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Unhealthy spending habits really are unhealthy; they are the expenditures that will hurt you both
monetarily and physically. It is very easy for young adults to get hooked on some unhealthy habits as
they begin their adult lives.
It should go without saying that you shouldn’t smoke. I won’t get into the physical effects of smoking.
However, I will tell you about the monetary effects of this habit. Depending on what state you’re in,
cigarettes will cost you $6 per pack (or more!). In New York City, the cost is more than $12 per
A habitual smoker who smokes one pack a day will spend over $2,000 on cigarettes annually (and
this does not include the cost of lighters, breath mints, dry cleaning, etc.). Add to that increased
medical costs and health care premiums, and you have a very expensive habit. The cost of cigarettes
alone would be at least $50,000 over a twenty-five-year period. If you put that money into an IRA and
kept it there until retirement, it would most likely be worth over $100,000!
You can do the same analysis when you look at buying a case of beer a week or eating at fast-food
restaurants three times a week. If you do eat at fast-food restaurants this often, simply eliminating your
soda purchase (and substituting tap water) will eliminate over $6 of unhealthy spending a week
(that’s $312 a year).
Clearly, you will make your own personal decisions based on your preferences. No one except
yourself should judge you on your choices. My job (in this book) is only to let you know the financial
ramifications of the choices you make.

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