Gaming isn’t cheap. In fact, the more that gaming enters the mainstream, the more varied the industry becomes—and the pricier, too. Much of this expense falls back on technology. Technology and gaming go hand-in-hand, meaning that some hardware and software include state-of-the-art features.
In other words, a flashy price tag isn’t exactly a surprise. However, it can still be incredibly problematic for players. Just look at the slow start that VR has had. While it’s not yet found its stride in terms of functionality and pricing, many VR headsets are cost-prohibitive for the average household anyway.
When it comes to spending on games, there are a myriad of topics to assess. If a gamer isn’t spending a lot of hardware, then their funds are probably funneled towards games. Or, if not games, then in-game costs or microtransactions. While it can be a lot to juggle financially, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you set and keep a gaming budget. Let’s dive in.
The Basics: Bankroll Management
Bankroll management can be difficult for gamers, but it’s not a topic that’s new to the industry. Poker, for example, is a hugely popular card game that’s played worldwide. One of the key components that professional players excel at is bankroll management. Gamers of all types can learn a lot from how Texas Hold’em and Omaha players manage their money.
Most players craft a bankroll plan for sessions or periods of play. For example, if a player is targeting something like the 50-50 Series, which includes 50 tournaments for $50 buy-ins each, then they’ll create a budget based on how many tournaments they’ll enter, what their spending will be (including the buy-in), and how this spending will pan out over time.
So, what’s the lesson here? No matter what type of gamer you are and no matter how you prefer to spend your gaming dollars, an approach that accounts for every penny will take you further. Just take it from the poker pros.
The Longer-Term Game Plan
Bankroll management is all about control and planning ahead. However, there are two types of budgetary thinking that gamers should keep in mind. First, we’re going to cover long-term plans. Then, we’ll move on to smaller financial decision-making.
A longer-term gaming budget should be focused on hardware. Compared to other gaming costs, hardware is the priceiest. This might mean buying a brand-new console or handheld, or maybe updating certain parts of your PC setup. Because these are heftier demands, they should be part of a long-term plan that lets you save incrementally.
In other words, you may have two separate budgets at work when it comes to bankroll management. One will focus on long-term goals that include steeper spending. Another should be zeroed in on day-to-day gaming.
The Right Type of Micro-Managing
Spending big on hardware and peripherals is hugely important. These types of macro-costs will help shape the gaming experience. But let’s not forget about the core focus here: enjoying gaming. To get the most out of your gaming experience, it’s not uncommon to spend on microtransactions.
Depending on what type of games you prefer and what type of hardware you have, microtransactions might be a big part of your gaming sessions. This is especially true for those who enjoy mobile gaming, as many free-to-play setups include hefty in-game spending. Once again, it pays to have a thorough and well-thought-out approach to bankroll, as this allows you to keep track of where every penny is going.
Another reason why it’s important to know where you’re funneling your gaming budget is to identify games that simply aren’t working for you anymore. This is quite common for gamers who decide to start logging what they spend on microtransactions.
For some, it makes more sense to pay for a game rather than continue spending on in-game purchases. Others might instead lay out rules for when and how they opt into microtransactions. Regardless of your decision, organization and forethought are once again beneficial.
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