So as a Geek I am frequently asked two questions one ''where do you get all those things?'' the other being ''how do you afford them?'' Well I figured that this topic was worth a post on here. I am what some people would consider tight and what others would call thrifty. Now I don't earn very much but then I don't really drink, I don't smoke and I don't do drugs, I also have fairly simple tastes. I think however that there are a few areas where I use my money in the most tactical way possible to try and get the most for my money.
If you’re looking to cut back, then maybe some of my ideas and tactics might be worth thinking about. I think the first thing to do is to look at the things you buy and the things you do and ask do I need this? Do I need it now? Do I need a physical version? Could I wait for it to come down in price? Would a cheap alternative tide me by until the price drops?
I remember back when the GameCube was one of the current consoles I worked with a guy in a very similar role to mine at the time who used to be surprised by how many games I had. While he had around ten games I must have had about fifty but there were two main reasons for this. One of them was simply the fact he went drinking two nights a week spending around £40 a time which was his choice and I am not knocking it but the second reason was that he simply ran out and got the game he thought he wanted most on the day of release from the first place he found himself that stocked it. If I really felt like I needed an upcoming game I would look around and try to preorder it from the cheapest place possible and I would do this with as few titles as possible.
The thing is that games simply don't hold there value half as much as they used to do. If you can wait a few weeks from the release of a game then the price will drop, games which were around £39.99 even at the cheapest places on release can sometimes have dropped to as little as £20 in two weeks time. If you can just wait a little while you can save yourself a whole heap of money (yes there are exceptions to this rule, usually 1st party Nintendo games for example hold there value for quiet some time for example). It always helps to look around for the cheapest price, I would say always remember to look both online and offline and not to limit yourself to looking at just game shops, look at game shops and sites, toy shops, supermarkets etc. I know some people feel that they need to support this shop or that shop but lets be honest here do any of those shops really support you? The truth is no they are simply out to be a good business to make as much as they can, some of them might have this or that loyalty scheme to try and make you feel like you owe them or there special but to put it simply don't give your loyalty away easily. All of these places are businesses looking out for there own interests so what you should do is look out for your own, buy the game you want from the cheapest place you can find and don't be fooled into paying more than you need to pay.
I also find it helps to try to be flexible, if you decide you need Game X and you go out looking for Game X determined to get it that very day then you will end up paying through the teeth for it. This is something that applies to both modern and retro games and also to most forms of media. If you keep yourself aware of what exists how much your likely to enjoy it or not and then just see what kind of floats your way this is usually much cheaper then going all guns blazing after one particular thing.
I also think it helps to decide what your thing is. You see I love horror films, science fiction films and comic books, 80's toys and video games. Now if I tried to really follow all of these and collect them with proper gusto then I would be broke in days so I decided that my number one hobby would be games. This doesn't mean I ignore the other hobbies it just means I make sure my investment in them is minimal. I only buy actual comics if they are old and like 50pence or so other than that I rely on digital comics and I only get those via things like humble bundle where you can grab a whole bunch of them to read digitally. I buy all of my actual reading books from charity shops, the same is true with music and a lot of old films I grab them cheap from charity shops or the preowned cleaned up ones sold by poundland. If I want to watch a modern film I will look if I can buy its digital Ultra Violet code from eBay as a cheap way of seeing it because lets be honest how many films do you buy watch once and then never touch again? Why did I decide video games were my thing? Well its a combination of things one of them is that they really hold there value compared to some of the other things I enjoy but the main thing is that they are the thing that takes me back to my childhood the most, they make me feel like I am still young and free from trouble.