save money

Spurred by the exciting possibilities of the new year, people give themselves a list of grand ambitions to better themselves. The statistics portal Statista found that Americans’ top resolutions for 2019 relate to improving their physical health, saving more money, and quitting smoking.

What many people may not realize is that they can accomplish all three of these goals at the same time. Deciding to kick a nicotine addiction will immediately better your health and your finances. If you’re not sure how stubbing out your last cigarette will affect the contents of your wallet, here’s how:

The Price Of A Smoking Habit

The average price of a pack of cigarettes according to the website smokefree.gov is $6.28, which means that a pack-a-day habit will cost you approximately $2,292.20 by the end of the year. The compounding costs can be even higher, depending on where you live.

The state of New York holds one of the highest tax rates for cigarettes with $4.35 per pack. In the New York City, the retail price for cigarettes is the highest in the country, with the minimum price coming in at $13 a pack in 2018. In a single year, a city-dwelling pack-a-day smoker would spend $4,745.00 just to maintain the habit.

It’s clear that the habit will cost you more over time. Many states regularly push for cigarette tax increases and create penalties for smoking in public spaces as financial incentives to curb the addiction. For instance, last year New York City’s government proposed a bill that would ban smoking while walking and fine perpetrators $50 each.

Healthcare Expenses Now

Smokers will pay more for healthcare because of their habit, even if they aren’t suffering from an illness. One of the reasons cigarettes cost you is that insurance companies charge more money for clients that identify as smokers. According to Mic, a smoker can pay 15% to 20% more  in life insurance premiums than someone who has never smoked a cigarette before. For health insurance premiums, a smoker can pay up to 50% more than non-smokers.

People who quit smoking can reap life insurance savings over time, especially when they have broken the habit for several years. According to NerdWallet, the average life insurance rates for smokers contributing to a 20-year $500,000-term life insurance policy are $2,025 for men and $1,505 for women. After quitting for a single year, those rates plummet to $797 and $659, respectively. 

Healthcare Expenses In The Future

Smoking comes with a high risk of developing lung cancer, which is one of the hardest strains of cancer to treat. The National Cancer Institute calculated that the initial treatment costs for lung cancer were $60,533 for women and $60, 885 for men in 2010. The healthcare prices for inpatient hospital stays and office visits have increased significantly since then.

The American Cancer Society has listed other expensive health problems that smokers are likely to foot the bill for in the future:

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Pregnancy difficulties like ectopic pregnancy, early delivery, stillbirths
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gum disease
  • Cataracts

What These Savings Could Do

Smokers that want to save money this year should think about taking on this resolution as soon as possible. Adding up the savings from insurance premiums, cigarette packs and doctor’s visits could put thousands of dollars back into your bank account by 2020. You could revamp your entire wardrobe, buy a pet or go on a memorable vacation. 

Better yet, lenders like MoneyKey advise people to save money from their resolutions so they can improve their financial situation. They can bulk-up their monthly budget so that they don’t live from paycheck to paycheck. They can store it in a savings account to grow with interest. They can squirrel it away in an emergency fund.

With an emergency fund, you won’t have to worry when your car breaks down and you need to pay for the repairs. It’s a reserve of cash that helps you take on unexpected but unavoidable costs.

Without an emergency fund, you can still take on these costs with a little help. Lenders like MoneyKey offer payday loans and installment loans for people who need to solve urgent payments in a hurry. It’s an option for tough situations like the family car breaking down or a surprising bill coming in the mail.

They should not be your first line of defense when you spot a financial problem. Responsible budgets, savings accounts, and sensible emergency funds should be. You can look to the website’s blog for advice on how to make room for those financial back-up plans.

When giving yourself a resolution, it’s easy to get wrapped up in negative thinking and give up early. Instead of lamenting your loss of cigarettes, think about the things you gain from quitting them. A healthier lifestyle and a bigger bank account will be excellent motivators to stick to your goal.