25 September 2014

Stop smoking and save money

With the average pack of 20 now costing around £8.00, smoking is an expensive habit. Giving up this addiction is far from easy… but apart from improving your physical wellbeing, quitting could also leave your finances in better health.

The smoking ban has been in force for seven years now, and it seems to be working – research has shown that since the law came into force in July 2007, more people than ever have kicked the habit.

A report in July 2008 by University College London showed that 400,000 people had quit the habit in the first 12 months of the ban. More recently, a study in March this year, led by the University of Edinburgh and published in medical journal the Lancet, found smoking bans had cut cases of asthma and premature births.

If the thought of improving your health isn't motivating enough, here are a few thoughts about the money you could save if you cut down on cigarettes - and what you might chose to do with it.

Get the latest gadget

Whether it’s the latest smartphone or a hi-tech compact camera for the perfect snaps to upload to Facebook, we’d all like the latest piece of technology in our pocket.

That pricey mobile phone, camera or games console you've had your eye on for ages could soon be within reach if you were able to quit a 60-cigarettes a week habit, for example. Sacrificing three packs of 20 a week, at nearly £8 per pack, would save nearly £300 in just 3 months – enough for a brand-new tablet.

Go on a shopping spree

You could take advantage of seasonal sales to give your wardrobe an update and reward yourself for your healthy new lifestyle. That £250 suit, dress or pair of designer shoes? By giving up a 10-a-day habit, they could be yours in less than three months.

Treat yourself to a holiday

Cutting back on the number of cigarettes you buy – or, better yet, quitting – could help you save for a fantastic holiday. If you gave up a 20-a-day habit, you could save around £670 in three months. That could well be enough for you to jet off to your favourite destination or to explore a country you've never been to before.

Buy a new car

If your motor is on its last legs, or you just fancy a change, the money you save from giving up smoking could go towards a second-hand car, or a deposit for a brand new one. After kicking a 20-a-day habit for a whole year, you could be more than £2,500 closer to a new set of wheels.

Put it in a savings account

Of course, you don't have to spend the money you gain from giving up smoking. You may decide that you want to put it into a savings or cash ISA account, whether you’re saving for a deposit to buy a house, to go travelling, or as an emergency fund to help ease any money worries in the future.

Nationwide offers a range of savings accounts and cash ISAs which may suit you, whether its for a new home, car or simply help to build a safety net for the future.

This could be a great time to start... Stoptober

Stoptober is the 28-day national stop smoking challenge and is set to return following its launch in October 2012. Stopping smoking for 28 days means you’re five times more likely to stop for good and last year, thousands of people successfully quit in the biggest mass participation stop smoking challenge ever. Stoptober starts on the 1st October. See www.stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk (This link will open in a new window) (This link will open in a new window) (This link will open in a new window) (This link will open in a new window) for more details.

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