The founder of SavingAdvice.com says:
When people ask me what was the best decision I made when I decided to create this website, they are often surprised when I tell them that it was my decision to quit watching TV. There is no doubt that TV costs people far more financially than they believe. For most people, TV is a habit that costs in excess of $1 million over a lifetime, or the equivalent of a healthy retirement account. For me, had I continued to watch TV over the past five years, in addition to the monetary aspects, it would have been the difference of working in a job I didn’t like and having my dream job working for myself for which there is no way to set a price.Did getting rid of cable five years ago [Update: it was seven years ago, now] make us richer? Well, we certainly spent our time doing other, more important things like reading, learning something new and communicating. It helped us more clearly identify our goals and we spent more time fulfilling them. Actually, when I think about it: new house, new vehicle, new pool, new kid, restructured office hours, more savings.... Maybe it did work. [Update: New business, too. That's the key. We went into business for ourselves which was more work but more rewarding. And it took five years for the new house and new kid, and seven for the new pool.]
In retrospect, getting rid of the TV freed up time to think. It cleared mental space and forced us to be mindful of what we were (or weren't) doing.
You'll recall that I got my husband digital cable (curse Comcast!) for his birthday so he could watch March madness. We're weaned of TV shows, but do like watching sports. Even still, we have been irritated with how much time that wastes. (And I did get hooked to watching American Idol. Sigh.) So, we just got rid of it again. Unlike the past, I just don't turn on the TV during the day. It's not a temptation. I hate the noise.
Unfortunately, now I'm addicted to blogging. My brother calls it a disease. He may be right. I have wondered if I've used this new medium to distract me from doing really important things. Could we get even richer if I quit blogging? Goodness knows, I'm not getting rich blogging. Although, I do feel, intuitively, that blogging is clearing a path for my future. I'm just not quite sure how yet.
Maybe I should give up blogging for a month and see how I spend my time. That would give me at least three hours a day to do something else. Maybe even do something more worthwhile.
H/T Glenn Reynolds
UPDATE: For what it's worth, I wouldn't consider myself rich. Makes me think of the Cosby Show when one of the kids asks, "Are we rich?" To which the mom responds, "Honey, rich is when you don't work for your money, your money works for you. And we work for our money." So, I wouldn't say we're anywhere near rich. I doubt rich people have student loans in their late thirties. Ha!
Maybe if I give up blogging, though.....