Unless you have been hiding under a rock over the last few weeks you couldn’t have failed to see the Pokemon craze taking off all over again.
The reception on my Facebook newsfeed has been one of hysteria, both from major old school fans and also the grumpy brigade who have been spouting the usual “get a life”.
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I fail to see the problem with something that is free to play, gets you out of the house in the fresh air exercising, encourages family to spend time with each other and – shock horror – may lead to you meeting and chatting with new people!
Yes, Pokemon really is the devil of society! I mean surely it’s better to blow up imaginary candy sat indoors on your ass all day?
I was harassed by Candy Crush requests for what seemed like years, yet the people who harassed me so incessantly now have an issue with the Pokemon craze!
How I’m earning playing Pokemon
If you haven’t heard of Bounts, it’s an app you can download to on IOS or Android and it rewards you with vouchers from popular high street retailers once you have earned enough bounts. You can use trackers such as Fitbit, Jawbone Up and Moves app.
As a free member you can log 20 minutes of activity, 7000 steps or one activity such as swimming or going to the gym.
Alternatively you can upgrade from the free membership to the premium version by paying £1.99 per month. Full members are able to log up to 9 activities a day, and it could earn you up to £200 a year for something you’re already doing.
Or, if you’re looking for a bit of motivation, earning a bit of money for exercising might just be what you need.
I’ve been out earning Bounts as I’m playing Pokemon, clocking up thousands of steps in the process. Those points will add up to vouchers and they’ll be used at Christmas.
Pact is a way to earn money from your fitness and diet success and is available on IOS and Android.
However, if you don’t hit your goals you fine yourself. You put your own money on the line.
If you hit your goal, you earn money from the other users who failed to hit theirs.
The Gym Pact goal is to either log a 30 minute work-out or complete 10,000 steps per day.
You are required to set the number of days you plan to achieve your goal and the amount of money you are willing to part with if you don’t reach it.
You log your workouts using other apps and devices. You can log 30 minute work-pouts using Runkeeper and MapMyFitness. A work-out will also count if you check into a fitness facility to log time in the gym.
Gympact verifies the facility you check into to ensure they are separate from your home or office. No cheating basically!
The Food Log Pact requires you to log a minimum of three meals a day using the MyFitnessPal app. Your meals must total 1,200 calories.
You set the amount of days in the week you achieve this (they’re not promoting starving yourself) and the amount you will pay if you don’t. You must log it before midnight for it to count.
The Veggie Pact requires you to post photos of fruit and veg you are eating that day, once the photos have been approved by the Pact community they count towards your total.
Obviously in a Pokemon sense, the walking is what is earning for me here.
But, you can see the opportunity to really maximise the earning potential of this app, especially if you’re already an active healthy eater or, like me, you’re embarking on a recent health kick.
It’s not all about rewarding myself when I’m out hunting for Pokemon, I’m actually contributing to charity just for walking too by using the Charity Miles app.
My Facebook is always awash with requests for donations for Tough Mudder, Race for Life and the Colour Run etc.
It’s almost made me apprehensive to do anymore myself as I’m wary of keep asking the same people.
But, if you still feel compelled to do your bit this app is perfect and you don’t have to ask anybody for a penny!
Charity Miles allows you to track your walking work-outs and earn money for charity at the same time.
You just need to download the app and choose a charity when you are off out for a run, ride or walk. It uses the GPS on your mobile phone to track your mileage.
This app only works for dedicated work-out and doesn’t count steps per day or mileage on a treadmill. There are over two dozen charities you can choose to help.
Playing Pokemon is actually making me contribute to charity – go figure.
How I’m saving playing Pokemon
No beer garden madness
Anyone who is regular to this blog knows I like a beer, or twenty. And, surprisingly for the UK and Manchester in particular, we’ve had some great weather.
The kind of weather our sun starved faces need over here. Usually I would be outside the pub at opening time.
You may even get me to leave at closing time if you’re lucky, but usually I can be found outside the pub finishing the last four drinks I ordered at last orders sat outside my closed local pub. (I’m really not the alcoholic i sound like right now)
I am currently trying to shed a bit of chunk and I’ve put myself on a diet, however, the sun usually gives me the license for madness regardless. Diet or no diet.
Pokemon has helped to stop the beer garden madness, miracles do happen it seems.
Yes instead of spending all day outside a pub blowing silly amounts of money, I have been walking around trying to find Pokemon in the fresh air exercising.
Walking is free
Yes, as it stands, walking is still free here in the UK. You’re not even taxed on it!
There is very little set up cost, all that you require is a pair of trainers you probably already own, or some walking boots if you have plans of trekking up mountains etc.
There is no joining fee and no monthly charge. So, yeah, get walking.
When I’m sat in those beer gardens, under usual circumstances, the time will come when my belly starts to rumble.
At which point I’ll go and order something from the bar, costing me even more money.
Walking around looking for Pokemon in the middle of nowhere away from shops and other temptations, I’ve had to take provisions with me.
I have been off out on the hunt with my salad and non-alcoholic refreshments in my bag.
Not using appliances
If, as it was this week, my better half was on the night shift and my friends were busy with other things, guaranteed I’d be sat around watching box sets, films and playing PS4.
I’d also probably have a few of cold ones in the fridge too if the football was on!
Being out and about walking all day is saving me money on electricity (and gas if it’s cold), plus I’m not sat there drinking beer I didn’t really need to buy.
Forget earning and saving money, this is by far the best thing I have got from chasing Pokemon.
George and Mary
Whilst out on my travels I took a breather and was enjoying a cold juice on a park bench.
An elderly couple came and sat with me – George and Mary. George noticed I was glued to my phone and cracked a comment.
I explained about Pokemon, and to my surprise they, Mary inparticular, had heard quite a lot about it and wanted to see what the fuss was all about.
At that moment up popped a Psyduck! I showed her how to catch them. She handed me her phone and asked me to download it and is off out with the grandchildren to hunt for them herself this weekend! BRILLIANT!
Even George wanted in when he saw the giggle I was having with Mary.
We’d never met before and there was an age gap of at least 30 years, but we spent a good hour chatting away after that. It made my day.
What an absolutely lovely little girl. Millie is severely physically handicapped and is wheelchair bound.
You wouldn’t know it by the great big smile permanently plastered on her beautiful face. I noticed this and spoke to her to tell her what a much nicer place the world would be if we all smiled like that.
She was ecstatically happy when I was talking to her. I made a comment to Julia her mum to say what a happy kid she was. Julia turned to me and said “it’s because you have took the time to talk to her, not through me, just directly to her”
I nearly burst out in tears. Apparently people are apprehensive to talk to her unless they know her, she wasn’t saying it in a bad way, just that she felt people didn’t know how to make a conversation with her.
My mum doesn’t call me electric lips for nothing, I’ll talk to anyone. I see no difference in talking to Millie than I would any other child. She really was a wonderful kid and I’m all the better from chatting to her.
Julia has took my Facebook details so I can talk to her on a video call from time-to-time. Millie YOU ROCK!
It’s experiences like this that have made this latest Pokemon craze so amazing for me.
So if you’ve been giving your friends a hard time for playing, you don’t have to jump on the bandwagon and start too, but how about getting out with them for a day to see what they’re experiencing.
You never know, you may be ready to convert quicker than you ever thought possible!
Have you jumped on the Pokemon Go craze yet?
He is also a contributor to Clear Debt, ICOUNT Money and M1 Debt Advice blogs discussing all things personal finance.