It is easy to lose track of your spending when you’re forking out for a habit. Several coins couldn’t hurt much of your budget, right? After all, it’s just some loose change you’re bound to misplace anyway.
This is exactly how many would think when dishing out for a pack of cigarette or beer. These are inexpensive things that anyone has the money for. But have you tried to add up all the money you’ve spent in a year on these seemingly cheap thrills?
You will be surprised to know how much their real worth is.
The Real Cost of Smoking
When we talk about the monetary value of cigarette smoking, the obvious cost is the amount spent on buying a pack. The current average price in the United States is $6 a pack, which contains 20 sticks.
Let’s say it would take two days for someone to finish that pack. This means the average monthly consumption is 15 packs or a total of $90 each month. Following this rate of consumption, the person will be spending $1,080 in a year.
Imagine what you could do with that much money.
But the numbers don’t end with just that price. There are other costs related to smoking that you also have to factor in.
Heart ailment, cancer, and respiratory problems are some of the known health risks of cigarette smoking. People get sick and this translates into medical expenditures – treatment, medication, and professional services. Unfortunately, these are not cheap.
Getting a premium insurance is much more costly for smokers. Many companies charge higher premiums for them considering that they are high-risk.
If one gets sick due to smoking, there will be lost productivity. The person is forced to take a leave and refrain from working. The earning capacity is diminished. Instead of bringing in income for the benefit of the household, the person has to shell out for all the medical expenses.
The seemingly cheap habit turns out to be very expensive after all.
The Real Cost of Drinking
Like smoking, drinking seems to be an inexpensive habit. A six pack of domestic beer which average price is at $5.79 isn’t much of an expense. Drinking a minimum of three bottles a day translates to $86.85 per month or a whopping $1,042.200 in a year. Multiply this figure by the number of years you’ve been drinking and you’ll be surprised by how much money you’ve lost to alcohol.
If you saved that money, it could have paid for a lot of your bills and even a couple of days of vacation. You could have even bought a new car.
It’s not just the amount you spend on getting wasted that should be considered when talking about the real cost of drinking alcohol.
You also have to factor in those work days you missed for being too drunk to go to the office. Lost of workplace productivity is expected in this case.
Its long-term effects should also be examined. Repeated consumption of alcohol can result to weight gain and high blood pressure. Drinking alcohol can also increase the risk of depression, liver damage, depression of the immune system, and cancer. Others will experience alcohol dependence. The medical expenses associated with these conditions are quite costly.
Free Tools to Help You Win Over the Habit
Letting go of the habit is challenging. You are used to doing it and your body will be looking for it.
Given the case, it is essential to make use of certain tools to help you quit. It helps to engage in online communities that provide assistance to get through the challenge. For those who are not yet too dependent on the substance, there are free downloadable applications to help with the journey.
Some of these apps assist in tracking the money saved and cravings pattern. The others provide a support system on the quest to be free from smoking and drinking. These apps will make the daily struggle manageable as you reach the goal to finally quit.
Quit Smoking Apps
1. LIVESTRONG MyQuit Coach
This app works as a virtual coach to help create a personalized plan to quit. You can opt to either gradually taper off the habit or quit abruptly. It keeps track of nicotine cravings and smoking consumption.
It also has goals, reminders, and personal motivations to assist you when the going gets tough. There’s also a built-in support circle to allow users to get in touch with other individuals going through the same struggle.
2. Quit Smoking: Cessation Nation
One of the most effective means of quitting smoking is by diverting your attention to other things. This is how this app works. Open this app when you feel the urge to smoke so you can play a game or get in touch with others instead. It also shows how much you’ve saved as well as the benefits your body gets from quitting.
Quit Drinking Apps
The app was created by two fathers who wanted to recover from drinking alcohol. Their main target was to make an application that looks good, establishes a support group, and keeps track of multiple clocks. The end result is Nomo, which shows the time the user has been sober down to the very last minute.
Sobriety is measured in the number of years, months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes. It has a recovery milestone where a chip is issued to commemorate the achievement. The money saved is on the app as well. All these information can be shared on the social media and with an accountability partner, who looks after how long you have been clean.
2. Sobriety Counter
Quitting drinking can be fun, and that’s thanks to this app. Its bright and bold colors permit users to “gamify” their journey to wellness. If the urge to drink occurs, users can play a game to help them pass time, beat the desire, and stay sober.
The dashboard also shows how much money is saved by stopping the habit. A personal goal can also be set up, which will show the time needed to reach it. Health improvement in terms of blood circulation, cell regeneration as well as the decrease in risks of cancer and heart disease are also available.
Dealing with Addiction
It is a completely different story though when a person gets addicted to smoking and drinking. Professional help is necessary to get past this period as quitting can be detrimental to one’s health. While it is true that leaving the habit is crucial, the withdrawal symptoms can be fatal; thus, a medical intervention is needed.
In these cases, going to alcohol rehab treatment centers is the best option.
Among the withdrawal symptoms of smoking are headaches, sweating, abdominal cramping, constipation, sore throat, coughing, insomnia, depression, irritability, anxiety and weight gain.
Tremors, nausea, anxiety, vomiting, headache, irritability, confusion, insomnia, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure are common withdrawal symptoms of drinking.
These conditions have to be monitored by medical professionals who have the competency and skill to do what is needed. If not properly addressed, some of them can even lead to worse conditions. For example, if depression is not treated there’s a possibility that the person will commit suicide or let go of himself completely among many other side effects.
So before you fall into deep with the habit, think very hard about the real cost of smoking and drinking.