How to Feed a Gaming Habit on a Low Income

Video games are a very rewarding, fun, and addicting for those who play them. Unfortunately, for serious gamers, they can also be very expensive, with the average title costing around $50. Combine that with the fact that most gamers are teens without stable jobs, and many problems arise for those who want to treat themselves, but don’t have the funds to do so. I, as an 18 year old college student, have dealt with this issue for many years as I try and keep up with the latest game releases. While I don’t always have the money to get some of the games I want, I have developed a few techniques over the years to ensure that I make some purchases at least once a month. Now that I’m a part time writer, I figured I’d share some tips to help out my fellow financially struggling gamers out there. Here are a few ways I keep up with my gaming habit without having a real job.
Save a percentage of what you do earn to put aside for games.

Every one of us gets a job a one-off job or part time work every here and there. Whether it be walking dogs, stacking groceries, doing chores. or even writing for Associated Content, the average person has some sort of cash incoming at least a few times a month. What I like to do is set about 20% of any money I make aside for games. This way, I have enough money to buy other things, and still have some set aside just in case a game comes along that I am interested in. If you don’t buy many other things, set aside 50, 60, or hell, 100 percent if you’d like. Eventually, all of it will add up and be there to spend when the time comes to get a new game.

Cut back on lunch.

For those of who still in High School or in any other situation in which you still receive lunch money from either yourself or a guardian, this tip can be very fruitful. In High School, I would get $10 for lunch every day, Of this $10, I would limit myself to only spending $5 or $6. That way, everyday I could pocket $4 or $5 and set it aside for games. If you fund your own daily consumption, cut back on some of the things you get. If you usually buy a sandwich on hero bread, get it on a roll. I you get a bottled beverage, get a can instead.. This way, not only are you saving money for future titles you want to buy, but you are also cutting down on calories. Talk about killing two birds with one stone…

Keep a change jar.

Everyday, most people come home with change jingling throughout their pockets. If not set aside properly, these minute amounts of cash can be lost forever in vacuums, between couch cushions, or on sidewalks after falling out of a pocket. Instead of risking the loss of a few Lincolns, keep change jar. When you come home for the evening, dig through your jeans and place whatever coins you have in this jar. Before you know it, the dollars will be adding up. Just last year alone, I was able to save about $150 for myself in loose change alone. Come January, I treated myself to a few nice birthday presents in the form of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games. You never know how much a little change can make a big difference in the long run.

Sell your old games.

To me personally, this is sacrilege. As an avid collector, I never sell any game I buy. But for some, this option is more than viable when trying to maximize your gaming budget. Stores such as Game Crazy and Gamestop are more than happy to give you store credit for games you do not want anymore, and eBay is always clamoring with people looking for games at cheap prices. Use this to your advantage, AFfer you are done with a game, sell it. That way, even after you have made a purchase, you can put some cash back into your pocket later on when you’re done, leaving you some moolah to get another game with.

Limit your game buying.

This is the final tip, and perhaps, the most important. Often times, I would see that I had a good amount of money saved up, and would be tempted to go out and buy myself a few games. After doing so several times, I quickly realized that I would be out of cash when a game I really wanted to get was released. Instead of blowing the whole load in one shot, be sensible with your gaming budget. Don’t buy two games you only kinda want now when you know a game you really want is coming out soon after. I would hate to be left without money when games like Halo, Grand Theft Auto, and Metal Gear Solid are released.

While these tips may seem ridiculous or petty, you never know when you will see that game you can’t live without buying. Don;t reach this point only to pull nothing but lint out of your pockets when in line at the game store. Following these small, but effective tips can ensure that even the smallest amount of income can still support your gaming habit.

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