We all know there are better things to do instead of watching TV because it is a poor use of time. While there are some positive and informative programs, we don’t really retain much of that information. Say you watch a TV show about the US Civil War. If I ask you who led the Battle of Bunker Hill, one week later, would you remember?
You probably wouldn’t even be able to tell me that the Battle of Bunker Hill wasn’t actually a battle of the Civil War.
Shows aren’t evil – watching TV can actually be pretty fun sometimes. I too am guilty of watching too many mind-numbing shows. But I’m trying to limit myself to two hours each day (including YouTube). It’s still a bit of a challenge most days.
What I’m trying to do is to channel my ‘relaxation time’ into more positive endeavors. For this post, I’m writing about all the things I’ve done to use my time in the evenings more wisely. Some of the things are just fun. Some of them are fun and constructive. Either way, they are all a better use of time than watching reruns of CSI: Miami.
I’ve written this post to give you ideas on other things to do in the evening. As they say, ‘Everything in moderation.’ Here are 10 frugal things to do instead of watching TV. I hope you find some inspiration.
1. Take Care Of Yourself Instead of Watching TV
Taking care of how you look is connected with better moods. But it can be costly. Instead of paying someone else to do your grooming, pedicures, manicures, haircuts, etc. consider doing them yourself. You may find it’s relaxing to do these things by yourself at home.
If you’re a little on the fence about doing your own pedicure, for instance, give this a try. Buy high-quality products to use with your pedicure. Get higher quality products than the nail salons are using. This way, you get to relax at home while using some of the greatest products the planet has to offer. That’s relaxing. Far more relaxing than spending $50 at the strip mall to have a stranger clip your toenails too short… just sayin’. I’m not bitter…that hasn’t happened to me.
Yep, cook a meal! I find it’s most relaxing when I take my time and use quality tools/ingredients. This is coming from someone who a year ago would not think of cooking as relaxing. I tend to like simple recipes, so my go-to has been to hop on allrecipes.com and pick a recipe that looks good. I take my iPad into the kitchen and whip it up. Afterward, I enjoy an epic meal. It’s a very satisfying feeling to know exactly what’s in my food. Not only is it more affordable, but it’s also often healthier.
3. Work On A Hobby Instead of Watching TV
Don’t wait for retirement to find a hobby!
I love working on my car. But most nights, I’ll write in my personal journal, not related to money, that’s often about my random thoughts and reflections. It’s relaxing to me. Other people spend their time woodworking, building computers, taking care of their lawns, you name it. What’s your evening hobby?
When you first start to exercise, it doesn’t seem relaxing. However many athletes I know actually find exercise relaxing. I’ve found it to be true as well. Either go to a gym (safely), run around your neighborhood, or do at-home workouts. Remember, watching television will never transform your life. This one evening activity, however, has the power to massively transform your life.
I find it’s not a good idea to work out way too late in the evening. You don’t want your body energized at 10pm. It should be cooling down and ready for bed by then.
5. Do Errands On A Bike Instead of Watching TV
I love biking around the city. In general, it takes a little more time than driving. But I actually don’t mind it as it helps me slow down. Take advantage of being outside in the fresh air! Run errands in the evenings. Grabbing some groceries or running to other stores to pick up small items is a good way to get things done…slowly.
Being the frugal person I am, all my assets are continually used. As they say in business, “An idle asset is a red flag.” I like to continually sort through my assets. I look at them, clean them, and occasionally put them on eBay. I have 11 listings live right now.
Cleaning and freeing myself of unused material possessions is easily more relaxing than watching TV. I definitely recommend everyone give this a try.
7. Work A Little More Instead of Watching TV
I spend a lot of evenings on my computer getting ready for the next day. At night, emails slow down. I can actually get caught up. I do a lot of the stuff I can do by myself. This includes replying to emails, writing blog posts (it’s currently 11:31PM), designing graphics, researching new business ventures, queuing up posts for social media, etc. It takes the pressure off the next day. It makes the next day more relaxing.
Each night, I create a game plan for the next day. I find it relaxing to get it out of my mind and onto my phone. What’s that saying… “Without a goal, you can’t score.” I believe that. Plan out the next day and you’ll feel a weight off your shoulders.
9. Get Your Shopping Done Online or Even in the Store
I HATE actually going into stores to shop – unless it’s a new brand of clothing I want to try. Then, I need to be there in person so I can see how the fit looks. So, it’s relaxing for me to do all my shopping on weeknights. This frees up my days and weekends.
10. Connect With People Instead of Watching TV
Call or Facetime your loved ones! Or email them! Or Zoom with them! What better way to spend an evening than talking with those you care about? I like to blend this with exercise. I’ll get my cell and hit the hiking paths near my house. While I talk to friends/family, I’m also burning calories. Talk about a win-win!
Because Television Is Overrated
The thing about watching TV is it’s not just a loss of opportunity cost. You’re also spending money on mindless entertainment that probably isn’t even as relaxing as the things mentioned above.
I know. It’s hard to put down the screen. But I’ve been on a quest to watch less TV this year. I’m finally getting to the point where I don’t even want to watch TV. I do on occasion but I rarely watch it by myself like I used to. It’s funny too because when I look back on my life, there’s a direct negative correlation between how much TV I watch and my happiness level. The less TV I watch, the happier I am…
No one on their death bed wishes they had watched more television.
Comment below if there’s anything you enjoy doing at night instead of watching TV! I’d love to hear about it!