Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Who knew TV was so ...expensive...

I checked out this recent article on Yahoo's financial site and it appears to reinforce something I've suspected for years. TV ends up draining your wallet (if not your soul) after a while.

I've been addicted to TV before and one of my main ways for maintaining focus in this battle against debt has been to limit if not outlaw TV completely when by myself. Since I live by myself currently this accounts for about 90-95% of my free time. the other 5-10% of the time I watch TV at friend's or family member's places.

Anyway, the gist of the story is that assuming you gave up TV - FOR LIFE - at say age 25, you could become a millionaire simply by saving, missing out on the influence commercials, and getting a part-time job or nice side gig and investing money.

Here's an excerpt:

"Opportunity costs: Another cost often overlooked when considering the price of watching TV is the opportunities forfeited when you choose viewing over something else. You could start a business, take on a part-time job or take care of your garden so you don't have to pay someone else to do it. Assuming that your time is worth at least the minimum wage of $5.85 per hour, your opportunity cost is $737 a month if you view the average amount of TV.

So what does this all add up to? Say you're 25 years old and you initially spend $2,000 for your TV, DVD player, entertainment cabinet and gaming system after getting your first job. Add in monthly costs of $100 for cable, $10 for electricity use, $20 for renting movies, $25 for buying games and $20 for an occasional pay-per-view event, and you're looking at $175 a month. Add in another $525 a month extra you spend due to the influence of commercials if you are the average person, and you are costing yourself $700 a month watching TV.

If you instead invested this money and received a return of 8% compounded annually over 45 years until you're 70 years old, you would have more than $3.7 million in your account."

TV is honestly a guilty pleasure though,
While the Internet is an active entertainment source for the most part ( you interact and read & learn - unless your favorite site is Youtube) - TV is a passive entertainment source ( you sit on the couch, eat chips and learn about what Hollywood starlet is the skankiest - this week OR who got kicked off of the newest, hippest, reality show ).

One thing I'm not sure I could go without though until age 70 would be DVD's and/or video games. I like watching a good movie over and over again...I also like playing video games every once again - I mean where else can you inflict serious damage to robots/ninjas/cops without getting into trouble or breaking a sweat?

Interesting article though. Now(at the risk of being a hypocrite) a word from an up & coming 'non-rapper'....

Thanks to the always wise Damien for pointing the above web gem out...

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