Gaming is an expensive hobby. A new console can cost anywhere from $250 to $400, a decent gaming PC is at least $500 or more, and a new AAA game is another $60 each — not including DLC and season passes on top.
No matter how you look at it, gaming is expensive. If it’s something you are passionate about, you can sink thousands of dollars into it every year, and for some, that’s money they can’t afford to spend. That money is already going towards rent, food, utilities — you know, the things necessary to survive. But if you want to keep playing games, here are some alternative ways to fund your gaming hobby.
Selling Old Games
Physical copies of old games aren’t just a source of entertainment, many of them can be a form of investment. Unlike digital games, you can resell physical copies of games for cash that can then be used to buy new games you haven’t played.
Now, there are two scenarios to consider when selling games you are done playing. If it’s a newer game you are done with, try to just barely undersell the other sellers of used copies. That includes stores like Gamestop and eBay as well as other individual sellers. Selling games is also pretty easy. Either sell on a site like eBay where you’ll ship the game, or use Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to find a local buyer. The newer the game, the more money back you can get on it. Buy a brand new game for $60, beat it in a few weeks, sell it for $50, and in the end that game only cost you 10 bucks.
Another way to make big money is by selling much older or rarer games. Collectors and retro gamers are always on the lookout for copies of older games in decent to good condition, and you’ll get extra money if you have the original packaging. If you’ve got a very rare and old game, you might have a big payday in your future.
Try Your Hand at Streaming
If you’ve got a PC and internet speed capable of it, streaming could be a way to bring in extra cash. You shouldn’t expect to make millions off of it, and definitely don’t quit your day job, but if you play every night and you think you’re pretty entertaining, give it a try.
You might just earn enough money between donations, subscriptions, and ad revenue to cover your entire gaming hobby. If you build a big enough, or extremely niche, audience, game publishers will even start sending free games your way in hopes for extra coverage.
In a similar way to earn money, you could try your hand at making videos on YouTube. Starting out, you don’t even need to buy any new resources really, depending on what you are doing. There are free online tools to edit videos, most smartphones have a good enough camera to do video recording if you’re just starting, and you could get a clip on microphone for $20. If you want to make “Let’s Plays,” you’ll need recording software on your PC or a means to record on a console. That’s really all you’ll need to get started.
Getting Creative With Earning Money
One way to make sure buying video games doesn’t mess up your budget is to create a video game fund, and then anytime you get extra money, put it in the fund. Then, find ways to earn extra money here and there.
Maybe you’re really good at a specific skill or can make something from scratch. You could sell things you make on websites like Etsy or start your own side business to bring in extra cash. Or maybe you’re really smart in a specific subject. Being a tutor, either online or locally can give you extra petty cash for just a few hours a week of work.
But maybe you don’t want to make something or feel like you don’t have the skills or time to do so. That’s ok, because there is literally money laying all around, you just need to know how to find and use it. For example, some cities offer financial incentives for recycling, like Oregon’s 10 cent payout for each bottle you recycle. See if your local area has a similar program and make money off your trash.
Another example of money laying around, you could use a metal detector to earn extra money and get some exercise at the same time. It’s not just weird people walking the beach picking up loose change, it is possible to make decent spending cash doing it. With a little research and critical thought, you could find a local area filled with precious metals, meteorites, antiques, and more. Maybe you’ll come across an ancient local artifact worth thousands of dollars, or find a small gold nugget worth $60. Either way, it’s extra cash for games.
With a little extra effort, it’s possible to cover your entire gaming expenses without ruining your budget. No more eating ramen for dinner every night because you bought the newest game, you can eat healthy, live happy, and keep on gaming.