Buying Video Games on a Tight Budget? Here are some tips

Do you think buying games on a tight budget is impossible? That’s what I thought too! Find out more by reading this great article!

Buying Video Games on a Tight-Budget cover photo

Being an adult has its perks. We are now free from our parents’ support; we can do whatever we want, and some of us are married and have families, so some of us have more responsibilities. However, adulting can also be challenging. Because of our increased responsibilities, we have a minimal budget for our hobbies, and one of those hobbies is gaming.

Do you think buying games on a tight budget is impossible? That’s what I thought too! Find out more by reading this great article!

Video games as a hobby are expensive. There is always an upcoming new game, and the average day-1 release of that game ranges from 60 to 70 dollars. That’s costly for an average person like you and me. 

I am a father of two kids and earn decently as a home-based web developer. Sure, our day-to-day schedule is hectic. However, I ensure that I still enjoy my life, even during this period. So, here are some tips that will help you in buying games on a tight budget.

Increase your earnings

This is the surest way for you to buy more games. Increasing your skills can lead to considerable earnings, and later you can support your gaming hobby.

There are plenty of ways to earn more money, but I recommend selling stuff online, freelancing, or applying for a VA. You just google it, and you will find so many opportunities. There are plenty of work-from-home jobs that you can get nowadays. The only catch with this is that you are working extra and rendering more time, which means you will have less time to play. 

The sites I recommend to getting freelance jobs are UpWork and OnlineJobs. They offer plenty of opportunities to earn extra money. Please beware that the competition is a bit tough, so you need to make sure you’re prepared and your portfolio is up to date.

My humble advice is to continually invest in yourself first. Read books, discover a new skill, or polish your current skills. Later on, learn how to showcase and market yourself. 

Buy second-hand games

Even though I have means, my first choice when buying games is always to buy second-hand. I may be frugal or considered a cheapskate here, lol. The reason why I do this is because I can buy 2-3 more games at the price of one brand new. 

It is a good thing that video games do not have a deadline, so we can play anytime at our pace. 

Cons of buying second-hand games

  • I need to inspect the game’s quality.
  • I need to be careful not to get scammed.
  • If I find a good deal, I need to buy that game immediately.

Other than these reasons, I think buying second-hand games suits me better. Especially if you’re like me, I have tons of backlogs (roughly one generation late), so buying a new game doesn’t fit me because I am still cranking to finish these old games.

Sell unused and finished games

If you’re a part of Team Physical, this is an advantage to you because the games sitting on your shelf and collecting dust can be turned into cash to buy newer games to play!

You will spend very little here because you converted the game into cash. Just add a couple more cash, and you will be able to buy and experience another game. Unless you want to keep the game for collection, I suggest sell it in the marketplace so you can use the cash to buy another game.

Decluttering: I sold my old PS3 games that are not in use anymore
Decluttering: I sold my old PS3 games that are not in use anymore. Most of these games are available digitally and played better on a newer console, that’s why it makes no sense to keep them.

Trade-in with other gamers

This is similar to playing the game and then selling it after you finish. You just need to find a gamer who is willing to trade their copy of that game that matches yours. Take note that when you trade it in, it is already considered yours. 

Don’t be a victim of FOMO

Games on day 1 release are often priced too high. Although many gamers prefer to have their own copies the moment the game is released, I honestly think that buying them a little later is okay when the prices are low. The gameplay and experience of playing won’t change. The good thing is that games do not have a deadline, so you can play them at your own pace. 

Don’t get me wrong. I have utmost respect for gamers who have the luxury of buying them on day 1, ok? ✌️

Do you want a tip to stay away from FOMO’s clutches? Create a list of all the old games that you want to finish. I applied this approach to myself, and it worked like magic! I am not hyped about the upcoming great games. Seeing my backlog has shifted my focus from the hype of the new, upcoming games into finishing my backlogs as soon as possible. 

Look for great deals and sales on online shopping sites

Nowadays, shopping sites always put on sales and promotions, and you can almost predict when they will happen next. Sales like Black Friday and easy-to-expect monthly sale announcements like 1.1, 2.2, 3.3, etc. They also post sales on special occasions like Christmas, New Year’s, summer, Valentine’s Day, graduation, etc. 

