How Television can Save you Money
Categories: values, personal finance, saving, leisure
“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”
Henry David Thoreau
Only you can decide what you want to focus on in life, it is up to you to choose whether to live to “keep up with the Jone’s” or to determine your own priorities. Thoreau was a master at living life according to his own rules. If you set the rules for your life, including what you want, how to spend your time, how you spend your money; then you define your own happiness.
Have you ever asked someone about their favorite TV shows and met with the haughty response; “Oh…..I don’t watch television, I read?” Or maybe you are that person who believes that TV is evil and rots the brain. Well…. I’ll let you in on a little secret; I used to be that person!
In my family, TV was looked at as a “time waster” and that “reading” was of a higher order. But, I’m here to tell you, that I have been converted into a loyal and vocal TV watcher; HGTV, sports, CNN, CNBC, Law and Order, The Today Show, Medium, The Good Wife, Two and a Half Men, you name it, I watch it! First, I’ll tell you how and why. Next, you’ll learn what this has to do with personal finance!
When my husband came to pick me up for our 1st date, he immediately looked around my apartment for the television. He was dumbstruck when, after turning on the big hand-me-down console TV, that it only got 1 or 2 channels, and not too clearly at that! You see, he was from the complete opposite camp of TV watching. While he was growing up, the television was ALWAYS ON. In the evenings after dinner, the only activity ever, was TV. So you see, upon realizing I embraced the opposing television viewpoint, he was shocked and dismayed! In fact, from what I know about him today, I’m surprised he remained in our relationship!
So began my conversion, first with the sitcoms and dramas of the day. In the evenings, after dinner, if we stayed in, we watched TV! And, lo and behold, I kind of liked it. But let me digress, my husband is not a slacker, in fact, when we met, he had a Master’s degree in psychology and had a high paying job in a hospital setting. Little by little, over time, I changed and became a big fan of TV. And along with my conversion, my life satisfaction and productivity increased.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that TV caused my happiness and productivity to increase, but it is an interesting correlation!
So, how can television save you money? Let’s list the benefits and rewards of watching TV:
ü Relaxation-TV Helps you relax and everyone needs relaxation to recharge their resources.
ü Entertainment-Distracts the mind and relieves the pressures of the day. Think Law and Order, CSI, Medium, The Good Wife, Two and a Half Men, Wheel of Fortune, NCIS, Bones, Movies galore and more.
ü Educational-Learn Spanish, history, business, sports, decorating, crafts, fishing, current events, science, reading, and the alphabet (for kids).
ü Health and fitness-Exercise and wellness channels offer everything from Pilates and yoga to hip hop dancing, healthy cooking, and nutrition.
ü Sports and Recreation-Baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, golf, fishing, sports tips and more.
ü Total Trash-Reality shows and other trashy shows can make you feel lots better about yourself by watching people crazier and worse off than you are.
Consider the price and the value of a satellite, FIOS, or cable subscription. How much is a basic cable or satellite subscription/month today? Next, do what you can to lower that price. Be sure to look for a deal, i.e. bundling with internet and/or phone; or look for special promotions. Don’t forget to call your current cable provider to ask for a lower rate.
If you use television to meet some of your fitness, educational, entertainment, and relaxation expenses, TELEVISION IS A HUGE BARGAIN. When you are trying to get more pleasure and life satisfaction from your money, don’t overlook television!
Get a notebook and label it: “(your name) Personal Finance” and keep it by the computer. Use it to keep all of your personal finance thoughts, activities, and plans.
1. The benefits you can get from television in a month
2. An approximate amount of time per month you watch TV
3. What you pay per month for cable
4. Now, Divide $ cost per month/hours watched=Cost per hour of TV watching
5. Look at the cost per hour for all of the enjoyment you get from television!
Write and tell me your thoughts on television. Do you belong to the TV rots your brain camp, the opposite end, or somewhere in between?