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5 Sites that Make Entertainment More Affordable

5 Sites that Make Entertainment More Affordable

In recent years, the cost of entertainment has gotten a little ridiculous across the spectrum‒there’s more to do to entertain yourself, but finding the money to do so isn’t guaranteed. The thing is, humans need entertainment and, recognizing that, a number of sites aim to give experiences and inventory at prices nearly anyone can afford.

The next time you decide to skip the new computer or TV, miss your favorite artist in concert, or ditch all your cable channels, think about making the switch to these companies.

Best Buy for Electronics

Best Buy has certainly emerged as a go-to spot for electronics, although it’s been in competition with another big name in entertainment, Amazon. Owing to a successful run before that, however, and a fast-improving business model, the techie haven is back in the running. Focusing on the convenience of Internet sales, several policies keep online business booming.

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Not long ago, common practice saw consumers looking for the best computers, TVs, cell phones, and other gadgets at Best Buy, then going elsewhere to buy them for less money. A price matching policy now handles that nicely. Combined with the Geek Squad, which has earned an excellent reputation for troubleshooting and service, Best Buy is now the place where people look for their laptops, tablets, and MP3 players.

Amazon for Everything

Amazon makes entertainment more affordable in a number of ways. Some financial experts insist that Amazon’s business model is a failure, or at least unsustainable, but if customer satisfaction serves as proof, that’s not true. The company re-invests much of the money it makes, always looking for ways to make its services faster, cheaper, and even more convenient. Recent talk of drones both emphasizes and proves that point.

Besides, the fact remains that Amazon has affordable items. It’s the place to comparison shop, as Best Buy can likely attest. Widespread categories make it possible to find nearly anything, from flat screen TVs to books and designer clothing. Prices are often cut, deals abound, and of course, Amazon offers the option to buy new or used items from third-party sellers. Independent sellers are also welcome at Amazon, which creates even more versatility in the stock.

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Amazon also claimed a corner of the entertainment market with Prime, a paid-for membership service. Among other things, it offers free shipping and access to the retailer’s version of streaming media.

ScoreBig for Tickets

Tickets to concerts, plays, movies, and sporting events are expensive, and they’re getting more expensive every year.  Good seats to a great show can run you more than the cost of a flat screen TV and a few months of cable. And then there are the fees, which make tickets even more expensive.  But ScoreBig.com has created a way to make great seats to great events more affordable for everyone.

Most live events have lots of unsold tickets because of their high prices and extra fees. Even events that most people think are sold out (playoff games, popular concerts) secretly have hundreds or thousands of unsold seats.  ScoreBig gets them from ticket suppliers months in advance and lets fans make an offer on the tickets for less than box office price.  When the offer is right, ScoreBig gets the tickets to its customers instantly.  Ticket suppliers are happy because they get to sell tickets that wouldn’t have otherwise sold, (a half a loaf is better than nothing, after all) without having to advertise that their tickets are for sale at a discount. ScoreBig makes money by charging the suppliers rather than its own customers, so there are never any extra fees for the consumer.  It’s a cool way to get to the game or show without paying through the nose, and know that you’ve got the “inside deal” on a great way to save.

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Netflix for Movies and TV

Netflix has pleased customers since its start, although it’s gone through ups and downs since then. Thanks to its robust instant streaming service, however, it’s been back on the rise. Giving birth to a trend of binge-watching streamed TV shows, Netflix is actually replacing cable and premium TV options for a lot of people. Rather than paying huge amounts for monthly services, people are more than happy to pay less than $8 monthly to see their favorite shows and movies instantly.

Netflix pays for content licenses, partnering with certain production companies, channels, and distributors. For instance, subscribers can now find Disney movies and certain premium cable series. It also produces its own shows now and pleased people around the world by bringing back Arrested Development. The result is that viewers can watch entire seasons of their favorite shows all at once, view new series, and see new and classic movies—and they can do it without spending too much money each month.

Groupon for Daily Deals

Groupon launched Daily Deal madness when it premiered. Its business model takes heat from some financial gurus, but it’s a basic idea that works for many consumers. Retailers, businesses, and companies simply approach Groupon with a specific number of offers, discounted from their usual prices. People get vouchers for all sorts of deals and events that they couldn’t otherwise afford or justify. While Groupon gets its cut, the savings go to the consumer. The company started out rather small, but as more companies turned to Groupon, the potential deals became more versatile.

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Another aspect subscribers love is the ability to tailor their Groupon experience. When they sign up, they can choose deals based on their location, their hobbies, and their interests. On any given day, they’re emailed deals for restaurants, plays, salons, retailers, and vacations. There’s something for any type of budget, so subscribers get to do things they wouldn’t normally.

One reason for its popularity is its wide range of deals. It seems to fulfill every niche in addition to meeting almost every price point. In the areas where it’s offered, Groupon is also beneficial to the local economy. While big name brands offer deals through the site daily, local businesses can also pair with the site for fair rates, which can help them gain a new foothold in their communities.

In the current economic climate, it pays to offer consumers a chance to entertain themselves without breaking their budgets or making them feel guilty for the expense. When the prices are within reach, repeat business is practically a guarantee.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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