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January 17, 2008


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That's odd. I watch about 3 hours of TV a day. That's 21 hours a day, which is over 1000 hours a year. So "studies show" I'm overspeding by $260,000 a year, right?

No. My wife and I make approximately 1/3 that much money each year, and we have no consumer debt.

What drivel. Just like the urging to "spend less time in the store". These things are correllated with higher spending, they do not cause higher spending. If they caused higher spending I'd have over $300k in credit card debt from the last two years alone. You want to avoid spending too much money? Exercize some freaking self control.

The pull of marketing is very strong. It is studied and massaged and altered to make sure retailers can pull every last cent from you. I know, I'm a marketing MBA who works in retail!

You are right though, watching less TV can cause you to spend less because you aren't caught up in every little fad that comes across the screen. My kids are so enamored with cell phones, but I won't buy one for them until they're driving. Despite this, they all know every feature of the phone they want and when one flashes across the screen in a commercial, they'll say, "Hey, that's MY phone!"

It's all in the marketing.

I never watch commercials, thanks to DVR (the poor man's TiVo). Last time I went to my boyfriend's parents' house, and his dad showed us the "Funniest Commercials of 2007" special. Not a single one ran a bell for me. Which I guess is a good thing, but I've never felt compelled by advertising to buy something, anyway, even before I started skipping commercials. Most commercials are so cheesy they make me not want to buy something.

Lily: I watched part of that "Funniest Commercials" special, too - on my DVR. I kept forgetting to fast-forward through the commercial breaks, since 90% of the hour was commercials! (The other 10% being intros & recaps) The special includes commercials from all over the world, so I didn't recognize too many of them, either.

I will say that, even with my DVR, I will stop and watch a commercial I've never seen before, if it looks at all interesting. But once is enough; most hour-long TV shows will have the same commercial at least 3 times.

Removing mass media from my life has been one of the best things I did in 2007. No cable tv for me. Just netflix my tv shows/movies so I get no commercials. That and 100 bucks a month I save by not having it is pretty sweet.

We dropped our cable TV in February 2004 and haven't looked back. It is amazing how much of additional time I found. We rent movies from red box for additional entertainment, but other than that I have learned not to miss it. I get so much more done! We do have rabbit ears to get the local channels. PBS has some great programming.

When I visit people with cable I stare at it mesmerized - there really isn't anything on with 100 channels.

Don't believe it! If anything, the stupid annoying commericials make me want to boycott what they are selling! I can't say I ever bought something because of a commercial..... Well, maybe if I saw something I needed at a Home Depot or Menards that the commercial indicated was on sale.

I would be satellite free if not for hockey. Gotta have FSN to watch 90% of the games.

I would argue that watching more TV actually saves you money since instead of being at the store buying things, you are home sitting on your couch watching TV. I find this to be true since when nothing is on TV, we usually go out and spend money on some other form of entertainment.

The only commercials that actually make me want to go out and buy something are M&M commercials. They remind me how much I love eating them!

Nothing else on TV ever makes me crave stuff...except maybe watching home improvement/decorating shows, because they make me want to get organized and buy decorations/organizing stuff.

I think this is much more evident with son pipes up constantly when he watches Saturday morning cartoons, but he doesn't even come into contact with those same toys in real life (he doesn't go grocery shopping with me or to the store). Usually, kids don't ask for things they can't see. Same with adults, in my mind.

Advertising creates a kind of familiarity with a product. A person shopping for food, for example, is more likely to purchase a familiar product over an unknown one.

However, like with all stats, I question the nature of this report. It could be that people who are exposed to commercials are more likely to purchase more "stuff." That said, how do we know that high levels of TV watching and increased spending aren't symptoms of something else? For example, perhaps people who watch a lot of TV are looking to escape from reality, and they're also more likely to spend money on things they don't need because it helps them feel like a new or different person.

Personally, I take all ads with a grain of salt. Some grab my attention, but I tend to research most of my purchases, so ads hold very little value with me. And I would suspect anyone conscious of their bottom line at the end of the month would similarly not be very susceptible to ads.

I'm with Jake: "That's odd. I watch about 3 hours of TV a day. That's 21 hours a week, which is over 1000 hours a year. So "studies show" I'm overspeding by $260,000 a year, right?

No. My wife and I make approximately 1/3 that much money each year, and we have no consumer debt."

I don't always watch 3 hours, but our only consumer debt is our car. We spend less than $2000/month. $260/hour would mean that 1 week of tv would pass our monthly budget/spending.

Even for the non-frugal, those are ridiculous numbers.

Does one save money by not watching tv? I'm sure not being exposed to commercials helps to some degree. But not at anything like those numbers.

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