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Save Money -- Free Video Games on Your Cell Phone
There's Never Been a Better Time to Game
Why is DealForALiving writing an article about video games? There's a very simple answer for this.
When I was growing up, video games were everything. It started with the Atari, and on to the Nintendo, SNES. Sega Genesis, Dreamcast, Playstation, PS2, Xbox, so on and so forth.
And I spent who knows how many $100s and $1000s to get new consoles, new games, more games, new game controllers. And now that I'm free from spending money on all of that, I'm happier. And being the true rebel that I am, I've never given up gaming.
I grew up and got smarter about how I gamed. What you're about to read is a true story with real insights that may or may not be useful to you.
When I Almost Gave Up Gaming
Four years ago I had my last video game system. I played every day, probably 2 or 3 hours a day after work. 4 or 5 hours a day on the weekends since I felt I didn't have anything better to do. I had all the standbys: Rock Band, Guitar Hero, role-playing games, Madden, Fifa, Lego Star Wars, etc.
And then it happened. I found myself jobless.
Now, given the economic times we were in, I wasn't alone, but it sure felt like it at the time. But thankfully I had my trusty video games to keep me company. I could still drown away the sorrows and pound away at my controller to mask the fear I was feeling. I could stay up late into the night playing, and then the next day it was my day-job. I was kicking butt and taking names.
And then I had no money. That feeling and realization still fuels me to this day as the tipping point for finally taking action. I have so much appreciation that I was able to stare into the abyss and get myself together from that point.
Where are you playing video games?
Selling My Video Games Set Me Free
Here I was, jobless with bills piling up, and my old friend: video games. I looked around my living room that day and scanned for items that I could sell. And when my eyes fell upon the plastic guitar and drum set, I knew the die had been cast. I took some photos, wrote up a quick description of my system and games, and on to Craigslist.
I sold my video games within 2 hours that day. I didn't become rich that day from my video games, but honestly, the glimmer of hope I felt at that moment was totally worth it.
I now found myself with a lot of free time to get back to finding a job, and to take advantage of my new skill (selling stuff on Craigslist).
What I've Learned About Gaming
As I mentioned earlier, there's never been a better time to game. All you need is a half-decent cell phone, or a half-decent laptop with Facebook to play games for free. A couple things to keep in mind:
- Make up your mind that you're not paying for games anymore - The best games come in free and paid versions. It's very tempting to pay $1 to get the full version but once you cross that line, there's no going back.
- Likewise, don't make in-game purchases - It's aggravating that to actually "win" in a game these days that you need to take out your credit card while you're playing to get extra tokens, chips, points, whatever. You're better than that, and the bigger win is that you get to have free fun on your phone or laptop.
- IOS has more games than Android - It's a cold hard fact.
- Google Chrome games don't suck - If you have a Chromebook or laptop, then you can game in your internet browser for free. Admittedly we're talking about games like Bejeweled and Angry Birds, but it's good enough, isn't it?
- You can still borrow games for free - That's what friends are for :)
What I Learned About Selling on Craigslist
I went on to sell all kinds of items on Craigslist from speakers to a monitor, a cell phone, furniture, you name it. And I learned a lot in the process about it:
- Take lots of good pictures in good light - You'd be amazed how many people take awful pictures and put no effort into actually unloading their junk on Craigslist
- Be realistic about how much you can charge - If you're selling something on Craigslist, it's no longer priceless. Don't pretend that something you bought 3 years ago is still worth the price you paid for it then.
- Be ready for spammers and scammers - It's par for the course. Be careful with your information and be careful with people looking to take advantage of you.
- Make the transaction in a public place - You've read about the Craigslist killers. If you haven't, Google it and read about it. DO NOT ALLOW PEOPLE INTO YOUR HOUSE TO MAKE A SALE.
- Have individual entries for individual items - I know it can be a pain when you have 8-10 different items to list, but remember how people search on Craigslist. The buyers are looking for something specific, so give them something specific. The only exception is if you're having a moving sale and need to unload things in a hurry.
I believe that being frugal and making smart money choices is like any other exercise. As we continue to practice good habits in saving money where possible, finding deals for what we want, and having a good time at it, then we become better at dealing for a living.
I'm committed to sharing my experiences with getting the most out of using credit cards, saving and spending tips, and I might even add a slice of perspective without trying to be a psychoanalyst like some other personal finance folks out there.
Please let me know what you think and if you'd like to hear my take on a specific topic.