For many people, nothing is better than getting home from a tiring day at work and taking time to relax and watch some TV while eating dinner. But, what usually happens is that during dinner hour of “Scandal” becomes an all-evening television watch party.
The problem with watching too much television is its ability to distract people from what is important and can have an adverse affect on a person’s finances.
People tend to forget that watching television also means that we are watching hundreds of micro-marketing moments during every show. Whether it’s the can of soda that a beloved television character is drinking, the car that the villain is driving, or the watch that a hero is wearing — we are absorbing hundreds of marketing messages that may compel us to want an item that we might otherwise not know or care about.
Killing your time to make money
Too much television takes time away from potential side hustles that people might pick up in order to pay off debts or save for important upcoming events. Many people might not want to work more but may need to work more and may feel that there isn’t enough time to work during the week because of their TV habit.
Television can kill your money by keeping you from furthering your education by cutting into the time that you would use to go to class, read books about finances, or self-directed study. It takes time to study and usually that time is after most people come home from work or during the weekend. This can be frustrating for many people because that further cuts into time to relax.
If you have an extreme television habit you could also be endangering your health. People joke about getting “deep-vein thrombosis” because of sitting too long on a plane and not moving around. Sitting too much at home or at work has been show to have and adverse affect on people’s long-term health. Once you begin having problems with your health you will have to go to the doctor, potentially miss work (losing money) and pay for your health care (losing money).
Watch TV when you’re ready
No one is trying to keep you from enjoying television, but it’s important to be mindful of the way you’re enjoying it. Fortunately, we have a number of ways to enjoy our favorite shows without having to sacrifice the potential to grow our intellect and our wealth at the same time.
Fortunately we are no longer tied to our televisions and don’t have to watch an episode the day that it airs. We have some options that will enable us to enjoy TV and take care of business as needed.
If you have a favorite show you can watch it on Hulu, or record it for later. If you’re extremely frugal maybe you can check out a DVD or Blueray disc from your local library branch. Incorporate no TV days into your week so that you don’t know what you’re missing.
Find additional ways to entertain yourself that involve going out and meeting new and current friends. Continue to enjoy watching television just be mindful of the amount of time that you spend watching it.
Michelle Jackson is a personal finance and lifestyle blogger sharing her story at The Shop My Closet Project. Her goal is to help people cultivate their best life. When she’s not blogging or podcasting for Girl Gone Frugal you can find her riding her bike, going for coffee, or hiking in the mountains.