breaking bad habits http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/16672/all en-US Save a Surprising Amount by Quitting These 4 Bad Habits http://www.wisebread.com/save-a-surprising-amount-by-quitting-these-4-bad-habits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-a-surprising-amount-by-quitting-these-4-bad-habits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000085103623.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have our bad habits, but do you know how much your vices are costing you? Whether you have the budget for it or not, bad habits are extremely costly &mdash; both to your wallet, and your health. Here's how much you could save if you gave up your vices.</p> <h2>Smoking</h2> <p><strong>Yearly cost: $2,321</strong></p> <p>One pack of cigarettes costs between $5 and $13.50, with the <a href="http://www.cancer.org/research/infographicgallery/tobacco-related-healthcare-costs">national average being $6.36</a>. Smoking just one pack a day at $6.36 will cost you $2,321 per year. However, the American Cancer Society determined that the real costs of a pack of cigarettes are closer to $35 per pack, when you consider the health-related costs to you.</p> <p>While this number is already shocking, you will also need to consider the additional costs associated with smoking, such as increased medical expenses and insurance costs. In fact, insurance companies can charge smokers up to 50% more for the same annual coverage as a non-smoker. According to Cigna, smoking may make it difficult for you to qualify for medical insurance at all, with good reason. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1211128?viewType=Print&amp;viewClass=Print&amp;">quitting smoking before age 40</a> can reduce the risk of death associated with continued smoking by up to 90%.</p> <p>Life insurance policies will also be significantly more expensive for smokers. Non-smokers also receive a range of money-saving benefits, and the costs to smokers can go on and on. If not for your budget, then consider cessation to save your lungs and improve your overall health and wellbeing.</p> <p>Cigarette smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in America, so break the habit as soon as you can. In fact, smoking can <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/quitting-smoking-before-40-erases-damage-to-health-1.1304433">reduce your lifespan</a> by at least 10 years, but if you quit smoking before age 40, you can regain most of that time back. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-smoking?ref=seealso">Here's How Rich You'd Be if You Stopped Smoking</a>)</p> <h2>Drinking</h2> <p><strong>Yearly cost: $1,976</strong></p> <p>The top 10% of drinkers in America drink an average of <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/09/25/think-you-drink-a-lot-this-chart-will-tell-you/">10 drinks per day</a> (or two bottles of wine per night), but let's assume a more modest number like one drink per day, or two bottles of wine per week. The cost of drinks can vary widely, depending on what and where you imbibe. For instance, the average bottle of wine enjoyed at home costs about <a href="http://www.statista.com/statistics/259433/average-price-of-leading-types-of-wine-in-the-us/">$9 per bottle</a>, while one fancy cocktail at the bar can set you back $10&ndash;$12. Let's assume you drink two bottles of wine per week and two drinks at the bar every weekend; you would be spending at least $38 per week or $1,976 per year.</p> <p>This is a very modest estimate, as most moderate drinkers will admit to spending far more than $38 per week on alcohol, but you can see how the costs can really add up. For a more accurate estimate, consider using an <a href="http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/tools/Calculators/alcohol-spending-calculator.aspx">alcohol spending calculator</a> to determine what your average spending would be.</p> <p>While these numbers are already shocking, you will also need to consider the additional costs associated with drinking. For instance, consider cab fare, tips for the bartender, hiring a babysitter, and the increased medical costs. Also consider that getting convicted of a DUI or DWI can cost around $10,000 thanks to legal fees, court fines, towing, and treatment. If not for your budget, then consider kicking your drinking habit to save your kidneys and liver, and to improve your overall health.</p> <h2>Gambling</h2> <p><strong>Yearly cost: $400</strong></p> <p>The average American spends about <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/03/24/20-ways-we-blow-our-money/6826633/">$400 per year</a> on gambling (Vegas, anyone?). This doesn't factor in online poker, which can be wildly addictive and expensive. If you're spending just $100 per online session, once a week, that's $5,200 spent per year.</p> <p>If you buy lottery tickets, this is an even bigger waste of money as the odds aren't in your favor. In fact, the chances of winning the Powerball jackpot are <a href="http://www.powerball.com/powerball/pb_prizes.asp">one in 292 million</a>. As the saying goes, you're more likely to be struck by lightning. If you're spending just $1 per day on lottery or scratch-off tickets, then you can add an annual cost of $365 to your average gambling debt.