Habits to Kick in 2011 and the Money You'll Save

Posted on 01/04/2011

A bad habit is more than a guilty pleasure. It can be a huge drain on your finances. Whether it’s smoking, overeating or racking up credit card debt you may be surprised to learn how these bad habits are impacting your financial freedom. Kick these habits in 2011 and you’ll save lots of money.

Overeating - According to health expert Dr. Oz, the cost of overeating weighs in at $258,000 over a lifetime. Not only are you paying more for a bigger amount of food, but if you’re obese you’re forking over more for things like clothing and healthcare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that complications from obesity cost the health care system about $147 billion. Broken down that means that obese Americans pay nearly $1500 more for medical care each year. And on top of that you may be earning a lower salary. Overweight people typically earn $1.25 less per hour.

Using Credit Cards - While using credit cards doesn’t have to be a bad habit, for some people it is. Kick the credit card habit and you could free up lots of extra money that would have gone to paying interest charges and fees. Use this calculator from BankRate.com to figure out the real cost of paying off your credit card debt making only the minimum payment each month. What may seem like a small pile of purchases can start to look like a mountain of debt.

Drinking Caffeine - Addicted to caffeine? You’ll pay a price according to Dr. Oz. That addiction will cost $113,000 over the course of your lifetime. Try kicking the coffee and soda habit by switching to water and tea.

Smoking Cigarettes - Snuff out this habit and you can save nearly $250,000 over your lifetime. And that number will shoot up even higher if you get cancer or some other health problem as a result of smoking. Not only are you allowing about $5 to go up in smoke for every pack you inhale, you’re also hurting the resale price of your car and home.

By Alison Storm

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