- Entertainment

How to budget for in-game purchases responsibly?

In-game purchases in online games are a popular way for game developers to generate revenue. However, virtual items like loot boxes, skins, weapons, and boosts add up quickly, leading players to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars without realizing it. 

Track your spending

Many platforms like Steam allow you to see your full purchase history, so take some time to tally up your spending over the past few months or years. If you have trouble estimating, assume on the higher end. The goal is to determine an accurate baseline, so don’t feel discouraged if it’s more than you would like. Tracking spending is crucial for establishing a reasonable budget limit that works for your disposable income.

Determine a monthly budget 

After evaluating your baseline, determine a monthly gaming spending budget that fits comfortably within your means. Take a close look at your monthly discretionary spending to decide what you realistically afford. Come up with a round number that will cover in-game purchases but won’t negatively impact your other priorities like saving bills, or financial goals. Aim to keep it in the 1% to 5% range of your total take-home income as a general guideline. Sticking to a predetermined limit will help curb overspending. For example, if you have $2,000 left over after essential expenses, you could budget $20 to $100 per month for games.

Use prepaid credit to limit spending 

Prepaid game credits help limit spending to the amount you budgeted for. The popular platform UniPin, for example, allows users to cash in vouchers for credits on many popular online games and mobile apps. Instead of entering a credit card that accumulates unseen charges, purchasing $50 in credits locks you to that exact amount for the month, preventing uncontrolled impulse buys. UniPin supports using millions of payment channels like bank transfers, retail outlets, and e-wallet top-ups to directly buy bstation game voucher PINs. Once purchased, you conveniently redeem the voucher code in-game.

Pace your progress to avoid temptation

It’s harder to rationalize expensive in-game buys when you’re not racing to power up or progress through content. Structure your play sessions to stretch out leveling and gear grinds over a reasonable length of time suited to your budget. It’s less enticing to drop $25 instantly finishing a grind if you’re not in a huge rush to begin with. Setting steady pace goals rather than constantly chasing the next best items will save you money and may even increase your long-term enjoyment.

Understand monetization tricks

One reason it’s easy to lose track of spending is that many games employ psychological tactics specifically designed to drive in-app purchases. Understanding common techniques like dazzling animations, artificial scarcity, and manipulative bundles gives you better sales resistance. See past the glitter so you accurately assess if a virtual item is legitimately worth cash or not. Knowledge and awareness of monetization ploys played on impulses and emotions will help you avoid traps.

Track time played

Many game platforms and launchers now track your total hours played across games. Use this handy data to gain awareness about how much of your free time is sunk into gaming already. Budgeting entertainment money and hours spent on leisure activities need to be aligned. If you notice your playtime has already exceeded reasonable limits, scale back rather than pouring in more cash trying to keep up.