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Pokémon Go Is Fun, Cheap Entertainment... If You're Careful

September 7th, 2016

Even if you're not a social media technophile, you've probably noticed Pokémon Go entirely redefine mobile gaming. This phenomenon is so prevalent that almost one-half of players prefer in-game perks than a phone discount.

My commute to work is about 30 minutes with traffic. Along the way, I drive past several beautiful parks that people seldom visit. Except this week. Here's how Pokémon Go got me thinking about ways to save money while still spending time with friends.

It's a (virtually) freeway to spend time with friends. Last weekend, I thought about going out with friends, but instantly remembered that my friends are all obsessing over Pokémon Go right now. Instead, I invited my friends over, had them each bring some snacks, and we went Pokémon hunting all night. 

And you know what? For a fraction of what we would've spent on dinner at a restaurant, we had a healthier, cheaper and more fun time.

It's free exercise. When was the last time you used your gym membership? There's no way to tell how long the Poké-hype will last, but something tells me it'll be around for quite some time. Either way, it's a great way to get those 10,000 steps in. Even if the Pokémon fad doesn't last, it's a great reminder that you don't have to spend money to stay active.

It's a great way to enjoy and explore your city for free. When you work full time, it can be hard seeing new places in your city. Whether you've lived in your community forever or are the new kid on the block, try getting out and exploring some popular places and new territories. If you're strapped for cash and can't afford a vacation right now, it's a good way to get out of your normal perimeter, catch some Pokémon, and see new places.

That said, your wallet should beware of these effects:

Don't overload your data. If you don't have unlimited data, catching Pokémon can run through your data plan pretty quickly. Be mindful of how much data you're using and connect to WiFi when you can.

Have a plan when you leave your house on foot. If you get too far away without your car, don't get in over your head. You'd hate to have to spend unexpected money on fast food or an Uber ride home because you traveled too far.

Be careful when you leave, as there have been reports of armed robberies at various PokéStops. 

Even if you're not into Pokémon Go, these tips are sage advice for anyone to use. Now go and catch 'em all! 


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