Can Reality TV Save You Money?

I don’t watch a ton of reality television, but I guess it is hard to ignore that more than half the programming on network and cable channels alike are reality based.   Programs about housewives, chefs, real estate agents, swamp guys, aspiring musicians, pregnant teenagers, and people all living in a house together somewhere.  That’s true unless you watch hoarders which means those that were living in that house are now buried underneath some rancid lettuce, an old board game of Chutes and Ladders, and a lifetime supply of Good Housekeeping magazines.    Doesn’t it seem like the reality television boom is out of control?    What can we learn from this that can save us money?   Here is my official thought.   No need to pay for therapy ever again because there are three opinions I have formed from watching these shows.

1) We are all insecure –  I truly believe that we all have insecurities of some type.   For some people they obsess about their looks.   Others are concentrating on how they can keep their weight in check.  When you have a partner and/or kids, you are wondering how you can measure up to be the best spouse or parent for your family.   It could be that you have money issues.    Every person I know or have mentored in my career has been insecure about something.   It’s not a bad thing, it is perfectly normal.   Don’t be afraid to expose those insecurities because it will only make you stronger.  We get to see unfold it every week on shows like Bethenny Ever After where she slips into frantic schizophrenia on a week to week basis about her weight, her kid, and her business.   Being insecure is part of the new norm.

2) All families are dysfunctional – The newsflash is that you aren’t the only family with a drunken Aunt and a second cousin who hasn’t brushed their teeth in a year sitting at the end of the card table in the dining room during Thanksgiving dinner. You aren’t the only person who dreads Christmas because your Uncle is going to tell the same boring story on how he caught a huge striped bass on his last fishing trip.  Or it could be that you look forward to that really cool birthday gift from your Grandmother.  Socks and a $20 bill.  YeeHah!    We all have the family drama.   We all have the competition with siblings or cousins about whose kid is going to win the state wide spelling bee.   We all know who is going to have one too many cocktails at the next family get together and have a blow up.    The beauty about the reality televisions shows is that it can make you realize that being dysfunctional as a family is part of the new norm.

3) Everyone has a vice – I have yet to meet someone that doesn’t have a vice.  It could be that you are workaholic (I have been told that many times).  Perhaps it could be that you love to go shopping.    Or maybe you freak out if you don’t get your daily workout like the boys on the Jersey Shore.    One way or another everyone has some type of mini addiction.    Having a vice is part of the new norm.

Now that you have learned my three opinions, I can save you the money you would spend trying to figure out what’s wrong with you.    The reality is that being out of whack is actually the new normal.   Crazy families, heated debates, massive drama, and financial struggles are all part of just being a plain old regular human being.    That’s my couch session for the week.  No charge.

Written by:

Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®

Co-CEO and Founder oXYGen Financial, Inc

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About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves


My friends and family all think I’m a workaholic, but I say I’m just a guy that loves to help people do better in life.

My mother is still the only one that calls me by my real name Theodore Michael, my wife calls me Teddy, but for the rest of you it is just plain old Ted.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved money and being an entrepreneur. In fact, I still have cassette tapes of me talking to my grandmother at the age of five and my mother tells me all the time how much I played with money as a kid...

Read More About Ted Here

Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor regarding your individual situation. 

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