Game Shows Imitate Life

My husband discovered a TV channel that has game shows 24 hours a day. We had a good laugh looking at the outdated hairdos, clothing, and products featured. After the novelty wore off, I discovered a lot of things just by watching the shows:

  • All of the products, except possibly a diamond watch, are in the landfill now.
  • My husband and I completely forgot that most of these products ever existed.
  • My husband and I never bought the majority of them, and we are none the worse for it.

More importantly, the difference in the behavior of frugal and non-frugal people was shown so clearly in these game shows. Only a handful of contestants were satisfied with what they had won, and refused the chance to go on for the chance to win something more valuable.

The rest of the contestants, after the initial euphoria of winning was over, were more than happy to trade away whatever it was they "always wanted" for something else. I watched people trade away cars and considerable amounts of cash.

The competition between the contestants was fierce. This would be understandable on a show where only one person could be the winner, and everyone else went home empty-handed. However, this behavior was exhibited even when each contestant could keep what he or she won.

This got me thinking about everyday life. How often do we become dissatisfied with our fully functioning phones, cars and appliances when a new version with more features comes out? All of a sudden the majority of people "trade up." Do we feel inferior to our neighbors and friends who have the latest things?

We frugal members of the Thrifty Fun community make the most of what we have, not necessarily because we have to, but because we want to. We know that things can never generate happiness, and can easily generate misery if we drown ourselves in debt trying to buy happiness. I know I'm glad to be a frugal person, and I hope that everyone who reads this is as well!

Please note that this TV is from 1987! It still works well, so why should I get rid of it?


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February 5, 20162 found this helpful

I love this post. I have the same thoughts in my head every day. I don't have to be thrifty, I want to be, and it pays back in so many ways. When I'm sawing off bits of plastic bottles, tangled in hot glue, and sweeping bits of chopped toilet paper roll because I've been creating something useful, I'm in my happiest place. I've reused, recycled, created, and not spent a dime. As much as I like buying new things (and sometimes it is a necessity), it never beats the feeling of being creatively thrifty. :) High five!

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February 5, 20160 found this helpful

Thanks for the kind words. I have learned a lot from you
and many other members of tne group.


I have gotten fantastic recipes and learned how to make, maintain and fix things. I've had a ball!

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February 8, 20160 found this helpful

Good post. I have a old cell phone and that's ok with me. I don't want or need the latest and greatest, the simpler, the better. ;-)

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February 9, 20160 found this helpful

We have a rule at our house (at least I try to enforce it -lol) when it breaks it gets replaced. You don't need the latest and greatest but we've all been brainwashed into thinking so. A good example is the line of kooks, oops I meant customers, who line up days before the latest and greatest Apple product goes on sale. What ? - how crazy is that.

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February 10, 20160 found this helpful

Thank you for the positive feedback. Children raised in frugal homes may complain and tell you you are cheap, but will thank you when they are on their own and can manage their money well.

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March 17, 20160 found this helpful

my ma n pa always taught us (4 kids) to live within our means a few times I strayed (from it) and Paid am 61 and haven\t strayed from it for 38 years

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March 13, 20190 found this helpful

Brilliant! Agree with every word! This should be required reading by every high school senior prior to graduation, and then made required reading AGAIN before graduating from college/university.


Some would sweep this aside, but other intrepid students would take this to heart and benefit from your golden advice.

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March 13, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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