Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cutting Back on Your Media Spending


Most of us are having to find ways to cut corners at the moment and to reduce our outgoings significantly With the current economic malaise still casting a shadow over most countries, most people are having to take a cut in salary (or worse still are seeing their jobs disappearing) whilst simultaneously seeing prices go up in the supermarket and at the pump. Consequently there are areas of our weekly and monthly expenditure that need to be trimmed and it is a case of working out what we need most and what we could cut back on whilst money is tight. For people who live their lives online and are addicted to technology and media, the first place to start will likely be the amount of money they spend on music, apps, ringtones, software, movies and books.  If you’re someone who can’t live without a constant source of media but who also needs to cut back on spending, this article will offer some pointers on saving cash:

(1) Start buying movies, games and software second hand: Any good second hand shop will now only buy and sell games, cd’s and DVD’s that are in near perfect condition. Which means that if you can wait a couple of weeks until the hardcore gamers have played the games and returned them you’ll save yourself at least a third off the price. Similarly, when it comes to movies if you can wait until something is no longer a new release you’ll save yourself a fortune and if you can wait until it’s second hand you’ll get it for next to nothing.

(2) Live on eBay: Similarly, set up automatic searches for items on eBay and wait until you find things for dirt-cheap. If you’re patient you can steal some real bargains

(3) Join Your Library: Libraries aren’t just about the books anymore, (although if you read a lot and need to save some cash it might be worth borrowing your books for a while). You can also rent movies, music and games for a lot cheaper than the video store and best of all you can read most magazines, periodicals and papers there every day for free.

(4) Rethink Your Subscriptions: In addition to checking out the magazines and the newspapers at the library there is a lot of money to be saved in cutting back on your weekly or monthly subscriptions. This can be done in a couple of ways – the first is to share a couple of subscriptions with a friend or neighbor who reads the same magazines as you. This is a great way of halving the cost of your monthly outgoings without having to take a bug change to your lifestyle. Similarly a second way you can make significant savings is to switch to the online version of your newspaper or periodical. These are always cheaper and most of them offer the same full version of the magazine.

(5) Investigate Amazon Prime: If you read a lot and are ok with eBooks then you should sign up with Amazon Prime and their Kindle Lending Library. This allows you to download an unlimited number of books to your digital device without having to pay. Additionally you get a free subscription to the Wall Street Journal and access to free streaming movies from the Amazon site. It’s not just Amazon that offers such deals either. If you regularly buy comics you might want to investigate the Marvel annual subscription and if you regularly buy music you should sign up for a Spotify subscription which provides you with free streaming music.

(6) Lastly, there are also apps out there for downloading free eBooks and e-comics and there are sites online from which you can download thousands of copyright free books, songs and even movies too.

Esther is a financial journalist and business blogger. She writes about all areas of personal finance affecting the consumer from tax relief to credit and store cards to accounts receivable financing.

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