There is no doubt that in this economy saving money is a must. If your boyfriend isn't ready to give up all of his hobbies and vices, creating a reasonable budget is key. Along with movies and TV shows, video games are a comforting form of entertainment for kids and adults alike. So how do you decide how much money you should spend on games? Here are some ideas on how you both can plan your year in entertainment.
The first thing you should decide is whether or not you can afford to keep buying new releases. Whether he's the type to incessantly check video game release calendars for the hottest new game or casually play whatever game is around, you should be realistic about how much is spent on video games through the year.
When to Buy
I like to buy games that I want to play over and over through the years. Could you imagine having to rent Super Mario Brothers 3? I get a hankering to play that game a few times a year, so that wouldn't make sense. And my Wii Fit is almost a daily routine. So when is it worth it to buy a video game? Let's do the numbers. The price of a new game is $60 for PS3/Xbox 360 games and $50 for Wii games. The price sounds steep, but the average game can take 20 hours to complete -- that averages out to three dollars per hour of gameplay. Not bad considering that a movie averages out to five dollars for an hour of entertainment. Best Buy and GameStop both offer used games in store and might be worth scanning for deals.
When to Rent
Renting games is a great way to try out a new release without committing. You can rent games at Blockbuster for about $10/week or $32/monthly game pass. Alternately, you can sign up for GameFly.com for $15.95/month for one game at a time ($22.95/month for two games at a time). Monthly rentals work much like Netflix, where you can keep a certain number of games for as long as you'd like. This is perfect if you burn through games quickly and never look back. Keep in mind, however, that if it takes you longer than four months to complete a game, the value of the plan begins to drop.
What about Trading?
The tradition of trading games with your friends is a fantastic way to keeping your costs low, but what if you don't have enough friends that are into video games? There are plenty of trading services around. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions because some of them have a fee for each trade. Here's a list of website that serve the trading community.
Gaming is His Life. What Can We Do?
If your boyfriend is absolutely willing to give up anything for gaming, here are some cost equivalents for you to contemplate. He's going to have to give up on some vices to feed his video game habit. For one new game, you could buy...
80 Candy Bars
30 Vitamin Waters
20 cups of $3 coffee
10 packs of cigarettes
6 trips to the movies
6 Woot Shirts
Chenda Ngak has contributed to GamePro magazine, Star Wars Insider, OMGlists.com, Nerve.com, Flixster.com, Yahoo! Shine, and OrbitzInsider.com. Read her brilliantly illogical tweets at: Twitter.com/ChendaNgak. For more information, visit GamePro.com for the latest reviews, previews, screen shots, and videos of your favorite games.
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