Let’s face it, we all have a bad habit or two or maybe several, so there’s no judgment here. However what we don’t think about is what those habits are costing us, and I don’t mean just physically, but I’m talking cold hard cash. That’s why when it comes to saving money tips, one of the first places you should look at is how you live your daily life.
Saving Money Tips – Kick Your Bad Habits to the Curb
I realize it isn’t always easy to change bad habits.
It takes a lot of effort and motivation and hard work, but if you do, not only will you feel better about yourself, you’ll save a ton of money each year, and perhaps that savings will help motivate you.
Here are some saving money tips that deal with the most expensive habits that are draining your savings.
1.Smoking – I know it’s tough to quit smoking once you’ve started. There’s no getting around that.
Even so, the average smoker spends over $2,000 each and every year on cigarettes.
Just think… over 10 years that’s $20,000! That could be a down payment on a house. Yikes.
2. Fast Food – Okay, I admit it. I like fast food. I know…I know… no one is supposed to actually like it, but I do. Even so, I pretty much gave it up and it saved me a boatload of money.
Consider this, if you eat fast food three times a week, that’s going to be about $30 bucks a week or$120 a month.
If you don’t currently have an emergency fund, you could have $1,440 saved for one in one year just by giving up fast food.
That means in 10 years you would save $14,400!
Boy if you smoke and eat fast food and give up both, you’d save over $34,000 in ten years. Okay, that’s kind of exciting.
3. Drinking Alcohol – This one is a bit harder to determine as what you drink and where you live is going to play a large part in how much liquor is actually costing you, but there’s a great free alcohol spending calculator here.
You just put in how often you drink, how many drinks per day, and the cost of those drinks and it will give you what you’re spending weekly, monthly, and yearly.
For example, I used the following data for a make-believe person:
- Drinking 2 days per week
- Having 3 drinks on both of those days
- $8.00 per drink
The calculator showed that this person spends $48 per week, $208 per month, and $2,496 per year at this rate of drinking.
So, once again, this person could save $2,496 per year and $24,960 over 10 years. Wow…
Of course, if you’re a heavier drinker or partier, you could save quite a bit more.
4. Paying Bills Late – Everyone can miss a payment or make a late payment from time-to-time, but if you’re doing it on a consistent basis, it’s costing you a fortune.
Credit cards, for example, charge you anywhere from $25 to $35 dollars for a late payment even if it is only a day past the due date.
Once you start making late payments, your credit cards will increase your interest rates. This is called a penalty APR and it can be as high as 29%. (Consolidating your credit cards can be a great option.)
Finally, if you make a late payment on a credit card or elsewhere, it usually ends up on your credit report and it can lower your credit score.
This means it will be harder to get credit and when you do, you will pay more for it. (Check out Your Bad Credit Score is Costing You More Than You Know.)
In fact, 35% of your credit score is determined by your payment history.
So, paying a couple of bills late can cost you up to $70 per month.
By paying on time every time, you could save $840 a month or $8,400 in ten years.
I know this saving money tip might be tough if you’re having a hard time just getting by, but if you have any of these other bad habits, by kicking them to the curb, you can free up some money.
5. Lottery Tickets – Sure, it’s fun thinking about what you’d do with all those millions if you win. I’ve daydreamed about that myself, but honestly, you have a better chance of being hit by lightning than winning millions in the lottery.
If you’re spending $10 a week on lottery tickets, you can save $40 a month, $480 a year, and $4,800 in ten years.
This is one of the easiest saving money tips in this list.
6. Gambling – Beyond lottery tickets is real gambling. While I enjoy going to Vegas every few years, I’ve never been a big gambler, but I know there are people will gambling addictions and like smoking or drinking, addiction can be very difficult to get over, and oftentimes takes help.
It’s impossible to put a dollar figure on this one, though it could be hundreds or even thousands per month, if you gamble often and lose, you know what it’s costing you.
To sum up, if you are living with all of these habits and were able to give them up, you could save around $72,560 in ten years.
Think about that…. just by improving your health and making some lifestyle changes, you could save over $72K in ten years. Amazing…
That doesn’t even include the savings in medical costs.
These saving money tips may not be the easiest way to save money, but they sure are some of the best.
So, what are you willing to give up?