As the cost of living continues to rise, less and less of our income can be made available for spending on things we really do not need. Although spending for entertainment is non-essential, it allows us to unwind and relax after a hard week’s work. A restricted budget can severely limit our non-essential spending, but there are still cost effective ways to have fun without breaking the bank.
Turning Away From High Prices
Cinema prices continue to rise at a frankly ridiculous rate. Depending on whether you are visiting an IMAX or choosing a 3D film, you would be looking at a ticket price upwards of £20 for just two people alone. Once you have factored in popcorn, drinks, and parking, your night has just taken an extremely expensive turn. This has turned many people away from the cinema and towards the world of home entertainment. For the price of just one person’s trip to the cinema you could purchase a box set of the latest hit television series or even a collection of films. Box sets have become extremely popular in particular thanks to their longevity. While a film will keep you entertained for a few hours, a television series can have upwards of 20 episodes at over 40 minutes each, meaning there is substantially more value in the pounds per minute ratio when weighed against other similar items such as cinema trips or pay-per-view movies.
The Home Entertainment Market
The video games industry is no longer the niche market it once was. The perception that video games are merely for children has long since passed away, with extremely adult-orientated games now earning their publishers millions of pounds. While some may choose to purchase the new releases on the day of release (some dedicated fans even take to queuing outside of stores, such is their desire to have the game right there and then) you can often save a considerable amount of money by simply waiting for the price to drop. Single player games in particular can see the price slashed dramatically, while multi-player games with larger online presences tend to retain their straight-from-the-wrapper value for a longer amount of time. If you are not desperate for a new release, you can often find the asking price has halved itself within the year – or even within the month in certain cases. Playing the waiting game with video game prices is a delicate balancing act, but if you time it just right, you will wonder how you ever justified spending upwards of £40 on a game.
Consider delving into the second-hand market to find extra value. Some people prefer not to take the chance with pre-owned games, but once you purchase your first one, you will most likely be converted. Although the money does not go towards the developer or publisher – which can put off the hard-core gaming fans – the pre-owned market is absolutely ideal for those who want to squeeze the value out of every last penny, with second hand games obviously coming in at a lower cost than the brand new alternatives. Waiting just a few weeks for a new release to be traded in and made available at a lower price is ideal if you are becoming frustrated at the lack of movement on the price for the new product. Trading in your old games you have already completed and are unlikely to play again is the perfect method of reducing your expenditure on new entertainment media, while emptying the house from items you no longer have any use for. The hours spent on certain games can provide extremely good value for money, with some role-playing-games in particular commanding completion times of 40+ hours. It is easy to see why the video games industry has blossomed into one of the biggest in the world when you stop and consider the value for money they can provide in the home entertainment industry.