Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cheaply Geekly

What is a geek on a budget to do? Being a geek is often synonymous with being a collector, a techie who wants new gadgets, and a traveler to cons. All of this takes money. Over the last year I've had to scale back considerably in my life and its given me time to muse about geeks and materialism. It's easy to feel like an outsider if everyone around you is buying things that you can't afford and going to events that you just can't go to. Sometimes I've had to miss events due to my chronic health problems, but lately it's been about a lack of gold. I stopped blogging here last August, in part to focus on other areas of my life, but also because I felt disillusioned about reviewing new products and extolling the virtues of things that cost money.

Since then I've found ways to work within the limits of my disability, but to manage things in my life I've also had to sell a lot of things. No more subscription gaming, no more comic pull-list, no more con adventures, for now. Things are looking up, but I thought I'd share some ways to get your geek on without breaking the guild vault....


Oh yes. Want to find a wealth of DVDs, free internet, and plenty of graphic novels? Then head to the library. Some libraries even check-out games now. This time last year I was living in an area with no library district, but I've moved and having a borrower's card again is amazing. Often libraries have fun events and free classes and even anime clubs. Check out the great manga and graphic novel selection I get to enjoy. There are four more shelves not pictured.

Universities and Community Colleges

Find the nearest center of higher-learning near you and reap the low-cost or free benefits! Check out the calender for your nearest college and you'll find events that are free and open to the public. Most community colleges also have low-cost classes that are not part of their Associates program. Nearby I can take 8-10 week session classes on everything from art to ghost-hunting for around $40. While this isn't free, it's cool to try out things like silver-smithing that you usually only get to do in games. A lot of schools also have organizations that are open to the public. The astronomy club here has free nights for the public to use their amazing equipment.

Hulu, Crunchy Roll, Netflix Streaming and YouTube
I don't have cable and haven't for years. It's great. I may miss out on instantly knowing what's going on in shows, but I save a lot of money. Some networks have shows for free on their sites. This will probably change soon, requiring a cable subscriber password, but for now it works. Netflix has a wealth of great shows as well and doing just the streaming service is low-cost.

Free Online Games

I've been playing a lot of League of Legends and Allods Online. Yes, LoL does have items you can buy with money, but there are also many items that you can pay for with IP instead. You earn IP as you play the game. Not having a monthly subscription and not having to pay for a game at all, is amazing. Other sites worth checking out are New Grounds and the game Rusty Hearts.

Thrift Stores

Don't underestimate the stock at your local thrift stores. I've found great gamer and band t-shirts at thrift stores. They're also a great source for finding pieces for costumes. In addition, you can find sci-fi and fantasy novels, used toys, and even games. Sometimes the games won't end up working, but paying a couple of bucks for an atari game that can be used in a craft or just put on display is still cool. I found these at my local Goodwill:

Selling Your Stuff

Over the past year I've sold things on e-bay and at pawn shops, but don't forget about Amazon trade-in. A lot of things from external hard drives to CDs and books can be traded in to Amazon. They pay the shipping and while some items don't go for a lot, it adds up. I was able to trade-in things that the pawn shop didn't want and get enough money hoarded to buy a pink 3DS for my birthday.

So, what are you tips and tricks for surviving as a cheapy geeky?

1 comment:

  1. A lot of DIY, pirating and private servers hahaha makes the unemployed limited funds go so far for other things :D