It’s true! You can earn $1,000,000 by not buying a Nintendo Wii!
What? You don’t believe me? All right. Let’s look at the numbers and see if I can show you how not buying a Nintendo Wii (and a few key accessories along the way) can earn you $1,000,000!
First, let’s start with the cost of a Nintendo Wii. If you are lucky enough to find a console at the retail price of $250, you are extremely lucky! Otherwise it will cost you about $450 via Amazon, and possibly more via eBay! When you consider tax, shipping, or buying a Nintendo Wii package that comes with different items included, you will end up spending a lot more than the suggested retail price of $250. Let’s assume you are able to purchase a Nintendo Wii for $350 (that is a very fair assumption in the current environment). Running total $350.
Next, you have to buy a few key accessories! The Nintendo Wii is set up to play up to 4 players, so let’s assume you buy a package that comes with 2 controllers. You will still have to buy two more. Two Wii Controllers will cost you $80, let’s also assume you need 2 Wii Nunchuck Controllers to play a couple games. 2 of these will run you $40.
Two of the most popular games on the market are Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero. Dance Dance Revolution requires with a dance floor that you dance on with the game, and Guitar Hero requires you to purchase a special guitar controller that plugs into the Nintendo Wii console. Buying the game and accessories for either Dance Dance Revolution ($100) or Guitar Hero ($150) will set you back a little bit. For this assumption, we will only buy one, and we will use the average price. Add $125.
There are also other accessories such as a steering wheel, sports packs, swords, boxing gloves, and more! Let’s take care of the common accessories and just buy the Total Action Kit, which is $99.
Assuming you buy only one of either Dance Dance Revolution or Guitar Hero, and a fair assortment of the other accessories, it is easy to estimate spending $350 for accessories. Running total $700. (yes, I rounded up $6).
Games, Games, Games! No gaming system is complete without adding a few games to the mix. It’s hard to make a fair assumption for how many games you “need” to go with your system. Obviously some people have dozens of games, while others have very few. For this exercise, let’s assume you buy 1 new Wii game every other month (average cost $45), and we will assume you download one legacy Nintendo game every other month (cost $5). The total cost for one year of games will run you $300. That is a lot more than most people would assume before they purchase the console. Remember, buying a Nintendo Wii is not a one-time fixed cost! Running total $1,000.
Opportunity cost. How much time will you spend playing video games? Let’s assume you play for an hour a day and two on Saturday and Sunday For a total of 9 hours. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you won’t play 10 hours straight on Sundays. If you work those hours instead, you could be earning some nice money on the side. The national minimum wage recently increased, but since you are so Wii-savvy, I will assume you can get a moonlighting gig hocking Nintendo Wii and Wii related accessories at Best Buy, which pays more than minimum wage (figure in the $8-10/hr. range). After taxes, I will assume an even $5 per hour, at 8 hours a week (I was generous and gave you a lunch break), for 50 weeks a year (again, I was generous and gave you a vacation break). Assuming you wouldn’t make more money elsewhere, your total opportunity cost is $2,000 per year. I bet you didn’t think about that did you? Running Total $3,000.
Other costs. Video games use electricity, and so does the entertainment system you run it through. You would probably use close to $10 per month, but we’ll assume $100 annually. How would you like a big screen TV to go with your Wii? How about miscellaneous cables, connectors, memory cards, replacement accessories, or patching the drywall after you throw your controller? OK, we won’t count the big screen TV, because you will want that for watching football and movies as well, and let’s face it, a big screen TV is an American right of passage. But the others… they are legitimate costs. Annual assumption $50. Running total $3,150.
Now let’s invest the total and add some time. Take your first year’s Nintendo Wii expenditures ($3,150), throw it into an index fund and let it ride. We’ll also assume you play the Wii for 5 years, so we can add annual amounts for opportunity cost ($2,000), electricity ($100), and video games ($150, assuming you buy half as many games after the first year) for a total annual addition of $2,250 for 4 more years.
Assuming we start with $3,150 and earn 10% compound interest, you will have $3,465 at the end of year one. Next, we will add the $2,250 at the beginning of each additional year, and add 10% to that new figure. At the end of 5 years you will have just over $16,600.
From the time you stop adding money to the pot, it will take you a mere 43 years to turn that amount into $1,000,000! I told you one could earn $1,000,000 by not buying a Nintendo Wii!!!
Wait a minute! You don’t expect me to believe any of this do you? No. Well, I think the math is correct, but that’s about it. This article is filed under “fun money.” It’s the holiday season – go have fun!
Note: This article was originally inspired as a farcical response to the article How to Earn $1 Million by Not Watching TV (note this article is no longer available), by Jeffrey Strain from Saving Advice. For a similar view, read my article, Save $10 Million By Not Building Model Trains!