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You might have been too consumed with your financial problems that you have totally overlooked the fact that there are a lot of people walking around looking down on their smartphones. This is all because of a new game in town called Pokémon Go that has swept the nation the moment it went live for download. What makes the game a hit apart from the nostalgia it brings to people as it reminds them of a popular childhood figure is the fact that it uses technology to get you moving. Apart from amazing gameplay and graphics, the mobile game uses GPS location and augmented reality in helping you catch Pokémons. It also helps you identify other landmarks in the game such as a pokestop and even a gym. According to Forbes.com, the game is so wildly popular that gameplay has exceeded the time people use to tinker around their Facebook account. That is something not a lot of people saw coming but the survey showed that the game averages 75 minutes a day whereas Facebook takes up only about 35 minutes from users. At this point, you might be wondering - what does this have to do with financial problemsin your budget? In fact, this could be the last thing on people’s minds as they wander aimlessly trying to flip their pokeballs into the air.
Pokemon Go can be a financial headacheAdvancement in technology has paved the way for people to experience a heightened appreciation for life. Just like how you can use apps that pay youor simply make your finances better, technology can help you manage your funds a little easier. But with popular games such as Pokémon Go, there are financial pitfalls you need to keep an eye out for. Here are a few of them you need to be aware of.
- It can rack up your phone’s data cost. This is not a major concern for people who has an unlimited data plan but for everyone else who has a cap on their data use, this is a struggle with the popular game. As you play Pokémon Go, you need to be online to enjoy the game. It uses GPS technology to map out your exact location in your environment and connect you to the game. As you physically walk around, your game character does the same and encounters Pokémons in your surroundings. You then catch them, train and build up an army. As you do this, you use up data on your phone and once you go over your limit, additional and unbudgeted charges start to pile up.
- Purchases you can make in the game. Another financial problem the game poses on your budget is the lure of making in-game purchases. According to Moneynation.com, Pokémon Go’s 21 million active daily users are spending about $5.7 million a day buying in-game items which have already ballooned to about $200 million to date. This is a big amount and people might not realize that they are already unconsciously draining their reserves funds or reaching their credit limit for cards synced into their smartphones.
- Businesses are latching on the game. The game’s popularity has soared to the point that business establishments have latched their marketing strategies around the concept and mechanisms within the game. There are businesses who are consciously putting lures into pokestops within their establishments to get people to walk into and around their shop. This increases foot traffic as consumers have to wait for Pokémons to show up. As they do, they are sometimes required to make a purchase so they can stay within the area. An online game now becomes an offline sale opportunity for businesses.
- Using time you could have used to earn extra money. You might be lulled into a false sense of gaining health benefits from the game because it requires you walk around for hours in a day catching Pokémons. But what you need to understand is the economics of your time - that one hour you spend on the game could have been used to either learn a new skill or improve a hobby which can both help you increase your earning capability. But instead, you spent it chasing Pokémons around your neighborhood.
How to address these financial problemsIf you have been bitten by the Pokémon Go fever, here are a few things you need to look into to get you back on track with your financial plans. These are not surefire ways to address financial concerns that arise from the game but these can definitely help prevent your budget and finances from going under only because of a game.
- Use wifi when playing the game. One of the best ways to manage your data use is to play only when wifi signal is available. This should not be too hard because a lot of establishments are offering this for free. The only thing you need to be careful about is that there are hackers who are operating under the facade of a free wifi to gain access to sensitive details in your phone.
- Look into revising your data plan. There is no question that overusing your data and paying more than what you have budgeted is a financial problem. You can choose to convert your plan to having unlimited data or even putting data alerts to let you know if you have used up too many data. According to KETV.com, Pokémon Go uses ten times more data than Google maps. The game also averages about 4 gigabytes of data a month which falls into the national average of data plans. The problem is that it does not leave too much room for anything else and using your phone for other online activities would now mean extra cost.
- Know your priorities. If you are to choose between a chance to earn a few extra dollars baking for a friend or playing the game, you need to be able to make the right decisions. This is actually one of the best traits of good money managers- being able to prioritize what is really important in life. Rather than aimlessly walking around all day buying in-game items, paying establishments to stay in a pokestop with lures or even losing precious time improving your craft, you need to keep in mind your financial goals in life.
- Understand that it is just a game. At the end of the day, it is just a game and not worth getting into financial troubles just because of it. You might have heard of people getting paid to play the game or even that one person who received sponsorships to travel the world just to catch Pokémons. But this is more of an exception rather than the norm and the chances of it happening for your is slim to none.