How to Add 5 Years to Your Life and $63,000 to Your Bank Account

How to Add 5 Years to Your Life and $63,000 to Your Bank Account May 21, 2012

What would you do if you could easily add 5 years to your life, and over $63,000 to your bank account?

Would you spend more quality time to develop a deeper relationship with your children? Would you pursue another degree to increase your earning power? Would you go on a dream vacation to a part of the world you’ve never been to? Would you earn more money with a side job?

Many times, we say we want these things, but it seems that there are always two big mountains that hold us back.

Time and Money

I’m sure at one point in our lives we’ve all said, “If I only had more time, I’d pursue this goal or pursue that dream.” Or, “If I only had more money, I’d pursue this goal or pursue that dream.” Well, in this post I’m going to show you how – with one simple decision – you can gain both time and money.

It may not be the easiest change you’ll ever make. In fact, for some it could be as hard as quitting smoking. However, it’s a decision that takes literally seconds to make, and can add 5 active years to your life and over $63,000 to your bank account.

Ready to hear what it is?

Cancel Your Cable and Stop Watching TV

Yes, that’s it. Just call your cable company and say you’re done with them, and turn off your TV.

No joke. Now, perhaps you’re skeptical about this claim I just made. I can understand if you say it seems outrageous, but it’s true. I have proof.

Okay, here’s my breakdown of how I got to 5 years and $63,000.

The Mathematical Proof

I’m going to be conservative to show you that this is no joke. Most Americans watch a lot of TV. Let’s say the average is 4 hours of TV every day. That works out to 28 hours a week, about 120 hours a month, and over 60 days per year. In other words, two months of your life, every year, is spent watching a box of colored light.

Let’s also assume that most Americans live to be about 75 years of age. If you’re 40 years old, then this gives you 35 years without TV if you turn it off today.

At 60 days a year, multiplied by 35 years, that’s more than 5 years of your life that you can spend doing something more productive than watching TV. You can add 5 active years to your life just by making one tiny decision today.

We also pay a lot for cable. Let’s say the average monthly cable bill in the U.S. is $70. If you’re 40 years old and cancel your cable today, you’ll save over $29,000 over your life for 2 minutes of your time.

Now, take that $70 per month and put it in an investment that averages 7% each year in interest (this post will show you the specific one), subtract 3% for inflation, and you’ll get over $63,000 35 years later. Amazing, huh?

But What if You Like TV?

I don’t have anything against TV, and it’s not that TV isn’t fun. It’s just that pursuing your goals and dreams is a lot more fun. And even if you don’t want to get rid of all TV watching, giving up just one hour per day can still give you a good amount of time to pursue your goals and dreams.

My Experience

I’ve limited my TV watching for almost two years now and can say it’s made a huge difference in my life. I’ve had time to learn how to invest and build wealth, tutor high school students on the weekends, exercise about five days a week, and help write for this blog.  And finally, since I’m a Christ-follower, I’ve been able to develop the habit of reading the Bible daily, finishing the entire Bible in one year.

But this is not about me.

How About You?

Now you know a simple way to add 5 extra years and $63,000 to your life. I hope you take advantage of it, and use it well.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I hassled my cable company for a triple play. Cable, internet and phone for 80. I am good but I love the way you think.

  • Sounds good in theory but I don’t think it will work for me. I use TV time to read blogs and write post.

    • Good for you Charlotte. At least you’re being productive with your TV time!

  • I’m afraid it is our primary form of entertainment! We actually just got cable a few years ago so have already saved a bunch from NOT having it all those years.

    Good for you though! (and you are absolutely correct!)

  • We don’t have cable, but we have Netflix just for the streaming. It’s only like 7 or 8 bucks a month, so it’s not anywhere close to what people spend on cable. I watch way too much TV though, but sometimes there really isn’t much else to do if you don’t feel like reading. Great post, it makes you think about it differently. :-)

  • I think it’s a lot easier for someone like myself who didn’t grow up with television at all. It also makes a big difference in how I view the world. I’ve probably already saved thousands just by not being exposed to all the millions of dollars worth of marketing gimmicks in TV commercials.

    • Good point Josh. By cutting TV, you’re not being exposed to all the ads that could tempt you to spend over your budget.

  • Hilton Hunte

    I never looked at it from that perspective, but realized that TV at times can be a great distraction from productive activities, for example Bible reading, general reading and studying for a degree among other things.

    So I will sugguest moderation in terms of the time spent watching television.

    • Exactly my point Hilton. Though cutting out all TV may be extreme, even just watching in moderation can free up more time to spend on productive activities.

  • Hilton Hunte

    Time management is necessary when comes to watching television.

  • Pingback: Best personal finance articles from around the Web.()

  • ken

    biggest problem for me, a non-watcher, is having conversations with my peers and understanding all the TV show slang and references in everyday conversation.

    I just sit there with a smile on my face but cannot contribute to the conversation because I don’t have any reference point.

    I started skimming the news and TV stuff on the internet but I think that has now taken too much of my time as well.

    It is probably better to be thought of as a good listener and keep my ignorance to myself.