You can quit smoking and save money. But you already know that. Right? And to be honest, I think trying to influence someone to kick the smoky habit by trying to show them the financial angle may not be the best approach.
If you are a smoker (I am not), then you will know that at times, smoking can be an expensive habit. And quitting not only saves you money now but saves on future health costs too as we all know, smoking kills. But people still smoke.
I was recently talking to a friend who smokes a lot. His wife and I have tried to convince him numerous times about why it’s not a good idea health-wise to smoke that much and how smoking is a waste of money. But I think you can’t change people much. But that aside, we went online and ran a few cost of smoking calculators available. We also discussed some numbers about smoking which I thought I will share here too.
But before I share the financial benefits of quitting smoking, let me share an old joke which smokers throw-in at your face when you try to explain to them about the money they can save by quitting smoking.
So here is the joke…
A guy in the office is taking a smoke break with his non-smoking colleague.
“How long have you been smoking for?” his colleague asks.
“30 years” says the smoker.
“Thirty years!” marvels the co-worker. “That costs so much money. At a pack a day, you’re spending $1900 a year. Had you instead invested that money at an 8% return for the last 30 years, you’d have $250,000 in the bank today. That’s enough to buy a Ferrari.”
The smoker looked puzzled. “Do you smoke?” he asked his co-worker.
“So where is your Ferrari?”
But jokes apart, the fact is that even if we don’t want to pay heed to the possibility of saving some money by kicking the habit, then there are still obvious health benefits of not smoking. And even smokers know that.
So in this post, I will just focus on the financial angle of quitting smoking and saving a lot of money.
I don’t know how much money does the average smoker spends on cigarettes a year. But my friend smokes about Rs 5000-7000 worth of cigarettes about a month. I don’t know if he smokes a lot of cheap sticks or a lesser number of expensive ones. But whatever, he burns Rs 5000 to Rs 7000 per month. And that is not a small amount to spend on this addiction and ‘bad’ habit.
Please don’t think that I am trying to take a moral high ground here. Everybody has a habit or two that isn’t exactly worth talking about. It’s just that smokers are in the public eye so we non-smokers find it easy to have a go on them. But if you are a smoker and do it inspite of knowing everything, then it’s your choice. I won’t be judgmental here. Your life your choices. Who am I or others to tell you anything otherwise.
Coming back to the numbers, it means he spends Rs 60-85,000 per year on smoking. I tried to compare this figure to something tangible. Like a high-end laptop or buying latest iPhone that he could buy. But he earns well and has them all. And another problem is that he already saves a lot more every year than what he spends on smoking. So you can’t really convince my friend to see the saving angle here.
But for readers, I continue.
Let’s say you too smoke and spend about Rs 5000 a month. You might have read articles weaving stories of how you can become crorepati by quitting smoking.
So let’s see how far these possible savings of Rs 5000 per month can go if you invest it somewhere.
I am a proponent of equity investing and hence, I will explore how does a Rs 5000 SIP does in equity funds.
Historically, SIP returns of good mutual funds have been between 11-16%. Though the actual returns might differ for everyone, let’s take a middle path of average 12% returns and see how much you can save by quitting smoking in 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years by exploring this cost of smoking calculator SIP.
Here is what Rs 5000 monthly SIP in equity funds can do over the years:
- 5 year SIP of Rs 5000 monthly instead of smoking = Rs 4-5 lakh
- 10 year SIP of Rs 5000 monthly instead of smoking = Rs 11-12 lakh
- 15 year SIP of Rs 5000 monthly instead of smoking = Rs 25-26 lakh
- 20 year SIP of Rs 5000 monthly instead of smoking = Rs 47-48 lakh
- 25 year SIP of Rs 5000 monthly instead of smoking = Rs 89-90 lakh
- 30 year SIP of Rs 5000 monthly instead of smoking = Rs 1.6-1.7 crore
Not bad. Isn’t it?
That is the answer to the question of how much money do you save by not smoking?
And I didn’t even consider the fact the inflation will increase the prices of cigarettes each year and so, you can even have a case or increasing SIP if you want to make the calculation more realistic.
For smokers, it’s not easy to quit smoking entirely. But if by chance they manage to do that and they are disciplined enough to park the money saved in proper investment options, then a lot of money can be saved and a lot of wealth can be created. It might not seem so obvious but after a few years, the corpus grows to large amounts.
I think here, it does seem to be like a real solid case of Health is Wealth!
By quitting smoking, you not only help yourself and your close ones. You also become a bit wealthy. Not a bad deal I think.
And did you know about other indirect costs of smoking? Smokers have to pay a higher premium than non-smokers when it comes to buying life insurance or health insurance.
After a few years, smokers develop health conditions that will require them to pay more in medical bills.
If you are a smoker, you already know how much money you have burnt to date? But all that is past. Just think about how much more money you are going to burn for the rest of your life if you keep smoking?
You really can become a crorepati by just quitting smoking if you invest the money instead. And I know that having Rs 1 crore is not enough to retire. But still having Rs 1 crore for your child’s future might be a good thing. Isn’t it?
If you want to see how much your wealth will grow for different SIP amounts, then do check the following SIP calculator links:
- Value of Rs 10,000 SIP per month
- Value of Rs 15,000 SIP per month
- Value of Rs 20,000 SIP per month
- Value of Rs 25,000 SIP per month
- Value of Rs 50,000 SIP per month
- Value of Rs 1 lakh SIP per month
If the money spent on smoking by us Indians is invested in mutual fund SIPs, I am sure it will help them a lot. And many people who smoke a lot and are worried about getting their retirement properly planned should check the savings they can make by quitting to smoke. A crore rupees extra in a couple of decades will come in very handy at the time of retirement.
Smoking is injurious to health as well as wealth. It’s like if you are smoking, you are simply a case of wealth being turned to ash and smoke.
I hope you liked this discussion of the cost of smoking and how you can quit smoking to save some serious money in the long run. I have tried to highlight the financial cost of smoking and calculate returns if you invest the money you currently spend on smoking. Now you know how much can you save by quitting smoking.
If you are a smoker and are able to kick this habit, I am sure your future self will thank you for not smoking! As you have seen, the financial cost of smoking is huge and you really can quit smoking and save money. Lots and lots of it.