How to Get a TV for Cheap – 7 Ways to Get Deals on a New Television

TVs and many other electronics are interesting because as quality has steadily improved over the years, prices have dropped. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price index for TVs decreased by 94% between 1997 and 2015.

In other words, TVs become more affordable every year despite continuous upgrades and new features.

However, if you’re buying a new TV, you still need to be somewhat price-conscious. The latest plasma or LCD TV models still set you back several hundred dollars or more. Like other major purchases, it’s important to ensure you buy the right TV that has the right balance between price and features.

Thankfully, there are several ways to get the best deal on a new TV to help keep costs down. As long as you give yourself enough time to shop and keep these strategies in mind, your next TV upgrade shouldn’t drain your wallet.

The Best Ways to Save Money on a New TV

Buying a new TV isn’t going to be cheap. Ultimately, screen size, features, and brand influence prices the most. If you’re set on a specific size and type of TV, your savings will only go so far.

However, there’s no reason to pay full price for a new TV, regardless of the size and type you buy. Implement one or more of the following money-saving tips the next time you decide to upgrade your TV to keep more money in your wallet.

1. Shop Online

It might seem daunting to buy a new TV online. After all, you probably want to see it in person to help visualize what it would look like in your home.

However, one of the easiest ways to save on a new TV is to buy online. Shopping online saves time, and if you use shopping browser extensions, it’s easy to comparison shop to ensure you’re getting the lowest possible price.

For example, extensions like PriceBlink tracks product prices across thousands of retailers. If you’re shopping for a new TV, PriceBlink notifies you if there’s a better deal on a different website for instant savings.

To take your savings further, use extensions like Capital One Shopping and Honey. Both extensions automatically apply coupon codes at checkout to help you save money.

Plus, you can earn free gift cards with both extensions for shopping at specific retail partners. If you’re buying a high-ticket item like a TV, a single coupon code can go a long way in your efforts to save money.

Finally, online tech deal sites are also worth checking to find low prices on TVs and other electronics. For example, websites like Newegg and SlickDeals often have TV discounts that can shave off a significant portion of your price tag.

Buying a new TV online is also less stressful if you do your research. Room size matters for screen size, so measure the area you plan to set up your TV to gauge if you’re buying the right size. TV buying guides can also help you decide on your screen size based on how far away your seating is from the TV and how crowded the room is.

Finally, read reviews for any TV you’re considering. If you’re concerned, you can also check out the TV you’re considering in-store before placing your order online.

2. Use a Cash-Back Credit Card

Buying a new TV is a considerable expense. Additionally, if your new TV purchase is part of a home improvement project or move, you probably have other major expenses alongside your new tech.

Using a cash-back credit card for everyday purchases is a savvy move. However, for large expenses, credit cards are even more lucrative.

Plus, credit cards often have introductory bonuses if you spend a certain amount of money within the first few months of becoming a cardholder. If you take advantage of a bonus while TV shopping, you’re making the most of your money.

Several popular cash-back credit cards worth considering include:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited: No annual fee; earn $200 when you spend $500 within the first three months; 5% cash back at grocery stores; unlimited 1.5% on most other purchases; up to $500 in purchase protection for 120 days. Read our Chase Freedom Unlimited review for more information.
  • U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: No annual fee; earn $150 when you spend $500 within the first three months; 5% cash back up to $2,000 on two categories of your choice, which can include electronics; 1% to 2% cash back on everything else. Read our U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card review for more information.
  • Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi: Requires a Costco membership; 4% cash back on first $7,000 in eligible gas purchases; unlimited 3% cash back on travel and restaurant spending, unlimited 2% cash back on Costco purchases; unlimited 1% cash back on everything else; purchase protection against loss or damage for up to 90 to 120 days. Read our Costco Anywhere Visa Card review for more information.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is ideal if you want to take advantage of an easy $200 sign-up bonus. However, depending on how expensive your new TV is, 5% cash back from the U.S. Bank Cash+ card and sign-up bonus might earn more.

Finally, shopping at Costco to save money is already a smart move; if you do electronics shopping at Costco, sweeten the deal by signing up for their Anywhere Visa card to earn 2% cash back.

3. Tread Carefully with Extended Warranties

Extended warranties are protection plans you can purchase to cover damage and defects. You commonly find extended warranty plans for consumer electronics, vehicles, mobile phones, and even home warranty plans.

