By now you’ve no doubt heard of the Pokémon Go phenomenon. Maybe you are enjoying the game yourself?  Yep, the game has officially arrived in Canada (even in Peterborough) and given its tremendous popularity, I thought it was worth sharing some play safe information. Consider some following safety tips for both your personal safety and your financial safety.

First, we want to pay attention to some valuable and important safety tips issued by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Here is an excerpt from the article posted to the RCMP website:

Pokémon Go - Play Safe! Pokémon Go is a new phenomenon in the gaming industry. Released in July of 2016, it uses GPS and the cameras of iPhones or Android cell phone devices. The location-based reality game lets people walk with their device as they capture, battle, and train Pokémon, who appears on their screens as though in the real world. Although this game provides players with the opportunity to discover their community and get some exercise, it also poses challenges and potential dangers for those who play, and to others around them. Read more here:

And then there is the financial risk. Any craze equals cost one way or another. With Pokémon Go, the app is free, but the extra costs could cost us more than we intended (like this Japanese Olympic gymnast) if we are not diligent. Here are four ways to spend your hard earned cash on a virtual game:

Going over your data limit: Watch your usage – Parents especially will want to monitor this, as you will be responsible for the carrier’s bill if a child is using your phone, or if you have co-signed for cell phone contract.

Buying extra game pieces. For example, the current price of $29.99 will buy you 2,500 Pokémon coins; but you can earn coins if you are patient!

Acquiring popular or yet to be introduced game aids, devices and product merchandise. Like any fad, I’m sure these will be plentiful in the near future and very tempting for the devoted Pokémon fan.

The cost of travel and refueling: While hunting the mystical creatures, you may frequently stop to nourish or hydrate. Ice cream and coffee shops are loving the increased sales, but your out-of- pocket cash flow may hurt.

Lots of people are having a great time with this fun new activity. Getting outdoors, enjoying fresh air and exercise while meeting other people; nothing wrong with that! Just go safely, have fun and monitor your spending.

For information on setting up a monthly budget, consumer credit issues or managing debt, call Credit Counseling Services of Peterborough, a program of Community Counselling & Resource Centre, a United Way funded agency. For more information, call (705) 743-2272,

By Nancy Jackson, AFCC - Credit Counselling Services of Peterborough