As governments around the world continue to crack down on tobacco, smokers continue to feel their wallets grow lighter and lighter. Tobacco taxes are substantial almost everywhere in the Western world, which means that those who indulge in a cigarette every now and again are forced to pay premiums to enjoy their habit.
It should come as no surprise, then, that every blog and article you read about personal finance suggests quitting smoking as a way to save big bucks. Fortunately, there is a way to keep your habit and keep money in your wallet, to boot. Read on for four fantastically simple ways to have it all.
1. Change the Way You Smoke
Tobacco companies tend to set cigarette prices excruciatingly high due to the ever-increasing taxes, ever-decreasing number of smokers, and the popularity of this particular nicotine delivery system. You, as an average smoker, can’t do much to thwart the mobility of the first two causes, but you do have control over whether or not cigarettes are your go-to nicotine source.
There are plenty of alternative products that can provide the nicotine buzz you crave without the high price tag you bemoan. Smokeless tobacco, like chew, plug, snuff, and others, is a common choice among those who wish to avoid issuing harmful secondhand smoke around their loved ones.
Additionally, pharmaceutical companies produce products like patches, gums, and lozenges imbued with nicotine. However, this latter category is often as expensive as a pack of cigarettes, so while they may help you stop smoking, they won’t help you save money while enjoying nicotine.
A new and exciting savings solution that many modern smokers are turning to is electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs and vapes. These devices provide an experience similar to smoking but without the harsh, dangerous chemicals, offensive smell, and lofty cost.
Most vapers choose to invest once in a reusable e-cig, so their only smoking expenditures are on vials of nicotine-suffused e-juice, which last longer and cost less than a pack of cigarettes.
2. Change the Way You Buy Smokes
If you are willing to devote time, energy, and storage space to your smoking habit, you can save money by doing some research before buying your next pack of cigarettes. Smoke shops, box stores, and tobacco companies all offer discounts on cigarettes if you buy them online, and you can find even bigger savings if you find vendors who will sell you packs in bulk.
Additionally, you can find tax-free cartons of cigarettes at online duty-free stores or on websites hosted by countries with less-harsh tobacco taxes. If all else fails, you might lookout for promotions or sales on cigarettes at your local stores.
You might find that doubling up on your smoking strategy — that is, changing how you smoke and how you buy — compounds your savings. For example, you can look out for special offers on brand-name e-cigs to supplement your cache of smoking devices, or you can buy cartridges or juice in bulk.
As mentioned before, e-cig supplies last longer and cost less than traditional cigarettes, which ultimately means a better smoking experience and more money in your checking account.
3. Change the Way You Spend Elsewhere
Then again, you might be able to perpetuate your current smoking habits and keep cash in hand by cutting back on other ways you spend money. First, you need to understand where your money goes in a typical month.
Starting on the first day of an average month (the winter holidays and summer vacations shouldn’t count) keep every receipt you receive. Then, on the last day of the month, make spending categories (car, home, food, entertainment, and others) and calculate your totals. From this information, you can trim the fat and cut back on unnecessarily lavish spending.
4. Change the Way You Save
Whether it is due to a fear of incurring the wrath of the bank or a misunderstanding of different types of accounts, many people put their paychecks directly into their checking accounts. However, having your life savings easily accessible with your debit card is simply asking to have it depleted with wanton spending, and it prevents your money from growing big and strong on its own.
There are many different types of savings accounts that can transform dollars into hundreds of dollars — no smoking cessation necessary. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you can investigate various savings accounts, including brokerage accounts, IRAs, 401-Ks, and more, on your own. Still, most people prefer to explain their hopes to a qualified financial adviser who can set an ideal savings plan into motion right away.