Help Your Wallet Stay out of the ER: Managing Money through the Steam Summer Sale
It's that time of year again. The time of year when the "PC Master Race" god Gaben seemingly opens the gates of heaven, releasing waves on waves of angelic-like deals on your most wished for games, and you won't see it anywhere else other than Steam. If you're a gamer this is as close as it gets to an early Christmas in the summer. If you are new to PC gaming, then you have just witnessed paradise for the first time taking the form of software on your computer monitor. The Steam Summer Sale is on.
Now all this praise takes form without us thinking about the shape of our poor wallet. If we were a wallet (thank god we aren't one, because then life would be much more mundane) we would look at the Steam Summer Sale with an amount of hatred and disgust. It would be our nemesis, the Joker to our Batman, the kryptonite to our Superman, and worst of all our owners would fail to recognize the hole they are digging us into.
As a wallet, Gaben would seem less of a likely god, and more of a devious criminal who knows how to work his way around the mind of simple men. He throws down onslaughts of deals towards the owner, tricking them into easily spending $60 every couple of days. In the end, those 40% off deals start adding up, and before you know it, all the fat that your leather-bound skin could barely hold, starts to whittle away as your dull-minded owner reaches for his last few dollars.
With that said, this is a new year, and a time to start fresh. It's time to make amends with your wallet, and this year we will be more considerate when it cries for help. Although the deals throughout the Steam Summer Sale do seem great, they do add up. If we want to escape these coming weeks with a fat wallet, then there are a couple of things we can do to manage ourselves.
Daily Deals, Flash Sales, and Community Choice
We will only a buy game when it is located under a Daily Deal, a Flash Sale, or if it is a Community Choice. If they are not one of these three, then we will follow the old proverb of "patience is a virtue". Although you may have to wait for that game you truly desire, it will be worth it in th end.
Usually if you can get a game under Community Choice, then you are winning. In my experience, these prices are usually the lowest, and there is no beating them.
One of the tougher things to keep your eye on, is the Flash Sale. Since these are up for only a few hours before a new rotation goes on, I would recommend buying the game if you see something on there. Usually the Flash Sales mainly include smaller indie titles, so you may not spot a big title right away during the time of each rotation.
The Daily Deals take up the biggest portion of area in the Steam Market. You'll see all kinds of huge games on there, and you can't miss the deals. Literally, every title will be marked with a huge tag, stating how much money you will save.
If you do miss a sale in one of these sections, please do not just go and buy the game, wait until the last day. I know its hard fighting the feeling of temptation, but your wallet will thank you. Every game what was on sale, will go back on sale, and sometimes you will even get lucky enough to where it was even cheaper than before. Just remember, when in doubt, wait until the last day.
Use Your Wish List
Take a bit to search through the games you want, and then add them to your wish list. Take advantage of the wish list and what it can do. Although it may seem like a small forgettable part of any store, the wish list will notify you when the game you want goes on sale. Say for example you want Metro: Last Light, if you put it onto your wish list, you will get an email telling you about the sale, and how much you'll save.
Using your wish list will be a sure way of not missing any of the games you wish for. Especially with how quickly the games in the Flash Sale rotate in and out, there is sometimes no way of knowing what's going on without the tool.
One thing I sometimes do is that I purchase a game as a gift. Although this won't help you save a lot of money initially, it will help you in the long run. People buy so many games over the Steam Summer Sale that, for some it is impossible to play through all of them. This can lead to wasting anywhere from $10-$40 because those game will just sit in your library, and you won't even have the space left to install them.
If you buy a game as a gift you can either install it for yourself, or give it to a friend later on. This leads to less money just sitting there in your library because someone else could find use for the $5 you spent. It also could go a long way in making a friend's day in the future.
Good Luck throughout the Sale
This is one of the most exciting times to be a PC Gamer. The deals on steam are phenomenal, and sales like these are what we hold dear to our heart. You won't find these sales anywhere else other than Steam, and for some, it's another thing to fuel the pride in PC Gaming.
No matter where you're coming from, new gamer or experienced vet, or what you want to buy, multiplayer or single player, I wish you all the best of luck. We will surely get what we desire throughout the sale, but it's just a matter of being smart with your money. You worked hard for what you have, so let's be kinder to our wallets.
Good luck out there, and let the sales begin!