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« Save Money in Retirement by Going to One Car | Main | The Gap Between New Car and Used Car Costs Shrinks »

January 12, 2012

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>If we celebrated our efforts at financial responsibility as much as we do Farmville, the savings rate in this country would rise significantly. But for most families, talking about finances happens only rarely, and it is not socially acceptable to post the amount you are saving and investing as a status update on your Facebook page.

I believe that is the whole idea behind smartypig.com - FMF occasionally has a $50 giveaway, if I ever win it I will try it out.

Has anyone else tried it? Is it a good motivator?

-Rick Francis

Nitpick: there's no such thing as "leveling up" in Starcraft, and never has been.

I played FV for a few months after my sister encouraged me to help out her farm. In a strange way, it helped me more easily see the tactics another website was using to part me with my money (Neopets, which is "free" with similar opportunities to spend money for exclusive items and features). I rationalized every purchase, saying "Everyone has hobbies!" and "I spend less than almost everyone I know" and "At least this hobby doesn't take up space." I am ashamed to say I spent more per month on clothing for my virtual pets than I did on clothing for myself. After 18 months, I had spent $1,800. It made me sick to realize I could have paid down my student loans by that much more, or taken my husband and I on a cruise, or bought furniture for our new house... so after reading an article about "virtual whales" (which a Zynga-equivalent company described as their customers that pay at least $1k per year for their games/websites), I quit cold turkey. Haven't spent a dime in almost a year on that site, though I have gone back to enjoy the free activities, no longer feeling the "pull" to pay to play. It's a serious drain on finances, and what do you really get in return? Thanks for the post.

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