Look at any website devoted to helping families cut their budget, and you’re sure to hear about the amount of money you probably spend on your pricy non-fat no-foam lattes in a month.

What you’re not likely to hear is how much money the average family spends on entertainment every month – and it turns out that number may be significantly more.

New data shows that by adding together cable television, Internet, video games, cell phones and other sources of entertainment and communications, the average family may be spending as much on entertainment as it does on gasoline. That’s a shocking figure considering both the high price of gasoline and the purported low cost of entertainment.

One of the problems is that families don’t view their entertainment as a single bill. They’re more likely to see only the few dollars they spent this week on a few songs purchased on iTunes, the $30 game subscription, the $40 internet bill and so on. They don’t add them together into a single entertainment budget, which, on average, often surpasses $175 a month.

Ironically, many families believe they are saving money by investing in home entertainment rather than going out to see a movie at the theater. It may actually cost less to watch TV at home than go to the movies every night, but it doesn’t mean that the average family can afford the cost of “less” entertainment.