On paper, extended warranties might seem like they’re worth it. After all, if you buy a new TV or other expensive product, your first instinct is to insure yourself against damage and disappointment down the line.

However, according to Consumer Reports, extended warranties for electronics are almost never worth the cost. We tend to overestimate the likelihood our tech products will fail, and there are several other considerations to keep in mind:

  • Manufacturer Warranties. Tech products usually have some form of manufacturer warranty to protect against defects. Most warranties last for 90 days, which might suffice for protecting your purchase against defects and damage.
  • Store Policies. Big box retailers generally have lenient return policies that cover product malfunctions or defects. Some stores even let you return products without any real reason, provided they aren’t damaged. For example, Walmart lets you return TVs within 30 days and provides a refund for damaged or defective products. Therefore, extended warranties aren’t needed to protect yourself against out-of-the-box defects.
  • Term Length. Companies sell extended warranties to profit, which isn’t in customers’ best interests. Many extended warranty plans last one to two years, but the bulk of technical issues you encounter will probably occur long after this time frame. In other words, extended warranties on electronics is buying protection for the least risky period of ownership.

If you want to maximize your savings when buying a new TV, you should almost always skip the warranty.

4. Consider Older Models

Like most tech products, TVs improve every year with the release of new models. Resolutions of 4K become 8K, screen sizes get larger, and picture quality sharpens. For true technophiles and cinema lovers, the latest models are undeniably a cause for excitement.

However, part of TV shopping involves considering the diminishing returns on your spending. Do you really need the latest TV model, largest screen, and sharpest resolution that’s on the market? Depending on your room, viewing habits, and budget, buying an older TV model is often how you get the most value.

Even buying a year-old model can make a significant difference on price. Plus, modern TVs have come a long way compared to their heavy, clunky predecessors. Smart TVs that are a few years old still work with streaming services and devices.

Until a truly revolutionary line of TVs release, slightly older models will suffice for most viewers — and can save you hundreds of dollars.

5. Shop at The Right Time

For major purchases, timing sometimes means a significant difference in savings. Retailers price products differently based on demand and season, and TVs are no different. Therefore, if you’re planning to spend a few hundred dollars or more on a new TV, it might be best to hold off.

Historically, TV deals are most popular during two events: Black Friday and the Super Bowl. Black Friday is especially popular for TV shopping because almost every major retailer will offer a discount on electronics. Super Bowl deals are less common, but they’re worth keeping an eye on.

The best way to take advantage of a sale is to research presale prices at least a few weeks before the sale begins. Retailers are crafty, and sometimes your sale price is actually the same or more expensive than regular pricing because retailers first raise the base price to make a “sale” seem more appealing.

If you shop on Black Friday for the holidays, this is especially important because these faux sales are rampant. Following the price of the TV you want in the month leading up to Black Friday can help you spot a real bargain.

If you’re buying from Amazon, you can use the CamelCamelCamel extension to track Amazon prices and view price history for millions of products. Similarly, Honey and Capital One Shopping let you set up price tracking alerts on products to receive notifications when a product you’re interested in drops in price.

New TV models usually release in spring, so this is another ideal time to buy older TV models. Ultimately, if you give yourself enough runway, you can buy a new TV at a low price point for easy savings.

6. Use Reward Websites and Apps

Comparison-shopping websites or daily deal websites are useful for finding discounts. However, sometimes cash-back reward websites offer the greatest chance to save.

Rakuten is one popular option that pays you cash back for shopping at their partners. Creating a Rakuten account is free, and you simply visit Rakuten before shopping online to find opportunities to earn cash back.

In terms of TVs and electronics, notable Rakuten partners include:

  • Best Buy: Up to 1% cash back
  • TV Store Online: 7.5% cash back
  • Staples: 2% cash back
  • Office Depot: 2% cash back
  • Overstock: 4% cash back

Cash-back rewards are subject to change. Luckily, Rakuten partners with thousands of retailers, and there’s always an opportunity to earn cash back on your next electronics purchase. Rakuten also has online coupon codes, although cash back is where the platform shines.

If you can’t find deals on Rakuten, various reward apps are also worth trying. Apps like Drop pay you in free gift cards for shopping through the app at specific partners. Drop partners with plenty of big box retailers, making it easy to find TV deals.

