Steam Sale Tips: Keeping Your Wallet Intact Edition

It's Steam sale time. Is your wallet prepared? Better yet, are you prepared? Check out these tips so your wallet survives!
Steam Summer Sale Main Page

It’s Steam Sale Time Again

Every time there’s a Steam sale, we always see the memes about wallets getting decimated and good ‘ol Gabe swimming in your cash. As we laugh at the memes about Steam sales, our wallets begin to cry, wishing we didn’t spend our savings on twenty-plus games again.

But your wallet doesn’t have to be annihilated every sale though. With careful budgeting and enough self-control, you might be able to survive the horde of 90% off sales Gaben throws at you. 

With the following tips in mind, your wallet will be thanking you at the end of the sale for keeping it intact.

Get a Budget for your Steam Sale Purchases

Always have a budget in mind when Steam sales arrive. Reach for your wallet or online bank account and see how much you’re willing to treat yourself. Ask yourself if there are any payments that need to be settled, or if you have bigger investments planned like a new computer or gadget. If you take some cash out for some games, how much will it affect your future plans? 

Learning to recognize how much is “too much” will save your wallet from destruction. When you’re planning to buy during Steam sales, always be mindful of how much you’re willing to spend without it affecting your money outside of gaming.

Once you have a safe and reasonable budget for the sale, now you face the biggest challenge of all…

It’s time to go to Steam’s store and stick to the budget you made.

Stick to the Wishlist

Your wishlist can either make or break your wallet, depending on how you sorted it and how much you stick to it. 

Steam Wish List
Pretty odd selection, I know.

Having a wishlist during Steam sales protects your wallet from the temptation of impulse buying. It’s the same concept of having a grocery list before going to the supermarket, we know what we need to buy, and it prevents us from buying snacks that we won’t even eat.

Before, or even during the sale, search for games that you like, and rank them according to how much you want to play them. Take note of their prices, and check if there are bundles that come along with the game. 

Now that you have a wishlist, add your most wanted games to your cart, and see how much you can fit within your budget.

Your cart should be mostly, if not only, filled with games that made it on your wishlist. Other games that aren’t on the list should be reconsidered before buying. 

Bring Out the Steam Wallet

It’s tempting to look at deals that are 70% to 90% off, but just like loot boxes/gacha rolls, it could get out of hand if you’re not paying attention.

When Yakuza 0 went on sale, I immediately wanted it, and I admittedly couldn’t resist buying both Kiwami games along with it. I’m sure every PC player has experienced something similar as well. I mean, it was 75% off, how can I not pass on that?

When we can’t resist a good deal, how can we limit our purchases during Steam sales?

Using your Steam wallet can help you with that. Your Steam wallet is prepaid, meaning that you can’t overspend even if you wanted to. You can load your wallet before buying using your credit/debit card, or through wallet codes you can buy online.

Use your Steam wallet so that your real wallet doesn’t get affected. It should be your reminder to stick to the budget, and it’s there just in case you don’t trust yourself with credit cards.

Steam Library
Safe to say I’m a fan of the Yakuza series.

Look at the Backlog

It hurts to miss a sale, but it’s more painful to buy a game that you’re not going to play. If you already have a huge library of games you haven’t played yet, make it a reminder that you might not play the games you’re planning to buy.

I briefly touched on buyer’s remorse in another nemui blog article about loot boxes, but the same things apply to your Steam sale spendings. What games do you really want to play? Are you going to play the game once you buy it? Otherwise, it may end up piling your already huge backlog of games.

Only buy games on your wishlist that you’ll play the moment it’s downloaded. If you leave a game on the side, it may end up on the backlog and become another story of buyer’s remorse. Take a moment and think about it before confirming your purchases, you might think twice about some of the games in your cart.


Steam sales are great if you want to get games in bulk without hurting your wallet. But with so many good deals, our wallets tend to get obliterated because we tend to buy truckloads worth of games in fear of missing out on the sale.

If we want to buy games, and still have food on the table, we need to learn how to budget our money and recognize the difference between wants and needs through careful planning. 

Look at your wallet, and then look at your cart, are they agreeing with each other? Follow these tips and maybe, just maybe, your wallet stays intact this sale.