Dec 3 2016
Life’s pretty ridiculous, isn’t it? In fact, the whole thing just feels like one big game sometimes, which kind of got me thinking: What if finances were a game? A video game, to be precise! After all, many people find it hard to engage with stuff like saving and budgeting, and an off-the-wall approach might be exactly what it takes to get them involved. So, here’s a few ways that managing money is just like playing a game.
(This could work with any hobby, but I’ll go with gaming because that’s my thing.)
Whether it’s slaying Skyrim’s dragons or buying designer shoes at the mall, our goals are what keep us motivated. Sadly, they’re not always simple to achieve! Everyone wants to vanquish the dragon, but you can’t do that until you find its lair. You can’t find its lair until you get the map. You can’t get the map until you visit the temple. You can’t reach the temple until you visit the blacksmith, and so on.
Similarly, those sweet Converse won’t just appear on your feet. You can’t buy the shoes until you save up the cash. You can’t save the cash until you cut back your spending. You can’t cut your spending without making a budget. You can’t make a budget until you learn how. Sure, it all sounds tedious, but it’s merely the means to an end. Always keep the goal in mind, and you’ll be amazed at what you can slog through to get it.
Games and life both like to throw curveballs every so often. You never know when some goblin might score a critical hit and wipe you out, just like you never know when your laptop might crash or your energy bill might spike. Put money aside each month and consider it your backup save file, ready to step in and save the day if you take a nasty hit. A gamer will tell you that saving is the best way to counter unexpected mishaps, and a financial adviser will tell you the same!
Big, mean boss fights
Sometimes the phrase ‘curveball’ doesn’t quite cover it. If your car dies, your ceiling collapses and your wallet goes missing all in one week, you might face bills that even your savings can’t handle. It’s life’s version of an unfair boss fight, and you’ll need a hand getting past it. This is where a loan may become necessary.
The loan you choose depends entirely on your situation. Make sure you do your research and don’t rush into anything blindly. A larger loan over a longer period is useful if you’re buying a house, but a short-term company (like New Zealand’s Pretty Penny Loans, for example) is the better option if you need cash right away.
It’s like heading to the tavern to hire help for the boss fight. Bloodsquisher the Monstrous may have a cool axe, but a closer look at Jane the Plain reveals that she can lethally exploit the boss’ biggest weakness. Be smart and informed, and you’ll do fine.
Anyway, this is all light-hearted, so don’t take it too seriously. It’s only meant to illustrate how a fresh perspective can make your finances seem more approachable. Much like backtracking through a level, you never know what you might’ve missed the first time around!