Where your Money goes

Where your money goes

Can you put a price on fun? Yes: £310,346

When we’re not at work or asleep, we like to keep busy. But have you ever wondered just how much you spend entertaining yourself? We take a look at where your money goes and what you can do to have fun for less.

Having fun, kicking back, doing what you want, we all want to let our hair down and it’s no surprise then that the entertainment industry is big business.

But before you buy another download, a season ticket to see your favourite team or add another gadget to your collection, do you ever stop to think how much you’re spending on entertainment?

Chances are, it’s a lot more than you think. Here’s how it all adds up.

Sports/hobbies £33,222

Whatever you like to get up to in your spare time, chances are it won’t come cheap.

Our sports and hobbies cost us, on average, £678 a year, according to figures from M&S Money.

On average if you keep up your chosen activities from the age of 16 up until you’re 65, that’s 49 years you’ll have clocked up. And that adds up to a whopping £33,222 on average.

If you have to buy expensive equipment, make sure it’s insured – especially if you travel abroad with it.

Image: REUTERS/Pawel Ulatowski/Files


Being a football fan £56,000

Those who prefer to watch rather than take part spend, somewhat surprisingly, even more. Tyre manufacturer, eTyres, has totted up the annual spend and worked out that over their lifetime the average football fan will spend almost £56,000 when kit, tickets travel and the rest are added together. It’s undoubtedly an expensive business supporting your team.

Gadgets and gizmos £46,700

We’re a nation of gadget freaks. We must be – we each spend, on average, £994 on the latest must-haves every year, according to a poll carried out by Explori.com for the Gadget Show Live.

That tots up to a staggering £46,700 if we start at 18 and go on buying into the latest technology trends until we’re at least 65.

If you’re in Canterbury in Kent though you can double that figure. There, tech-heads spend almost £2,000 a year on the latest hi-tech toys and devices.

Games £12,024

If you’re a video games fan you’ll already know it’s an expensive hobby and also one that you’re unlikely to grow out of any time soon.

According to a review of our gaming habits, carried out by Playr2.com, the average gamer in the UK spends 1.8 years of their life playing video games.

And it costs an average of £334 a year to keep up to date with the latest releases, according to another survey conducted by specialist online retailer ShopTo.



The 1,452 gamers surveyed by Playr2 were aged between 18 and 40 and admitted to spending 9.2 hours a week on average in front of their games console. That’s equivalent to 478 hours a year or an average of at least 19 whole days a year. But before non-gamers get on a high horse, it should be added that the latest report from TV licensing shows that the average Brit watches three times as much television at 28 hours a week on average.

But the expense can’t be denied, the average gamer said they started playing games when they were nine and that they expected to ‘retire’ when they reached 40 or 45 ‘at the latest’, and you can see it’s as time consuming as it is cash-consuming.

Remember to trade in old games as soon as you’re finished with them. Many companies offer cash or money-off new games when you trade-in unwanted games. And make you sure take advantage of any loyalty schemes which give points for every pound spent and will soon add up to a free game for avid players.


‘Must have’ electricals £48,900

Our love of televisions and PCs is a tad costlier than even our love of gadgets and gizmos.  The average UK household will work its way through more than 250 electrical devices over a period of 60 years.

Brits replace their computers every four years, spending about £500 a time, according to product review site Reevoo.com. We tend to replace our telly every five years, following advances in technology.

In total, we will fork out in the region of £48,940 on electrical devices over our lifetime.

With each person in the UK buying an average of 2.8 new electrical items a year, according to Tesco, there are a lot of old appliances and gadgets lying around.

Research online recycling site Weeebuy, found the average value of a recycled gadget is £30, and we each have three unwanted electrical items sitting around at home, putting almost £100 back in your pocket. 

Clear some clutter and make some cash from your unwanted gadgets by selling them to a recycling company and you’ll also be doing your bit for the environment.




Broadband and phone £65,500

Of course, the latest gadgets and gizmos would be pointless without the broadband to power them and the phones on which to organize your social life.

If you’ve ever wondered how much you spend on a lifetime on these other essential must haves we can reveal that it’s £65,564.92 to be precise. That’s according to TalkTalk which has worked out that we tend to stay tech savvy until an average age of 68, spending £970 on average, each and every year.

Nights out £27,000

When we can be dragged away from the TV, games console or iPad, it seems we like to give our wallets as much of a battering as our livers.

The Smirnoff Nightlife Index looked closely at the nation’s nightlife habits and found out that over half of 18 to 40-year-olds spend £50 a night and a fifth of party animals will splash out more than £175 to have a good time.

Little surprise then that a lifetime of partying clocks in at £27,000.

[Related feature: See your friends for less]

Music £21,000

We spend around £21,000 on music between the age of 16 and 64, on everything from CDs and downloads, to iPods, music festivals, gigs and music magazines, according to Prudential.

With an average of £890 worth of equipment, and annual spend of £424 on music, £211 on gigs and events, and £14 on magazines.

But it’s undoubtedly live music fans that spend the most. On average more than £1,600 getting their fix of their favourite bands.

According to the study, by MyVoucherCodes, we go to more than three gigs or music festivals a year, spending an average of £450 each year. 

Add in the £10 average spend on drinks and snacks; with rock and indie concerts owning up to spending, on average, more than £21 and you can see how it soon adds up.

So, however you like to spend your spare time, the chances are it’s costing you quite a bit more than you probably thought.

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