Being a gamer can be an expensive interest. With most new titles costing $60, the burden on your wallet can really add up depending on how invested (no pun intended) in gaming you are. That’s not even counting the cost of the hardware, controllers and peripherals you’re likely to accrue. Being a parent is an even more expensive venture. I’ve been a father for 8 months now and the impact on my wife and my savings has definitely been noticeable. We’re both financially responsible people and we went into this new chapter of our lives well prepared, but the fact that we and other parents know all too well is that there’s no escaping the shift in fiscal footing that happens when you have a child. We don’t go out to eat much, nights at home with Netflix have replaced going to the movies, and there has been a general tightening of the belt. Diapers, daycare and footie pajamas have replaced the latest Blu Rays and hottest games in our shopping cart. But being a parent doesn’t mean you have to give up on the things you love altogether. You just have to re-prioritize and be a little more responsible. So how does being more financially conservative figure in with a hobby as expensive as gaming? Well it certainly can be tricky. This week I’ve come up with a few tips and pointers for you Mega Dads and Moms who are struggling with how to keep up when spare money is getting harder to come by.
New to you is just as good: One of the nice things about gaming is that the price of games typically goes down a while after their release. Sometimes it doesn’t take too long either. Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, some of the biggest games of this past holiday season are all marked down at $40 for the PS4 on Amazon as of the writing of this article. That’s a $20 drop for waiting just a couple of months after their release.
Rewards Programs can pay out big: I’m a member of Gamer Zone from Best Buy and I receive points with each game purchase I make from Best Buy. Best Buy often has pre-order incentives where you can earn instant reward zone certificates just for pre-ordering select games. Being smart with the incentive programs and saving your points adds up to discounts on your next game purchase, which in turn adds up to more points!
Online Marketplace: A new trend in console gaming is the online marketplace. These online stores often run great deals and flash sales for game downloads. This last weekend I picked up The Unfinished Swan on PS4 for $5 on a flash sale. A game that I wanted to play last console generation and I got a great deal by keeping my eye on the store.
Membership Deals: In the same vein as the online marketplace, both Xbox and Playstation offer free games and discounts just for having memberships to their respective online services. PS Plus free games come in droves and I currently have a back catalogue of games that I’ve gotten for free that I still haven’t had time to play.
The fact is that there are many options for the budget gamer to be able to still enjoy what they love even when pinching their pennies. And just because you’re adjusting to this new way of managing your money doesn’t mean you have to close the door on having fun. This doesn’t just go for games either. Make sure you’re still treating yourself as long as you’re within your means to do so. Take your spouse out for date night, plan a weekend getaway, and yeah go ahead and pick up that new game every once in a while. It’s important to take care of yourself too, and that means keeping up with those things that made you happy before your little bundle of farts came along.
This week’s video game character speed-painting is the 90’s video game franchise ‘Earthworm Jim’. Jim was created by Doug TenNapel. Groooovy! Don’t forget: There’ll be a new character up with every blog post from Adam this year. Sound off in the comments section to let us know who you want to see!