A clever friend once said he would give up smoking. We asked him why and he said “because if I stop smoking today, in 30 years, I would end up saving Rs.20,00,000! I would be foolish not to!!”
‘Bad habits’ clearly are not just bad for your health, but also bad for your pocket. So instead of holding on to these habits, take a step back and look at things from a new perspective. Are your bad habits costing you money?
Here’s a look at some habits that are considered bad for you and are in fact bad for you from a purely financial point of view:
Drinking in moderation may not be too bad for your health. But this is an expensive habit nevertheless. Let’s run the numbers – a bottle of alcohol can cost you anywhere from Rs.500 – 10,000. Let’s assume you are somewhere in between and spend about Rs.2500 a week. This can be especially true if you frequently drink at restaurants or pubs. Even if we keep this cost constant, over 30 years this will account for a whopping Rs.36,00,000!!
Clearly controlling this habit makes a lot of sense.
Smoking is another chart-topping bad habit. Here are the numbers to prove you should quit or at least cut smoking right away. A single cigarette costs an average of Rs.15. This habit doesn’t hurt your pocket till you smoke 1-2 cigarettes a day. But what happens if you smoke 5-10 a day?
If you smoke 5 cigarettes a day, over a period of 30 years you would be spending a sum of Rs.8,21,000. If you smoke 10 cigarettes a day, this number doubles to Rs.16,42,000!!
Rs.15 a day may have seemed insignificant to you, but surely Rs.8-16 Lakhs are no small change.
Home cooked meals are healthy in many ways. But eating out or ordering in a meal has become a very common practice for many people. Like any habit, in moderation eating outside food is not too harmful. But frequently eating out or ordering in and eating unhealthy food at that is definitely not too good for your health. Fries, pizzas, burgers, sodas, coffees cost a lot of money. Even healthy food costs a lot of money when you order it in instead of preparing at home.
Here are the numbers to prove it –
Let’s assume you order in one meal each day during the week at work for Rs.150. You may feel you aren’t splurging until you see what this accumulates to over 30 years. Rs.150 a day for 5 days a week over 30 years works out to Rs.10,80,000! If you spend Rs.300 a day for a meal and a coffee, over 30 years you would be spending close to Rs.24,00,000!!
Add to this how much you spend on eating outside on a weekend or taking a bunch of friends out. You may also add to this the cost of medicines and gym membership you will need if you pursue only outside food for 30 years! You will quickly realise it is in your best interest every way.
Missing Credit Card Bill Payments
Credit cards are a convenience as long as you use them wisely. You can pay for flight tickets, earn reward points and even buy appliances on EMIs if you own a credit card. But credit cards are your friend only as long as you pay your bills on time. If you spend more than your means or if you are plain lazy and don’t pay your bills on time, credit card debt can snowball into a massive amount in a very short time.
Let’s see how this can play out. Let’s assume you have an unpaid credit card bill of Rs.10,000 in a month. By the next month, charges at the rate of 13%-15% will be added to it and you will now see an amount of Rs. 11,300. In just a matter of 6 months, your unpaid bills would have doubled to Rs.20,000!
Let’s say instead of avoiding, you only delay payment every month. You will still end up paying an unnecessary charge each month at the rate of 13-15%. In our example that turns out to an amount of Rs.1,300 each month. If we extrapolate this amount, in 30 years you would have paid nearly Rs.4,80,000 for no reason at all!
With the advent of online portals, television is fast becoming redundant. Small family units with just a young couple and a child probably in metro cities are rarely using TVs these days. But they continue to pay monthly bills of Rs.500-1000 for the channels. Many such subscriptions that you don’t use and probably don’t remember are eating into your savings slowly but surely. Let’s add up all the likely monthlies that you don’t frequently use: Swimming pool subscription Rs.3500 a month, Gym subscription Rs.5,000 a month, unused telephone calls & data Rs.1000 a month, DTH channels Rs. 500 a month etc.
Together this amounts to Rs.10,000 a month. If you don’t utilize these subscriptions, then in a year you would be wasting Rs.1,20,000 and in 30 years the amount piles up to a whopping sum of Rs. 36,00,000!!
Bad habits don’t just cost you your health, they cost you a lot of money too. When you look at them in this light, you will see it is best to control your bad habits and start saving and investing instead!