Similarly, Dosh is another rewards app that automatically pays you cash back for shopping through its partners. Once you link your credit and debit cards to Dosh, you never have to worry about preselecting offers before shopping, and Dosh also partners with plenty of major U.S. retailers.

If you combine these rewards with shopping at the right time of year and other savvy tricks, you can get a new TV for much less than full price.

7. Consider Cheaper Brands

With electronics, you largely get what you pay for. Whether you’re shopping for noise-canceling headphones, a laptop, or a new TV, going for the cheapest option sometimes has consequences for performance and longevity.

If you’re buying a new TV for your home theater or family room, spending more on a premium brand and model might be worth it. However, if you just need a TV for watching the hockey game in your garage or for sending with your kid back to college, you don’t need to splurge on a leading brand.

Cheaper TV brands like Vizio and Insignia can get the job done without draining your wallet. You can also shop for refurbished electronics if you find a reputable seller and understand the warranty that comes with the TV.

Final Word

Like most electronics, TVs feel like something we need to update every few years. New models come out, screen sizes get larger, and it seems like upgrades are an inevitability.

There’s nothing wrong with buying a new TV or even splurging on a recent model with the latest specs. However, you should never pay full price for a new TV, especially if you’re on a tight budget and are trying to maximize your savings rate.

Additionally, consider the diminishing returns on your spending before making your next upgrade. New TVs are a luxury, but there comes a point at which spending more doesn’t necessarily increase enjoyment.


How to Pick the Right TV Size for Your Room

If you’ve ever sat in the front row of a movie theater, you understand the problem of proportions. You don’t want to stare into an actor’s stomach for most of a film (or maybe you do, but that’s a blog for another time). The size of the screen matters as does how far you are from it.

It’s the same for the size of your home TV screen. You don’t want to have to sit so close that you lose half the picture or too far away that faces are minuscule, or you can’t hear the sound accurately. You also don’t want such a large TV that it overpowers your living room.

Whether your TV will hang on a wall or sit on a console, remember that bigger is not always better: it’s a good idea to figure out the Goldilocks-right TV size for your room.

How to measure TV size

The size of a screen is measured diagonally from corner to corner — not including the TV’s “frame.” A 65-inch TV is actually about 55 inches.

Besides the physical size of the screen, you’re also measuring clarity, otherwise known as resolution. That comes from the number of pixels (think of dots) that make up a picture on the screen. Those Impressionist painters were onto something; the more dots the better the resolution. And think about how far away you need to stand to see the beauty of the whole picture.

Older TVs and some current 32-inch models have resolutions of about 1 million pixels (720p) and newer, larger TVs have more than 2 million pixels (1080p).

Many TVs over 50 inches have 8 million pixels, making them 4K Ultra HD (high-definition). And the latest and greatest and most expensive TVs have over 33 million pixels (8K).

Where to place the TV in your room

Sure, hanging a TV on a wall frees up space in your room, but it also may change the nature of the room. The TV, especially if it’s a large one, becomes the focal point.

Perhaps you have a great piece of art you’d like to rest your eyes on or a large picture window overlooking nature. A console TV, which would take up precious real estate in your apartment, might be a better choice if only because you can move it easily. But if you choose to hang your TV, and if it’s possible due to the size of your room, find a wall that may detract less from some other area you feel is more important to look at.

Woman on her couch holding a TV remote.

Should I hang a TV on the wall?

People often hang televisions above a fireplace. However, it is not the best choice as a gas fireplace generates 20,000 to 35,000 BTUs of heat. Heat and electronics are not good friends. Mounting a TV above an electric fireplace is not as bad since that type of fireplace generates less heat. According to Bob Vila’s Home Advisor site, “Only mount a TV above a fireplace if the temperatures in that spot do not surpass 100 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Another reason you might not choose to hang your TV above the fireplace is that the TV will be too high, and you’ll have to crane your neck to see it. Plus, the viewing angle will throw off the picture quality.

TV manufacturers suggest mounting your television at eye level, but of course, the ability to do this depends on which room you’re going to watch television in. Will you be sitting in a living room on a low couch to watch TV? Lying in bed? Seated at tall bar stools at a counter?

In general, Samsung suggests mounting a TV 42 inches from the floor to the center of the TV, “should meet the approximate eye level of someone who is 5 feet 6 inches tall sitting on a standard couch.”

