If you’re a smoker, and thinking about quitting, do it. Your pocketbook will thank you.
For decades, research has proven time and again all the negative impacts of smoking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in America. However, there are also many lifetime benefits of quitting smoking for one’s personal finance. Here are just a few ways giving up cigarettes can save you money.
The Daily Savings of Quitting Smoking
The most obvious financial benefit and incentive to quit smoking is how much you will save in the weekly costs. The actual amount depends on how frequently you smoke, but the average smoker goes through about a pack a day. Although the cost of cigarettes is relatively low where I live, the national average is around $7 a pack. When you quit smoking, you will save approximately $49 a week in cigarettes alone. After a year, this adds up to roughly $2,555. In the current economic climate, that money could be better spent on other aspects of personal finance.
There are also other associated costs that contribute to your daily savings once you quit. For example, you will no longer need to invest in lighters which always seem to go missing. Don’t forget to include all the cigarettes you share with fellow smokers. Once you join the ranks of non-smokers these savings go directly back into your wallet.
The Lifetime Benefits and Health Care Costs
There is no doubt that giving up the habit is good for your health. However, health care costs also reflect the lifetime benefits of quitting smoking for one’s personal finance. Studies show that smoking reduces your life expectancy by about 10 years (CDC). Based on this fact, non-smokers pose less risk and receive lower life insurance premiums and health insurance rates. On average, smokers pay 10-15% more than nonsmokers for term life insurance coverage. This totals between $1,000 and $1,500 per year.
When you quit smoking, you also reduce the risk of preventable diseases that require long-term medical attention. Conditions such as asthma, emphysema, and cancer are all costly and painful to treat. The cost for cancer treatments and emergency care in the United States is among the highest in the world. It is sadly common to hear of people losing their savings due to medical bills. Saving hundreds of thousands of dollars is reason enough to quit smoking. The sooner you shake the bad habit, the better.
Not only does smoking cost you, if you are pregnant it can impact the health of your unborn child. Babies born to women who smoke are more likely to have birth defects, low birth weight and a high risk of death due to SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome (CDC).
Quitting Smoking to Cut Cleaning Costs
Another major lifetime benefit of quitting smoking for one’s personal finance is the amount you save in cleaning costs. If you want to resell your home, there are substantial costs to clean walls, carpets, and fabrics. When there is extension damage, you may end up replacing them entirely. Angie’s List estimates the average cost around $4,100. However, home renovations can range from $2,000 to $20,000 depending on how much needs to be done to deodorize your home and remove staining.
If you smoke at home, you also probably smoke in your car. Once you stop, you no longer need to shell out $100-$150 to detail your vehicle. Also, consider the price of every garment you have to dry-clean because the smell clings to your clothes. Add up all these cleaning costs, and you’ll see some of the additional costs of smoking.
Increased Insurance Costs
The Affordable Care Act contains provisions that allow insurance companies to charge tobacco users up to 40% more than non-users. This is because smokers are more likely than non-smokers to have health problems and therefore constitute a greater risk.
Reduced Asset Values
In addition to increased insurance costs, the value of a smoker’s home and car are often less than those of non-smokers. This is because of the negative cosmetic effects and odor of smoke in smoker’s homes and cars.
If you are a smoker and you are looking to find out how much money smoking will save you, here is a great calculator.
The Cost of Quitting Smoking
Even if people want to quit, some may be dissuaded by the amount of time or the cost of various cessation methods. However, these aids are very affordable and becoming more convenient to use. Whether you choose patches, gum, or nicotine pouches, the long-term savings on healthcare costs far surpass the upfront expense. Check with your provider to see if non-nicotine medications or cessation methods are covered under your plan. Whatever method you choose, quitting smoking is a wise investment for both your health and personal finance.
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