Now for the “rich” part

Instapundit: HOW TO GET RICH: Quit watching TV.

From the linked article:

If you want to know why you don’t have enough money, the first question to ask yourself is how much time do you spend watching TV? It’s probably a lot more than you ever realised. While most people focus on the cost of cable when they think of the price of watching TV, I would argue that a far more costly aspect is the opportunity cost — the things you could be doing during the time that you’re actually watching TV.

To put it into perspective, if you watch an average of 31.5 hours of TV each week (which the average person in the US does) and you value your time at minimum wage of $5.85 an hour, you are spending nearly $800 a month ($798.53) to watch TV.

I haven’t really been much of a TV watcher since I was a teenager, and even then I read more than I watched the tube. And since then the majority of the hours I’ve watched television programming have been sports. I’ve never really got into television dramas, and sitcoms never did it for me.

My loophole in all this has been the watching of movies on television. I watch a lot of movies. I used to average about ten or twelve movies a week (seriously…I used to log them) and that’s a lot of time. Since I started MO over four years ago, however, even my movie watching has drastically declined, probably averaging about two per week now.

Since the advent of TiVo and the ability to watch what I want when I want, I’ve got three weekly hour-long television dramas I watch, which is actually three more than I used to care about. At a half-year of weekly one hour shows per series, two movies per week, and about 40 three hour sporting events per year, I average about 8 hours of television per week. (40 sporting events is probably far more than the real number, but I’ll go with it.)

I also sometimes watch television shows during dinner with my family (classic Star Trek is a favorite) and don’t count that as I wouldn’t be doing anything else anyway, and I feel justified in not counting it because during virtually all sporting events I’m online working at least some of the time.

8 hours per week, to be honest, is more than I would have expected. But at least I don’t know who’s winning ‘Dancing with the Stars’.

I would bet that MO readers watch far less than the average of 31.5 hours of television per week, though I’d also bet that most of you watch more than 8.


  1. I don’t have a TV, but I watch DVDs on my computer. However, a lot of the time, I’m also working. Anyway, you owe me 12c for the time I wasted reading this post. Just kidding 🙂

  2. Heh. Murdoc watches Galactica, 4400, and (ahem) Lost. I keep hoping something I like more will come along and I’ll ditch Lost for the new one, but it hasn’t happened yet.

  3. yah, I quit watching TV regularly because most of the crap out there is just ‘retread’ or poor writing. I even gave up on Lost after the first time they said ‘answers will be revealed’ but no real answers were reveald…or they turned out to be lies later. Dragging a story out just for the sake of more seasons is annoying as hell.