2014: the year of the empty wallet

I spent the last day of 2013 at home with a horrendous stomach virus.  I’ve had stomach problems for most of my life, but this was something else entirely; this was the sort of thing where I was wondering if I needed to go to a hospital, while also wondering if I could even manage to leave the apartment for the 5 minutes it would take to get Gatorade and ginger ale at the shitty bodega across the street.  We’d made arrangements for my in-laws to be babysitting that day anyway, so at least the baby wasn’t completely neglected, but MAN.  Not the best way to spend the day.  I was in bed on New Year’s Eve at 8:30.

Like I said in my previous post, I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions.  I have objectives, I have plans, but “resolutions” seem silly and doomed to failure.  I’d mentioned that one of my goals this year was to conquer my 2013 backlog, and I briefly mentioned the financial considerations of that goal – that is, it’s silly for me to spend money on new games when I’ve already spent money on older games that I haven’t finished, or even started.

There’s another benefit to that angle, too:  the longer I can hold off on a new game, the better chance there’ll be that I can pick it up in a Steam sale.  And frankly, it’s been a long time since a Steam sale came around that actually meant anything to me.  I bought almost nothing during this most recent sale, and the stuff I did pick up was bought with a $20 gift card, so I didn’t actually spend any “real” money; and I bought them mostly for the sake of buying them, and not out of any real need.  And meanwhile, all these amazing AAA games were being sold at ludicrous prices, and… well… I’d already bought them at full price.

If 2014 is to be a year of more mindful spending, then it would behoove me to stick to this backlog strategy; this way, I can eventually pick up the stuff I’m looking forward to without having to pay full price for it.  This is hard for me, of course, because I’m an idiot with incredibly poor impulse control (and, also, I like to keep this blog somewhat timely and relevant), but I also have a baby now, and if ever there was a time for me to get my shit together, this would be the time.

The other part of this strategy, though, is:  I’m going to sell every Steam trading card that comes my way the moment I get it.

Before writing this post, I made the decision to go through my Steam inventory and sell all the trading cards I had.  And before I’d even finished unloading everything, I’d already made $2.50.  (I’m up to $3.76 right now; I think that covers everything I put out there.)  If I can keep getting card drops from my backlog – ~ $0.10 – $0.20 a card, 4-5 cards per game, 27 games (give or take, considering that I sold some cards from games in that backlog) – I mean, it’s not much, but it’s free money.  I could conceivably buy Terraria right now with the money in my account and still have change left over.  It’s certainly as good an incentive as any to go through that backlog as thoroughly as possible, right?

Of course, the wife and I did just start watching Breaking Bad last night, so I guess this backlog quest will be put on hold for at least a little while longer.


Author: Jeremy Voss

Musician, wanna-be writer, suburban husband and father. I'll occasionally tweet from @couchshouts. You can find me on XBL, PSN and Steam as JervoNYC.

3 thoughts on “2014: the year of the empty wallet”

  1. Do you have a certain strategy for selling your Steam cards? I also have a bunch laying around that will be better suited being sold instead of me just holding on to them. Do you just sell them at the price Steam recommends? Or are you following trends and setting prices that way? Thanks for your input.

    1. I generally just look at the most recent trends and price it accordingly; I’m not trying to gouge anyone, nor am I deliberately under-pricing. I sold all 36 cards in my inventory within 24 hours, just by putting them all at the most recent price point. And now I’ve got, what, $5.68 or something in credit? I suppose if I wanted to game the system I could make a little more, but I’m not at all interested in that sort of thing.

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