Seven Simple Steps to Surviving the Next Steam Sale -- and Saving Money

Do you always find yourself broke at the end of a Steam Sale? No worries! Just try these seven steps and you should be a-okay!

Wow, those are way too many S’s for my mouth to say out loud. Anyway, with the Steam Winter Sale safely behind us, I believe it is time to make sure that we don’t overspend (as much) on the next one. 

For those of you who may not know, Steam is a digital games distribution platform developed by Valve software, who is notoriously known for holding amazing sales through the platform and not releasing Half-Life 3. If you’re an average PC gamer, odds are that you know all about Steam and its glorious sales. You’ll know all about the next best game to get and how to go about getting as many games as you possibly can during these golden times.

The problem is, however, that not everyone knows how to save their wallet from a world of hurt at the same time. Most people, unfortunately, go through a process that’s quite financially destructive. There might be some slight variation, but it usually goes something like this:

You see a game you like. It’s 40% off, and so you decide to buy it. That’s all fair enough. Then you go on to do the same with twenty other games you never even wanted in the first place!

Don’t deny it. We’ve all been there.

I have experienced this very same problem through my many years of gaming, and I have developed a system for those of you (like me) who want to leave the sale with a few new (and hopefully good) games without breaking the bank.

Obviously, it's best to follow these steps strictly, but we’re all human, and we’re all subject to spur-of-the-moment splurging. Having a “safety cushion” helps to minimize any potential damage caused by human error.

So, ladies and gentlemen, here is my 7-step method to saving money during the next big Steam sale -- and also getting some good games out of it on the cheap. 

The 7 Steps to Saving Money During the Next Steam Sale:

  1.   Make a list of the top 10 games you want to buy -- This helps you focus on only the game you want to buy, instead of being overwhelmed by the glut of discounted games during any given sale. 
  2.   Organize that list from games you want the most to games you want the least -- Be honest with yourself! There’s no point in purposely putting the more expensive games in, for example, the top five.
  3.   Remove the last five games from the list -- and put their names in a folder. You'll get these games during the next sale or when you have the funds available.
  4.   Of the remaining five, buy the top two (numbers 1 and 2) --This is where your honesty with yourself pays off.
  5.   Arrange the last three according to price -- From the least expensive to the most expensive, rearrange the bottom three games on your list.
  6.   Buy the cheapest one -- Put the rest in a folder marked “Backup” 
  7.   Play one hour of each game -- Evaluate whether you are happy with your games. Playing for only one hour is very important. Steam does not allow refunds for games played longer than that. If you are happy, then great! If not, refund it and get a game you put in your “Backup” folder 


So there you have it! Seven steps to some budget gaming! Of course, you are free to buy more games from that list of yours afterward, but at least this provides you with a framework to prevent “accidental” over-spending.

Pro Tip: Remember to look out for bundle-deals before buying a game as these usually offer more value for your money. If you’re smart, you could get more than ten games for the price of three with deals like these!

Have fun, but be smart!

Do you have any tips for surviving Steam sales? Let us know in the comments below! 


Vian is a young Freelance Writer who enjoys reading books, writing just about anything (including his own novel) and playing video games. You can find him on his blog where he writes about writing and Novel-Crafting or on Twitter.

Published Jan. 29th 2017

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