Many people have the misconception that saving money or being frugal is all about delayed gratification. While I do agree that some sacrifices have to be made now in exchange for financial freedom in the future, I am also a strong proponent of living in the present and enjoying the journey along the way. These two may sound contradicting but pursuing financial independence doesn't mean we should put off our happiness until we reach the finish line. After all, we never know if tomorrow or tragedy will come first.
Hubby's retro haul from our recent trip to Tokyo.
We've heard people making comments like cheap/penny-pinch/tight with money and asked why don't we enjoy life more. I would like to clarify that being mindful with money doesn't mean we are not doing things we enjoy. As a matter of fact, we spend most of our non-work time enjoying our hobbies.
I don't deny, our hobbies are not cheap. Mine is traveling (obviously) and hubby's is video games. We have just found ways to hack our hobbies by doing things a little differently and cut our costs significantly. I've discussed how we used travel hacking to travel around-the-world for free, so this post will focus on hacking hubby's hobby (random tongue twister).
P.S. I don't know much about video games at all so this is my best attempt to convey hubby's 'strategy'.
1. Delay games/consoles purchase
A brand new game costs $60 when it is first released. It is just a matter of time before the price drops, and sometimes it takes only 3 months for a game to depreciate. Why pay full retail price for just one game when you can get more games for the same amount of money by just waiting out a little? This strategy is a good example of delayed gratification - "The ability to wait to buy something in the future rather than impulsively purchasing something as soon as you want it". The other benefit of being patient (and building backlogs) is that you can spread your cash outflows over a longer period of time, and it allows you to snag good deals in the future.
Instead of paying $60/each for these brand new when there were first released, these 11 used games cost a total of $85.
2. Buy them used
For those who doesn't bother collecting games, the most cost efficient option is to borrow/rent or opt for subscription services. We don't normally buy 'stuffs', but hubby enjoys collecting games for keepsake purposes in his 'man cave'. Video games are just discs, so even the used ones look fairly new most of the time and it's not hard to find people wanting to sell their old games at a fraction of what they originally got them for.
Used games can still be quite pricey.
3. Hunt for deals/promos for used games
Thanks to the internet, it is so easy to find used games online and price compare between different sellers on various websites, with Ebay and Amazon being the main ones. Most of the time, buying things online are cheaper than buying them in-store (e.g. GameStop), but there are exceptions, especially when there are special deals, like the one below:
For comparison purposes, the same 8 games would have cost $115.49 on Amazon (used), but with GameStop's special deal, we got the exact same thing at a $50 discount for $65.39 (average of $8.17 per game).
$65 may seem a lot in frugal terms, but these 8 games could provide up to a year of entertainment. Most importantly, these are mindful spending. To put it in perspective, some couples easily spend this amount of money on just one meal. Of course, we can argue that the best way to save money is to not buy/do anything, but we are not going to make ourselves miserable like that. =P
What's your hobby and how do you hack your hobby? We welcome any better suggestions to hack this hobby!