“This year, it’ll be different.” That old adage is a mainstay for all of us in any number of ways every time the bell tolls for a new year. Whether it’s finally cutting back on soda, actually doing your your work and keeping up with your responsibilities or focusing on completing more games, there’s always a New Year’s Resolution we’re happy to think about. At least until we break it within a month, but it was nice while it lasted, wasn’t it?.
I’m not different, but I always hope to be — something must be done about that ever-growing backlog and all that wasted money on games I’ll never play. In 2018, I took it upon myself to be the change I wanted to see and at the beginning of the year, I began a simple spreadsheet. I decided I would track any gaming purchases I made, including DLC, microtransactions and accessories, and total it up. I’d also check off whether I actually played that content I bought enough to think it was money well spent. I then set myself some goals: (1) I’d buy no more than 25 games and (2) I’d get ample value out of at least 75% of what I bought. How did things go? See for yourself:
So it went really badly. Yeah, I bought fewer than 25 games but I spent a ton and used only 34.78% of it. I’d call that a miserable failure. I told you I was just like you. But my failure is my inspiration, and it can be yours too. I think all of us with lofty aspirations of reducing our spending and backlog could use a bit of help and perhaps if we band together, we can achieve our goals.
On my spreadsheet, you can see I set it up so that I could easily mark what I paid, what I sold, and whether I played it. You can get a copy of the spreadsheet here
. All you need to do is sign in with your Gmail account and then go to File > Make a Copy. From there, it’s time to start tracking in the 2019 tab you’ll find at the bottom (I left my 2018 tab in there so you can see the formulas and play with the numbers to see what happens, but it’s easy to delete once you’re confident). As we track, we’ll get a better picture of where we’re going this year and perhaps it’ll shock us into doing better. Or maybe we’ll just watch the collapse of our resolutions in real time. Either way, it’ll be fun.
As for the actual resolutions, I’ve come up with a single reasonable goal: have at least 75% total value earned. What this means is that I want to get my money’s worth out of at least 75% of everything I buy. Sometimes, you’ll make a purchase and hate it and not want to go back. That’s alright! We want to be savvy purchasers for sure, and we definitely don’t want to purchase things just to add them to a never-ending backlog, but mistakes will happen and 100% or close to it is probably impossible (prove me wrong!). Of course, you’re welcome to add your own alternative limits and other goals, such as a spending cap or a number of games.
Interested in joining me? Drop by in the comments below and keep tabs on that thread throughout the year. We’ll use it as a sort of self-help group to encourage ourselves to keep on the straight and narrow. That way when the next gigantic sale comes up, you’ll at least have one angel on your shoulder letting you know that you don’t need to buy that game you’re not remotely interested in just because it’s cheap. That might be a game changer.