It's not always easy to budget time or resources. More often than not, people do it out of necessity rather than because they enjoy it. However, budgeting is an important aspect of life that should be learned and practice early on in. If you already budget your time and money well, this article probably isn't for you. If you don't, then I hope you'll at least consider what I have to say and whether or not you can improve.
People take for granted all the free time they have in their lives particularly when they are young. They feel completely at liberty to spend their time however they want, whether that be sleeping in, hanging out with friends, playing sports or video games, etc. To an extent, it's true that this freedom does exist. But it doesn't mean that how you are spending your time is valuable or improving you. Budgeting your time when it comes to gaming is important for a few different reasons. You may or may not agree with me, but from my experience, I feel it is important to put limits on how much time you spend playing video games.
Firstly, if you don't limit yourself, no one else will. Maybe when you were a kid, your parents were extremely controlling of how you spent your time. Maybe they told you to be in bed by a certain hour, that you could only spend so much time with friends, that you had to spend time doing chores, or that you had to be with them when they ran errands. But once you grow up, responsibility falls on you to take care of yourself and manage your time. When it comes to gaming, often times the only person who is going to stop you is just you. No one is going to tell you to stop, or turn off your internet, or take your power cord. It's simply up to you when you start and when you stop.
Secondly, if you don't limit yourself, you will (in my opinion) be wasting a lot of time. For most gamers, the amount of enjoyment and pleasure derived from gaming decreases the longer they play. Sometimes, it feel like you reach a point where gaming becomes more of a chore than actual entertainment. You "have to play" in order to meet achieving a daily task or you are so close to finishing something that you just can't stop. Whatever the reason, at some point, I believe some people are just forcing themselves to play. If you realize this happening to you, know when to stop, take a break, and do something else. Remember, you dictate when you play the game. It's never the other way around.
Third and lastly, it's healthy to limit your gaming. Gaming is a very sedentary activity. Our brains are somewhat active during it, but it requires very little physical action. This means you aren't burning much energy or exercising your heart or muscles which can lead to getting out of shape or putting on weight. The more time you spend gaming, the less active your body is and the less healthy your body will be. If you decide to play a lot, just make sure you set aside equal amount of time to exercise your body as well. This will help insure that you stay somewhat fit and thus more healthy. And who doesn't want to be healthy?
I've given you some reasons why time management is important when it comes to gaming. But just as important as budgeting your time is budgeting your money. I'm not talking about buying games, but more so about spending moneys perks associated with games such as subscriptions, cosmetics items, or DLC. I'm sure there are a good number of gamers out there who don't spend a single nickel on extra game content like this and I applaud them. I don't judge or criticize those who do spend an extra dollar here or there, but I do admonish them to be careful how they spend their money and make sure they understand why they are doing it.
For one thing, the only return on investment you get from a game is simply pleasure and enjoyment. You don't get paid to play (unless you are a pro gamer) and you certainly aren't improving yourself in any useful regard. Playing video games is like going to the movies. You pay your money, spend time being entertained, and go on your way when you are finished. This keeps you happy in the short term, but provides little substance or value to yourself. Again, just like time, people have the freedom to spend their money however they like. I'm the first to admit I like to spend money on games occasionally. That doesn't mean it's always a good idea or a good use of money.
In another regard, since spending money on games gains you little in return, why not save your money instead and put it toward something better down the road. I know it's hard for some of the younger gamers (people under 18) to really know the value of saving money now for the future. You save in order to spend it later on something you may want, something more important than entertainment or pleasure. You may not know you may want something in the future yet or what that thing will be. But it never hurts to save your money rather than spend it on something as short lived as a game.
Lastly, the value of money takes on a whole different meaning once you get a job. To think that if you buy a month long subscription to say Runescape, you'll have to work an hour at a minimum wage job to make up that money. Is it worth it to you? The sooner you get a job, the better understanding you'll have of money and its value. Working requires time, time you'll never be able to get back, but in return, it gets you value in the form of money. It's arguably more value than you'll ever get from a video game.
The reason I choose this subject is that I myself struggle to budget either my time or money effectively when it comes to my favorite past time of gaming. After all, when I have something I like to do in front of me, why not spend all my time and money on it? Wouldn't that be a waste or denying myself the kind of pleasure I enjoy the most? Yes, but for good reason. There's more to life than just gaming. As exaggerated as that sounds, it certainly proves to be true. I just hope my readers will consider the value of reevaluating how much time and money they spend playing video games. If it's a lot, maybe consider toning it back a bit and see if you are just as happy. I guarantee you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain from doing so.
RSBANDBInformer! Gaming Writer: 08/31/2011-09/30/15
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