Paycheck Chronicles

Why I Shouldn't Watch HGTV

We've been in the States for a few weeks, and I've been overwhelmed with the amount of media.  There are so many radio stations, and newspapers, and so much television.  I'm not much of a TV watcher, but I've been around while friends and relatives have the TV on, and I've seen the most amazing stuff.

Today has been an HGTV fest, and I am overwhelmed.  My head is spinning with all the amazing things you could do to your house.  From relatively small projects like painting, to whole house renovations, the channel is like watching one gigantic advertisement.  Even the "bargain" suggestions cost money, and sometimes a lot of it.

Here's the thing about watching this sort of television:  it makes you unhappy with what you have.  I live in a lovely house with lots of fabulous features.  Other than maintenance, there is almost nothing that needs to be done.  But if I spent enough time watching HGTV, I'm sure that I could find plenty of projects that would "improve" our house.  I put improve in quotation marks because most of them wouldn't actually be improvements, they'd just be changes.  And they'd be changes that cost money, money that didn't need to be spent.

I'm not against home improvement in general, but I am against the constant suggestion that you need to have all the top-end, most current features in your house.  In fact, no one needs the best bathroom tiles, or the best man cave, or the best closet.  (Don't even get me started on man caves.)  Even if you agree with me, constant exposure to these shows will definitely cause you to change your expectations.  And, honestly, raising expectations isn't always a good thing.  Especially if you're talking about something like housing, which is usually already the largest item in your budget.

I know I'm ranting, but it is really too much.  In a world where so many people are touting simplicity and frugality, shows like those on HGTV are pushing us toward the exact opposite.  Keeping away from HGTV can help you to keep your head focused on the things that are really important.

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