Thursday, August 1, 2013

How Bad Habits Affect Your Wallet

Slim is in, but not when it comes to your wallet. A few dollars dropped here and there on bad habits, over time, can add up to the cost of a new car or a luxurious vacation. How much are your bad habits costing you?


By nature we love to reward ourselves with things. Even if we are always getting "bargains," that sort of unnecessary spending adds up to about $1,200 a year, according to If you saved that in an interest-yielding account, it would add up to nearly $95,000 over 30 years.

Another culprit when it comes to overspending is the lottery. said, "Assuming the average return on a $1 ticket is 47 cents, buying a dollar ticket every day for 60 years will set you back $11,600." 

Bad Eating Habits

Medical expenses, and life and health insurance costs are much higher for obese people than for non-obese people. A statistic from a study by GWU researchers says that the cost of being obese is $2,646 for men, and $4,879 for women annually.

It isn't just obesity itself that has a high price. For example, the same article quoted above said that you can save up to $6 a day by packing your own lunch to take to work instead of buying.

Drinking Alcohol

Those who drink regularly face a yearly cost of about $1,560, and that is at a rate of only five drinks per week at $6 per drink. Binge drinkers, and those who get caught drunk behind the wheel face expenses even higher.

The social stigma that comes with being an alcoholic goes hand-in-hand with the cost to your health and to your overall quality of life. That is why alcohol rehab centers in Florida, and throughout the United States aim to help people conquer this costly habit. 


Cigarettes get a bad rap, and rightly so. Not only do they destroy your health, they also hit your wallet hard. says, "for a woman,the all-inclusive cost of smoking over a lifetime is $106,000; for a man, $220,000."

Cigarettes aren't the only smoke that comes with a big cost. According to, smoking a $10 marijuana joint every day will add up to $219,000 over the course of 60 years.


When you procrastinate, you do more than give your relatives a reason to complain about why that anniversary card you sent them was six weeks late. Waiting to sign up for a 401(k), not cancelling that unused gym membership as soon as possible, or holding onto those grocery coupons until they expire all impact your wallet negatively. The total yearly cost of that type of procrastination is about $600.

It's a good idea to sign up for automatic bill payment for your credit cards. A monthly, $25 late payment is $25 dollars that you could have saved, or used to take your spouse to a movie.

How much money have bad habits already taken from you, and how much more money are you going to let them suck away? The answer is up to you.

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