In this tough economy, it can be hard to focus on anything other than working hard to make ends meet. High unemployment coupled with rising gas and grocery prices can contribute to even higher levels of stress for people who are already overworked, stressed out and worried about the future. Having a social life can seem like a luxury you can’t afford, but fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way — LivingSocial and Groupon, both of which earn all PerkStreet customers 5% PowerPerks this month, are on the case!
A few weeks ago, LivingSocial, the local daily deals, site began testing “Instant Deals” in the Washington D.C. area. This week, Groupon, the incumbent in the space, launched a similar service, “Groupon Now,” in it’s home town of Chicago.
How Instant Deals Work
With Instant Deals, the bargains go live for a short time – -for example, two or three hours –- as opposed to the traditional “daily deals” that stay live for 24 hours. You get these special offers immediately through your phone. You get deals at businesses within close range of your current location in real-time. At LivingSocial Instant Deals, that distance is a half-mile. So, for example, if a restaurant is having a slow afternoon in downtown D.C., they may offer a deal on entrees from 3-5 pm. Voila! Instant happy hour.
Fun Becomes Affordable
LivingSocial and Groupon have both been making fun affordable, offering deep discounts up to 90% at local restaurants, bars, spas, theaters and more for several years, and now they have launched these new programs that promise to add even more value to the experience.
LivingSocial offered lunch for $1 at a slew of area restaurants as a way to advertise the new perk, and Groupon is using it to drive towards a high-valued IPO. Both companies are certainly hoping to go nationwide with the new mobile products as soon as possible, so be on the lookout for it at a city near you. Personally, I’m eager for it to hit Boston. I have a friend I’d love to grab by the arm, hit the “I’m Hungry” button on the Groupon app and go!
Instant Deals Bring Spontaneity
These new products provide a good and inexpensive way to put some fun and spontaneity back into your day. So many of us are focused on our finances, saving every penny we can and cutting unnecessary expenses, that we end up depriving ourselves and being miserable. We can get tunnel vision and forget that life is about the little moments; the present is all we have.
Take a little time to go to lunch with a friend or colleague. Get up on a Saturday and take your family to the zoo for an impromptu day of fun. This kind of spontaneity can renew sagging energy levels and deliver a better attitude for moving forward and tackling the scary problems in front of us.
Spontaneity Brings Us Closer Together
Don’t let relationships suffer when focusing on your budget. In tough times, they’re even more important. We need to be reminded that we are all struggling through hard times, and we’re all in this together. More than ever, we need to come together and help each other. Maintaining relationships, as well as taking care of ourselves, is vital to keeping sane in an insane world.
LivingSocial’s Instant Deals and Groupon Now both mean making that a reality at a very low cost. Anything that puts a little more joy in my life in exchange for so little is okay by me.
Have you tried either of these products? Are you just sick of the deal shopping? Share with our money-saving community below!
Jessica Bosari is the Site Manager and Editor for Billeater, a blog with Money-saving tips to lower your bills. When she’s not gathering money-saving tips, Jessica is feeding her geeky side with sci-fi movies, tech gadgets, useful apps and productivity tricks, just to keep things interesting. Like all the Customer Columnists at PerkStreet, she’s a customer and a personal finance pro.
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