Daniella at iliketodabble.com is a 28-year-old side hustling to pay off debt, live a more sustainable lifestyle, strive for a future of financial freedom and help her readers do the same.
The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is $5.50 in the U.S. and can cost up to $15 in New York. Because of the high cigarette tax in some states, the cost becomes outrageous. With a habit like that, you could be wasting up to $450 a month and $5,400 a year.
Unfortunately, I use to be a smoker and wasted too much time and money on it. It didn’t help that my wife also smoked so it became hard to quit. If I was going to quit smoking, we were both going to quit smoking.
Quitting smoking is not only great for your health, it will save your life. Another bonus is it saves you a ton of money! Since we quit smoking in October 2015, we saved $300 a month because of it. Not to mention it has done wonders for our budget and we can live a more sustainable life.
How we quit smoking
I would be lying if I said quitting smoking was easy. Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things I have had to do. It took some failures to get there too. I tried everything including nicotine gum, nicotine patches, e-cigarettes, cold turkey, weaning off, etc. You name it, I have tried it.
What was different with this time was that I really wanted to quit. I easily gave up the other times, thinking I will eventually get around to it. Well, this was the time I eventually got around to it.
After we were fed up with e-cigarettes we decided to get the nicotine patch. We used the brand from Target but we didn’t do all of the levels. Since we were smoking a little less than a pack a day, we only did level 2 of the nicotine patch. Level 3 was too strong, and by the time we were through with level 2 we didn’t need to smoke.
How much we were spending
We live in Missouri and smoked our favorite menthols, Kools. A pack of kools ran at about $5 a pack in Missouri when we smoked. We smoked 1 pack ea. Per day with comes out to about $300 a month, give or take. It depends on if we smoked more or less a month but we were spending $3,600 a year on cigarettes.
That is equivalent to taking $3,600, putting that in a pile in front of you and lighting it on fire.
How much we saved
Since quitting in October 2016 we have saved a total of $4,800 just by quitting smoking (16 months at $300 a month). We didn’t have to give up much besides a bad habit. We didn’t have to make any huge lifestyle changes. We just had to have some self-control.
Since then we have been putting that money into savings as a nice reminder. We have recently invested some of it as well. It is amazing what you can do with a small change for the better.
If you want to see how much you can save every month, smokefree.gov's tool will calculate your exact savings for you.
Related: How To Save $500 Dollars A Month
How much better we feel
It may be hard to believe but I was a runner while I was a smoker. I have been a runner for the majority of the time I have smoked and would think that since I ran, that smoking didn’t hurt my health as much. I knew that was a load of bull and I knew the truth but was in denial.
When I quit smoking, I got stronger and faster with my running and my workouts. I have a clearer mind and more energy. My skin has cleared up along with my digestive system. I never realized how tired cigarettes made me feel but they made me feel tired all the time. And the obvious one, my breathing was easier.
I may have lost a little weight too.
Quit for good!
There are a couple of important things to note to maintain quitting smoking. These are crucial if you don’t want to start back up the bad habit as you are quitting smoking or a newly ex-smoker.
- Clean EVERYTHING as you are trying to quit smoking. This ensures you get rid of all traces of cigarettes and the smell.
- Throw away all old cigarette packs,half-empty packs, lighters, and ash trays. This will prevent the temptation of smoking.
- If you think about smoking, immediately try to think of something else. Stay busy. You will eventually forget about smoking.
- Do something else in the place of smoking such as meditation, exercise, cooking, etc.
- Don’t, under any circumstance, cave in and buy cigarettes.
Quitting smoking is the best thing we could have done together. Because of quitting smoking my wife and I will live a longer life together, a more enjoyable life and with more savings!
Have you quit smoking?
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