What Does Your Habit Cost You? Try $112,000.

Have you ever seriously considered how much a habit can cost you? Would you be surprised if I told you that it can cost over $112,000? We’ll get to that later.  I think most of us have a habit we spend money on to some degree without realizing just how much we are actually spending over time. For some of us, it is a daily habit like buying coffee, bagels or juice on our way to work or a daily snack we could easily make at home that would cost much less. For others, that habit may be less healthy and frowned upon by society.  Smoking comes to mind, as does smokeless tobacco products.  No matter what your habit, have you ever seriously calculated the monthly cost? For some habits, like smoking, the cost could in the long run be greater than the actual cash amount spent monthly if you take into consideration the health consequences. Let’s leave that for another discussion and focus on the money.  

A friend of mine, let’s call her Kim, recently decided to quit smoking. Since we are in the age of all things technological, Kim included an app to support her decision.  As it turns out, this is a great idea and a daily visual reminder of your progress and your success. It can reflect when you fall off the wagon as well, which can be demoralizing but it helps you restart and keep making progress toward your goal. When I saw Kim’s progress screen I realized these apps are the new “latte factor” but in a more personalized way.

Many of us claim we don’t have any additional funds to go to our savings and investing accounts. If we realize the cost of a habit, that is not so true. For Kim, she had saved $131 in just 25 days by not smoking! This was amazing to me. The app calculates the cost based on her brand and frequency of purchase and displays this information daily as she successfully stops smoking. It made me think about what she could do with her newfound wealth. She could add to her savings, her investment account, or use that money for debt repayment, or any combination thereof.  

Let’s say for example that Kim goes 30 days and has saved an even $135 (I’ll round not knowing exactly what she would have spent).  Let’s also assume that this $135 is the monthly amount she would have spent on smoking but now she has each and every month to save and invest for the next 30 years. If Kim invests and earns an average of 5% on her money, she’ll have socked away an amazing $112,958 at the end of thirty years. You can check your savings using a simple monthly savings calculator at Bankrate.com or by asking me. I’m happy to help you run personalized calculations. And if you need the app to help you quit, it’s at smokefreeapp.com.  Please note that neither Bankrate nor Smokefreeapp provide any form of support for this blog, or to Engage Advising. The references are provided simply for your convenience.

As an independent Certified Financial Planner™, I can help you decide where and how to invest your new financial gain. As for helping you kick a habit, moral support is provided free of charge, but ultimately, it’s up to you! Contact me and let’s get started! #talktometuesday #education #Hireaplanner #badhabitscost #smokefree