Give up your vices and save

‘Tis the season for overindulging. If you have vices, maybe there’s where you need to look to save money.



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I have relatively few vices: I like good tea, I buy my television on DVDs because I go to bed early (and it’s still cheaper than a TiVo), and I don’t skimp on my ingredients when I’m in an all out cooking frenzy. I haven’t smoked in about 14 years. I gave up coffee, cola and all the other bad-for-me crap when I was pregnant with my first child. And I’ve never been a booze hound.

Sometimes I’m a little surprised at what people will spend money on even when they’re in debt or not saving a penny. Exorbitant bank fees… really? You can’t walk a block to your own ATM? Hundreds of dollars a month in liquor and wine… really? Not even for a few months can you give up your numbing juice? And as for the people who still smoke… lord, love a duck!

The Stats Man says that Canadians spend about 2% of their income on alcohol and tobacco. You can’t tell me you don’t have money to save if you’re watching your money go up in smoke or down the potty. With Canadian household debt growing by 6.5%, how can we justify spending $18 billion a year on booze?

That’s the price we’re willing to pay for a good night’s sleep, it seems. Charles Morin, a professor of psychology at Laval University and one of the authors of a study published in the journal Sleep says that 8% of folks report using alcohol as a sleep aid. Oy!

Perhaps all we need to do to sleep better is rebalance our lives and shift our priorities so that we’re financially stable. I sleep like a baby not worrying about overdraft, outstanding balances and whether I’ll have enough to retire on. And if I’m having a little trouble getting to sleep, a nice warm homemade chai latte does the job. No need to numb out to pass out.

One comment on “Give up your vices and save

  1. This is such an eye opener. People very rarely realize how much money they are wasting on things with little or no importance. Yes, I'm sure some of us love our coffee in the morning but rather than go pick one up on your way to work, make one for half the price on your house. It's these small things that people can save so much on. Sure, let yourself splurge once in a while, but by cutting things like this out you'll be amazed at how much you can save. The last thing you want is to be struggling financially in the future because you could'nt seem to cut down on your wants!


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