COVID-19: Spending less on Hobbies & Entertainment

Published on May 1, 2019 9:11 pm, by

Key points

  • Hobbies & Entertainment is an obvious area to look for cost savings when things are tough
  • Wind back your discretionary expenses but look for ways to enjoy your hobbies and entertainment for less money
  • This might be a good time to develop new hobbies and interests that are less expensive


Spending in this category is so broad and varied that it’s difficult to provide advice to everyone. We’ve focused on 4 subcategories to get you started.


Dues & Subscriptions

Service providers are sneaky. The popularity of the direct debit is partly convenience and partly because providers know that people sign up and often forget. So, look and check that all your regular payments are for product or services that you use often enough that the cost is justified. Here’s a bit of insight into what was happening with one of our customers:

Another way to check that you are getting value from your subscriptions is to add how much they cost you and consider what other things you could do with that money over time. Is the product or service you are paying for more valuable than the opportunity cost? Here is an example of what we mean:


Music, Movies & Books

Like other categories in Lifestyle, setting yourself a lower budget for a time period or taking a break altogether can add up quickly. If that’s not you, check out our tips for discounted movies.

Discounted tickets:

  • For the movies, lots of Rewards programs offer discounted tickets, as does the Entertainment Book
  • Check out sites like Groupon & Scoopon for your city as they sometimes also offer cheap movie tickets
    Make sure that you check the fine print, and see that you can use the tickets at times convenient to you
  • When it comes to books you don’t have to buy it to get pleasure from it. Check in with your local library and you may be able to borrow what you’re after. If it’s something that you really want to buy, we suggest checking out a comparison site, one like Booko ( who tell you where you can get it, how much & include the cost of postage.

If you’re spending lots on Music & looking for tips, the same applies. Set yourself a limit and shop around, whether that’s for CDs or digital albums. If you’re after a subscription service consider sharing a family plan, as that can often work out the cheapest.


Events & Concerts

For lots of people Events and Concerts are once in a while activities. If you regularly attend, you’re probably spending a fair bit. By taking a break, you’ll save some money a bit faster.

This is another category where it’s great to check out the discounted websites for your city. When it comes to long-running shows if you can wait until near the end of a show’s run you will often find tickets are less than half the original cost.

When it comes to Music and other short-run concerts it’s not so easy. So maybe it’s all about being honest about whether it’s worth the cost. What goal will you not meet or take longer to meet by attending? Of course, there are always the cheap seats if you just want to soak up the sound and the atmosphere…and sometimes that’s enough.


Betting & Lottery

Our advice in this category is blunt! Stop! It’s almost certain you know this, but your chances of winning are infinitesimally small. So small that you’d be better off saving the money you spend on Betting & Lottery and investing it in a high interest savings account.

If spending on Betting & Lottery is more than the occasional, entertaining flutter and you need help with gambling there is help available. We’d suggest you contact Gambling Help Online.

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Peter is the CEO of MoneyBrilliant. He has over 20 years experience in banking, insurance and accounting. Peter has three sons, ranging in age from 16 to 3, is a sport and fitness fanatic and a volunteer firefighter. He is passionate about improving people's lives through making financial services more accessible.

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