The Financial Consequences of Five Bad Habits

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financial consequences of bad habitsBad habits can be consequential for many reasons, especially financially. There can be real and potentially significant financial consequences for engaging in excessive levels of certain behaviors. Drinking, smoking, gambling, drugs, and shopping — each carry with them the potential for negative consequences of a financial nature. Take a look at the financial consequences these bad habits carry. 

The Financial Consequences of Five Bad Habits

Bad habits can sometimes become a serious problem for your life. The negative connotations that bad habits carry alone can hurt you. However, the financial consequences of bad habits can really set you back.  

1) Drinking

For many people, going out for a drink or two is just a way to be social. However, excessive drinking carries with it the potential for real financial consequences.

For instance…

  • getting arrested for drinking and driving can lead you to be ordered by a judge to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car (costly)
  • hiring a lawyer to handle your case
  • the potential for fines (due to court)

Excessive drinking is a bad habit that can really hurt you and should be re-considered if that is a path you might be headed toward. Driving while intoxicated can wind up costing you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. 

2) Smoking

Smoking cigarettes is a notoriously expensive bad habit. Have you noticed how high just one pack of cigarettes can be? You may not find a pack that is less than $4.00. A pack-a-day will end up costing the average American smoker $2,292 per year.

The additional expenses of a smoking habit can include:

  • teeth whiteners
  • breath fresheners

Then, of course, there are more significant expenses of more serious dental work to repair teeth and gums damaged by years of smoking. Just imagine if you live up north where the prices can be excessively higher!

3) Gambling

With gambling, there is so much at stake, especially when it comes to finances. However, most of the financial costs of gambling seem fairly upfront. You know what you are getting into because you have to pay to play — and do so again and again. Whether visiting a casino or picking up lottery tickets while doing a grocery run, the cost of even small bits of gambling can quickly add up to big money.

In addition to the out-of-pocket cost of the bet or purchase of a lottery ticket, there are other losses. For instance, the money you are spending, you could have been saving or investing. Placing it in a savings account would have meant not only having that money but also all of the interest that it would have earned.

4) Drugs

Drugs can be very detrimental in many possible ways. On top of the health implications, the use of illicit drugs can come with a very high price tag. Beyond the actual cost of buying them, drugs come with other costs.

  • They can mean the loss of employment for a failed drug test.
  • They can also mean lawyer’s fees to defend against possession charges.

5) Shopping

For many, shopping can be a pleasant pastime.  A little retail therapy never hurt anyone, right? However, it can easily turn into a bad habit that comes with very real financial consequences. If the items were charged on a credit card, that can mean significant interest charges. Couple that with making minimum monthly payments and that really cute skirt purchased on clearance just might end up costing about as much as a designer one purchased at full price.

Too much shopping can carry with it even greater consequences. Each year, millions of people in the United States declare bankruptcy due to consumer debt. Doing so comes at a financial cost. There are lawyers fees associated with this, and it negatively impacts one’s ability to rebuild financially for several years.

Related: Shopping for Clothes on a Budget

Instead of Bad Habits, Try Creating Good Habits!

Bad habits have a way of costing you. Sometimes, it is in small ways. Sometimes, it is in large ones. Regardless, there is a very real likelihood of eventually being faced with financial consequences because of them.

Are your bad habits creating a financial issue for you? What are you doing to create better habits for better outcomes?

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LaTia Longuemire

AUTHOR LaTia Longuemire

My name is LaTia Longuemire. I enjoy writing, singing, and cooking in my spare time. My passion is helping others. At this stage in my lifetime, I'm primarily focused on my children. They are everything that keeps my world spinning.

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