You are better off with a Margot Tenenbaum set up.

We've been off the cable television for quite some time (all you need is a Roku box, people), so it's with great relief that we read that we're saving so much money by having kicked the habit. 20 Something Finance broke down the numbers recently, discovering how much a cable subscription costs each household in an average lifetime, and what one could make by investing that money instead.

They start with the average cable bill, which according to CNN is \$75/month (rising 5% annually). In New York, the lowest it's going to cost you is \$60 (with Time Warner), but let's face it, you're going to add on Showtime and HBO and DVR service, so you're looking at about \$100/month. So, what are we looking at over a lifetime?

The site assumes you start paying for cable, at their aforementioned rate, at age 23, and stop paying at age 80. According to our Mathematics department (consisting of our publisher Jake Dobkin), "If you say that the bill will go up by about \$3.75 each year in 2011 dollars, you'd end up saving about \$123K over 57 years by not paying that bill. If instead you say it will go up 5% each year over that year's base rate, you'd save \$272K, that's assuming in both cases that you didn't invest the money and just kept it in a mattress."

But let's say you don't want to keep it in a mattress. The site asks, "What if, instead of purchasing cable, you were to get rid of cable and add your monthly savings to your investment portfolio?"

We are using after tax dollars (which is what you pay for cable) that grow tax free in a Roth IRA. We’ll then figure out the lifetime cost of cable at different investment return levels using the AARP investment calculator, in today’s dollars:

4%: \$634,970

6%: \$1,102,950

8%: \$2,081,549

10%: \$4,209,990

We’re looking at anywhere from \$634K on the low end to \$4.2 million on the high end! Considering that the average retirement savings per household in the United States is \$18,000, the alarm bells should be going off.

But don't worry, since the average American watches 81 hours of TV per month, and sitting is killing you, you probably won't even make it to 80, so you can subtract a few handfuls of cash from the above figures.