This post in part of our series of “Fix your personal finances in 30 days“. A series dedicated to helping you improve your personal finance situation in 3o days without having to make any major adjustments to your lifestyle.
Almost everyone has one habit they can drop or reduce in order to save some money. The most expensive and common habits include: smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, the coffee shop, soda machine and the vending machine. Each of these habits require a chunk out of the monthly budget and all of them are bad for your health.
Smoking causes lung disease, heart and blood vessel disease, cancer, and many other illness. The average smoker pays close to $5 per pack for cigaretts and smokes almost a pack per day. That’s $150 per month cigarette budget! Can you imagine what you could do with this money? If you are a smoker try limiting yourself to half the number of cigarettes per day for a savings of $75 per month. Eventually try to stop smoking all together and stop burning money.
Drinking alcohol in excess can also lead to many health problems. Vital organs such as kidneys and liver can be damaged by too much alcohol. Specialty drinks in restaurants can cost upwards of $7 and $8, even a beer on average will cost $3 and $4. Drinking 4 drinks per week in a restaurant would cost around $80 per month. Again if you must have a drink try cutting normal consumption in half or make a commitment to not drink alcohol in restaurants. Buying alcohol at the grocery store is much cheaper than a restaurant.
The coffee shop sits next to the road on your way to work, tempting you every morning. You are getting ready to spend the entire day in the office, you deserve a $4 coffee, right? That’s another $80+ per month habit. If coffee is your addiction then skip the specialty shop and drink at the office or make a pot of coffee before you leave for work. Sure it may not taste as good but you will save a ton of money and still get your morning caffeine. You may even be able to convince the office to purchase a specialty coffee for the break room if everyone is willing to chip in a few bucks.
Last but not least on my list is the soda and vending machine habit. The average American drinks about 2 sodas per day. I’m willing to bet at least one of those is purchased at work from a vending machine. Usually strategically placed next to the soda machine is a vending machine. A snack and soda per day from the vending machines will cost at least $1. That’s another $25 per month habit added to the budget.
If you have more than one of these nasty savings draining habits you can see how it impacts your budget. It may be money that you don’t even realize you are spending. Take a minute today and figure out how much you spend each month on habits. You may clear up a great deal of cash and improve your health at the same time!