Over the years, entertainment expenditure in the United Kingdom has increased considerably. According to The Guardian, overall spending on entertainment in the UK increased to £9.7 billion in 2021. Much of this growth in entertainment spending is due to the introduction of digital formats, such as subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
You would think that as digital formats increased in popularity, reducing the amount of money spent on physical entertainment, that entertainment expenditure may have decreased. Why? Because now we can get most of our entertainment from the same sources, reducing our need to pay for multiple services. For example, Netflix rolled out mobile games on its platform towards the end of 2021. However, that hasn’t proven to be the case, and entertainment spending has continued to increase.
In many ways, we have accepted that entertainment is expensive, and we’re willing to pay the price. However, there are many ways to enjoy games, television, and live entertainment while saving money for other things such as holidays and education.
Different Types Of Entertainment And How To Save Money On Them
Over the years, gaming has become more associated with money. Everyone wants to own the latest consoles and games, and according to reports, the UK market for video games reached £7 billion in 2020, which is a nearly 30% increase from the previous year. However, staying up to date with the latest gaming innovations can get expensive. Fortunately, though, there are dozens of free games available that are just as fun. In fact, platforms like Steam offer free games that appeal to multiple demographics. There are free RPG games, action-adventure games, and MOBA games like Art of War: Red Tides, which means you and your loved ones have multiple options for a night’s entertainment.
Similarly, like with retail, utilising bonuses and comparison sites will also help you reduce gaming expenditure. Comparison sites help ensure you’re selecting the best game supplier and getting the most out of your money. You can also use them to find bonuses and deals, and there are comparison sites for various gaming niches, like online casinos. For instance, if you want to play slot games with the best payout, you can use comparison sites to find the highest RTP slots. There are several genres of RTP slot games, from fantasy to sports, which means there’s something to suit everybody without the need to buy or store new games.
In the height of monthly subscription services, it’s hard to believe you can watch television for free, but alas, platforms like Freeview have made this possible. In the United Kingdom, Freeview, a digital terrestrial television service, is used in 18 million homes and gives access to hundreds of shows for free. Now, I know what you may be thinking: free television means a decline in quality. However, that’s not the case with Freeview, as the TV platform offers some of the biggest shows in the UK, including The Masked Singer and The Great British Bake Off.
Additionally, you can register for free streaming trials. There are so many streaming services available today, and there’s a sense of pressure to have an account with each one to keep up with mainstream entertainment. For instance, according to Barclaycard, around 80% of UK households pay for at least one subscription service, and 40% of people say they are planning to sign up for more services.
However, having a Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime account adds up, but if Amazon Prime’s content doesn’t interest you, then it’s not worth the money. The only way to know this is to utilise free streaming trials and shop around, which is something we have discussed before when saving money. Free trials give you access to free entertainment for a month; using them can be part of your long-term savings strategy because they will eliminate impulse spending on services you don’t need.
Much like gaming and television, spending your money wisely on entertainment involves taking advantage of discounts and deals. Group buying sites like Groupon provide access to various discounts for live entertainment like spas, theatre, restaurants, and even outdoor activities like kayaking. Further, several free performances and events occur annually, such as the Bristol Harbour Festival and the London Jazz Festival.
Spending on physical entertainment may have reduced over the years in the United Kingdom, but consumer spending on digital formats has only increased. It’s easy to fall victim to peer pressure and to feel the need to have an account on every available entertainment platform, but remember there are dozens of ways to have fun with your loved ones while saving and spending little to no money. It’s all about knowing what’s available.