Save Money, Cut The Cord: Simple Math That Will Save You Thousands

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One of the most valuable skills we can possibly learn in life is how to cut out and let go of excess. As American millennials we were raised to consume and stake our place in “society” by the things we have, not by how much we save money. One of these is paying for cable and/or depending on what part of the millennial spectrum we fall into, streaming services.

But I watch a lot of TV! You might think and for the typical American, that’s true.

The average American spends about 3 hours and 43 minutes PER DAY watching TV. This is just insane and blows my mind. Even though it varies by age group, millennials still spend over 3 hours a day watching TV.

Why is this excessive?

When factoring in the fact the majority of us work full time 40 hours per week or in a lot of cases 40+ hours per week, that already cuts the time we have to commute, eat healthy, exercise and build relationships to a minimum. Say 16 hours at best minus 8 because we need to sleep so really it’s more like 8 hours per day of free time during the work week. Spending 3 hours of what little precious time we have left in the day on TV just doesn’t make sense. 3 hours a day comes out to 21 hours PER WEEK spent on what? Sitting on our butts?

I’m a proponent for working smarter, not harder. And if I have to make changes to save money to find financial independence early so we can enjoy the rest of whatever time we have left. That doesn’t mean we should be working the 21 hours per week we spend on TV but it means we should seriously be questioning the impact of it on our lives. The way we choose to spend our time and save money is powerful. Let’s just think about a few ways this can impact our lives:

We use TV to escape reality, as a side effect we effectively:

  • procrastinate important things that need done which in turns stresses future us out more.
  • spend less time on our hobbies or things that bring us joy like hiking, art, or music.
  • deprioritize relationships with friends, family, and pets.
  • sitting while consuming media jeopardizes our health leading to weight gain and muscle loss.
  • increased food, alcohol, and/or drug intake directly impacting our grocery budget and health expenses.
  • miss opportunities we would have otherwise doing something more productive.
  • missed benefit of input detox (ASD/ADHD).
  • spend less time with ourselves, TV does NOT equal “me time”.

What do you think? Do any of these feel familiar? They sure look familiar to me.

Let’s get into the math part because I can tell you right now that college education isn’t going to pay for itself but cutting out TV might just do it.

The Simple Math to Save Money

Guys, let’s face it. The average Millennial pays about $100 per month between cable and streaming services. We’re likely going to live a long time. If you’re American, slightly less, but still too long to not consider this aspect of your life. Don’t hate me, but projecting payments for those 20+ hours a week you spend from age 20 through the end of your life around 78 years old, we’re looking at a MINIMUM of 100*12*58 = $69,600 and that’s not factoring the lost income from other activities you could have generated or the increased healthcare costs associated with poorer health outcomes from sitting around and what other vices it may foster. Let’s not even consider inflation or increases service costs as streaming advances or AI changes the playing field.

Okay, I couldn’t just leave it. My handy assistant calculated that sitting on the couch for 20 hours per week to watch TV will cost you over $58,000 in additional healthcare expense in your lifetime, again the cost of inflation and impact on increasing healthcare costs is not factored in. While we’re here the estimated lost income on those 20 hours adds up quick. If you’d taken a second job or turned a side hustle, you could have made an additional $26,000 last year. That’s about 1.2 million over the average working lifetime if you didn’t invest any of it.

Or if you’d saved every penny from those 20 hours, you could have retired a LOT soon than anticipated. In total that 20 hours per week will cost you $1.3 million in your lifetime on average. At minimum $127,600 if extra income isn’t in the cards. That’s your education payment right there.

Better yet, take the $100 per month and invest it in a high ROI assets. You’ll die with over $20million thanks to compounding interest, that simple $100 a month could be the financial legacy you leave behind when you go. Want to turbo charge it? Take the $100 AND the 26k per year, invest them both in high ROI assets and you’ll have created nearly $600 million in WEALTH by the end of your life.






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