Watching Away A Small Fortune – How Watching Television Depletes Your Retirement Accounts | Movies and Television

I, like most Americans, love to spend considerable time wasting away in front of the television. I have my “can’t miss” shows but don’t limit myself to those… I watch whatever looks interesting. Now I don’t watch the national average of four hours of television a day, but like most people I also love movies. I watch at least three or four movies every week. I have nearly 200 movies in my own personal video collection.So how does sitting in front of the television amount to lost dollars? Well, there are a lot of financial obligations that accompany t.v. watching, from hooking up the cable, to buying your television and sound system, to renting movies. This is one of the most expensive forms of entertainment.Watching televisionAmericans now watch 28 hours of television each week. This number is declining with the increase in internet time but no matter how you look at it four hours a day is a lot of time.
In an effort to optimize enjoyment in t.v. land there are many luxuries that you can indulge in: your television itself, television service (cable, satellite, HD, etc), and even the junk you eat while you waste away.The Gear. I don’t really understand why people who make less than $15,000 a year need a 60″ plasma screen (currently retailing around $4000) but go into any trailer park and you’ll find that this is a definite priority. Much more reasonable is a $1000 32-inch LCD. Or, if you’re like me, a 27 inch no-name brand flat screen ($250) works just fine. You should expect to use your television for 10-20 years before upgrading or replacing. At 20 years the price breakdown (excluding electricity) for television purchases would be: Plasma ($200), LCD ($50), cheapo ($12.50).
You’ll probably also want to buy a DVD player ($20-150), VCR ($35-80), DVR ($100-1000), and speakers ($50-1000). You probably know as well as I do that buying electronics cheap comes at a price… they break down quickly. You don’t have to be extravagant, but don’t be cheap with your toys either. If you buy decent peripherals: DVD $75, VCR $50, DVR $250, and speakers $300 (total=$675) and they each last 10 years, that only amounts to about $70 each year or $6/month.
The Service. Cable or satellite can easily cost $40-80/month. Throw on the extra channels, on-demand programming, and TiVo and you could be spending $100 or more each month. Most people can’t imagine life without cable and Tivo but I’ve managed it just fine. Most of the major networks now show many of their shows online for free, and for my other viewing needs I check out television shows from the library. Want a quick way to save $100 each month, try giving up cable. A good option for those who NEED internet, local phone, and cable is bundling those costs. You can usually get a deal around $100/month for all three which should save you some money.

Breaking down televisionBad idea: Buy a 60 inch plasma ($15/month), get all the fancy peripherals ($20/month), digital cable with extra channels and TiVo ($100/month), and spend all day every day wasting away. Total: $135/month.Good idea: Buy a 32-inch LCD ($6/month), get decent peripherals ($6/month), basic cable ($30/month), and occasionally go out for a walk. Total: $42/monthBetter idea: Buy a decent 27-inch flat screen ($1/month), not brand name but reliable peripherals ($4/month), and watch t.v. online or check out DVDs from the library (free). Total: $5/monthBest idea: Give up t.v. altogether. Total: freeIf you decide you are spending too much time and money on television, good for you! The money you save each month from going from bad idea to better idea is $120/month. Over the course of your working lifetime (35 years) that money invested in the stock market (10% annualized return) would return you $1.4 million dollars.Paying for moviesIn the last five years I have amassed nearly 200 VHS, DVDs, and iPod movies and television shows. A dozen or so of those movies were given to me as gifts but the great majority I purchased myself. Because most of these purchases came from garage sales, Goodwill, and eBay I paid only a fraction of the estimated retail value. I estimate I spent somewhere in the ballpark of $600-700 for my entire collection (retail would have run them close to $5000). So I spent a little over $100 each year feeding my video collection.

I also watch movies that I don’t own. Once upon a time I went to Blockbuster but now I can’t imagine paying $5 to watch a movie when I can wait a couple of months and buy the same movie online for the same price. Netflix has been the way to go for many of my friends, but again, I don’t understand the whole concept of renting… why should I be paying $5-25 each month to borrow movies. I can do that at the public library for free-which is exactly what I do. I check out several movies each week. For movies I just can’t wait to see I go to the grocery store and rent it for $1 out of the Redbox machine. “Renting” movies in this way I spend less than $10 each year. The best way to go, however, is by not spending any money at all and checking out your movies from the public library or borrowing from friends. This will potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year and thousands over your lifetime.Start saving now on your entertainmentThere is no reason to be spending $100-200 each month on television and movie watching. By taking advantage of some of the tips you can easily save $50-100/month or more every month, which, if invested can return literally thousands of dollars over the course of your life. Save $50 month and you’ll have $600 year… compounded monthly over 35 years = $590,151. Not bad.

Impact of Television and Movies on Our Lives | Movies and Television

Like computers, televisions (TV) and movies are among the millions of technological innovations invented by entrepreneurs and scientists to ease and to add comfort to our lives. No matter what status we have in society and what profession we hold, we are fond of watching television programs and movies to entertain and to relieve stress caused by busy and hectic schedules we have at home, at school and at the office.Aside from computers and cellular phones, movies and television become a way of life for everyone. Not a single day that we failed to watch our favorite television programs, concerts, news and many more. We go to movie theaters not only to bond with friends, family members and colleagues, but also to watch the latest movies starred by our favorite actors and actresses and to entertain ourselves.

Because of the effects of economic crisis, everyone think twice before deciding to go to theaters and watch movies. Instead of finding themselves rushing to watch a new movie release, they prefer to stay home and watch their favorite television programs instead. Because of recession, not all individuals have spare money allotted for entertainment. Even though going to movies is not an expensive form of bonding and entertainment for the entire family, the cost of tickets and food add up and becomes a huge expense to consider. Majority of families prefer to utilize their cable connection, instead of watching movies at theaters. You can also opt to renting DVD or CD to watch several movies at home along with your family.Due to the technological innovations, several types and sizes of televisions emerged in the market, ranging from semi-flat television, flat television, liquid plasma televisions, glass televisions and touch screen television. Just choose what type of television suit your budget, needs, lifestyle and way of life.Despite its efficacy of providing informative data and quality information to both children and adults alike, it can also be detrimental to your children if films are not properly selected.Things to consider:

Parents should choose films that are free of violence and brutality because it can influence their behavior and they may behave aggressively towards others.
Before selecting or buying DVD or CD, read reviews and ask referrals from friends, relatives and colleagues. Watch these movies first before allowing your children to watch them.

Check movie ratings. If it is for general audience (GP), it is appropriate for your children. If parental guidance (PG) is suggested, it may contain violence, nudity or sexual references and should be avoided. If PG-13, it may contain profane languages, violence, nudity and possible drug use, thus parents are strongly cautioned not to let their children watch this type of movie. If restricted ( R ), it may contain male or female nudity, sex, violence, drug use. If rated no one under age 17 (NC-17), it may contain sex scenes, excessive violence and profane language.
In selecting movies and television programs, you should never forget to consider your child’s age, personality, attention and maturity.