We all have vices. Whether big or small, overt or secret, these nasty little habits can cause major problems when it comes to your finances. The definition of a financial vice is any unnecessary regular expense that you are willing to include in your budget. Often, these financial vices aren’t just draining your wallet they are also deteriorating your health. Here are the top five vices:
Basic math tells us that if you buy a latte or specialty coffee every morning—or at least five days a week—for around five bucks then you are spending $1,000-$2,000 per year. Buying premium coffee and brewing it at work will save you money. Ground coffee may cost $7.28 per pound, or just over 16 cents per cup, and $8-per-pound for whole beans or about 18 cents per cup. So, a 6-ounce cup of coffee at about 17 cents a cup per day that you brew yourself adds up to $1.19 a week or $62.05 a year.
2. Fast Food.
Those value menus might be cheap and quick, but add up over time. The costs of $5 to $7 at a fast-food restaurant versus cooking at home, which averages out to $1.50 to $3 per person, works out to a 40% to 79% savings in favor of homemade food, making it much cheaper to bag your lunch for the job. Think about it. If each month you spend $350 on groceries and $650 eating out (between lunches at work and dinner with friends), you are spending $12,000 a year on food alone. Plus, when cooking at home, you’re able to control what ingredients are going into your body.
Don’t drink your money away. That buzz could cost you, especially if you hang out at bars or clubs, where prices are usually in the double digits. If a sip of wine now and then does the body good, consider drinking at home. A bottle from your local store is less expensive than a glass at your local hot spot. If you drink three days a week, and have an average of two drinks at each sitting, at $9 a drink, you’re spending $234 a month on alcohol. If you drink four or five drinks per sitting that number rises to $468 or $585.
Lighting up may not only kill you, it is expensive. Quitting smoking is like giving yourself a pay raise. Albeit, the cost of smoking cigarettes varies greatly by state and the number of packs smoked. Notwithstanding, someone smoking a pack a day at $5.25 will spend $1,916 each year, while at the cost of $12.85 a pack that yearly amount adds up to $4,690. Double these amounts if you are a two pack a day smoker. In 10 years, you’re wasting about $50,000 on a bad habit. That’s enough to buy a brand new BMW.
Yes, Powerball and Mega Millions tickets have rendered grand prizes as high as $243 million and $415 million. But playing the numbers isn’t a last-minute retirement plan. Stop dreaming and start saving more. There’s nothing wrong with putting a couple of bucks toward a lottery ticket every once in a while. Let’s say you’ve gone from shelling out $2 every month on the lottery to spending $20 a week. That adds up to $1,040 over the course of a year. Don’t stress out, confusing fantasy with reality. The odds of hitting the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338; Mega Millions, 1 in 258,890,850.