Lose the TV!

Lose the TV!

Are there better ways of spending the new upgraded TV tax of around £158?

You can get your evenings back by joining www.meetup.com for local clubs in your area such as hobbies, sports and many other interests.

At home you can play board games such as chess, backgammon, Texas Hold’em poker, bridge, Monopoly and trivia quizzes. It will be good to get your family together like our grandparents used to. Even invite the neighbours to join in and play?

Dinner Parties? When was the last time you sat around a table with two or three couples to a sumptuous three course meal and wine? Less work if one couple brings the first course and another brings the pud?

Take more exercise. If you join a gym you’ll get both exercise and meet new people who may add to your friends circle. Or you could go for long walks. I am 80 and walk a minimum of one mile a day, sometimes two, three or more. I have a watch which checks my paces. This can be useful if you set yourself targets.

When I was a young CEO, my friends would join expensive health clubs, but I joined a leaflet distribution firm and got paid for delivering leaflets. A miserable reward but I was getting fit, and not paying out for it!

Do some volunteer work for the local charities or look on your local council website for ideas.

Buy an Amazon Kindle and read books - more about that later.

Local churches and synagogues often have events for their parishioners. You don’t need to be their religion, or even religious. You will still be welcome.

Then you could also sign up for a class, either for education or your hobby. Interested in photography, or would like to take better photos is just one example.

Start a journal. I use Diaro, a great app for writing up each day.

Join a martial arts class, I did Judo in my younger days, and it has always been useful throughout my life. Not fighting, but confidence in facing anything the world throws at me.

You can also have tremendous music evenings - more about this later

If your job or hobby is interesting, or you have an interest in politics, start a blog. Google Blogger is free and very easy to master and, if you like writing, share your work with the world.

So if you get rid of your TV – don't forget to unplug the aerial - you can still use it for Netflix, YouTube, Ted or Prime Video without risking the BBC beating a path to your front door by accident..

Amazon Prime. Most people think it just gives you free delivery. But, £79 a year works out at approx £1.52 a week. If you only order one item every three weeks, you’ve covered your cost. I order an average of four items a week so I am well in! But you also get free access to a huge range of Amazon books and magazines on Kindle; Amazon music allows an awful amount of free music if you have a music evening. Then there are a large amount of free films. The films are streamed for 48 hours. The later ones are chargeable but for a reasonable price so you need not watch it all at one sitting.

Then you get Netflix for £71.88 a year which equals to £1.38 a week. The films are all free so if you only watch one film a fortnight, you are winning.

Don’t forget YouTube, where there are millions of videos from short clips to very long videos. Subjects include films, music, politics and everything else thrown in. Have you heard of TED? They scan the world for excellent speakers to speak for twenty minutes on interesting subjects. As I am from Africa, I am hooked on hundreds of clips on Africa – but every subject under the sun is covered

So, between entertaining yourself by sharing things with others, as per the first section, or a quiet night in, watching Prime/Netflix/YouTube/TED videos, or Prime and YouTube music videos. These are always available on the odd occasion when you have nothing better to do. And you educate yourself as well as having fun!