You are a serious gamer, at least that’s how you like to think of yourself, and serious gamers want the hottest and newest gaming consoles on the market. No. You don’t just want them; you need them. You crave them. Unfortunately, whether it’s the Xbox Series X or the PlayStation 5 that you have your eye on, upgraded gaming consoles carry a sticker price of US$499.99 or more. That’s not exactly pocket change, but if you are willing to make a few small changes and sacrifices to your budget, you will find the money you need to support your gaming hobby in no time. In fact, these tips will help with saving for almost any bigger ticket item.
Evaluate your energy costs
The cost of energy in your home is easy to ignore, especially if you pay your monthly bills with autopay, but utility bills are one of the biggest drains on a budget. Take a step back and evaluate the money you spend on energy each month. Chances are, you can trim this budget with a few changes. Shut off lights when they are not in use, wash your clothing in cold water or make the switch to energy-efficient bulbs.
These tips will make a small difference in your monthly energy bills, but if you really want to see a difference, switch to solar panels instead of traditional sources to power your home. Federal tax credits are available to subsidize the price tag, and many solar companies can get you started with zero-out-of-pocket costs.
Pick up a side hustle
If you have a few extra hours a week, you can pick up a side job to help you reach your goal. Do you like to shop? Scour thrift stores for high-end or cool vintage clothing pieces and sell them on eBay. Have you always loved dogs? Put a post on Facebook Marketplace to become a dog walker a few times a week. Think outside of the box and evaluate your skillset. The options are endless!
Hold a yard sale
Most people have a lot of extra stuff lying around the house that they are not using anymore. Sort through your closets, cupboards and garage to find your forgotten or outdated stuff. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Clothing, books, old video games and consoles, electronics and house décor are all top sellers at yard sales. You could even go in with some friends for a bigger sale that will attract more traffic. Organize your items, slap a price on them and then advertise in your neighborhood and social media. Your friends and family will be happy to come take a look, and they will be helping you to your goal at the same time.
Make coffee at home
Starbucks and Beans and Brew make a mean cup of coffee to nurse on your way into work, but the price tag that comes with coffee from the drive-thru is mean, too. The cost of one trip to the coffeehouse doesn’t seem like much, but when you consider how that adds up over a week, month or year, you will be dying to make the change to home-brewed coffee. Utilize your old, forgotten coffee pot and save yourself hundreds of dollars a month. Get a new mug to make it more exciting if you must.
Utilize free entertainment
What do a trip to the movie theater to see the next big blockbuster, a tempting paperback from Barnes and Noble, a magazine from the grocery check stand, and your Audible subscription all have in common? They are keeping you from getting your upgraded gaming console as soon as you want it. No one blames you for wanting to stay entertained, but this is a matter of choosing one entertaining pastime over another. Instead of springing for these costly forms of entertainment, utilize the free entertainment available to you. The library offers magazines, books, audiobooks, games, and movies, all without costing you a penny.
Do you ever find yourself hiring someone to do something because you don’t want to spend the time or are not sure how to do it yourself? This line item in your budget has a time and a place, but many chores you hire someone else to do, you can take care of on your own. Washing your own laundry instead of dropping it at the cleaners and mowing your own lawn are a few ways to save money. If you are not sure how to do or fix something on your own, YouTube is an unlimited source of do-it-yourself knowledge.
Eat at home
You’re tired on the way home from work, so you swing through the fast-food drive-thru for a quick bite to eat. You are running late in the morning, so you plan to hit the convenience mart for lunch later in the day. These options are convenient, but they are a major drain on your budget. If you really want that gaming system, plan to eat at home. Stock your refrigerator up with healthy, convenient foods that you can fix quickly after work. Set your alarm for a few minutes earlier to have time to make a sack lunch, or even better, make it the night before.
Save your change
Something as simple as a jar on your dresser can be very powerful if that jar is used to collect pocket change. If you use cash, drop your leftover change into the jar at the end of every night. You are not likely to miss these small amounts of money, and a few pennies, nickels and dimes really add up over time. Don’t touch it for anything other than your new console, and you could save 50 bucks or more in a month without even thinking about it. If you don’t use cash, there are other options for saving your change. Many banks offer a “save the change” option when you use your debit card. This program rounds your purchase price up to the nearest dollar and drops the difference into your savings account. Easy peasy!
Generic products have gotten a bad rap over time, but these products are usually the same quality as their name-brand cousins. The major difference is their price. During your next trip to the grocery store, take a chance on all of the store-brand products available, and you may be shocked how much you save when you get to the register.
These money saving tips will save you a few dollars at a time, but those few dollars will add up quickly. Work them into your everyday lifestyle and you’ll be on your way to your brand-new gaming console in no time.
Last Updated on May 9, 2021.