What Dave Ramsey Can Teach You About Watching More TV
Watching TV is not a casual undertaking. You have to be intentional and play it smart if you don't want to be crushed by your own Netflix queue. (We've all been there.)
I don't know a lot about what Dave Ramsey teaches regarding finance, but I know enough to know that he's a brilliant mind when it comes to watching TV... even if he doesn't know it.
How to Pay Down Your TV Debt
Dave Ramsey says to first pay off the credit card with the smallest balance. Chuck everything you have at that one credit card, and make minimum payments on the others. Once you pay one off, put all the money into the next smallest balance. It's a mental victory to go from having debt on seven credit cards to just two.
The same goes for TV.
It's not enough to log hours in front of the TV; you need to make visual progress. Clearing an entire show from your mental/physical queue is surprisingly empowering. It's a victory you didn't know you needed. So stop mindlessly scrolling your queue, and choose the show with the smallest balance. What show can you cross off the fastest? Check.
Now, I realize that most of us don't watch only one show at a time. Our mood dictates a lot, and we need to set ourselves up for success no matter how we're feeling. Here's how.
How to Balance Your TV Checkbook
Paying down the smallest debt isn't enough. Genre balance is paramount to achieving maximum satisfaction in your television portfolio. Here's how.
All funny at once isn't challenging. All heavy at once causes depression and sleepless nights and irrational fears of drug dealers and serial killers. All reruns at once is fun but kind of wasteful, i.e. only paying the minimum payments on all of your credit cards.
The answer? Diversify. When you commit to starting a show, vary your investment. Investing all of your money in stocks is just as foolish as spending all of your television time on crime dramas. By having a chosen show in each of the three categories, you have an answer for any TV-watching mood, and you now waste zero time. (Well... relatively speaking.)
My Personal TV-Watching Payment Plan
My semi-urgent queue contains the following TV shows (movies are another topic altogether):
- season four of New Girl until I'm caught up (21 half-hour episodes)
- the final season of Once Upon a Time until I'm caught up (six hour-long episodes)
- all of Justified (75 hour-long episodes)
- all of Nashville (65+ hour-long episodes)
- all of The Good Wife (130+ hour-long episodes)
- almost all of Daredevil (ten hour-long episodes)
- the final half of Emily Owens, M.D. (seven hour-long episodes)
- all of Vikings (27 hour-long episodes)
- all of Doctor Who (hundreds and hundreds of episodes)
- all of Peaky Blinders (12 hour-long episodes)
So if we're supposed to pay down the smallest debt and diversify, what do you think I should watch first? This is not rhetorical. This is an assignment. Think about it, and then continue, my sweet grasshopper.
It's not as simple as choosing the three smallest debts. Mine? Emily Owens, M.D., Once Upon a Time, and New Girl. All light shows. That breaks the diversification formula. And even if I did, my next three debts are Daredevil, Vikings, and Peaky Blinders. I'll be stamping my frequent flier card at my therapist's office if I go down that road. (And clearly I'll start watching Doctor Who when I'm in my sixties ohmyword.)
So here's my current plan: Once Upon a Time, Daredevil, and an occasional rerun of The Office when I need to center myself. Next up, I can do Emily Owens, M.D. and Vikings with a sprinkle of 30 Rock, paying down my debt and keeping my portfolio genre-ically diversified. Then it's on to New Girl, Peaky Blinders, and Parks and Rec for round three. See how good that feels? I am now in control of my "the kids are in bed where's my chocolate ice cream?" time. I don't even have to think.
Now It's Your Turn
This might seem like a joke? It's totally not a joke. Paying down your TV debt is a real challenge, one that you now are equipped to handle. So be a lazy genius, and do it.
Thanks, Dave Ramsey.