Do you know those videos where people are smoking several packs of cigarettes in one go? Or those people who are in the reality TV series and they are burnt all over from being too long in a tanning bed? Many people see that as entertaining, I have to admit that I probably also shared a meme or two containing those images.
The true problem is that a lot of people don’t see that they are having unhealthy habits, which might hurt their health. They see it as something they simply do, it’s part of their personality and they can’t do something about it.
As with many things, they are addictive and they cost a lot of money.
I have compiled a list for you of 8 habits that are bad for your money and your health. A few of them I am guilty of myself, and a few of them I’ve seen other people do to themselves. Causing stress, unhappiness, shortages of money, and more.
Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death and disease, according to the World Health Organisation. In Europe, over 16% of all deaths are coming from tobacco use. While in the US, smoking is costing more than $300 billion every year!
Smoking can have bad side effects, that I think we all know. From lung cancer to heart disease, and everything in between.
A lot of people in my environment are smoking. My housemates are smoking, my aunt is smoking, few of my friends were smoking. Luckily most of my friends stopped, so that exposes me less at the moment.
I have to admit I’ve also smoked myself. It started when I was going out in college. I was having loads of alcohol and I was having an occasional cigarette. Then after a few months, I started buying cigarettes myself when I was going out, so I had my own pack. This is a very big red flag, if you’re there now, know it’s not too early to stop!
After smoking when going out, I started to smoke whenever I was stressed. That sounds like a very healthy pattern right? When I had exams, midterms, needed to study, I was smoking. Just to relax, to release stress, and to keep me going. I told myself it’s okay to smoke several times per day when I’m studying because it was preventing being stressed.
And then – Things Changed
Well, actually in the long term it caused more stress. I couldn’t focus on my studying as I did before, since my hands smelled like smoke and I don’t like the smell (the irony). Even when I washed my hands it would stick. Ugh.
I think this entire thing lasted around a year. Then all of a sudden I was done with it. I swore to myself I would never buy another pack again, and that was my smoking habit.
When I was in the US I almost started again, since my friend with whom I traveled was smoking at the time. I bought another three packs, finished two of them, and haven’t touched the third one yet. It’s been 3 years since I’ve come back from the US, so yeah I’m kinda proud.
BUT, smoking is also extremely expensive. You pay an average of €8 for a pack of cigarettes, which can be up to €250 per month just for smoking when you smoke a pack a day. Let’s imagine what you can all do with €250 per month! (Hint: invest it in the stock market, buy index funds, read an amazing book).
Fun fact: smokers earn around 20% less than non-smokers according to Glassdoor
Alcohol misuse is costing the US alone $249 billion yearly, that’s $2.05 per drink and $807 per person living in the US. Most costs are coming from binge drinking, so where a person ends up in the hospital because they drunk too much.
I’ve also drunk a lot – a lot – of alcohol in the past. At that time it was just very ‘normal’, which is also something we could question. I would start drinking around the age of 14, while the legal age at that time was 16. Currently, they set the legal age to 18. Which in my opinion means that people are starting to drink around age 16, which is at least better than before.
Friends of mine have seriously been going to the hospital because they drank too much, which is scary. Obviously, these hospital visits are also adding immense costs to the health care system (and your personal wallet).
I don’t mind if people drink, I love me a beer, but there are boundaries. No more puking, no more not remembering what I did, and no more drinking just to get drunk!
According to Bloomberg, the average player collects $0.6 in winnings for every $1 in tickets bought.
While I’ve gambled before, and I’ve participated in the lottery before, I’ve never enjoyed it too much. When I was in Las Vegas, of course, you have to play for a bit in the casino, but that’s about it. Also when it’s around Christmas, my in-laws always gift everyone a lottery ticket. That’s all I do for lottery tickets.
I’ve heard too many stories of people losing money while gambling, friends have literally handed me their money so they couldn’t spend it anymore, and people file bankruptcy after gambling. I swore to myself I never wanted to experience that personally.
Casino’s are making immense sums of money, do you think they would otherwise keep giving you drinks or want to keep you there as long as possible? Keep in mind that they do everything for one reason; to make more money.
Know your stopping point, only go in with the money you are willing to lose and don’t take any extra cash out.
4. (Online) Shopping
People feel that they have to buy something especially when they’re feeling sad, bored, or something along those lines. They want to have that high from buying something quick and it doesn’t feel like you’re actually spending money.
This can make you fall into more credit card debt, generally overspend on things, and lead you to buy things you don’t actually need. This all leads to more unhappiness and additional stress, which in turn leads to excess shopping again. The cycle is born!
To stop this, think about where your unhappiness is coming from. Try to get to the root of the problem and find the solution there as well.
If you’re having a hard time with this, try cutting down spending by trying out the minimalist lifestyle.
I have a lot of friends who go tanning, luckily most of them stopped this already. The people who went tanning, were not really having the natural tan color. Also, skin cancer is a real issue here. If you’re spending most of the year going tanning, the risks drastically go up!
It’s not so good for your skin, as well as expensive. It’s as expensive as 10 minutes for €10, and prices go up from there. Let’s say you go for 30 minutes every week, that’s €30 per week, €120 per month, and over €1500 per year!
That’s money earned fast! Let’s try embracing our skin or simply using something like a bronzing lotion.
Speeding is not only expensive when you get tickets, it’s also accounting for a major amount of additional costs. In 2016, the cost of motor vehicle accidents was $432 billion, with 2 million people involved. This averages $213,000 per person involved.
In addition to that, your car insurance costs will increase, which no one ever likes!
7. TV & Social Media
With everything, you need to dose the amount. Also with TV, of course you can watch a good TV show of watch some videos on YouTube, but don’t let it get the best of you.
The average American spends 31.5 hours each week watching TV, and around six other hours per week watching movies. On top of this, social media adds another 10 hours per week on average. Some people spend more, and some people spend less time in front of screens because many of us also work 8 hours per day.
TV and social media can affect you by watching the commercials, causing you to buy things that you normally wouldn’t buy.
Are you waisting time watching TV or social media? If you could just reclaim a few hours every week by eliminating the TV and the social, you could reclaim that time to do the things you love. Perhaps read a book – I highly recommend Rich Dad Poor Dad, pick up that hobby that you’ve left out there for too long, go for a walk.
Every single time I’ve done something rushed in my life, it had a consequence. I wanted to go to sleep and scheduled my article – it got published accidentally. Oops! I hurried home to meet my friends – I almost hit someone with the car. I am rushing to finish some work – I have to redo it.
You name it!
There are so many things that happen when we’re rushed, mostly bad things that cost us money or time. Getting injured, car accidents, breaking things, and more.
Slowing down can save you a lot of money!
What is one bad habit that you’re trying to get rid of? (My worst habit is rushing!)