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Dec 292012
 
 December 29, 2012  Posted by  Hot Deals, Money
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Not all habits are bad in themselves, but they can be bad if they cost you money. Take a look at the habits that cost you money. Here are four money-saving New Year’s resolutions.

Quit Smoking. Quit smoking this year and you could save thousands of dollars. A pack of cigarettes costs $4 to $10 or more, depending on your state. Let’s say it’s $7. Multiply that by a pack-a-day habit and $2,555 of your hard-earned dollars are literally going up in smoke. Smoke more than that? You’re spending more. Stop burning money! Think what you could do with that extra money each year. Take a trip, put a down payment on a car or put the money away for a rainy day. If you add in the potential health risks related to smoking, and costs that go with them, you stand to save even more. While you’re at it, consider how much money and grief you can save the people who look up to you. Studies have shown that children of parents who smoke are more likely to also smoke. Being a good example is one New Year’s resolution that can help the people you love. How to quit? Smokefree.gov offers some basics to get you going.  Also have a look at Cancer.org’s guide to quitting smoking.

Make your own coffee. Are you in the coffee line every morning, waiting for one of those nifty coffee concoctions? Make your own coffee and you stand to save a lot of money. For some of us, those specialized coffees enrich our mornings, make us fee we’ve had a treat and give us a power punch. I won’t get into the extra fat and calories some of those expensive pours are adding to your diet, but the cost alone is good reason to make an alternative choice.  Let’s estimate a very modest $3 per day, though many of the drinks cost much more. Multiplied by 365 days in the year, you’re easily spending more than a grand in coffee drinks over the year. At a minimum, you’ll save around 60% and probably much more if you make coffee at home. Still want the fancier concoctions? Make specialty coffee drinks yourself and save money. Buy whipped cream in cans and top your cup or add a sprinkle of cinnamon. Saving your money on a daily basis doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the odd cup out without guilt. You might also find that when that specialty coffee drink comes as a treat, you’ll enjoy it more.

Work out on the cheap. Is your gym membership really worth its weight? Only you can answer for sure. If you go every day and work out on machinery you don’t have at home, then it may be. On the other hand, if you’re only going once or twice a week, now’s the time to rethink your investment. Let’s say your membership costs $40 a month, a total of $480 a year. Could you create a similar workout at home or in your neighborhood for less? Even an investment in a weight machine, if you use it regularly, might be worth the expense; offset by the money you save nixing your gym membership. Experts say walking is one of the best forms of exercise. It’s also one of the cheapest. In poor weather, you can go to a local mall and walk alone or join the mall walkers. To mix things up a little, try walking at the beach or take some back-country hikes in your area.

Eat healthy foods for less money. There’s a common misconception about healthy food costing more, but that doesn’t always hold true. Nowadays, canned foods often have just as much nutritional value as their (more expensive) fresh and frozen counterparts. They’re also easier to keep for longer periods of time, which means less waste (less money on spoiled food). The Journal of Nutrition and Food Science recently published this article on the subject.

Are you looking for more ways to save money in the coming year? Read about a few more ways to save:

 

Sheri McGregor

Sheri McGregor is grateful for the freedom of expression she enjoys as a writer. Lately, she's settled into writing about what most interests her: psychology, business, people, and nature for nonprofits, magazines, and at her joyful living and homesteading blog: Balance and Joy. As a native San Diegan, she also publishes San Diego Hikes, the subject of her three latest books, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: San Diego, Day & Overnight Hikes: Anza Borrego Desert State Park, and Easy Hikes Close to Home: San Diego. As a mother of five, Sheri learned from necessity how to live well for less, and calls this smart lifestyle "the new swank."

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