Because my family is working on cutting screen time, I figured I’d attempt to figure out how much money you can save by cutting back. I started a post yesterday morning about cutting screen time as part of my save $50,000 over five years series, but it was proving EXTREMELY COMPLICATED to organize. How come?
- There are so many screen options out there that it’s hard to know where to start.
- How families use screens vary a lot.
- Costs associated with screen time are really variable.
Is there any way to figure out how much excessive screen time costs the average family?
Sort of. What I did was take some national averages related to screen time use and media costs. This info, along with screen time issues I’m aware of among my own household and friends and family gave me some numbers to work with. For the purposes of this post, I’m not figuring in some screen stuff, such as…
- Going to the movies (whole other $ issue).
- Most random media purchases such as repairs, extra cords, apps, and so on, because it’s just too variable.
- Kindle and e-books, which is screen use, but after looking up statistics, I realized that fewer people use e-books than use them, so it’s not an average USA cost.
- Cost of computers and phones – which is significant in the USA, but too hard to figure out in an average sort of way.
What I’m counting as screen time and screen time costs
Obviously we all have our own ideas about what constitutes excessive screen time. For the purpose of saving money, I decided to cut out any costs related to screens that simply seem excessive (or extra), such as numerous TV sets, all day texting and surfing the Internet via phones, and stuff like that.
Why this post won’t be perfect
You’ve got a plethora of choices when it comes to screens. There’s On Demand, super premium channels, iPads, various computer programs, internet fees, a million apps, Amazon video rentals, Redbox, DVD purchases, energy costs of screen use, equipment repairs and the health care costs we end up paying when we sit and sit and sit in front of screens.
It would literally be impossible to figure out the costs of all screen related issues in the world.
Overall it’s just astounding how much people spend on screen time when you start thinking about all the costs involved. For the purposes of saving money, I’m going to keep this post pretty basic. Below are some screen uses and their associated costs….