Our content is free. When you purchase through links on our site, we earn a commission. Learn more

Keeping Up With The Joneses: TV Mania

Many, especially in the United States, have a profound obsession with televisions.  People act as though we need televisions to survive.  To compound the problem people also think they need the latest, clearest, flattest TVs on the market.  I’ve heard many excuses ranging from I’ve had my TV for a while, all the way to the absurd: “My eyes aren’t what they used to be.”  No matter what the excuse, the person always seems to fudge the math in their favor when trying to calculate for a new TV.  My favorite excuse is: “I will save money by not going out to the theater every week now.”  Sure.

Companies spend billions of dollars each year trying to make you discontent with your life, and the things you’ve been blessed with, and TVs are a money maker!  Let’s look at what an upgrade from a standard TV to the latest HD Flat panel really will cost:

  • TV: Let’s Be Frugal: $2,500.00
    • Wall Mount (not needed but often used): $250.00
    • Surround Sound (not needed, but often gotten for “the experience.”  This price is for a middle of the road system): $300.00 
    • HD Television Programming Upgrade (Monthly): ~$15.00
    • HDMI Cable: $100.00
    • Electricity (Annually watching 5 hours a day): ~$90.00

And we were generous, we didn’t include the Universal Remote that most people purchase (usually Harmony brand in excess of $100.00), and the electricity figure we used is just how much electricity the TV uses, not including surround sound!  Additionally, if this person kept the TV for five years, and assuming no price increases in electricity, and Cable, this TV would cost a total of $4,500.00.  And using the latest “Great Financing Offer” from a leading Electronics retailer, this TV can be yours for a rock bottom price of $130.08 a month which calculates out to:

Keeping up with the Joneses only cost you $7804.80 or $1,560.96/year.  Not too shabby, when you toss these types of numbers in with your NEW car, your house, and all of the other gadgets you’re financing, the numbers start to look really grim.  What is our advice to you?  Tell the Joneses to take a hike!  They may laugh at your TV now, but you won’t end up in bankruptcy court.

Comments are closed.

Share This