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How TV affects your credit card spending

'I want that!' The ultimate compliment
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'I want that!' The ultimate TV show compliment

'I want that!' The ultimate compliment

A few years ago, popular television sitcom "Modern Family" nearly drove up the costs of Leah Ingram's home renovations. Ingram, founder of SuddenlyFrugal.com, discovered that Benjamin Moore sold the color -- an aptly named Labrador Blue -- featured on the walls of the Dunphy home.

"It affected my thinking and had me considering buying more expensive paint," she recalls. Ultimately, Ingram opted for a cheaper product, but the experience stuck with her.

"You think you're watching a funny show about a modern family," she says, but you're simultaneously getting inspiration for home design projects that may or may not be within your budget.

"Modern Family," of course, isn't the only show likely to influence our spending habits.

All television shows "are targeted toward particular audiences," says Michael McCall, professor and chair of the marketing department at Ithaca College in New York. Advertisers, in turn, pay for commercial air time or product placement during a show that shares its target demographic. So, on a very basic level, your favorite television program is likely to feature advertisements for products you're more apt to want and/or purchase.

There are some shows, however, that are more likely to drive up your credit card bills.

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