Each and every day you work, you take one more step towards every goal you have in life. Even when you take two steps back, you are learning what not to do. Every event helps us do better or makes us better in some way, but that journey can take its toll. Whether we have kept the same job for 30 years or can’t seem to hold one down longer than a month, the road to retirement is paved with stress. All of us have our own coping mechanisms, but many of us choose ones that are unwise, unhealthy, and cost us needlessly. Here are three of those vices that empty your wallet.
If you’re like the other 36.5 million people in the U.S., you enjoy a cigarette several times a day. Many smoke after eating, during breaks at work, or just sitting out by the pool. Smoking, to most, doesn’t start as a stress reliever, but turns into an addiction used for that very purpose. Unfortunately, it’s a habit that costs the average smoker over $9,000 a year!! This is not a necessary expenditure. For $9,000, you could buy a car, pay off loans, catch up on bills, or have a heck of a Christmas! Why not choose the road less traveled and quit?
Another vice we tend to spend on needlessly is alcohol. There are days when it seems the only cure for the stress is a cold beer, but we all know there are other ways. Even drinking moderately, you can rack up a bill of over $2,500 a year. That’s $2,500 you could put toward your child’s college fund, a new pool to relax in (wink wink,) or an update to your wardrobe. Many people will justify spending that money on alcohol and then complain about not being able to pay the bills. Again, it may be time to swim upstream and learn to relax without a cold one.
Almost every person in the U.S. is guilty of giving in to fast food to relieve the stress of the daily grind from time to time. The average yearly budget for eating out stretches to nearly $6,000!! Understandably, there are times when time is short and fast food is the only option available, but stress eating, as many refer to it, is not only costly to our wallet, it is expensive to our bodies, as well. In 2015, 1 in every 3 Americans was obese. Hospital bills due to heart health issues, obesity, diabetes, and other diseases anchored to the over indulgence of fast food are through the roof. This is not to mention the work days missed due to illness that could be prevented by eating healthier.
In the end, you’ll find yourself richer if you learn to do without the unnecessary vices of life and find cheaper, healthier, alternatives to destressing.