If you missed the sale last time, don’t fret. Trust me, there will always be a sale! So take advantage of it! You can save a lot by applying these discount coupons. Just make sure you have an ample budget so you can save more. 

The Steam Summer Sale is the key! 

The Steam Summer Sale is great because it offers a great solution to buying video games on tight budget. There are thousands of games for sale and a historical drop in the price. Just search for the game you want, and it is definitely on sale!

The games with the label “New to Library” were the ones I bought for just P2,500, or roughly around 40–50 USD. It’s a steal of a deal, isn’t it? 😍 Now my backlogs are waving!

Steam Games Summer Sale 2024 Haul
Steam Games Summer Sale 2024 Haul
Steam Games Summer Sale 2024 Haul Part 2
Steam Games Summer Sale 2024 Haul Part 2

Switch to Team Digital 

Shifting to digital games has its perks and disadvantages, too. Digital games offer more discounts and bundles than physical games. If you’re a fan of minimalistic style and you’re okay with collecting a library of digital games, then this option is for you! 

Go ahead and top up on your debit card or buy those PlayStation credits, so you’re ready for the next sale!

Related article: Physical vs. Digital Games: Which Team Are You On?

Subscribe for monthly game subscriptions

Getting a subscription like PS Plus or Xbox PC Game Pass will really enable you to play video games even on a tight budget. This will enable you to access and play a huge library of games. It’s like Netflix, where you pay a small monthly amount and get unlimited access. 

PlayStation Plus
PlayStation Plus

Are game subscriptions worth it? 

Definitely! PC Game Pass is roughly P120 per month, but you get access to around 300+ games, and some of them are day-one releases that cost much more. The PS Plus offers a variety of exclusive games.

PC Game pass list of all FREE games
PC Game pass list of FREE games

The catch here is the following:

  • You’re only renting the games.
  • Some great games go away, so you need to play them before they take them down.

But if you’re comfortable with it and you just want to have fun, game subscriptions are definitely worth your penny! 

If you’re into PlayStation, you can also go and subscribe to PS Plus. And if you’re playing mainly on Nintendo Switch, NSO or Nintendo Switch Online is also a great option. They have plenty of retro games available to play!

Nintendo Switch Online
Nintendo Switch Online
Video Source: Nintendo


This is by far the most effective way to “play” games on a tight budget. Sadly, you really won’t play it, but you will watch other YouTubers play your favorite game. The immersion and satisfaction aren’t the same with you being the one to play, but at least you get to progress and see what happened.

Here are the reasons why YouTube is great! 

  • It’s free! 
  • It is accessible anytime, anywhere!
  • You can “experience” the game on its day 1 release.
  • You won’t be able to get stressed from beating that hard boss.
  • You won’t bang your head when you encounter a difficult puzzle to solve, etc. 
  • You can also watch the ending! 

The only catch is that you really didn’t buy the game. You also won’t be able to play it because you just watch the content creators play the game. But who cares? You’re so busy, and you have other priorities with your money, like investing, etc. 

Way back in 2013, I was so busy building my business at that time. I was so busy that I didn’t have the luxury of time to play these games, so I also completed the games on YouTube! Ten years later (2023), things were different, and I was able to play them. 

If you’re up for this option, I recommend the following channels. They don’t know me, but I follow them and watched their videos. When I don’t have a budget, I “finished” the games through them, lol!

Shirrako YouTuber
Shirrako YouTube Channel for No Commentary gaming. His/her content are high quality and great for immersion
Boss Fight Database YouTube channel
For boss fights – I highly recommend Boss Fight Database

Play FREE-to-play games!

Did you know that there are plenty of free-to-play games lurking around Steam and other platforms? Great games like DOTA 2, Fortnite, Genshin Impact, Call of Duty Warzone, Apex Legends, and many more are widely available for download! You just need to look for them, and once you finished downloading, you can have fun for free!

There are many great free-to-play games on Steam
There are many great free-to-play games on Steam


Buying games on a tight budget isn’t that bad! In fact, we can still enjoy and play games that we like if we just wait for the prices to go down and do not give in to hype. I rarely buy brand new games and wait for the prices and hype to go down to get stealthy deals. I also wait for games to announce the sale and get as many as 5–7 games for the price of a brand new game. That’s a life hack, isn’t it? 

Do you have some hacks for buying games on tight budget? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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