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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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