Great Savings Tip #74

It's a matter of choice.Say What?

This post is part of our continuing Great Savings Tips series, designed to help find ways to spend less and save more.  Over the course of the next month or so, we plan to add 4 to 5 new tips every week until we bring our tip count “All The Way To 100!”  Today’s tip: Buy a big screen TV.

Time To Look At The Big Picture

Tip #74) Buy a big screen TV:  You want me to do what?  I thought you guys were a cost savings website!  How can you possibly suggest I buy a big screen TV?

It's not about buying a TV.  It's about making better choices.

Watching on a big screen TV is as good or better than watching at the theater.

Admittedly, this idea has the potential to ruffle a few duck feathers and may only apply to those who like to watch a lot of movies and don’t already own a big screen TV.  Now, while we generally promote the idea that less is more, in the case of a television, a little real estate goes a long way toward a satisfying watching experience.  Don’t get us wrong:  Much of the time, we feel there’s not a whole lot worth watching on commercial TV.  However, we have discovered the joy of watching a DVD on the big screen and have come to realize we have saved more than the cost our television by skipping the theater and watching movies at home, instead.

Lifestyle And Money

This is as much a lifestyle tip as a money one.  Some people love going out to the movies.  It’s hard to argue with that.  Going out can provide an escape from the kids, it can be a place to bring a date, a place to meet friends, etc.  However, as we are all about money on this site, and as we are trying to look at the bigger picture of building wealth over time, the fact is going out to the movies costs significantly more than waiting for a movie to come out on video.

Some Guesstimating

Let’s do a little math.  At $11 to $15 a ticket per person for a family of four, not to mention $15 to $30 bucks for popcorn, candy and soda, it’s easy to walk out of a movie theater $60, $75, even a hundred dollars poorer.  If we only forgo the theater once a month, we should be able to save enough to pay for a 42 to 55 inch big screen TV in just a little over a year (it’ll will depend on price and model).  Let’s take the low figure for going out—$60 at the theater.  I just checked Costco.com and looked at the price of their Vizio televisions (one of many brands they carry) in the 42 to 55 inch range.  Prices started as low as $579 for a 42 inch TV and went up to $1700-2100  for a 55 inch TV depending on model.  If we pick something in the middle, say, a 47” for $1250, and we cut back on the theater until we pay for it, we would need to forgo only 21 movies ($1250 divided by $60 = 21).  In other words, if we normally bring the family to the theater once a month and now skip it, instead, in 1 year and nine months we’d save enough money to buy a big screen TV.

I want the remote.

It's true you'll have to wait for some new releases, but the savings are worth it.

True, these figures are a little mushy because we haven’t included the price of popcorn or anything for DVD rental.  However, if you’ve been looking at some of our past tips and articles, you may now know you can borrow DVDs from the library for free, or rent them at Redbox for something like a buck a piece.  You can also make your own microwave popcorn and save even more.  Chances are, if you shop around a bit, you can also find a better deal for a TV at one of the stores in your area in your area (check Best Buy, Walmart, Target and Fry’s).  Plus, don’t forget that if you have a bigger family (i.e. more than 4 people) your savings would be higher for each movie you attend.

As we said, if you walk away from this idea thinking it’s only about buying a new television, think again.  This is more a question on lifestyle—of trying to find ways to live better on less.  Now, honestly, can’t you picture yourself going to a theater, finding parking, waiting in line, spending outrageous sums of money on snacks, stressing over seating, and then sitting through a half hour of previews before the movie starts?  Or if your luck is really bad,  having to listen to the young couple in front of you who won’t shut up for the entire movie?  Doesn’t watching in the comfort of your own home, eating the food you like (food which is probably better for you), snuggling up with your family on the couch, and being able to pause the movie to go to the bathroom sound like a much better deal?

Okay, we’re willing to be wrong on this one.  Got an opinion?  How about sharing it below?

To be sure you don’t miss our next tip, register with our site and we’ll send you an automatic notice for all our new posts.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!  Oh, and please tell your friends about us.

By Bob Anderson

© 2011 Javabird LLC.  All rights reserved.

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