The Outrageous Cost of TV

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How many times have you heard a friend talking animatedly about a TV show, film, or video game that just came out? Have you ever wondered “Does it matter?”

How much time do we spend watching TV that we could otherwise use to do something that could enrich our lives? Are we missing out on potential growth, or even stunting our growth? What is the true intended purpose of TV and screen time? And do the latest blue screen editions zone us out?

When TV was created, an enormous market opened up because people were fascinated. Children are fascinated with the screen, but when they are exposed to it over long periods of time, they become immune to the novelty and begin to take it for granted. In many cases, this produces tv-addict toddlers, video-gamer teens, and adults who devote hours of the day to sports and following up on their favorite players.

The reality can be depressing, but there are many people who are responsible with TV-viewing and video-games. TV was meant to be a diversion for people who wanted to relax and clock out for a few minutes. There are very few scenarios where a hobby connected to television can be helpful to overall physical/emotional and character growth.

One potential thing to consider is money loss. If one spends a lot of time on TV that they could otherwise have spent working, IT ADDS UP. Let me tell you how much it added up for me.

The past week I kept track of my FOR-PLEASURE VIDEO-VIEWING viewing, to get a rough idea of what I take in per week. Of course, the Ron Paul Curriculum has video lessons every day, but I was asked to keep track of the pleasure viewing I did, including video games.

I did no TV-viewing. We don’t have cable, so we never watch TV. However, we watched ‘One Night with the King’, (a movie on the Esther story,) on Purim, the day the Jews remember their salvation from the Agagite Haman. The running time was just over 2 hours. On Friday we watched ‘Hidden Figures’ … well, half of it … a biographical movie based on famed NASA engineer Catherine Johnson.

I expected the entire week would come to a total of 2 hours of video-viewing. If we assumed 2 hours per week, 56 weeks a year, and assumed minimum wage ($15 an hour) for my hourly wage, that comes to a grand total of $1,680 lost per year! That’s a lot of money lost per year, for TWO hours a week! (Many people get paid above minimum wage, so the yearly figure would then be a lot higher.)

The total from Monday to Monday came to about 3 hours. A whole HOUR more than I had estimated! Calculating again under minimum wage, if I spent 3 hours every week, 56 weeks a year, at minimum wage ($15 an hour) money count, the total loss comes to $2,520 lost per year.

(I was assigned to do the next two paragraphs, but I find the numbers unrealistic, so you can skip them if you’d like.)

I was assigned to test certain hourly wages at an estimated amount of hours per month, so in Lesson 23, I computed my “movie-watching-money loss”.  I computed 7 hours a month, using an hourly wage of $20 for the first decade, and $50 for the next 40 years. I found that the total amount of money I would have lost from watching 7 hours of screen time a month (with reinvesting), for over 40 years, is $3,070,699.41!)

The last assigned test took into account the 3 hours per week, and I would now assume that I spend about 9 hours per month on screen time. Then I recalculated the new amount from now to age 70 … and the total money loss (with reinvesting) came to $3,948,042.40.

(Okay, back to regular reading …)

Never before this past week had I realized just how much my time is worth. If spending only NINE hours a MONTH (which, let me tell you, is much, MUCH less than some other people I know spend) counts up to a couple thousand dollars lost in the end, how much is TV/movies/screen time really worth? It isn’t free anymore. It isn’t worth it anymore. Not to me.

That being said, everyone relaxes differently and has different interests. If you recharge a few times a week by watching news, or hang out with your friends by having gaming competitions, then that’s up to you. Just be sure that any kind of screen time for relaxing gives you information and growth, and that you use it in a healthy way. The monetary benefit of less TV is HUGE, as you can see from my experiment.

Stay Awesome y’all!


(Below is the link for the investing calculator I used…)


8 thoughts on “The Outrageous Cost of TV

  1. Me

    Hey! So I totally agree that in this day and age tv time is waaay to high. But- I disagree a bit when you said it was a waste of time. Tv shows and movies don’t make us who we are (of course) but some can teach us things as in documentaries and house building shows and hacks. Plus- how much of tv time is spent watching games? Games that also cost a whole bunch to go to.

    Although I had some disagreements I honestly think you did an amazing job with this! Wow your smart!

    Liked by 1 person

    • makaylajesalyn

      Thank you!!

      I agree – things like documentaries and hack videos are constructive and get you to think differently about the world. I guess what I meant is that TV isn’t worth it for me because of all the other things I could do with that time – to make money, learn, spend time with friends, etc.

      Although I didn’t say it was a waste of time per se, I can see where you get that.

      “…how much is TV/movies/screen time really worth? It isn’t free anymore. It isn’t worth it anymore … NOT TO ME.”

      PERSONALLY, by the end of the year I would rather have made several thousand dollars than watched 2 or 3 hours of TV a week. TV is not always a waste of time.

      It only reflects upon how much you value your time compared to how much it is actually worth. And it is very sad to me when I see people with potential undervalue their time. (But you have potential – and a good sense of time! 😊)

      Thanks again!


      • Me

        Ok! Yeah. I agree. I was also wondering. What are your thoughts on social media and stuff? Not just tv watching? Maybe you could make a blog about it I am so curious to know!


        Liked by 1 person

      • makaylajesalyn

        I would LOVE to make a post on this! (In fact, as soon as I saw this I started writing down notes for it! 😂

        Thanks for requesting! If you have any other suggestions I’d love to hear!
        Hang in there, I’ll plan to post the Social media one soon!😊

        Love, Makayla 🌺

        Liked by 1 person

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