How much does your vice cost?
Wikipedia defines a vice as a practice or a habit considered immoral, depraved, and/or degrading in the associated society. In more minor usage, vice can refer to a fault, a defect, an infirmity or merely a bad habit.
Recently, I spent some time thinking about how much money I spend on things that I really do not need – not necessarily things that make life easier – but rather things that are simply a habit, a pleasure or a waste of time. I am not going to exactly reveal my particular “vices”, but I think it is a good idea once in a while to take stock of the little money trickles in our budget. You know the holes that allow a few bucks to slip through during the course of a month? Some of these items might even have a legitimate place in our lives, but we all must consider the cost.
- Coffee: $.50 a day $15.00 a month $180 a year (if you make it at home)
- Cigarettes: $4.50 a day $135 a month $1,620 a year (pack a day)
- Alcohol: $10.00 a week $40 a month $480 a year (conservatively)
- Soda: $4.00 a week $16.00 a month $192 a year (two cans a day from the grocery store)
- Cable: $55 a month $660 a year (low end package)
- Gambling: $250 in Vegas $100 year in lottery tickets $500 ($10 a week in your home game)
- Cigars: $6 a week $24 a month $288 a year (really cheap cigars)
- Golf: the sky is the limit . . .
- Marijuana: $15 a week $60 a month $720 a year
- Eating out: $50 a week $200 a month $2,400 a year
- Spectator Sports: $150 a month $1,800 a year
- Tattoos: $100 a year
- Shoes: $50 a week $600 a year
Okay, obviously some of these may or may not qualify as vices, but we could probably find a way to do without every item on this list. Pick out your particular weaknesses, add up the yearly cost and then compare that sum to your monthly budget, your typical paycheck or some other legitimate expense that is a part of life for you. Then ask yourself if it is worth it.
For some of us, eliminating a vice or two could have the effect of a five or ten percent raise. Now you can make an informed decision about whether the pleasure derived from that vice is worth the cost.
Article by Stew
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