If you’ve been anywhere near an iDevice recently, you’ve probably seen someone playing Candy Crush. I will be the first to admit it – this game looks pretty stupid. You line up three or more pieces of candy to make them disappear. BUT – as you progress through the levels, the game gets tougher and more variations and twists are introduced. While no one knows how long it will last, Candy Crush appears to be the current hot app of the moment.
Mrs AB started playing it a couple of weeks ago and I made fun of her… but then I started playing it…over and over again! The stupid game is addictive! The game’s only saving grace is that once you lose enough, you have to wait for your lives to recharge. While that wait can be annoying, it lets you get things done like eating, sleeping, working, etc. So, you’re probably asking yourself how the crap Candy Crush relates to personal finance in any way. Well,
Good Times and Bad Times
In Candy Crush, you can progress through multiple levels without losing any lives, only to get stuck on a seemingly easy level for several days. In life, we can hum along for weeks, months, or even years doing great and then all of a sudden…BAM!!@#!@# Something comes out of no where to stop us in our tracks. It can be a job loss, an unexpected large expense, or one of a million other things. But the solution is the same whether you’re playing Candy Crush or the game of life – and that’s to keep going. If you’re hit with a major expense – like your car dies and you need to buy a new one – then it’s time to figure out how to pay for it. Hopefully you have your emergency fund in place to get you back on your feet, but if not – you can take some time, save up, and do what needs to be done. If that means cutting back in other areas, getting an extra job, or selling some of your stuff – then it’s a price you may have to pay.
Debt and Shortcuts
Just like in real life, you can try and take shortcuts in Candy Crush. You can change the game clock so your lives replenish instantly – but this will set you back a week according to a friend of mine. You can pay money for extra magic crap to happen during the levels (not sure of the technical term here) to make them easier so you can advance to the next level faster. This is just like in real life, where instead of waiting until you have saved enough to buy something, you just put it on a credit card. It seems like such a small cost, but over time – it adds up. The shortcut you take now in either Candy Crush or in life could be the lesson you were meant to learn. Instead of learning it now and getting it out of the way, you will run into it later when you’re broke (because you bought too many Candy Crush cheats) or in debt (because you put too much junk on your credit card) and it will kick your butt.
A lot of the levels in Candy Crush are the same. You complete one, you go on to the next – and it looks just like the last one. For some people (not me…I’m a little crazy), personal finance can be monotonous. They don’t enjoy thinking about their finances, imagining what they could do if they saved more and were able to retire early.
You always want more than you have, especially when you see how much other people have got! I thought I was doing pretty well (I was on level 80 something) the other day, when someone posted on Facebook about finally beating level 152…what? 152???? AHHHH!!! So just like when you see your neighbor come home with a shiny new car or show up to work after a long Italian vacation, you find yourself measuring your progress in Candy Crush / life against other people. Keeping up with the Joneses is alive and well in Candy Crush land.
While I’ll admit it’s not a perfect comparison – it definitely is something to think about. And if I can get you to think about personal finance while you’re crushin’ it with Candy Crush – then I think I’m doing at least a little something right! What do you think? Does this comparison work? Do you have any additional comparisons to make? Let me know in the comments!!
AB Around the Web
I guess I’ve been busy recently – take a look at some of the places I’ve been featured around the web recently! I really appreciate the mentions everyone. Check out these great blogs below!