There is no denying that we all have our guilty little pleasures. Whether you live on fast food or are addicted to Red Bull, we all know there is something we’re spending money on that we shouldn’t.

But have you ever actually done the math on what your not-so-healthy habits are costing you every month? The figures might scare you.

Here are the top bad habits you can quit to save money in 2016:

1. Smoking

However satisfying smoking might be, it is an undeniably expensive hobby. Today a pack of cigarettes can cost you anywhere from R27 to R43 depending on your brand of choice and where you buy. As a sidebar, avoid buying cigarettes at petrol stations.

If you smoke one pack a day, smoking can cost you between R810 to R1 290 a month. What could you do with R1 000 extra month? If you quit smoking, you might find out.

2. Takeaways

Takeaways are so convenient, and spending between R30 and R50 on a meal does not seem like that much when you place your order… And ordering takeout for lunch seems so much more convenient than packing lunch every day.

Unfortunately, when you start adding up all the individual, not-so-expensive meals, it amounts to quite a bit of money.

Say you pay about R40 for a takeout meal, whether at the office or for dinner, and you indulge 5 times a week, you are spending R800 a month. Suddenly packing a sandwich or leftovers for lunch doesn’t seem like that much effort.
There are also quick, easy and delicious meals you can prepare for yourself that save money and are healthy.

3. Energy drinks

Although delicious and refreshing, most energy drinks are filled with not-so-goodness. They are also an expensive beverage of choice.

Depending on your brand of choice, an energy drink can set you back about R18 to R25 a pop. If you have one energy drink a day, your perk-up will cost you between R540 and R750.

4. Takeaway coffee and cappuccino

What smells sweeter than the aroma of freshly brewed coffee? Maybe the money you could save, should you cut back on this indulgence…

The average cappuccino today costs about R25. If you treat yourself to one every day, your daily caffeine fix ends up costing you R750 a week. If quality coffee is something you can’t live without, rather splurge on big brand, aromatic instant coffee.

At most, these still cost under R120, and if you use one teaspoon of coffee per cup, you’ll get 40 cups of out of a 200g bottle. At one cup a day, this should last you more than a month, saving you a lot of money.

Bad habits you can save on

5. Alcohol and partying

South Africans are, in general, very social creatures, which can often lead to partying and many alcoholic beverages consumed.

I do not think it is possible to cut out drinking of your life completely (unless that is how you rock), but there are definitely ways to save money on boozing.

At the beginning of the month, decide how many nights out on the town you should treat yourself to, set money aside for this, and stick to it.

Instead of going out, you can buy two bottles of wine and invite your friends over for a night of board games or music. A lot of fun at a much reduced price tag.

6. Soft drinks

Refreshing as they may be, soft drinks have become relatively expensive. If you don’t buy the knock-off brands, you will pay close to R20 for a 2-litre bottle.

If you buy concentrate instead, you will pay the same, but be able to stir up up to 5 litres of refreshing coolness.

Save on your bad habits

Are there any other bad habits you think we can quit and save money on? Tell us your thoughts below.

 

About The Author

Ula Van Zyl

Ula van Zyl is a sub-editor at a major news outlet. She has been a bibliophile since she could recognise the little squiggly things as letters and words. Ula is the person you want to have on your pub quiz team, but is, unfortunately, already committed to a team at present.

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