Ditch that expensive habit

RAEWYN FOX
Last updated 05:00 16/03/2014
Cigarettes
Fairfax NZ
STUB IT OUT: Cut out the ciggies and you could save $4000 a year.

Relevant offers

Money

KFC signals plans to start door-to-door deliveries Kiwis thought to be less likely to help themselves at self-service checkouts Homeowners may get the benefit of best interest rates Ten questions buyers should ask real estate agents Full house for auction as 'panic buyers' look to snap up homes Owner reunited with lost money after dropping thousands on Auckland street Reserve Bank opens door to much lower interest rates as it attacks the dollar Z Energy ends Countdown fuel dockets in favour of Fly Buys All four main banks now restrict lending to property investors No justification for interest-only mortgages

Want an instant pay rise? Simply tackle a bad habit.

Studies show smokers average 14 cigarettes a day, and a pack of 20s is $15.50. That's about 100 cigarettes a week, or 5 packs, which is more than $4000 a year.

Imagine having a $4000 pay rise just from ditching one habit. That's a pay rise of 13 per cent for someone earning $35,000 a year.

Of course, that won't work for everyone. Many budgeting clients are working with very little and the occasional smoke is the only luxury they allow themselves, smoking nowhere near 100 a week.

A better example might be hopping in the car to go around the corner. If you can, get in the habit of walking to the shops, or at least drive to a central point and do several errands before returning to the car.

Another habit might be the way you use your cellphone. Everyone seems to have a second (or third) screen with them these days. Using data on your phone can be expensive and, unless you really have to, it's better to wait for a home WiFi connection, or a free hotspot.

A prepaid plan works really well to keep your cellphone bill under control. Someone who goes from a $40 per month data plan to a $12 per month prepaid plan will save more than $300 a year.

That's a pay rise of 0.85 per cent for someone on $35,000.

Next week we'll look at two more habits that you can easily tackle and work out just how big a total pay rise could be on the table.

Raewyn Fox is chief executive of the New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services.

Ad Feedback

- Sunday News

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content