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TheStreet Open House

How to Earn $1 Million by Not Watching TV

Movies: In addition to cable, most people are going to want to watch movies. That means either purchasing the DVDs or renting them from a service such as NetFlix and paying a monthly fee.

DVD/DVR: In order to watch the movies that you rent, you are going to need a decent DVD player. This will cost at least a few hundred dollars. And again, you'll likely replace this a minimum of several times over your lifetime as technologies change and better quality devices are created. You also may buy recording devices or DVRs like Tivo and related accessories to catch all of your favorite shows.

Gaming system: If you are into video games, you will purchase a gaming system to use. These can cost anywhere from a couple hundred dollars on up. You will also likely buy a number of these over your lifetime as the systems improve.

Games: If you purchase a gaming system, you will also need to purchase or rent games to play on that system. This can get quite costly, as most people want a variety of different games to play. It can easily run more than $100 a month if you purchase multiple games.

Energy: You will need to pay for the electricity to run the TV and other related electronics. This will vary greatly, depending on the type of TV you have and how much energy costs where you live, but it will likely be a minimum of $10 a month and possibly much more.

Commercials: A huge hidden cost of TV that people never consider are all the commercials they watch. The commercials are there to get you to buy products -- and they are effective. Economist Juliet Schor estimated that for every hour of TV a person watches each week, he or she will increase his or her annual spending by about $200, according to a 1999 article in the Spokane, Wash., Spokesman-Review. In 2005, Nielsen Media Research reported that the average person watched approximately 4.5 hours of TV a day, or 31.5 hours a week . At $200 in extra spending for each hour watched, that means that the average person spends an extra $6,300 a year due to TV commercials that they wouldn't have spent if they didn't watch TV.

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