Quitting can offer huge financial benefits. With the right tactics, you'll be able to watch the extra cash build up and up and up...
For lots of smokers, money is a huge motivator for giving up, and with good reason. The financial benefits that come with leaving cigarettes behind can be surprisingly substantial. Just think about how much you spend every day, every week, or even every year on your habit. If you spend $13 on each pack of 20 cigarettes, for example, and you're a 20 a day smoker, you could be splashing out over $90 a week. That's around $4,700 every year!
With government plans to increase the tax on cigarettes in the coming years,1 there's now even more financial incentive to quit. It's up to you how you manage your savings – you might want to enjoy your extra funds in the short term. Alternatively, you might be a little more careful and save most of it for a rainy day. However you decide to enjoy it, the first task is to turn the theory into a reality and start saving! Here are a few ways you could do it.
A dollar a craving
Quitting can allow you cash benefits straight away, so you won't have to wait long to see why it's a good idea. With the right tactics, you'll be able to watch your extra cash grow and grow. Each time you feel like a cigarette, rather than giving in to the craving, put a dollar in a jar, a box, or a piggy bank - anything that's safe and you can keep handy for when you need it. Just like a swear box, it can be a great way to save and you'll be surprised how quickly the cash can build up.
Great for - seeing the difference every day and spending on smaller things like a trip to the movies, a new shirt or a night out with friends.
Bank it every month
Quitting can also help you save for some more substantial purchases surprisingly quickly. By giving up cigarettes, your extra cash can build up over a relatively short period of time and start to make a real difference. Work out how much you'd spend on cigarettes in a month. Set up a new savings account that you can keep separate from your everyday account, and transfer your sum into it once a month (possibly on pay day). If you set up an account that you don't have access to for a fixed time, you won't be able to fritter away your savings. To make things a little easier, set up a standing order so the payment is made automatically.
Great for – putting aside money each month to go towards a new computer or that holiday you've been planning.
Make your savings solid
Quitting could give you the ability to change your financial situation in the long term. For example, you could increase your mortgage payments by the amount you would have spent on cigarettes each month. That money really adds up and your house could be yours outright a lot sooner than if you'd continued to smoke. Alternatively, use that money to increase your repayments of a loan you may have taken out, or pay off a bigger chunk of a credit card.
Great for – paying off any debt a lot sooner.
Save for the future
However young you are, quitting now could help make life more financially manageable – and more fun – when you're older. Whatever your age, topping up your super with the money you're saving on cigarettes is a great way to make sure you're better off when you retire. Alternatively, you could save for someone else's future by setting up a savings account for your child or grandchild. Of course, you could still keep just a little aside for yourself!
Great for - feeling comfortable that you're prepared to enjoy the future. You could spend some of your cash on that cruise you've always wanted to go on.
By turning the theory into a reality and actually starting to save when you quit, you'll quickly see the impressive financial benefits.