Friday 26 April 2019

Finance Fridays – Buy, rent or borrow

We were asking for a pay rise in last week's Finance Fridays. This week we are looking at the sharing economy. The trend for minimalism continues as people embrace living with less. Many people are now shunning buying things and instead renting or borrowing instead. However, does owning less make financial sense?

Music – You can stream over 35 million songs on Spotify for free but you will have to endure advertisements and you will need an internet connection to listen. After a 30 day free trial monthly subscriptions start from £9.99. Amazon Prime members can listen to around 2 million songs ad free as part of their general Prime subscription. This costs £79 a year or £7.99 a month and also includes the free Amazon delivery options and Amazon Prime Video. The extra paid service is Amazon Music Unlimited which has access to 50 million songs including new releases. After the 30 day free trial it costs £7.99 a month.

Television – It can be very hard to find a shop that sells DVDs or Blu Rays now especially if it isn't a new release. Sky TV has been a popular paid option for some time now but this has been joined by its cheaper sister company NOW TV. Rather than signing up for at least 12 months NOW TV is on a rolling monthly contract which can be cancelled at anytime. You choose what type of pass you want to buy such as Entertainment, Cinema, Kids or Sky Sports. The Kids pass starts at £3.99 a month and the costs goes up to £33.99 a month for Sky Sports. You can also get day and weekly passes for Sky Sports if there is something in particular you want to watch.

Netflix has become an essential service for many people with its wide archive of programmes plus original content such as House of Cards and The Crown. Subscriptions start from £5.99 a month but there are rumours that this will be going up soon as prices in the US have risen.

Of course the Freeview channels offer their own free catch up services with a selection of box sets and additional content. If you do use the BBC iPlayer you will need a TV Licence as well to watch it but not for the others if you are only accessing catch up programmes.

Property – Property prices in many parts of the UK have become too high for lots of people to be able to afford so renting is the only option. Whilst the traditional option is to take on a long tenancy agreement flexible working methods mean people are moving around more. Airbnb is popular for holidays but now they are being used for longer stays. Other companies providing such services include Hostmaker and Stayy.

Cars – Not owning a car does have a downside about it if you are forever at the mercy of public transport. One way to get round this is car or lift sharing. You can find someone to share a commute to work everyday. You pay the fuel and your car owning buddy pays the rest. If you are doing a one off trip there are a number of websites where people advertise trips they are taking in the future and the cost of it.

Clothes – If you are needing a posh frock or dinner suit then clothes agencies have been around a while but now people are renting their everyday wardrobes. This is particularly popular if you are into designer or high-end looks. Part of this is fuelled by the lack of funds to be able to buy such items outright but also the 'Outfit of the day' or 'OTTD' trend on Instagram where wearing different clothes on a regular basis is a must. It still doesn't come cheap though. Higher Studio charge £85 a month for renting one item but you can have unlimited swaps. This goes up to £150 for two items and £215 for three items.

Dogs – Having a pet can be a huge responsibility but you can now borrow one while helping out other dog owners. Sites such as BorrowMyDoggy allow owners to connect with dog lovers who can look after their dog while they are on holiday or take them for walks during the day.

Have you cut down on owning things? Do you now rent or borrow more things?

If you want to join in with this week's Finance Fridays then add your link to the linky below. Any post concerning financial matters is allowed. Full details here. It doesn't have to be published today as you have until 23.55 on Tuesday 30th April 2019 to join in.

Finance Fridays

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