If you’re lying in bed, that’s a different story. You’ll want to put a TV on a tall dresser at the end of the bed or mount it to the ceiling.

No wall space? No problem

If you’ve really got a very small apartment and no wall to spare, maybe your apartment building does. Skip the in-home TV and watch movies and shows on your laptop. When you need a big screen, take yourself to your building’s media center.

How far away you should sit from a TV?

Base the distance you sit from the television on the TV’s size and clarity. And, of course, the room needs enough space so you will have enough space to sit those “x” number of feet away.

The electronic experts at Crutchfield recommend a viewing distance of 1.5–2.5 times the diagonal measurement for Ultra High Definition (1080p) TVs, and 1–1.5 times the screen size for a 4K Ultra HD TV.

For example, if you have a 40-inch 1080p TV, an ideal viewing distance is 5-8.3 feet. For that same size screen in a 4K version, you’d sit 3-3.5 feet from the screen. These measurements will make for optimum viewing.

TV on a console in an apartment.

What about the distance from the TV and sound?

TV is not just for seeing, after all.

The size of the TV doesn’t necessarily affect its sound output, but if you’re sitting too far you might have issues hearing. Rather than constantly bumping up the sound you might try a soundbar, wireless headphones or running the sound through your stereo speaker.

What’s the right TV size for my room?

Ultimately, there’s no magic formula, but you’ll want the largest screen you can get that doesn’t overpower your space and where its placement allows you to relax comfortably while watching it.


Apartment Resolutions for 2018

Every December, we get excited about the start of the upcoming year. A blank slate to form new habits, reach new goals and finally commit to completing those resolutions.

But here’s the thing — about 80 percent of people don’t achieve their New Year’s resolutions and lose all motivation by February.

Often, the reason we don’t achieve those resolutions is that our goals are too broad, too complicated or just too outside our comfort zone. The lack of clarity and moving forward without a clear vision will make your motivation wane reasonably quickly as you get overwhelmed.

So, what can you do to not be part of the norm, but the exception and motivate yourself to keep going, month after month? On the last day of this decade, here’s how you find your New Year’s motivation to accomplish your goals and stay motivated throughout the year.

1. Think small

A big part of our lack of motivation behind goals and resolutions is that they’re too big — you quickly feel overwhelmed and give up. The key to staying motivated for some is breaking down a realistic goal to smaller pieces to achieve them on a quicker timeline. If you see progress, you’ll be more likely to stay on track to meet your goal.

If your overall resolution is to be healthier, then smaller tasks entail going to the gym three times a week, institute veggie Monday, drink a green smoothie every morning, etc.

2. Track your progress

Productivity app to keep you on track.Productivity app to keep you on track.

Source: Product Hunt

Having a visual of your progress and completed milestones can help motivate you even in the laziest of days. Use apps like Streaks or Productive to keep tabs on daily tasks and get automated reminders to drink more water, get to the gym, floss or any other. The app helps see how many days in a row you’ve completed a task, making the whole process a game.

Set up milestones at 30, 60 and 90 days to stay motivated and within those, set up a daily or weekly task list that will help you hit those milestones.

3. Think about why

Why are you doing this particular goal? Is it something you feel passionate about? Will it help your career in the long run?

Thinking about the reason why you set up this goal will keep you motivated as the days pass and your resolve wanes. The why will give you focus, motivation and clarity during the lowest days.

4. Accountability


Everything is better with a buddy! Tell everyone you can, from friends to colleagues, all about your goals. Accountability (and let’s be honest — the shame of failure) helps you stay on task, so you have updates every time your accountability buddy asks. Set up times to update them on your progress and celebrate any small win.

If you feel unmotivated, reach out and have them push you to complete your next task. Dragging your feet about a workout class? Tell your buddy and go together.

5. Reward yourself

Every completed task is a small win for the overall goal, so celebrate every single one. Whether you have a big reward at the end or smaller incentives as you complete certain milestones, it’s essential to recognize your progress.

Set up the rewards to be something you care about, like a vacation, a nice meal or a new set of workout clothes, so it motivates you even more.

6. Stop multitasking

person looking at fitness watchperson looking at fitness watch

It’s the beginning of the year, and the blank slate is making us feel like we can do anything. But it’s essential to remain realistic about how many things we can accomplish in 12 months. Even though a year feels long, it really isn’t.

