Personal Finance is Like Candy Crush

by AB@AspiringBlogger.com

Personal Finance is like Candy Crush

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.

Monotonous

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.

Jealousy

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

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Keren July 19, 2013 at 9:22 am

Hi, my name is Keren, and I’m a Candy Crush addict. I’m on level 325. Maybe for every level I beat, I should put a dollar in savings? Haha. Seriously though, great analogy. Makes perfect sense to me!

Reply

AB@AspiringBlogger.com July 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Hi Keren – I’m very impressed! I’m nowhere close to you – you must put a lot of effort into Candy Crush! I think at the rate you’re going, if you save a dollar for each level you beat, you’ll be financially independent in no time!:) Thanks for stopping by!
AB

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Thomas | Your Daily Finance July 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Currently I am hooked on Words With Friends and have been for the past year or so. I agree that I think one of the biggest problems with personal finances is jealously and entitlement. Everyone is worried about what the next person has or is doing. Do what you can with your budget and money. You never know another person’s situation. With the example of saying your car dying. I know a lot of people that the first thing is “I need a new car”, while you may need another car it doesnt always have to be new with payments. Like the game personal finances is all about the choices we make.

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AB@AspiringBlogger.com July 19, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Hey Thomas – I used to play WWF – but then it seemed to fade away and people stopped playing. I agree with what you’re saying – it’s all about the choices we make. I’m pretty open and honest about the financial choices I make and I make choices that work for my family. Of course – the choices I make are ones that line up with the goals I have for early retirement, financial independence, etc. If I wanted to work until I was 80 – then I’d definitely be doing things a little differently! Thanks for your comments!
AB

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Dividend investing Martin July 20, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Well, in my case I am jealous, but in the good way I guess. It always motivates me to strive more and better when I see people around me getting better in finances, investments and even games (and of course my job). So I think it not always is a bad thing, isn’t it?

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AB@AspiringBlogger.com July 21, 2013 at 11:47 am

Definitely not! I think anything that keeps us motivated can be a good thing – as long as we don’t get consumed by the jealousy and nothing else! I’m jealous of your charts/graphs/details – so I guess that’s a good jealousy, right??? πŸ™‚
AB

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Dividend investing Martin July 21, 2013 at 1:34 pm

AB, thanks. It’s nice to see that someone actually looks at my web. I like your effort on your carnival. It’s pretty smart move.

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Bryce July 26, 2013 at 9:55 am

My wife plays Candy Crush a lot. Your Good Times and Bad Times analogy is the best. We all have to keep going no matter what obstacles are thrown in our way.

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AB@AspiringBlogger.com July 26, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Thanks Bryce! As stupid as I know the game is – I still find myself playing it….just like a lot of things in life I guess! Thanks for stopping by!
AB

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Chuck @ Tortoise Banker July 26, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Gotta say, I’m hooked on the other AB still…..ANGRY BIRDS! … Its also a lot like personal finance. We get shot out of a slingshot and have to collect a bunch of little green things!

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AB@AspiringBlogger.com July 26, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Haha, you speak the truth. Especially the part where we splat into things frequently – or maybe that’s just me and my world?!? πŸ™‚ I think the analogy works with both though – thanks for stopping by!
AB

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