With all the recent inflationary price rises, is there stuff you just won’t pay for now?

Dr Lobster*
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-68250127.amp

Prompted by news of the recent Ring doorbell price increase (personally, I find the notion of paying a monthly sub for a door bell insanity) are there things that technically, you could of course afford, but just cross the line of what you are prepared to stomach?

For me, over the past couple of years, I’ve really reduced the amount i eat out - we used to go out for food or get a takeaway once a week, but I just can’t warrant the best part of £80 for a curry and a couple of beers now. Even going out for a pint is nearly £7 in some places.

I’ve also ditched Sky and Disney, again, price rises got to the point that the value proposition is pretty hard to justify. I can’t see I’ll ever go back to Sky, but Disney I might just pay for a month a Christmas to catch up on anything I’ve missed.

What about you?
all new Phil
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With you on going out. We probably do more brunch than evening meals out these days but even then you’re throwing away £30+ for two of us for essentially half an hour of gratification.

Funnily enough on the other hand there are things I’ll keep paying for - I think we subscribe to pretty much every streaming service going. I also pay for both Apple and Microsoft subscriptions. I think I just like the convenience of having them. Apple in particular - it’s nice thinking of an obscure album I fancy listening to and just being able to play it whilst I’m driving.
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WillPS
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I haven't had Sky since 2017 when I moved house. They wanted me to commit to a 12 month contract with a less than 50% discount (which is essentially what I'd had since joining in 2010), which I wasn't willing to do. My intention was to wait it out for the inevitable follow up calls/offers, or maybe take Virgin's TV service, but by the time I had either opportunity I'd been without it already for a couple of months and not missed it much.

I watch F1 and so every year around this time I have a quick look to see how much it'd be, and it always works out about £20/month more than what a basic Now sub costs, not to mention harder to change up/suspend/cancel (also share out via Boost)... just not worth it.

Netflix is paid in Turkish Lira and as long as it stays under £6.50's worth (for the Ultra HD tier) will remain a no brainer. Definitely wouldn't pay the proper UK price for it.

Disney+ is paid for by Lloyds Bank, although since November they've dropped back to only offering new/renewing customers the basic ad funded option, which doesn't interest me, so when ours comes up for renewal in November that'll likely go too. On the other hand I'm not sure what I'd replace it with so maybe I'll just keep it.

Amazon Prime is in my sights for a cut. Most of my Amazon spend is on Subscribe & Save (which works equally well with or without Prime), most of the remainder is set to deliver on an 'Amazon delivery day' so I can cancel easily if I change my mind the next day. I watch about 2 or 3 programmes a year on Prime Video. I'm currently paying £47.50/year for Prime Student which is *just about* worth it but there definitely isn't enough value in the full fat package.

Takeaways are expensive and I have massively cut down on them, although honestly that's more to do with trying to live more healthily than anything.

The biggest cost I'm trying to cut down on at the moment is hotels. I realised last year I'd normalised a cost of £120/night as a reasonable price for a decent UK hotel. In my head a lot of this was previously 'monopoly money' because it came from Clubcard points, but a combination of factors (not least them dropping the exchange rate from triple to double face value) means that's not going to cover anything like what it once did.

As a bit of a novelty we stayed in a Haven static caravan with a friend and it massively surpassed my (snobbish) reservations. I managed to get another week at the end of the season booked in a 'Silver' caravan - a 4 night stay cost a little under £150. It was really nice to have somewhere I could comfortably work in the day (since I'd run out of leave), including space to cook and eat (I get sick of restaurants after a couple of days anyway) and generally just use as a base. They'll be getting more of my hard earned this year, and Hilton/Hotels.com significantly less.

In general though, I'd like to think I'm a fairly savvy consumer. I try to spend money in a way which brings maximum value in terms of quality of life. I pick car parks carefully before setting off. I buy my bananas places they only sell Fairtrade (because Fairtrade ones are only sold as 'Organic' elsewhere, and thus more expensive). I don't mind paying a ridiculous monthly fee for my mobile plans if there's an equally ridiculous cashback by redemption to match. (etc.) These things are constants.
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Martin Phillp
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I've gone from contract phones to PAYG SIM Only with 1pMobile. Fortunately I was able to pay for a mid-range Samsung upfront which negates the cost of the handset from my mobile costs.

I've also removed the landline element when I swapped from TalkTalk to BT recently. WiFi Calling is more than adequate for replacing my cordless phone.

Otherwise I've cut back on streaming services. ITVX and C4 I now only use the ad-funded versions. No longer have Disney although the 1080p service at £7.99pm would be fine as I don't have a 4K set.

