Quit Smoking -- Think About Your Budget

MainStreet.com tells you how to break the nicotine habit by focusing on cost control.
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With the national average of one pack of cigarettes hovering around $4.63, and double in some states, this may be the perfect time to quit smoking and start saving.

Best of all, it's easier than you think -- especially if you make your financial goals part of the incentive. We asked our friends at our partner site

Geezeo

, which allows users to track and manage financial accounts, stay on budget, and seek advice from other members about financial situations, for their suggestions.

Based on the feedback from their community, here are their tips:

1. KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY YOU COULD SAVE EACH YEAR

Most smokers around the country will annually pocket an extra $1,700 -- more, if you live in a place like New York, where a typical pack runs $8 to $9. But the yearly savings indicated only includes money spent on cigarettes. Typically, smokers pay more for insurance, see the resale price on a home or car depreciate, and spend more money on dry cleaning and teeth whitening.

2. SET A TARGET GOAL

You're now aware of the money that will be saved, so create a goal for yourself. Whether it's one week, one month or one year, begin to cut back on the amount of packs you buy. This will not only allow you to see how much money you're saving, but it'll start you on your way to attack that troublesome habit.

3. BUDGET! BUDGET! BUDGET!

A monthly supply of cigarettes will cost the average smoker $139. If $100 is set aside every month, it will cut back the amount you smoke by at least one week. If this isn't a task you can maintain on your own, get help.

Dave Carlson, media relations specialist for Geezeo and a former smoker, says, "self-improvement projects like dieting, quitting smoking, or trying to better yourself with your money, are always more fun and easy to accomplish when working towards a goal or specific benchmark."

"It gives people something to work towards and a sense of accomplish when they succeed," he adds.

Carlson set aside money he formerly would have spent on tobacco into a savings account. His goal? To save enough money to buy a stereo.

4. FOLLOW THE MONEY

Keep track of the number of cigarette packs you purchase. The amount of money you spend will reflect the progress you've made towards quitting. If you notice a little extra change at the end of each week or month, it's something to be proud of. Who doesn't like an accomplishment?

5. THE REWARD

If you're able to stay on the financial path to quitting, the result will likely be tremendous. A few thousand dollars saved and a healthier body is worth kicking any habit.

If you need to extra help quitting, surround yourself with non-smokers to reduce temptation -- or, at least, avoid going to places like smoking bars with those who haven't quit yet.

Have a tip to stop smoking? How to quit? Tell us!