straits because their high-salaried big donors from financial-services firms might not have jobs anymore.