Today marks the start of a further three-week lockdown across the UK. This will be a challenging time for many households, with families contending with financial concerns, loneliness due to isolation and periods of extreme boredom due to the restrictions. Whether you’re ensuring better budgeting for the day-to-day, or strengthening your long-term finances once the lockdown lifts now is an important time to assess your personal finances.
To help, Alistair Thom, Managing Director at Freesat (the free-to-air satellite TV provider) has these tips to help consumers slash their TV bills and get them through the extended lockdown period.
“During this unprecedented period, it’s well worth taking the time to audit your finances. Under normal circumstances, a pay-tv subscription for over-50s households may seem like a necessary, albeit expensive, monthly outgoing. However, amid increased financial pressure linked to the current coronavirus climate, it’s worth reconsidering whether spending up to £115.99 per month is viable, particularly when there are quality options without any ongoing costs . It’s also worth considering the channels you are actually watching. You might have an expensive TV-package but are mainly tuned to Sky News for daily coronavirus updates, catching up on Spooks on BBC iPlayer or just getting lost in a movie for some escapism. These options are all available, subscription-free, via products like a Freesat TV box.”
As we adjust to more time in the house, now is the perfect moment to take advantage of the wide range of content available – including special programmes broadcasters will offer. While some of this may not be brand new content, many will relish the fact that old-time favourites are likely to make a reappearance on our screens in the next few weeks.
For many people, being vigilant over their expenses and ensuring budgeting is considered will be key during this time. In fact, 54% of people don’t know how much they spend on their TV subscriptions each month and those who do are forking out an average £44.50 a month – that adds up to £534 every year! Try and track what you’re spending, as the true cost of your TV payments could be hidden among your other expenses.
The truth is nobody really watches and enjoys absolutely “everything”. In fact, over 90% of what gets watched on television comes from free to air TV, so it pays to understand what you are watching. Quite often you’re really paying to watch only one or two programmes. Free to air can offer a huge range of channels combined with On Demand services and if you want to stick with a couple of favourite channels, you’re not missing out financially.
If you’re not ready to ditch your pay-TV company just yet, at least ensure you’re regularly checking your contract. For those looking for the best deal, it’s wise to wait until your contract is up for renewal before trying to negotiate a better rate that’s more appropriate to your usage – remember you shouldn’t be penalised for your customer loyalty.
Some people are not aware that there are pay as you go alternatives to let you watch the paid for programmes you want, so it’s worth investigating the right combination of services that works for you.
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