the ugly writers

Enjoying life on a tight budget

With all the payables that we have after moving in to our new home, there are certain luxuries that we just have to skip. We get fewer outdoor adventures and going to the mall is now subject for debate. Nonetheless, we try to keep ourselves entertained as we try to maintain our sanity despite the new challenges of owning our own property. Fortunately, the pandemic lessened our choices and actually made us think of more practical ways to enjoy without breaking the bank.

With all the payables that we have after moving-in to our new home, there are certain luxuries that we just have to skip. We get fewer outdoor adventures and going to the mall is now subject for debate. Nonetheless, we try to keep ourselves entertained as we try to maintain our sanity despite the new challenges of owning our own property. Fortunately, the pandemic lessened our choices and actually made us think of more practical ways to enjoy without breaking the bank.

Photography

Venturing into photography again during the pandemic has become more of a therapy than a challenge. I just grab my camera whenever we leave our home. Every opportunity counts. Going to the grocery or even having our haircut outside lessened our chances to spend more as we spend most of our time shooting and just going straight to whatever our reason is for leaving the house.

Having pre-existing gears prior to COVID-19 is a plus as we are using what we already have. Even the missus has joined in on the photography game. Sometimes she is on my classic Fujifilm X100S, and sometimes she whips out her iPhone 11 to shoot some photos.

Check out my gallery at Shoot With Hero

Good thing about this is we were able to monetize our photography by uploading it to a platform called EyeEm. EyeEm is like your normal social media where you can share your own photos, put a filter on them, and connect with other photographers. The difference is your photos are then uploaded to popular photo selling websites like Shutterstock and have them sold there. It beats having it shared to Instagram and not gain anything from it.

Binge-watching

I have to admit, for ten years I have amassed literally a thousand movies, and around 50+ TV shows (both ripped from original DVDs I bought and digital movies from Play Store) saved on my Plex. The service is 1,499php per year. And it can be streamed wherever. We love watching modern classics such as You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, and Big (yes, we stan Tom Hanks).

We have used Plex so we can rewatch all the movies we ripped and owned, and also serves as backup whenever Netflix and Youtube are both down (it happened).

 

Sign up for Plex today.

On the other hand, we do keep our Netflix subscription. Strongest Deliveryman, Taxi Driver, and Partners for Justice – these are only three of the dozens of TV Shows we watched within the month on Netflix.  Just like with photography, we want to utilize what we already have and paid for. We didn’t bother applying for cable TV when we moved to our new home as who watch cable nowadays??? So canceling our netflix subscription is out of the picture so we might as well use it. Just staying at home and binge watching lots of K-Drama saved us a lot of gas/grab money and time.

As of this writing, it has been announced that Disney+ is finally coming to the Philippines!!! Yep, spending another 500php for yet another streaming service on top of existing 459php from Netflix is still a worthy investment as compared to the monthly 1,000php + Sky Evo 1,000php (one time payment) for only one device and with channels we won’t be able to watch due to limited screens/devices it services.

Gaming

The only PC we have capable of gaming  is an old Intel i5 with 8GB Ram and is only used as our home server, catering to Plex and Honeygain. So we mostly use our iPads (an iPad 2020 and iPad mini 5) for our gaming needs. Most of the time we play The Sims and Sim City as they are both free. We do have a collection of paid games like Myth Defense, Bejeweled, and some Final Fantasy titles, but either we have already finished them or grew tired of them, and some just stopped being supported by the developers (I’m looking at you Nexomon).

 

With all that we have spent on games years ago, we need something free and still provide us a hefty amount of options to play with.

Plays.Org provides a plethora of game genres. This alone makes this site a must for people who look forward to enjoying various games without spending a single penny. The site’s hidden gem is the Simulation category. Classics such as Open Restaurant is frustratingly challenging! But if you want a relaxed game, go for Mercado Mayhem: Grocery Story Simulation.

Every game offering from Plays.org are compatible with touchscreen devices such as our iPads. All the games we have enjoyed playing can go fullscreen and it immerses us into thinking it is an installed game on our device and not just from a web browser .

Another thing that got us obsessed with this site is that no matter the screen size of our device, every game ran well. My wife has a 7.9 inches while I had a 10 inch iPad. This allowed us to enjoy playing the same games over and over and found ourselves in a little healthy competition comparing scores. With us having only checked out the Simulation part, others would surely find a game they will appreciate from the wide variety of titles to choose from. This alone makes this website a must for couples (and even individuals) who would just like to unwind and relax after a long day’s work.

 

Expensive dates is nice and all, but spending the afternoon binge-watching while eating food ordered via Grab can be gold too. Playing free games you stumbled upon can be as entertaining as going on a movie date at the mall. Enjoying life doesn’t have to be expensive nor complicated. And quality time can be as simple as just enjoying what you like doing, together with your loved one/s.

 

Read more entries under my Life After series here:

the ugly writers

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theuglywriter

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