smart spending

5 New Year's resolutions that save money

Quit smoking
2 of 7

Smoking won't just kill you, it'll drain your bank account.

Smokers are using the high cost of the habit as one reason to quit. In an August study by the American Lung Association in Washington, D.C., smokers listed "saving money" as the No. 1 reason they wanted to quit, says Dr. Norman H. Edelman, chief medical officer.

You can save money by stopping a pack-a-day habit, which can cost between $1,825 and $3,650 per year, depending on the cost of cigarettes in your area. Nationally, a pack-a-day smoker is going to average $2,000 annually on cigarette costs, says Edelman.

Then there's the extra dry cleaning to rid your clothes of the smell, dental bleaching or caps for yellowed teeth and Botox to iron out smoking-induced wrinkles, he says.

Quitting also can save on insurance premiums. Typically, a smoker pays 15 percent to 25 percent more on health insurance premiums than nonsmokers and 50 percent more for life insurance, says Scott Leavitt, past president of the National Association of Health Underwriters in Arlington, Va., and president of Scott Leavitt Insurance & Financial Services in the Boise, Idaho, area.

And if you successfully quit smoking, you'll get nonsmoker rates after you've been smoke-free for a year, says Leavitt.




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