Do Bad Habits Keep You From Saving Money?
Sadly, many people should answer this question with a yes. Are you one of these people?
Take a look at a few of the biggest bad habits that people make which can affect their ability to save. If you are making any of the same mistakes, learn how to kick the habits.
We all know how bad cigarettes are for our bodies, but they can also be a killer on our savings accounts. This is especially true since the crack down on cigarette companies and the taxes placed on cigarettes. A pack of cigarettes that may have only cost $2 years ago now costs $6 or more.
If you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, you are wasting nearly 200 dollars a month. Smoke 2 packs and that jumps to 400 dollars a month. That is almost 5000 dollars over the course of a year. This is money that would make a significant impact on your savings account.
Kick The Habit
Quitting smoking is tough, especially if you have been at it for decades, but there is help out there. Many people, mainly to save money, have switched to vaping as a smoking alternative. This is just giving up one form of the addiction for another.
Your best bet is to quit with the help of your doctor. Your doctor can prescribe you a pill such as Chantix that works by decreasing the desire to smoke. This will allow you to completely kick the nicotine habit and start saving money.
Another major vice that people have in this country is alcohol consumption. Alcohol, in moderation, is not a significant problem but if abused it can be a burden on your health and your wallet.
Alcohol consumption is greatly under reported with people tending to downplay how much they actually drink. Nobody goes into their doctor and says that they consume 4 or more units of alcohol a day, for fear of a disapproving glance. This consumption level is common however and for some, it can even be much higher.
For the average wine drinker, let’s say that you are drinking 4 units a day, every day. That is a full bottle of wine. At $10 a bottle, this is 300 dollars a month or 3600 dollars a year that could be put towards savings. This is a significant number.
Kick The Habit
If alcohol is affecting your work and family life, you should consider a group such as Alcoholics Anonyomous or a physician assisted detox program.
For the rest of you, simply cutting back may be the answer.
Alcohol consumption sneaks up on you. You drink a little bit more each day until it gets out of control. What you need to do is reset the clock occasionally with a non drinking month. Just pick one month and go the entire month without drinking.
At the end of the month, what you will find is that your desire to drink is diminished, as will be your tolerance for alcohol. Both of these things will allow you to cut back on your alcohol consumption and save more money.
Fast Food Consumption
Fast food can be just as addictive as alcohol or tobacco and almost as bad on your health. One thing is for sure though, it is crippling to your budget and is one of the bad habits that is keeping you from saving.
The average fast food meal costs between $8 and $10, with prices consistently getting higher. Compare that to the cost of preparing a meal from home and you can see the savings potential. The average meal from home can be prepped for around $2 a meal. That is a savings of up to $8 a day or 40 dollars over the course of the work week. This adds up to 160 dollars a month or 2000 dollars in the average 50 week work year.
This means that you can save 2000 dollars a year by bringing your lunch from home. A small sacrifice to make for something that will also improve your waistline and heart health.
Kick The Habit
Kicking the fast food habit is easy and you start feeling the health benefits almost immediately. All that it takes is a bit of planning. Plan out all of the meals that you want to make during the week and buy the ingredients before your work week starts. You will then have everything on hand, so there will be no excuses.
If you want to kick up your savings even more, this would be a good time to start meal planning for all of your family meals.
Gambling On The Lottery
The lottery and lotto tickets are never going to make you rich. Sure, you have the few lucky individuals that actually hit the jackpot, but the states are not running the lottery to give away money. They are, in fact, bringing in millions of dollars in revenue.
Yes, you could hit the jackpot, but you are far more likely to see financial success by putting that gambling money into a savings account.
Are you spending $20 a week on lottery tickets or scratch off cards? A surprising number of people are, and some are spending much more. At $20 a week you are spending 1000 dollars over the course of a year. In 20 years time, that is 30,000 dollars. Money that could significantly help your retirement goals.
Kick The Habit
The main way to kick the lottery and lotto habit is to eliminate your triggers. Simply stop going to the places that sell the most tickets. This means that you should be avoiding the convenience store. That should be easy to do, because you really should not be buying anything from a convenience store anyway. The inflated prices that you pay for “convenience” are budget killers.
Is shopping a hobby for you? It is for thousands of Americans and it is a real problem. With the switch to online shopping, this problem has only gotten worse. Gone are the days of having to drive down to the mall to get your shopping fix. Now it can be done online, with just the click of a mouse.
The average American will spend 300 dollars a month on impulse purchases. This is nearly 4000 dollars a year, all for items that will likely just hang in the closet or get thrown on a shelf. It is easy to see how this amount of money could be put towards a much better use.
Kick The Habit
Just like with the lotto, shoppers have triggers. Window shopping can be fun, but it can only lead to impulse buys if you are a heavy shopper. Stay away from the mall and stop browsing e-commerce websites online just for fun.
Also, erase your credit cards from your online profiles. One click purchases are only doing the retailer any favors. The time that it takes to hunt down a credit card is a cooling down opportunity.