Saving Money at Fun Places

Now I had to create a new savings system. First, I had to learn the new rules. How do the cards work?
Photo by Reyhan Afif

I must admit when Chuck E Cheese came out with their new debit card system I was a little upset.  I had delivered a savings system that was working for my family. About two weeks after I recorded my Periscope video teaching “Money Lessons Children Could Learn at Fun Place” the video was no longer accurate.

Now I had to create a new savings system. First, I had to learn the new rules. How do the cards work? Was there a reward system? What would I do with my old tokens etc. ? I had to admit the first few visits after getting the new cards I spent more money than I had planned. I could not use my old saving techniques anymore. They didn’t work. Since that time, I have developed a few new techniques that can be used at most fun places.  I want to share them with you. 

Keep your card and register it

Most people receive a new card every time they arrive and return it at the end of the name. However, if you keep your card, ou can register it and receive free game credits. Not only do you get game credits (tokens) for registering your card you also get them on special days like birthdays. Registering a card is easy. They usually only want a few pieces of info like your name and email address.

Keep using the coupons

Go to their websites to find coupons and promo codes. I always use combo coupons with discounts on food and that include game credits. You can use whatever coupon is best for your family. As a parent of two, I don’t have time to be looking for paper coupons. I find that going on their website from my cell phone is a lot easier.

The games are different prices

Not every game is created equal. The price on some of the mature games is more expense. If it’s an adult friendly game chances are that the price is higher. Just read the screen and be aware of the price your children is paying for that game.

Save some

I wrote everyone’s name on the back of their card. This way I can easily separate them when we first got to the restaurant. I have 5 cards. One card for each boy, one for my mother, one for myself, and one for guest kids (cousins and friends). I always put game credit on all 5 cards. Most of the time it’s only me and my 2 boys. I do that to stockpile credits. I use fun places like Chuck E Cheese as a reward in my house for good behavior in school. Even when I don’t want to spend money at these places we can still go. When we get there, I have the cashier transfer the game credits to the correct cards and we start playing.

Well I guess you’re done

I always make sure that I give my boys the card with their name on it. The reason I gave my son’s cards with their names is because Brenden is a natural spender and Nathan is a natural saver. Now that Brenden had total control of his money on the card he would spend it all quickly. Nathan always takes his time to spend his credits. I find myself often telling Brenden that he is done for the day. I don’t want him to get comfortable spending more than he has. Sometimes he asks Nathan for money for a few rides. I always let them handle that between themselves.