Software

You can also edit your videos online: head to Jumpcut (www.jumpcut.com) to save £60 on Adobe Premiere Elements.

Up to £250 for Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition, Photoshop Express and Premiere Elements alone.


Fly to the United States to buy software

It may seem drastic to fly to the States for your software, but while companies such as Adobe and Microsoft persist in charging us Brits twice as much, it can make financial sense.

Consider this: you can fly to New York in October and stay two nights at a four-star hotel for around £500 per head. If you need to buy Office 2007 Professional, it costs £400 exc VAT in the UK (PC World) and $500 exc tax in the US (Best Buy). Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium costs £1,377 in the UK and $1,800 in the US (same shops). Let’s say you want to buy two copies of both: it adds up to £3,554 in the UK and, at today’s exchange rates, £2,359 from the States. So you get the retail boxed versions of the software in your suitcase and you’ve even got some spending money for a trip down Fifth Avenue. Gucci here we come.

£195 in our example, including flights and hotel.


Free games

There’s no need to spend £40 on the latest titles, the internet has loads of fantastic free games. TrackMania Nations Forever is a free online arcade racing game with leaderboards full of thousands of players and is horrendously addictive.

Action fans shouldn’t feel left out, either: try America’s Army and Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, both professional-quality first-person shooter titles. For addictive flash games, see www.popcap.com for Peggle, and www.kongregate.com for plenty more. See our top 10 Flash games.

Around £25 to £30 per game.

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