Turn Off Your Television
One big way to save money is to watch less television. This tip my be a little hard to embrace, but I do not say this lightly and have wrestled with this lifestyle choice. Let’s face it, watching television is fun. Besides for my cable bill, it is a relatively cheap habit.
Television is one of my favorite pastimes because it can be riveting, entertaining, informational, and pleasurable, separately as well as all together. I turn on the TV because it gives me something to do, yet it is the place that I come to do nothing at all. So what would be the harm in watching TV? After all, I am not out spending money or indulging in a more expensive hobby such as traveling, golfing, or skiing.
There are a lot of financial benefits to watching less television:
- Has less exposure to subliminal-inducing ads. On the surface, I have told myself that TV time is a welcomed opportunity NOT to think, to simply sit back and enjoy a story that’s well-told, to laugh at something funny, or to be thrilled by a whodunit. But is this really true? Are we not thinking while watching television? Maybe in the truest sense, our brains are not consciously thinking, but our brains are definitely subconsciously processing what we see and hear. And the television producers are counting on that… we are on autopilot in front of the tube. Our critical thinking skills which are consciously driven aren’t being used to think about what we are enjoying, why we are enjoying it, and who is giving us this enjoyment (and for what reasons).
- Many studies point to us overbuying and overeating because of the effects of television. Could this have anything to do with networks hiring psychologies and hypnotists to help them program. This programming is designed to pass on subliminal messages to help advertisers sell.
- Provides us more time to focus on other things in life, e.g. studying, reading, financial planning, sports, traveling. According to a recent article that I read in Newsweek, watching television causes us to switch from the left hemisphere of the brain, which is more logical, to the right, which is more emotional. This releases endorphins, which cause us to relax. When we turn off the television, we switch back to the left hemisphere, and we are able to critically think about our decisions. We are able to actively engage in activities that are operated with your conscious brain.
- Reduces household electrical use. Turn off your television; this helps reduce energy consumption. To make a huge dent, unplug your TV. Something as simple as having your cable modem and router on a light timer so that it’s off when you are not home and when you are sleeping will make a big difference.
- Promotes better eating habits. Idle time encourages more snacking.
Hence by turning off your television and engaging in activities that do not require electricity, you could be avoiding the desire to spend money. I am not always successful, but I am making an effort to reduce this leisure activity and increase my aerobic activities. This helps all the way around. Wish me luck!
Does this seem like a plan that your family would endeavor to accomplish?
Photo Credit: Kozzi