</p> <h2>Dining Out</h2> <p><strong>Yearly cost: $432</strong><strong>&ndash;</strong><strong>$4,879</strong></p> <p>Dining out could break your budget faster than many other vices. Restaurants and bars can mark up drinks by as much as 400%, and both fast food and restaurant options are now more costly than ever. While there are ways to save money at the restaurant (such as taking coupons and sharing a meal), you'll save the most by eating at home. If you're a foodie or simply enjoy eating out, just try to cut back to dining out once a week.</p> <p>Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese and according to George Washington University, the <a href="https://gwtoday.gwu.edu/heavy-burden">yearly cost of being overweight</a> is $524 for men and $432 for women, while the yearly cost of being obese is $4,879 for women and $2,646 for men. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity can also lead to a <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/causes.html">number of related health issues</a>, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, liver damage, certain types of cancer, and mental illness. It may also make it difficult to apply for health insurance and life insurance coverage.</p> <h3>Why You Should Stop Now</h3> <p>It's important to kick your bad habit now, because every day lost is more costly than the next. Thanks to our old friend, compound interest, the earlier you begin saving the money that you would have normally spent on bad habits, the more you will accrue in accumulated interest over time.</p> <p>Just imagine everything you could buy &mdash; or how much you could save &mdash; by kicking your costly habit. It may be difficult in the beginning, but studies have shown that, on average, it takes just over two months to kick a bad habit. Then, you can start watching the money pile up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-break-bad-habits?ref=seealso">How to Break Bad Habits</a>)</p> <p><em>Did you kick a costly bad habit? Please share your experience in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-a-surprising-amount-by-quitting-these-4-bad-habits">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-finding-food">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Finding Food</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-today-to-start-living-frugally">One Simple Thing You Can Do Today to Start Living Frugally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-how-to-turn-your-spouse-into-a-money-saver">My 2016 Budget Challenge: How to Turn Your Spouse Into a Money Saver</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink bad habits breaking bad habits gambling quit smoking saving money take out vices Thu, 12 May 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1708050 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Break Bad Habits http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-break-bad-habits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-break-bad-habits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/no-smoking-1044536-small.jpg" alt="no smoking" title="no smoking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While many of us won't readily admit it, we all have a bad habit or two that we'd like to kick. Whether it's biting your nails, smoking, or chewing with your mouth full (among other offensive habits), here are a few ways to change your ways for the better. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes" target="_blank">How to Learn From Your Mistakes</a>)</p> <h2>1. Become Conscious of What You're Doing</h2> <p>The first step to changing a bad habit is to recognize what you're doing. While we're usually aware of the big habits that affect others around us &mdash; smoking, talking with a mouth full of food &mdash; other, more private habits like biting our nails are often done subconsciously. To change it, you have to first become conscious of the action. <a href="http://www.meditativemovements.com/" target="_blank">Inspirationalist Ellie Peterson</a> has devised a plan to help. &quot;One way to become aware of what you are doing is to perform 'Meditative Movements,'&quot; Peterson says.</p> <blockquote><p style="">This simple practice helps you become mindful of your own body, mind, and spiritual being. Many times our actions are on automatic. However, all actions are preceded by our thoughts and beliefs from our subconscious and conscious mind. For example, by completing the 'I Choose' movement, you are taking the time to be open to the messages you are sending yourself. You can feel in your own body the resistance to this statement and through repetition can start to take ownership for yourself. Then you can learn how to strengthen your focus and by listening to your entire self, you are able to get in touch with what you are doing.&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <h2>2. Make Note of It &mdash; on Paper</h2> <p>When we were in school, we took notes for a reason &mdash; so we could remember the material, study it, learn it, and memorize it after the class ended. Even today, we make notes to remind ourselves of something we need to do. When trying to break a bad habit, it's a good idea to write the habit on paper along with why you want to change it and some of the steps you'll take to make that change.