How Television can Save you Money

By in Personal Finance, Saving | 20 comments

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.

Jot down:

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?


  1. Once again, your unique perspective has been mind opening, uttely entertaining,and plan old good sound advice. thanks for being the voice of reason in our crazy society. barb


    April 5, 2010

  2. Interesting post. I used to mindlessly turn on the TV after coming home from work out of habit. It was my way of relaxing.

    Lately though, I’ve been changing more towards the “TV rots your brain” camp. This year, I made a resolution to not watch ANY TV at all at home by myself. Watching it with others in a group setting is okay though, because it’s more of a social event.

    While I’m not watching TV, I’m using the time to get exercise, read, and work on my blog.

    And I’ve found that books and magazines can be relaxing, educational, and entertaining as much as TV. And, if you get them from the library, they’re free. It still is a bit of an adjustment for me, but I think I’m seeing the payoff for making this sacrifice. So I would have to say that the majority of TV shows do rot your brain.


    April 5, 2010

  3. Darren, Thank you so much for your comment. I welcome opposing viewpoints!! And of course, if it was an either/or between TV and exercise, I would choose exercise too!! But hey, if you have “on demand” check out the quick and easy exercise shows!!! Again it means a lot that you took the time to comment!!!! Keep visiting!


    April 5, 2010

  4. Monique, Thanks for visiting. I’m thrilled I could make a difference. Keep reading, there’s lots more to come! And a free ebook soon!


    April 6, 2010

  5. My Hubby would DIE without his TV. He too grew up in a 24/7 TV watching household. I grew up in a TV from 6PM to 9PM household. We have learned to compromise. He watches and I read, He watches and I knit, or surf the internet, or talk on the phone (you get the idea). And I do love the History channel!


    April 6, 2010

  6. Thank you Kyla and sewing girl for your comments. Keep me honest and let me know what you like and even what’s not so great!!! And come back often!


    April 7, 2010

  7. Let’s not forget that television is also a great way to have entertainment or ‘date night’ at home for practically nothing! As the parent of a small child, my husband and I very rarely go out, but we’ve made our television time, ‘date time’ and we’re actually saving money. Great conversation starter too!

    Jen Knox

    April 8, 2010

  8. Jen and Linsey, Thank you for checking me out!!! I love the feedback. Jen, I probably have one of the best marriages ever (not to brag or anything); my husband & I talk A LOT….. and we love having the tv going and talking about stuff we see on tv!!!


    April 8, 2010

  9. We aren’t anti-TV, but we are opposed to paying for it! We have found that a decent attic-mounted antenna brings us 8 standard and 4 HD channels for free. If we were closer to the nearest city, we’d get more HD.

    So with the antenna, we get the major networks and a bunch of secondary and local stations. This pretty much covers all the major types of programming we might seek out, including the shows you list. When Two and a Half Men comes on, well, we have 11 other channels to flip through, or we can do something else.

    Sure, we might miss out on some of the specialty stuff on the higher stations, but that’s what the internet is for.

    Yeah, we don’t have a 24 hour news station, but arguably, neither does anyone else. You have 24 hours of human-interest filler punctuated by bursts of news, sometimes followed by hours of inane commentary by self-proclaimed “experts”. When it comes to news, if we need to know right now, that’s what the internet is for. If it’s so important and earthshattering that it warrants non-stop TV coverage, I guarantee one of our stations will pre-empt regular programming for it, and they’ll throw in the inane commentary for free.


    April 8, 2010

  10. Kev, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!! Hat’s off to you for getting what you want at a reasonable price. I appreciate the detail and content of your comment. You are very creative!!


    April 9, 2010

  11. Hi, Thanks for visiting. I’m really glad you like the theme, as you can probably tell, blue is my favorite color! I used Webby Blue. Stop back any time!


    April 9, 2010

  12. Tatum, Terra, Cherly, Justin, Aimee, James, & Thai, Thank you all for visiting and commenting. Your input really spurs me on! I have lots of personal finance information to share and a FREEE ebook will be launching soon. To subscribe just click the RSS or email buttons at the top. My theme is “Webby Blue.”


    April 16, 2010

  13. @verizon, top, music, & how, I never get tired of the comments. @Top, even if your view isn’t just like mine, that’s ok too. @Music, thanks for coming back. And all of you are welcome to pick up the RSS feed too! Best regards, Barb


    April 27, 2010

  14. I can’t figure out how to subscribe to the comments via my reader . I want to keep up to date on this, how do I do that?

    San Diego Real Estate

    May 1, 2010

    • Hi San Diego, Thanks so much for visiting. To subscribe, click on the RSS icon on the top right corner of the page. Another window will open and just follow the instructions from there. If you have more problems, don’t hesitate to contact me at barb at barbarafriedbergpersonalfinance dot com. Best regards, Barb


      May 4, 2010

  15. I’ve acquired a desire for this issue for a while now. I have been lurking and following the comments avidly so wanted to point out my thanks for offering me numerous very good studying material. I will enjoy far more, and taking a more positive component inside the talks here, when understanding also!!

    Myron Marinez

    May 1, 2010

  16. @Myron, @Plastic,@Lon, Thank you for your feedback. Please feel free to stop back anytime, I love comments. And don’t hesitate to write me with any personal finance questions you might have!
    Best regards, Barb


    May 4, 2010

  17. @Darcie, What generous comments, are you asking if I’m an expert on television or personal finance? That’s a tough one. I certainly have lots of education, work, and life experience in personal finance! Television, well, that’s a different subject altogether, I certainly love TV! Thanks so much for the comment
    @Mariana, I will have to discuss this more, people seem to like it! Thanks so much for commenting.
    Best regards, Barb


    May 10, 2010

  18. This time is one moment for to find good things, how your site, that to bring great news for all.

    Brady Dovey

    May 20, 2010

  19. Brady, Welcome, and thank you for commenting! Feel free to pick up the free RSS feed for more personal finance info. Best regards, Barb


    May 21, 2010


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