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How to Keep Your Entertainment Costs Down

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Many of us are looking for ways that we can cut down our spending. There are many things that we spend money on and some are more important than others. It seems though that there is one area that we seem to be spending more and more money on and that is entertainment. This means things like going out to the theatre or cinema, watching television, reading books, playing video games, watching DVD’s and listening to music. These are things which we may think do not cost much money, but actually each of these expenses adds up and there are various things that we can consider changing that could make these things cheaper.

Cinema and theatre

Going out to performances whether it is the cinema or theatre or music performances or concerts all cost money. The tickets for some events, particularly live ones can be really pricey. However, for many of these there will be a difference in prices between different types of tickets. By booking up early, you will be able to pick from more of the ticket options and this could mean that you will have the option of buying the cheaper tickets. You may also find that certain days and times will be cheaper and so it is worth comparing prices to see if this is the case.


It is easy to think that television is free. However, it does have costs as well as buying a TV set/computer and electricity to run it. You may need a TV licence, subscription to an online provider, a cable subscription or a satellite subscription. It is therefore worth just thinking about exactly what you are paying for and whether you are getting good value for money. Consider whether you are paying for services that you are not using or whether you could get used to having something cheaper.


Books can be a great way to learn and to relax but they can be pricey. If you have a local library then you have access to lots of books for no charge at all. They may be out of date, but you can still learn lots of things and read all sorts of fiction. If you would rather own books then consider buying second hand. You may find that you can purchase the books second hand in shops local to you or alternatively pick them up online using a shop that sells second hand books. Although you will have to pay postage so it may be dearer, it can still be a lot cheaper than buying the books new.

Video games

Video games can be really expensive and sometimes we may buy one and then find it rather disappointing and decide that we do not like it. Therefore it is a wise idea to make sure that you read a lot of reviews before you buy them so that you are really sure you will like it. Sometimes in shops you have the opportunity to play the game before you buy which can really help or you could see if any friends or family members have it and you can try out theirs. Read reviews too and look at screenshots to get a good idea of what it might be like. Also sell any games you no longer play to make back some money.


DVDs can be a good way to relax as many people enjoy a film. They can be cheaper than going to the cinema and you may watch it several times so get better value for money. However, how many times will you really watch it? It can be worth thinking about how many DVD’s you have that you have only watched a few times. It could be better to wait until the film I shown on the television and then record it so that you can watch it that way. It will be longer until you can watch it as a DVD comes out long before a film is shown on the television, but maybe the wait will be well worth it.


Buying music has changed a lot. We used to go out and buy a record, then we moved to tapes, then CDs, these days most people buy their music online so that they can listen to it using MP3 players. The price is really not that different though and so you can end up paying a lot for music. There are some alternatives though, such as listening to it on the radio or using an app to listen to it for free. This can be less satisfactory as there are adverts and you do not get so much choice, but it is free and can save you a lot of money. It could be worth giving them a try and seeing how you get on. However, remember that recording songs off the radio to listen to again, unlike recording films off the television, is not allowed.

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Ways that you can Finance your Education

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Whether you are looking to retake some exams that you failed when you were at school, do a degree or do a professional course, there are different ways to cover the cost. If you are under 18 then in most circumstances in the UK you will be able to have a free education if you want one, although some people choose to pay. However, once you reach 18 there are still opportunities for education but they will not be free. There are many different types of courses and different finance opportunities available and this will not cover all of them, but the main options for you to consider.

Student loan

A student loan is offered specifically to students studying for a first degree for the first time. If you have done a degree in the past and used a grant, then you will not be able to apply for a loan. The loan covers the fees and some living expenses depending on the household incomes of wherever you are living. Repayments start once the course has ended and are taken out as part of income tax and are a percentage of income starting at a certain level. So you have to be earning above a threshold to start repaying and the amount you repay will go up as your income rises and after 30 years any remaining loan is written off.

Career development loan

This is offered for courses which will advance your career and whether you qualify for one is not determined by your household income as it just covers the course fees. It does not require repayments to be made until the course is finished and you do not have to be doing a specific type of course. However, the interest rate is higher than a student loan and you have to make repayments as soon as the curse ends in set amounts until the loan is paid. What you pay is not determined by your income and does not come out in your tax code, so is just like a conventional loan.

Personal loan

A personal loan can be used for all sorts of things. If you have a regular income and a good credit record then you are normally able to get one. However, some courses are very expensive and it may be tricky for you to borrow enough money to cover the cost of it. You will also need to make repayments on the loan right away, so you will need an income to cover those repayments while you are studying. If you are studying full-time then you may not be able to secure a loan as the lender may want you to show that you will be earning enough while studying in order to repay it.

Using savings

Saving up to pay for a course could be a way that will help. If you can do a job which pays you more than your living expenses, then you will be able to save up money that you can use towards paying or the course. This will mean that you will have to delay doing it but it could be a really handy way to make sure that you have the money that you need before you start the course. Saving up can seem to take a long time, but there are many things that we can all do to reduce how much money we spend and also to earn more money which should help you to save up more quickly. Compare all prices, only buy things you really need and then work as much as you can to build up savings. Selling things you no longer want can also help to raise some extra money.


Some people work while they are studying. This can give you an income to pay living expenses and could also pay for the course as well. Even some full-time courses will give you enough free time to work a lot of hours each week. This will very much depend on the course that you choose to do as some will take up nearly all of your time and so you will need to find out first so that you can plan. If the course is relevant to your job and will benefit your employer then you may even be able to get money from the company to help to pay for the course. They may even insist on sending you on a course, that they pay for, so that you can work more efficiently for them. It can always be worth asking your employer before you start a course to see if they would be able to pay for it or put you on a similar course that you will not have to pay for.

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