Friday, November 17, 2006

~Frugal Friday: The High Cost of Habits~

I came across this interesting article here.

It is quite a different spin on why one should quit smoking. Now, sometime last summer I made a comment in a post regarding cigarette smoke, and I got berated by an anonymous commenter for what I said. I honestly do not know any non-smoker who enjoys cigarette smoke. But, this post is not about smoking at all. If you want to attack anyone, write to MSN regarding their article, not me. *Smiles*

Basically this online article got me to thinking about habits and how much they cost us. Surely, smoking is an expensive habit. It gave the example of a pack-a-day habit costing roughly $4.20.
A large latte costs about the same! There are many people who get their one or two coffees from their favorite coffee shop on a daily basis.

What are some other expensive habits or indulgences? Soda on a daily basis. Eating lunch out instead of packing your own lunch/your husband's lunch. Buying produce and not using it. Purchasing magazines/newspapers at newstand price versus having a subscription. Buying "snack size" packages versus a larger package of the same product. I'm sure I could come up with many more!

One of the best ways to be frugal is to look at your current spending style and re-think it. Many times the word frugal is a dirty word to people because they think it will mean eating beans and rice and reusing envelopes, or going around begging for freebies instead of buying things at the store. But really, small behavior modifications can make a world of difference in your budget! Every thing adds up!

For more great ideas, visit Crystal's post here.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

The most remarkable thing is that many of the the habits that cost us the most financially are also bad for us in otherways - frugal living isn't just cheap - it is often wise.

Lady Why said...

That is so true! Great post!!

spaycee said...

"Buying "snack size" packages versus a larger package of the same product"

The reason some people do that (like me, I buy 100 calorie pack) is to control our eating. I have lost 40 pounds over the past year and a half and let me tell you 'indulging' in the 100 calorie packs, no matter how expensive they are, have helped me to control my portion sizes. If people would stop overeating, their pockets would be full of more money too.

Also - sometimes it is actually cheaper to buy 2 smaller packages than one larger.

Eating out - there is a lady at work that comes in every day with her breakfast and leaves every day at lunch. If I had the money she spent on eating out I would be rich.

Not trying to step on any toes here but I want to make a comment about " If you want to attack anyone, write to MSN regarding their article, not me. *Smiles*" You are right - NO ONE should attack you. However, by allowing comments that are not 'approved' before posting, you do open up your blog to debate. Nothing wrong with a healty debate, but understand people will disagree with you. If you don't want people to, then I would close your comments.

Happymama said...

That's an interesting post, Tammy. My first thought was at $4.20 a day, think of the missionaries that could use that
money on the field for the sake of reaching the lost!!! And that's just for the cigarettes. Eating out and the other daily indulgences you mentioned are sometimes and more often even more expensive.

~Kristi

Joyce's Ramblings said...

There arn't too many people that can't change a litle .
I remember back in the dark ages when I smoked 3 packs a day. Now that I'm retired I can't afford 1 pack a day. I am sooo happy I quit. Smoke gets to me but unless the room is blue with smoke I remember when I had to puff.
See my post on lunch out. Second Tuesday of the month for years with people I worked with.
Be of good spirit. We won't all see things the same way but nice doesn't cost anything.

Shari said...

this was a great post!

Tammy said...

Me--that is so true!

Spaycee--I think it is awesomely wonderful that you have lost the weight you did, and controlled your portions through portion-sized snacks. You counted the cost of the packages, and decided it was worth it! And you are right--I could stop allowing comments, but I've decided that the nice ones far outweight the unkind ones I get every now and then. For this post I really wanted to make it clear that I wasn't talking about or putting down people who are smokers--the article just sparked a thought, that's all!

Joyce--I'm sure you're very glad that you've stopped smoking! Three packs a day is quite a bit! Congratulations on quitting! I love what you said, "nice doesn't cost anything." SO true!

Anonymous said...

Tammy, this is an excellent post. Little bits add up much more quickly than we realize, and are much less obvious to us when they are our habits.

Amy said...

So true Tammy! Lots of good ideas here.

BTW, the smell of smoke has been on my mind, lol! We've been getting packages at home from FedEx now that Hubby is working at home. They have absolutely *reeked* of cigarette smoke to the point that it smelled like someone had been smoking in our home. Even the packaging on the *inside* of the box was totally saturated with the smell. Hubby put in a complaint and thankfully FedEx is taking it seriously. I hate to get people in trouble but this is just *so* gross!

Anonymous said...

We have 2 daughters, aged 21 and 19. 21 year old (by God's grace) was ordered not to smoke (she'd had quite a habit) from her doctor (she lives on her own now). She has migraine issues and being rushed to a hospital 2 weeks ago scared her enough!! 19 year old quit due to the financial strains (lives at home, but not allowed to smoke indoors). I am praising God to have 2 daughters 'back' from the clutches of lung damage. Although this post is for frugality, it should be a SECONDARY issue!! Excellent post.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Post!!!

Tammy said...

Amy--is the smoke coming from the FedEx employees smoking in the truck? Or from the person sending the packages? Either way--ewwwww!

Mrs.--I'm glad that your daughters have quit smoking!

Anonymous said...

Suze Orman calls this "The Latte Factor," I think. For some people that's an extra $100 a month, just on coffee!


Starbucks is a treat for me now, not a way of life. But back when A and I were DINKs, it was a way of life.

spaycee said...

Suze Orman - I LOVE HER!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tammy,

Great ideas about the high cost of habits. So, often, it's the little things that really drain our budget without our realizing it.

I'm in a dilemma right now that you or some of your readers might have some solutions for. I would like to prepare nourishing and cost-saaving meals for my dear hubby. But, DH co-owns his own small company and has to be available to distributors and customers at all times. He is constantly bombarded by phone calls, emails, crises to solve, etc. So, he really needs to get out of the office for lunch in order to have any kind of breathing room at all (and even then, he has to carry his cell phone/pocket computer with him. The building where his company is housed doesn't have a nice quiet room or a picnic area where he could get away for a few moments. So, he ends up eating out most days -- which isn't so good for his health or our budget. Any ideas about how I can help him cut costs and eat better, yet provide a way for him to get out of the office. In warmer weather, I can always carry a picnic down to his office a few times a week and we can go over to a park. But, in inclement weather, I'm a little stumped for ideas.

BTW, thanks for visiting over at the Merry Rose.

Elizabeth

Amy said...

It's most definitely the FedEx folks smoking around the packages :) Icky, I know!

Mishel said...

Great post! I enjoy reading certain magazines and a good way to save money is to check them out from the library.