Think it is impossible to save $1 million over your lifetime? It may not be as difficult as you think. It all depends on how attached you are to your TV. In an article for TheStreet.com Jeffrey Strain, siting recent studies, suggests:
A recent study found that it would take $1 million for someone to be willing to give up TV for the rest of their lives…If you decided to give up TV and invested the money you saved, you would get that $1 million — and probably a lot more.
Strain’s article lists the costs of owning and watching TV – the price of the unit, the price of the stand/cabinet on which the unit sits, the cable bill, etc. I found the most interesting entry in his list to be the commercials. You may be thinking, “Wait a-minute…how do commercials cost me anything?” Here is Strain’s answer:
Commercials are there to get you to buy products — and they are effective. Economist Juliet Schor estimated  that for every hour of TV a person watches each week, he or she will increase his or her annual spending by about $200
The average U.S. household has at least one TV set turned on for about seven hours a day. For argument’s sake let’s allow that the TV is not being watched for all 49 hours, but at least half of that time – 24.5 hours – is not a stretch. Although, it may be a stretch on your finances.
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.