When I talk to people who want to become marketers, I almost always tell them to go start something and go market something. The same advice for 15 year olds and seniors. Turning off the TV and building a Cafe Press store is not only free, but it starts to build a professional-skills asset for the long haul. Pay as much as you need to for things that matter, and as little as you can for things that don't. And never borrow money to pay for something that goes down in value.Read the whole thing, and make some changes, even if it is slowly and deliberately achieved and see what you can come up with.
Instead of watching TV we had written for 1 hour a day. Fiction, non-fiction - whatever. At the rate of 2 pages per hour, we would have written over 700 pages (taking a few days off for weekends and such...). That's a book.
Instead of watching TV we had taken out two images and photoshopped them, got them web ready, put them in our Flickr account, made an email campaign. Maybe purchase Dreamweaver and learn how to maintain our own sites. What if we photographed one hour per day... personal work, or photoshopped art or... or... well, you know.
What if we had built a Cafe' Press store 3 years ago selling posters, art, t-shirts - whatever.
What if we had started a forum on something we are passionate about, and built it into something with over 10,000 users (strobist).
That'd be pretty cool compared to knowing every character on Greys Anatomy or who got kicked off the island. I bet it would have put more money in our pockets as well.