How much bad habits cost us: alcohol and fast food hurt the budget
Sad fact of life: the better you feel about something, the worse it is for you, especially when you repeat it so often that it falls under the category of "lifestyle". Eating junk food from time to time is a pampering thing, but living solely on cheeseburgers and fries is already a way of life, and a pretty bad one. How much various bad habits cost us, the publication said Lifehacker.
When it comes to bad lifestyle choices, there is a tendency to think of them solely in terms of our health, and the negative impact of bad lifestyle decisions on our overall health and life expectancy can be quite grim. But there is another, more pressing issue that we often overlook: money.
Every wrong lifestyle choice we make has a real cost that can add up to a mind blowing amount over the course of a year (or a lifetime). Without even thinking about how you'll pay your hospital bills after a lifetime of self-indulgence, an unhealthy lifestyle will hit where it hurts the most - your wallet.
On the subject: Harmful or useful: 8 things that still baffle scientists
Just because a substance is legal and regulated doesn't mean it's a good idea. And even the belief that something is harmful doesn't stop you from spending money on it—nearly 30 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, despite decades of research demonstrating just how harmful they are. But if you want emphysema or liver failure to be your problem in the future, here's what your drug habit is costing you:
- Nicotine: cigarettes are damn expensive these days, $6 to $12 a pack. If you smoke one pack a day, it could cost over $4000 a year. But that's not all - smoking makes buying many types of insurance, including health insurance and life insurance, much more expensive. If you're cool and modern and vape instead, you're still spending over $2000 a year.
- Alcohol: alcohol has also become an expensive commodity—you can find $20 cocktails, and you can get all sorts of liquor and wine fantasies that cost mind-blowing sums for a single drink. Of course, if you buy 30 packs of Keystone Lite every month for only $15, that's only $200 a year. If you go out a few times a month and buy something better, your average lifetime alcohol spending ranges from $68 to over $000, depending on where you live.
- THC: The health effects of smoking or otherwise consuming THC are still being researched and debated. The cost of marijuana and other THC products varies greatly, but on average people spend between $600 and $700 a year on these things, about the same as on alcohol.
From time to time, some people like a burrito or a slice of pizza on their way home at 2 am. But constantly eating fast food is not only unhealthy in general, but also damn expensive. Depending on who you ask, the average person spends between $2400 and $10 on fast food each year, and each of these meals is almost certainly much more expensive than home-cooked meals.
We often lose sight of the impact of the drinks we buy—all those huge sugary sodas and lattes aren't cheap either: Americans drink 40 to 50 gallons (150-190 liters) of soda every year at an average annual cost of $350 (or $21 in course of life). And coffee is even more expensive—buying all those fancy coffee drinks will set you back over $000 a year.
Games of chance
Many people like to bet once in a while, however, if your gambling is anything more than casual fun, it probably eats into your budget because the casino always wins in the end. It is estimated that the average casino visitor spends over $600 a year, and a person with a serious gambling addiction can lose up to $90 a year.
Lottery tickets don't seem so bad, but we still spend an average of $132 each year on lottery tickets that offer a negligible chance of winning anything, let alone a return on your investment.
Lack of exercise
Not exercising and leading a sedentary lifestyle seems like something you can always change. That is, after a youth spent on the couch, we imagine that one day in our middle years we can jump up, go to the gym and somehow succeed in all the previous years spent doing nothing. Depending on your genetic make-up, you may be able to get away with it, but those wasted years have a real cost. How many? It is estimated that sedentary people spend about $1500 a year on health-related expenses. This is more than those who go out and exercise regularly.
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Lack of sleep
We are all mortals, with limited time on this planet, and we are more or less obligated to spend about a third of our lives sleeping. As frustrating as it may be at times, sleep is wonderful, and those who refuse it pay a heavy price in their health and well-being.
And the budget of such people also suffers more. Those who sleep more are more successful in their profession and end up making more money. Research has shown a link between an extra hour of sleep each night and an increase in earnings of about 5% if the change is consistent. That is, if you miss those extra hours of sleep, then, in fact, pay a financial penalty.
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