Amanda's Note: This was provided by an online contact.

We get it. Gaming is an expensive hobby. Keeping up with the newest releases requires a lot of investment. And, of course, some of those releases are inevitably duds. Which is why so many gamers need to find alternative ways of saving money – so that they don’t have to go hungry.

Fortunately, there are tons of ways to support your gaming habit these days, both by saving cash and making some money on the side.

These are 5 of the smartest ways to raise that money.

  1. Use credit cards with rewards programs

With a range of options in Canada to get cash back when buying with a credit card, you might not be sure where to start. Rewards programs are a great way to save money – you get to use the cash back on money you’d already budgeted for groceries and the like to buy games and equipment.

With some credit cards giving you up to 5% cash back on certain items, making the right choice could mean a huge windfall for your gaming habit.

  1. Budget smartly

But cash back rewards cards are only part of the whole picture. What you really need to do is to budget smartly. Unfortunately, most of us gamers are not the budgeting type. We like to play it by ear, and hope against hope that we’ll have enough money to see us through the month.

However, budgeting is getting a lot easier, with apps provided by companies like Mint.com connecting to your bank account and detailing exactly how much you're spending and what you're spending it on. So you don’t have to guess how much you've spent on games every month for the past year. The calculations can be done for you, and they'll even give you tips to save where you're overspending.

  1. Write a shopping list

Going shopping should not be a guessing game. If you go to the grocery store without a list, you'll end up walking out with a bunch of things you do not need. But if you write a list and stick to it, you'll suddenly find yourself saving on things which you really should not be buying. It’s a small, simple habit that can help you save on stuff you don’t want, so that you can afford what it is that will really make your life better – games, music, and all the good things.

  1. Make the most out of your games

In today’s age, we all have a short attention span. Instead of playing a game until we’re through, we tend to have a “game of the week” approach. Not only is this not cost effective, but it also dulls our enjoyment. You can’t enjoy something that you've invested so little time in. On the other hand, if you play a game until you know it inside out, you can move on to the next one without worrying about spending too much money, and feeling satisfied that you've gotten the most out of your leisure time.

  1. Stop eating out

Finally, what should be a most simple step but trips all of us up. We don’t need to eat out as often as we do. In fact, eating out is often simply the product of us not having anything else to do. We don’t go to restaurants because of the great food anymore.

 

If you stop eating out as often, you'll find yourself spending a lot less on something that will move through your body in 24 hours. Instead, you'll have money for things that will last you a while and give you endless enjoyment.

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