As a student money is always going to be tight, so why spend more on entertainment than you need to?
With increasing internet speed and a range of new on-line services, you no longer need to pay for a big library of movies, TV shows and music. If you get clued up you can watch, listen and play what you want when you want at relatively little cost.
After I moved into my student accommodation this year, it didn’t take long for TV Licensing to start sending me confusingly worded letters in order to try and make me cough up nearly £150 for a TV license that I did not need.
As a student, I like TV; however more often than not, I don’t have time to watch programmes when they’re broadcast – chances are, you don’t either. Thanks to catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5, nearly everything you’ll want to watch is available for free over the internet – and better yet, you do not need a TV license to watch this way.
Watch everything you want through your laptop/computer/tablet/mobile devices or grab a cheap cable and connect up to your TV! You can even buy a Now TV box that gives you access to Sky’s on demand library, as well as iPlayer, 4oD, Spotify and TuneIn radio. The box costs £9.99 with delivery, they even throw in an HDMI cable.
In terms of movies, get hold of an online streaming subscription from the likes of Lovefilm Instant, Netflix or Sky Movies (through Now TV box). You could always work your way through the library of one service, cancel and join another – this way you get access to everything available to you without paying for them all at once.
Music streaming services are becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. Most services allow you to stream unlimited music and take it with you on mobile devices, all for a monthly fee. No need to pay for the latest releases on disc or download. The biggest services in the market are Spotify and Deezer.
Spotify have an absolutely huge library of music with fairly intuitive apps that allow you to make playlists and make them available for offline use. With a premium account you can access all of your playlists and make them available offline on your mobile devices – no need to sync all your audio files from your computer. Even better, Spotify offer student discount, half price Premium accounts for those with an NUS card. It’s completely worth it.
Can I afford to pay for monthly for these services? Well yeah, you can.
A £4.99 Student Spotify Premium account over 12 months will cost you £59.88.
Pair this with a Lovefilm Instant or Netflix account at £5.99 a month, totals £71.88 for year.
So, that’s all your TV on all your devices through free on-demand services, music on all your devices through Spotify, and all your movies on all your devices with Netflix or Lovefilm Instant for a whole year for just £131.76, or pay £145.50 for just a TV license…
In fact, you would have enough cash left over to buy a NowTV box from Sky with HDMI cable for £9.99 delivered and still have £3.75 change!