I’m not going to rehash all of the physical health benefits of quitting smoking. I’m not going to remind you that smoking has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer and that the average smoker lives seven years less than a non-smoker.
(Oops, guess I just did.)
What I really want to show you is the horrible effect smoking has on your financial health.
According to TobaccoFreeKids.org, the average price for a pack of cigarettes in the United States is $4.35. That means that a person who smokes one pack of cigarettes per day spends roughly $1,600 per year on smokes. That’s a lot of money to be spending on anything, let alone on something that’s so bad for you.
So, what would happen if you invested that money instead? Below are two scenarios that show how much money you lose out on by lighting up, based on smoking a pack a day for 25 years.
Scenario #1 – Investing in a money market account with an annual yield of 4%:
Scenario #2 – Investing in a mutual fund with an annual yield of 8%:
In the first scenario, by investing the $1,600 that would have been spent on cigarettes, you would be sitting on about $69,000 (pre-tax), instead of being out $40,000 with nothing to show for it except yellow teeth and a nasty cough. That’s a swing of $109,000 in your favor.
In the second scenario, by investing that same $1,600 in a mutual fund that returns 8% annually, you would have roughly $126,000 instead of being out $40,000. That’s a swing of $166,000 in your favor.
Even if you don’t invest the $1,600, but use it towards paying down your mortgage sooner, or paying off credit card debt, or rewarding your iron will with a big screen TV, financially you’re going to be much better off than if you let that money go up in smoke.
So, if you can’t quit smoking for the health benefits, at least try it for the financial benefits. Either way, down the road you’re going to be a lot better off if you kick the habit now – or better yet, you don’t even start.
Guest Post by Iva Marjanovic, Iva is a writer for TotallyMoney.com which is a website that compares mortgages and cheap loans. She also runs a popular personal finance blog where she shares money saving ideas and frugal tips.