Being healthy doesn’t just mean saving your body. There are a number of other savings that you may not have thought about before. Taking a break from bad habits can actually help your wallet. Here are a few of the ways bad health habits can affect your budget and by making a healthy choice, you can save.
The average price of a pack of cigarettes varies from $5.06 in Missouri to $10.56 in New York. A smoker who smokes a pack a day can spend between $35 and $70 in a week and between $150 and $300 a month. And that doesn’t even include the greater effects on the cost of smoking. According to the CDC, smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $300 billion each year, including:
- Nearly $170 billion for direct medical care for adults
- Lost productivity costing more than $156 billion, with secondhand smoke exposure accounting to $5.6 billion in lost productivity
By quitting smoking, not only will your health get a boost but you can save up to $3,600 a year. Cutting it out of your lifestyle has even more cost-savings attached; Quitting smoking has a range of savings with your health insurance, as typically smokers pay more for health insurance than non-smokers.
Fast food has a number of hidden costs associated with it. On face value, fast food is cheaper than eating healthier options. A recent study found that fast food is $550 less per year than eating healthier options including shopping for groceries. However, don’t eat all those big macs just yet. Fast food is linked to chronic illnesses, including diabetes and cancer. Americans with diabetes spend around 2.3 times more for health care in their lives compared to those who don’t have diabetes. People with diagnosed diabetes incur on average about $13,700 per year in medical expenses, of which about $7,900 is attributed to diabetes.
Americans eat a lot of candy. For Halloween alone, Americans spend on average $24.65 on treats, with Easter coming very close at $23.85 on average. On average, we consume around 358 calories worth of sugar daily, far more than the amount recommended by the USDA. This translates into larger health issues such as diabetes and obesity. Cutting back on candy consumption not only will save the wallet immediately, but it’ll save in future health costs. Just try to stay away from the candy aisle.
On average, Americans spend $463 a year on alcohol. If we factor excessive drinking to account, defined by the CDC as drinking four or more drinks on an occasion for women or five or more drinks on an occasion for men, the cost increases to an average of $807 per person. Drinking has far reaching costs on our lives, including decreased workplace productivity, health care costs, criminal justice expenses related to excessive drinking, and motor vehicle crashes.
Long term, alcohol can have far reaching effects on your health. Excessive drinking can actually cut back years on your life, so think about that the next time you’re having a few drinks.
These are a few health vices that, with a change in lifestyle, can add to some great costs savings. Keep in mind, you don’t have to go cold turkey on all of these and quit smoking, stop eating fast food and candy, and stop drinking alcohol. Take a moment to see where your excesses are, and try to cut back where you can. Your wallet and future health will thank you.