Did you know that the average American watches over 4 hours of television every day? If you extrapolate those numbers, that amounts to 28 hours per week, just sitting on your bum watching TV – that’s certainly equivalent to the hours one could spend working at a part-time job and almost close to the hours of a full time job.
We could depress ourselves even more and extrapolate it out so we realize that four hours of TV watching a day is equivalent to two months of every year spent in non stop TV watching. Or – if you live to be 65 years old, four hours a day would be equivalent to spending nine solid years parked in front of the television.
While the best advice I could give many is to first of all just turn the boob tube off and grab a book or hit the gym, what if we could find some ways to put some of the time we spend in front of the TV to good use? I am certainly not against television as it’s a great way to relax, learn (depending on what you watch of course), and share some laughs with family/friends. But let’s be honest: some of the excess time we spend watching TV is simply a waste. Here are five ways to earn (or save) money while watching TV:
#1 Pay Bills/Open Mail
If time is money and you can save yourself some time doing busy work opening your mail and paying your bills while relaxing and watching TV, why not? Sure, it might take you a little longer than if you were to pay bills on the kitchen table. But the goal here is not ultra productivity. It’s rather to accomplish some of the busy work, to-do items that we always seem to put off while at the same time getting in a little bit of leisure time in front of the TV.
If nothing else, think of one weekly TV show time slot you will commit to blocking off to get done all of the tasks that you are prone to procrastinate. Once that show comes on and before you plop yourself down on the couch, just make sure that you have your pile of papers that you have been procrastinating on going through all week.
Once you have finished opening your mail and paying all of your bills, what are you going to do with the extra time that you now have available? Wait, are you… you better not be popping the popcorn and just changing to a new channel…
#2 Earn Money as a Writer
If you can multi-task and watch TV while you write messages and post pictures on Facebook from your laptop, then certainly you can also watch TV and make some extra moola as a writer.
There are many different places online that will pay for quality writing. Some places that I cannot personally recommend but that you may want to check out include Suite 101, Text Broker, and Demand Studios.
#3 Find Coupons
If you haven’t checked out the coupons, discounts, and cash back section of FatWallet, then you should. What could be an easier thing to do while watching TV than looking for easy ways to save money on your next shopping trip? Just sit back, relax, and browse away on your laptop while sitting in front of the TV.
#4 Become a Part of “Artificial” Artificial Intelligence
What? “Artificial” artificial intelligence? No, you don’t have to be watching sci-fi to be able to make some extra money by completing Human Intelligence Tasks (HIT’s for short) at the workers section of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (but maybe it would help..?)
You certainly aren’t going to get rich getting paid nickels and dimes for completing tasks like “Choose the appropriate category for this product” or “Select the correct spelling for these search terms.” But come on, this is an article about ways to make money while watching TV, so I would hope that your expectations aren’t too high, right?
#5 Sell Your Special Talent for $5
One of the coolest websites that I have come across in a while has got to be Fiverr which in it’s own words is “The place for people to share things they’re willing to do for $5.” If you can make really funny prank calls that sound like someone famous or you can do quick illustrations that look impressive, then Fiverr might be just the place for you to show off your special skill and make $4 each time you do (Fiverr keeps $1 out of the $5 price). If you do just don’t send any Elvis prank calls my way please!
BONUS: One additional way that you can save yourself some money in a roundabout sort of fashion is to exercise while you watch TV. Just think of all of the future medical bills that you will not have to pay. Now if only there was a way to eat nachos while using the elliptical machine…
Joel Ohman is a Certified Financial Planner™ and founder of a website for finding cheap car insurance. He loves to read but he will admit that he also loves to watch TV. See if you can find the link to one of his favorite TV shows within the article.