With a new year and a new decade, it’s time to start achieving those resolutions. If you’re a smoker, finally kicking the habit often tops the list. Quitting smoking isn’t an easy journey, but it starts with a tiny step – good luck!
To give you a little more motivation, here are some of the not-so-obvious financial benefits of quitting the smokes.
1. Avoid the rising cost of cigarettes
The cost of a pack of cigarettes is increasing each year. According to one study, the cost for 200 cigarettes has increased by about 5 times since 2015. If you smoke one pack of 25 cigarettes a day, and that pack costs you $14, you’re looking at a total cost of $5,110 a year. Think about all you could do with that extra money… that vacation to Cuba won’t seem so far out of reach if you quit!
2. Save on your insurance premiums
Because of the health risks associated with smoking, insurers classify smokers as higher risk, which helps them hedge their bets. If you have life insurance (which you should) or private health insurance, you’re going to be charged more as a smoker.
Smokers will pay anywhere from between 30-300% more on term life insurancethan non-smokers. As you age, your premiums rise, so the sooner you quit smoking, the more money you’ll save. Keep in mind that the savings won’t kick in right away: you have to have not smoked a cigarette in the last 12 months to be considered a non-smoker. So again, to see the financial savings on your insurance, the sooner you quit, the better.
As for private health insurance, many smokers have already developed medical condition, such as emphysema, or even lung cancer. Pre-existing conditions like these could make you ineligible for certain coverage on your insurance, such as health care coverage outside of the country. Because certain costs aren’t covered by health plans for smokers, these will fall on your shoulders. And since you’re going to be more susceptible to illness given your habit, these costs can escalate quickly.
It should also be noted that many insurance companies classify vaping and smoking cannabis in the same category as cigarette smoking. If you have questions about what your insurance provider classifies as smoking, you should get in touch with them directly, or compare the prices and policies offered by different companies.
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3. Save on health care
Whether or not you’re insured, getting sick is going to cost money. Male smokers are 23 times as likely to develop lung cancer, while female smokers are 13 times more likely than non-smokers. That means you smokers be 13-23 times more likely to have to get surgury of chemotherapy, taking you out of work and potentially costing a small fortune in medical bills. Insurance only goes so far to help.
But of course, the biggest risk of getting sick is the loss of time. Even with treatment, lung cancer can knock years off your life, depriving you of precious time to spend with friends and family.
4. Avoid costly cleaning
Now, onto some of the most hidden costs of smoking. Picture it – you’ve purchased a condo or house, and have comfortably lived in it for a number of years as a smoker. You’re now ready to move to a new home, and you’re getting ready to sell. If you’ve smoked indoors, tobacco will have made its way into the walls and fixtures of your residence. When buyers come to look at it, they’re going to take notice, and you’re not going to be able to get the best price for your home, with smoked-in homes selling for up to 29% less than market value.
If you want to get those nasty cigarette stains and smells out before you sell, be prepared to pay dearly for it. To fully remove cigarette smells, you could be looking at many dozens of hours and thousands of dollars over several months. You’re already paying for a mortgage, do you really want to add to it the cost of cleaning your property?
This principal still applies when you don’t own a home. As a renter, you’re going to be liable for the cleaning bill when you finish your lease. If you own a car and smoked in it, there will be additional costs to have the interior cleaned. The smell of tobacco lingers, and once it gets into the upholstery, it’s hard to remove. Your car can be in great condition otherwise, but the odour can deter potential buyers of your used vehicle.
5. Save on home insurance
As a smoker, you may pay a higher rate for home insurance. Not only is smoking considered a risk to your health, it’s also considered a risk to your home. Insurance companies consider scenarios like leaving a lit cigarette in your ashtray, or falling asleep while smoking, when figuring out your insurance premiums. By quitting smoking, not only will you be reducing the risk of serious damage happening to your property, you could also be saving on home insurance.
The bottom line: quit early and save big
The hidden costs associated with smoking are substantial, and quitting early is the key to maing the most of the potential savings. If you were to quit smoking today, and put the same amount of money you spent on cigaretts into a GIC or roboinvestor, the compound interest could results in huge savings over your lifetime. If you need that extra kick to motivate yourself to quit, just imagine what you can do with the thousands of extra dollars you’ll have in your pocket!
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