You could probably live without entertainment, but it’d be rather boring. No matter what kind of entertainment you prefer, whether it’s curling up to watch a good film at home, Netflix binge-sessions, tickets to concerts, live sports or going to watch a comedy show, most of us will agree that entertainment is necessary in some form or another to keep our lives interesting and give us something fun to do when we need to wind down, relax and take some ‘me’ time.
But entertainment doesn’t always come cheap. TV packages can set you back a huge amount of money every month and tickets to live shows, concerts, performances and games can be in the hundreds of pounds bracket. Thankfully, there are many options to consider when it comes to reducing the amount that you spend on entertainment, without compromising on the amount of fun that you have. Here are some ideas to consider if you need to trim your entertainment budget.
CONSIDER TV PACKAGE ALTERNATIVES
Signing up for a TV package added on to your phone and broadband plan might seem like the most convenient option at the time, but in reality, this could lead to you paying way more than you have to. It’s not unusual for families to pay almost £100 a month for access to Sky channels and other TV options, but there’s actually no need to pay all of that. Consider trimming your package back to just the basic phone and broadband and shopping elsewhere for your TV needs. These IPTV subscription options from Telly Time are a very cost-effective option, at under £10 a month for the All-In package, which includes access to live sports channels, hundreds of kids channels, and thousands of on-demand films. All you need is an Android Box or Amazon Fire Stick, which you can purchase when you sign up if you don’t already have one. Then, plug it into your TV, download the app, and start watching!
If you have memberships to services like Amazon Prime or Netflix, you might be able to cut down the amount that you pay by sharing them with somebody else. For example, Amazon Prime can set you back around £70 per year, but you can split the cost with another adult by creating an Amazon Household. Netflix allows you to have several users on the same account depending on the plan that you sign up for, so you can split the cost of that between different people as well.
GET A LIBRARY CARD
Public libraries aren’t just good for books anymore; you can get access to events, shows and a whole host of other entertainment options just by being a member. eBooks and e-readers might have made it easier for us to access a huge online library of free or cheap book titles right at our fingertips, but if nothing beats the feeling of reading a good paperback for you, signing up for a library membership is a great way to get your reading fix free of charge, rather than buying a new book every time you want a story to get your teeth into.
FIND FREE EVENTS
Sign up for email newsletters and follow social media accounts for organisations in your local area, to stay up to date with any free events that you might be able to take advantage of. This is especially great for families since you can often find street fairs, park concerts, funfairs, and other events in your local area that are free to attend and you can choose whether or not you want to pay for any extras like food or rides. Keep an eye on places like museums, zoos, aquariums and other attractions in your local area too, as many will offer a couple of days per month where admission is free that you can take advantage of.
If you enjoy going to festivals, concerts and live sporting events but don’t always have the budget to do it as often as you would like, one way to get your fix for free is to volunteer your services to the venue. The experience might not be exactly the same if you’re working as a steward, helping clean up after the event or serving pints at the bar, but most people that do it say that working through the event is worth it just to get the free access that they wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise. Even better; look for temporary job opportunities so that you can get paid, rather than pay to go.
Entertainment is necessary for most of us, but it certainly doesn’t always come cheap. Whether you volunteer, share memberships with others where you can, or find cheaper ways to get access to your favourite films and TV shows, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to reduce the cost of having fun, without compromising on the experience.