Sometimes you need a kick in the pants to realize how much money you are throwing into bad habits. We all have our reasons to escape, relax, or to self-soothe, but when you find better ways to cope, it also helps your wallet.
Let’s look at some habits that cost a lot of money. Some are also just plain unhealthy. Think if there’s something on this list that you are doing — and if you do several, maybe start by eliminating one:
- Postponing dental appointments – One ignored cavity can turn into the need for a root canal and a crown. It makes better sense to stick to routine checkups and cleanings, to nip any little problems in the bud, before they become expensive problems.
- Cigarettes – The yearly cost for this habit can be $2,000 – $5,000! Ouch!
- Buying coffee on the way to work = about $800 annually. That’s if you go small and un-fancy! Make your own coffee at home in the morning and allow yourself time to sit and enjoy it and start your day off peacefully.
- Gambling – Don’t be lured to a casino because you are offered free lunch or a free drink – the odds are not in your favor. And, if you are fond of buying lottery tickets, keep track of how many you buy each week, and what the cost is per year. You may want to stop, or only purchase a few times a year.
- Stress-eating when you aren’t hungry, or buying snacks from vending machines or convenience stores. Unhealthy for you and your wallet!
- Using ATMs that charge fees; it really adds up.
- Grabbing drive-through or carryout food instead of preparing simple (frugal) meals at home.
- Meeting friends at bars for drinks. If you like to catch up with friends over a drink, consider meeting at someone’s house and buying your own beer or wine. Sitting on a porch and chatting with a friend is much quieter and cheaper than a bar.
- Buying magazines in stores. If you love to read magazines, look at the newsstand prices (they’re going way up!), and consider buying a subscription; it is much cheaper. Or, see which magazines are free on Amazon Prime for members. Value Mags offers magazine subscriptions for up to 88% off the cover price, like Time Magazine (Save 88%) or Cooking Light (Save 69%)!