Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Entertainment Budget

One of the biggest challenges for me at the beginning of our marriage was not the fact that K plays lots of video games and walks around with a huge PSP-shaped bulge in his cargo pants. It came down to the #1 thing that couples argue about: finances. Perhaps this would seem obvious to everyone else, but I did not realize that 1) the typical video game costs $30-60 and 2) people in the video game industry buy a lot of games. And not just games, but the associated hardware and accessories too. For example, did you know there are people out there who will actually buy a whole other console/portable just because it got released in a new color? (Sorry, I shouldn't say anything because K is one of them and I totally adore the way his eyes get excited when holding his Japan-exclusive, Monster Hunter-themed, bronze PSP.) Anyway, here's how our conversation went when I got the first bill filled with Game Stop, Best Buy, and the like.

The Rationalization:
  • Games cost a surprising amount of money to make, hence the price markup.
  • The games are for research, so that K can keep up-to-date on what the industry/competition is doing.
  • Movies are also an inspiration for games.
  • Having games and movies requires decently equipped entertainment and computer systems.
The Compromise:
  • Good news: games for work can count as tax deductable business expenses.
  • Not enough budget this month? Resell on eBay.
  • Think twice: are you actually going to have time to play it?
  • GameFly rentals will be considered.
For a girl who considers any purchase over $50 to be a "luxury item," I'm definitely still getting used to the attitude shift. And I'm proud to report that K has also come my direction and cut way down his monthly expenditures from when he was single. Besides, if the entertainment budget ever gets out of hand, I sure have a mountain of expensive goodies to sell...

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