I can't say I've completely stopped buying food/drink I like although I'm more conscious of price.
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Charlie Wells
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A few years ago I axed Virgin Media to cut costs, as I was fed up of paying a premium for what essentially was the ability to record the basic Freeview channels. Previously I'd do the old 'phone up asking to disconnect' trick when out of contract to get an offer from retentions. Moving from Virgin Media to the Openreach network was a bit of a faff due to the old line needing to be redone, but since then changing between other providers has been easy. With the money I saved from leaving Virgin I bought myself a Manhattan T3R box to record TV.

I also tend not to go for as many evening meals and/or drinks out as I used to. You notice it these days when you get little change from £5 for a pint of real ale, assuming you're not in Wetherspoons.
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NiKepp
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I would go into detail on some things, but most of the big changes I've made are just a carbon copy of WillPS above. From Netflix Turkish Delight, to Lloyds Disney+ to cheap off-season caravan parks. This is also where most of the impending cuts are likely to be. If Netflix close the Turkey loophole it'll just go as it isn't used enough now to warrant paying full price. And I'll do the same review of the new 'basic' Disney+ account when the Lloyds renewal comes round. Prime is the most imminently up for a decision though. I'm not paying extra to remove ads, and even when it comes to the delivery side since they removed the free 'same day/next day by 1pm' option their regular next day delivery seems to have been pushed considerably later into the evening too so the account value is rapidly diminishing.

Takeaways are also somewhere where I've trimmed back recently. I'm still doing them, but if I can swap just elements out and mix real takeaway with part fakeaways I am. Or where some genuine takeaways can be bought in bigger quantities and then frozen, I'm doing that.
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Dr Lobster*
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Martin Phillp wrote: Mon 12 Feb, 2024 22.12 I've gone from contract phones to PAYG SIM Only with 1pMobile. Fortunately I was able to pay for a mid-range Samsung upfront which negates the cost of the handset from my mobile costs.
Yeah, forgot about mobile phones… same here, just on SIM only plans and purchased my phone outright.

Probably 10 years ago or so, paying for your phone over a couple of years on a contract was a bit more expensive, but not a lot and obviously saved you a big initial outlay. Today, with the mid term price rises, lack of competition, buying on contract is just chucking money down the toilet, especially now with some plans 36 months. I’m paying £15 p/m for 30gb data with a matched esim for my Apple Watch, which isn’t bad (and very liberating as I can go out without a phone in my pocket but still be in contact)
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WillPS
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£15 :o

I spend less than half that and I feel like that's an indulgence given what £4 buys these days.
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presnot
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The only thing I have cut back on is beer. It’s no longer an easy choice to have a beer with a meal, as it adds a big chunk on the bill. And I think phone prices are getting silly, I think this iPhone will be my last as well.
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Pete
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Virgin Media, waited for the contract to *actually* expire then had a proper go at them. The CityFibre rollout means they can no longer call my bluff on moving to Sky "you'll be happy with 34mb will you?"

Now have gigabit and still (some) tv for £45. And the Superhub 5 is actually decent enough to use without a secondary router.

Amazon / Spotify - mooch off my brother. The rest have long expired.

Think paramount+ expires today, did the launch 12mo for £30 offer. I'm not paying full price when I only really watch Star Trek.
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WillPS
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Pete wrote: Wed 14 Feb, 2024 08.33 Virgin Media, waited for the contract to *actually* expire then had a proper go at them. The CityFibre rollout means they can no longer call my bluff on moving to Sky "you'll be happy with 34mb will you?"

Now have gigabit and still (some) tv for £45. And the Superhub 5 is actually decent enough to use without a secondary router.
Do you feel any real world benefit from gigabit speeds? I'm doing my annual ISP swap shortly and I'm currently debating between Sky 145Mb @ £22.39/month or Sky 500Mb @ £23.89/month (both effective prices after cashback).

Our speed has crept upwards in the last 3 years from ~70 Mbps FTTC, to 100Mbps FTTP then most recently 145Mbps FTTP, but honestly during 'normal use' there isn't a time when I feel any speed difference. Streaming 4K works perfectly. WFH works perfectly. Before them I had Virgin Media which felt different because their network is incredibly shite down here, despite being 125Mb or something which was in theory faster than the FTTC Openreach service we had before and after.

There's only about 4 or 5 times when a big download needs to happen and I'm waiting on it, when obviously the speed does get topped out. Stuff like when you put a video game in and it decides in needs to download a 48GB 'update' before it'll let you in...

On the other hand it would only be like £18/year more, which I suppose isn't that big a premium for alleviating those occasions.
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