Want to improve your physical and financial health? Quitting a few bad habits could be the solution. Here are just eight habits that could be damaging your health and chipping away at your finances.
Smoking has more health dangers than any other bad habit on this list. It’s leading cause of heart disease, COPD, infertility, vascular disease and a multitude of different cancers.
It can also be an expensive habit. The average pack of cigarettes costs $6.50 – if you’re smoking a packet a day, that’s $45.50 per week and $2375 per year.
Smoking is an addiction and many people find it hard to go cold turkey. Many people switch to vaping, which has its health risks but is still much healthier than smoking. Of course, you still need to buy a vape starter kit and e-liquids, which may suggest that it’s just as expensive – however this isn’t the case. In fact, the average vaper spends $480 per year (which is a saving of $1895!), making it a healthier and less costly alternative.
Drinking too much alcohol
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can also have many health risks ranging from liver disease to brain damage. It’s also linked to many cancers and, like smoking, can cause infertility.
A drinking habit is also not cheap. The average American spends about 1% of their gross annual income on alcohol ($565 per year). For those drinking more than 14 units per week (which is the recommended healthy limit), the annual cost can be more than double this.
Cutting down your alcohol intake could result in massive financial savings as well as keeping your body healthy. I could even be worth trying a sober month of no drinking to see what savings you can make – periods of no drinking can also serve as a great detox, helping your organs repair from alcohol damage.
Drinking too much coffee
More than 4 cups of coffee per day has been linked to early death. This is because the caffeine in coffee raises blood pressure and puts more stress on the heart. Coffee addiction has also been linked to conditions such as gout, incontinence and breast tissue cysts.
A coffee habit isn’t always expensive – if you stick to instant coffee at home or use your workplace supply of coffee, the costs are likely to be very minimal. The problem really arises for those that regularly go out for coffee or buy takeaway coffee on their way to work. It’s these coffee bar purchases that cause the average American to spend $1100 on coffee per year.
Whilst there are healthier options like switching to decaf coffee or drinking more tea, these won’t save you much money. You’re better off drinking more water and lowering your coffee intake to one or two per day in order to save money and protect your health.
Drinking too many soft drinks
Soft drinks are packed full of sugar which can lead to tooth decay, weight gain and diabetes. Certain soft drinks can be particularly harmful – a single can of coke has more sugar in it than your daily recommended allowance.
The average household spends $850 on soft drinks every year. This makes soft drinks a big expense as well as a health hazard.
Switching out soft drinks for water more regularly can be a great way to save money and safeguard your health. If you find this too hard, switching to low-sugar and no sugar options could make a small impact – these drinks are cheaper and healthier (although artificial sugars do have their own health risks).
Eating too much fast food
Fast food is getting healthier, but the majority of it is still largely unhealthy and packed with trans fats and refined sugar. Overconsumption of fast food is still the biggest cause of obesity and a leading cause of heart disease and diabetes.
The average American spends $1200 on fast food. This includes burger joints, takeout pizzas and international exports such as tacos and Asian food.
Fast food is generally more expensive than home-cooked healthy meals. By limiting your fast food intake you could save money and stay healthier.
Eating too much meat
Meat can be a natural source of healthy protein and healthy fats. Too much of it however could increase your risk of bowel cancer and heart disease.
When it comes to groceries, meats tend to be some of the most expensive items on the list – particularly red meats like lamb and beef. In fact, the average American spends $244 on beef alone.
Consuming less meat could keep you healthy and save you money. Try to opt for more fish and vegetables substitutes like Quorn. Try to limit red meats as a treat and stick mainly to white meats like chicken.
Unhealthy habits aren’t all about the things we put into our bodies. A lack of exercise can also contribute to health dangers such as heart disease and weight gain. One of the biggest sources of laziness is relying too much on driving instead of walking or cycling.
The average American driver spends $2000 on fuel per year. Whilst some of this is necessary for long journeys that can only be done by car, there are many short car journeys that we all take that could be walked or cycled. This is particularly the case in urban areas.
Relying too much on public transport
For those that don’t drive, relying on public transport may not add up as much but could still be an unnecessary expense in some cases. Whilst you may get a few steps in walking to the bus stop, you’re still spending most of your journey sat down and inactive.
Walking and cycling more instead of relying on public transport could save you some extra money and keep you fit.