OLD Media Moves

Bad personal finance advice from Money: Stop watching TV

May 21, 2009

Yvette Kantrow, the executive editor of The Deal, writes Thursday about Money magazine’s advice on how an individual can rebuild their wealth and takes direct aim at one of the 11 suggestions: Stop watching television.

Kantrow writes, “Some of its suggestions are sensible enough. Rebalance your portfolio; refinance your mortgage; improve your credit score; shop around for a cheaper auto or homeowners’ insurance policy. But there’s also some weird ones in there, including my personal favorite, ‘Turn off the TV.’ It might be a form of cheap, escapist entertainment, Money allows, but ‘remember that prime-time TV is full of pretty people and even prettier things. All this glamour affects how you think about your position in the world.’ The mag even rolls out sociologist Juliet Schor, who did a study that found that ‘every additional hour of TV viewing per week boosts spending by roughly $200 a year.’

“OK, fine. But, sorry, Money. If you’re in credit card debt up to your eyeballs because you’ve been trying to keep up with the Kardashians, shutting off the boob-tube now isn’t going to ‘rebuild your wealth.’ What are all these Kardashian-philes (or ‘Desperate Housewives’ devotees or whatever) supposed to do with all their new-found free-time once they kick their glitzy TV habit? Money suggests they try watching shows like ‘Cops’ or ‘The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,’ which won’t make them want to buy things (and probably won’t entertain them either.) What’s next? Telling Vogue readers to forsake that magazine for Money?”

Read more here.

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