</p> <p>Rhonda Richards-Smith, a licensed mental health expert, agrees. &quot;One of the most powerful tools we can use to change our behaviors is to record them,&quot; she says. &quot;Prior to attempting to change the behavior, keep a daily log of what time you engage in the behavior, where it tends to occur and what you are thinking and feeling just before you do it. Once you become aware of your pattern, you can come up with a strategy for how to change it.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Think Small to Start</h2> <p>Many times when we're making big changes in our lives &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-your-new-years-resolutions" target="_blank">New Year's resolutions are a prime example</a> &mdash; we have a tendency to bite off more than we can chew by trying to do too much at once. The result is almost always failure. When attempting to break a bad habit, then, it's best to start by making small efforts toward a larger goal.</p> <p>&quot;After the person writes down or makes clear what it is they want to change, they are instructed to do one thing per day towards that change,&quot; suggest Dr. <a href="http://doctor-ramani.com/" target="_blank">Ramani Durvasula</a>, creator of the concept &quot;Promise for One,&quot; a set of actionable steps toward achieving a goal.</p> <blockquote><p>For example if the bad habit is around eating too much sugar, on Day One the 'one thing' may be to drink two liters of water instead [of soft drinks]. Day Two may be to throw out the cookies. I suggest people put an alarm on a phone to ring once per day to remind them to do their one thing &mdash; and then to make a record of it &mdash; because the accumulation of the one simple thing a day seems not overwhelming in the day to day but over time shows the change in behavior.</p> </blockquote> <h2>4. Change Your Routine</h2> <p>To get your mind off the habit in which you engage &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today" target="_blank">let's say smoking, for instance</a> &mdash; it's important to take your mind off the activity and focus on something else. If you find yourself smoking a cigarette after each meal, replace that with something else, such as reading or any other activity other than smoking.&nbsp;Over time, your new routine will become the new habit, which is hopefully a positive one, like drinking a glass of water or taking a five-minute walk every time you have a craving.</p> <p>This tip isn't just for smoking, however. It applies to a broad list of bad habits as health coach Natalie Wahl points out.</p> <p>&quot;In health coaching, we teach our clients to crowd out the bad foods with good ones. If you don't have the bad foods on hand, or you are eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables, then your cravings for unhealthy foods will diminish,&quot; she says.</p> <blockquote><p>This also works for other habits. I have worked with several autistic children, and my own son is autistic. They often have inappropriate behaviors that they use to stimulate or soothe themselves, and what works best is replacing that behavior with a similar but socially acceptable behavior. For example, instead of biting nails, chewing gum, or sucking on hard candy may curb the habit. Instead of eating mindlessly, or eating junk food, taking a drink of water and having prepared veggies on hand can help you break out of the bad routine.</p> </blockquote> <h2>5. Keep at It for a Month</h2> <p>Dr. Marlene Caroselli agrees and furthers <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-book-ive-ever-read-about-making-changes-stick" target="_blank">the logic of routine change</a> by reminding us of William James' observation that replacing a bad habit with a good one only takes about a month to implement.</p> <p>&quot;America's first psychologist, William James, found that a given action, repeated 30 days in a row, becomes a habit,&quot; she says. &quot;Those who are serious, or even only half-serious, about making a change, need only build time in for one whole month. Desire then overtakes excuses. Keeping a log will help, too, as will having a support system.&quot;</p> <p><em>Have you tried to break a bad habit? How did you do it? Tell us how you did it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-break-bad-habits">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-bad-habits-that-are-actually-good-for-you">13 &quot;Bad&quot; Habits That Are Actually Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-change-your-habits-and-your-life">The Surprisingly Easy Way to Change Your Habits and Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-dumb-little-things-you-need-to-stop-saying-today">9 Dumb Little Things You Need to Stop Saying Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks General Tips Personal Development bad habits breaking bad habits good habits habits how to change your routine Tue, 16 Apr 2013 09:30:35 +0000 Mikey Rox 973369 at http://www.wisebread.com