24 Jun Do you really need it at all?
Earlier, we had mentioned that managing your expenses and making your income stretch further shouldn’t really involve drastic changes in your life. When you put into practice the first three suggestions in this special report, you should begin to see a pretty big difference in your monthly budget. But we need to look at one more area of your financial life, and it may not be very pleasant. We have to look at some expenses that really aren’t doing you any favors and should just be gotten rid of.
We are all adults here, and we know that all adults have the right to do with their bodies as they please. That being said, there are some very destructive habits that can cause harm to a person both physically and financially. For example, think about drugs, and not just the illegal kind, either. Let’s look at tobacco use and see what effect it can have on a person’s wallet.
The health effects of smoking or chewing tobacco are well known, and this is not the forum to go into why you might consider those effects if you do have this habit. Let’s just talk straight dollars and cents. Although there are some chain smokers who go through two or more packs per day, we’ll use a conservative estimate of one pack (of 20 cigarettes) as our benchmark to see what the true cost of smoking is.
Unlike many expenses, smoking is a 365 day year-round expense. The average price of a pack of cigarettes varies from state to state, depending on local taxes, but a nice round number is $5.50 (although in some states it may be as high as $14.50). At $5.50 per day, the average American smoker is looking at a $38.50 per week habit. Spending an average of $154 per month and $1,848 per year, smokers are heavily invested, literally, in continuing their habit. But financially speaking, they are digging their own graves. How so?
Cigarettes provide no actual nutrition or benefit to the user. In fact, they create medical bills and cost the equivalent of a cable bill PLUS a cell phone bill each month just to enjoy them. Instead of propelling a person towards financial freedom, they hold them back and force them to live below their means.
What could you do with $154 per month (remember, this is a conservative estimate)? That money could be used to invest in any one of a hundred vehicles that could start putting profit in your pocket TODAY. So asking the tough questions like “Should I really be spending my money on this?” is an important step towards true financial security.
Let’s look at another example. With a lot of new devices nowadays, like an iPad, the phone company will usually try to sell you a data plan (usually a minimum of $25 per month). But think for a moment about when and where you will actually be using that new device. In the case of iPads, most owners principally use them at home, where they already have a Wi-Fi connection. So why should they pay an extra $25 per month ($300 per year) for something that they really don’t need? In fact, why should they spend $300 per year to get a service that they basically already have? Sales staff may pressure you and convince you that this new service
is necessary, but don’t fall for it. After all you are the one who will be paying the
monthly bills, and not them.
Americans are not stupid when it comes to finances, but unfortunately many have
been given very bad advice. They have also been encouraged by big businesses to
spend their money as fast as they can instead of thinking about the future.