Keep your goal list short, and when completing one of your daily tasks, stay focused on one at a time. Multitasking can reduce productivity by up to 40 percent, according to recent research.

7. Stay positive

Beyond thinking, “I can do this,” it’s essential to surround yourself with positive energy, so you stay motivated. Seek out podcasts, books and even meetups to surround yourself with good energy and continue to stay motivated through your tasks.

Look for leaders that have completed similar tasks for inspiration — a new perspective is always good. Search Spotify for relevant podcasts, subscribe to newsletters and others to give you the boost you need.

8. Be consistent


Doing something toward your resolution every day will keep your goal at the top of mind and keep you consistently moving toward it. Every glass of water, every checkmark on your to-do list, every workout you do daily moves you closer and keeps you motivated.

Just stay consistent — yes, even on holidays and vacations — so you don’t miss a beat.

9. Visualize the result

The best motivator is, of course, the bigger picture. As you complete your smaller tasks and hit those milestones on your way to achieving your goal, visualize the end result.

If your goal was to lose 10 pounds, and you’ve been completing your weekly tasks, visualize the new pair of jeans you’ll buy or the vacation you’ll take. Or perhaps it was to get a new job, then each interview you have gets you closer to that end goal. Thinking of that result will push you past the finish line.

Stay motivated

Everyone stays motivated in different ways — whether it’s breaking down a problem into smaller pieces or finding something that inspires you creatively. But staying realistic and clearly defining those goals will help you put together actionable steps and crush those resolutions.




#NewDecadeNewYou: 2020 Financial Resolutions By The Numbers

Exercise more regularly, eat healthier, volunteer more, learn something new… any of these sound familiar? 2020 is here and you may have already decided on some personal goals to make this year your best one yet, or maybe you’re still ruminating on which aspects of your life you want to improve. Either way, resolutions are an important tradition that provides us with an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been, where we want to go, and how we’re going to get there.

We ran a survey asking participants to answer several questions about their new year’s resolutions for this year and their goals for the decade ahead, and we were pleased to see that people are prioritizing improving their financial futures in the 2020s.

What was the focus of your New Year's Resolution in 2019 and 2020

Developing Better Money Habits

While health & diet and personal growth still lead as the most popular category for 2020 resolutions, personal finance saw the largest leap — 13% to 21% — in focus from the year before.

So what exactly are people aiming to accomplish through these resolutions? When asked about the financial habits they’re planning to break in the year ahead, unchecked spending was of great concern for those surveyed. The top three responses included frequent impulse purchases, spending more than earned, and failing to implement a budget.

Top 3 Bad Money Habits to Break

Conversely, when asked about the good financial habits they hope to adopt, it was clear that people want to make their money go further for themselves. A quarter of respondents said they plan to make savings a priority in 2020, while just shy of 15% of people said they are looking to boost their skills as an investor.

Top 3 Good Money Habits to Adopt

Setting Life Goals for 2020 And Beyond

We’re seeing this trend reflected in people’s life goals, too, as people are focused on getting their money and career in order before other milestones. Over half of respondents said they are prioritizing building up their savings or making a career move is their biggest life goal for 2020, while just one fifth said getting married, buying a home, or starting a family. However, for 2030, respondents in both of those buckets level out at just under 40%.

What is your biggest life goal for 2020 and 2030

Accomplishing Goals Through Budgeting And Honest Money Conversations

Finally, when it comes to actually accomplishing these goals and resolutions, people are turning to budget apps as a driving solution. Nearly half of respondents plan to use a budgeting app in 2020, and of those, 35% plan to use Mint, which is pretty awesome, in our humble opinion.

But you shouldn’t just be communicating about your finances with your phone. And while discussing money with others can be difficult, it’s even harder when you feel like you’re going through it alone; it’s critical to have #RealMoneyTalk with those who you are most comfortable with.

When asked who they plan to have honest money conversations with this year, nearly two-thirds of respondents said either their significant others or their family. It seems that just as people trust their loved ones with their most intimate thoughts, they also trust them when it comes to their finances. In fact, nearly half of those surveyed plan to have honest money conversations frequently or all the time throughout the next year.

Share your 2020 goals for improving your financial future in the comments!

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