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Make sure your money doesn’t go up in smoke in 2019

The festivities are finally dying down, the Christmas decorations are being packed away and your new year resolutions for 2019 have already been made. Welcome to 2019.

Let’s hope this year brings us more joy, more good memories and good health for all our loved ones.

If your festive season wasn’t as exciting as you had imagined it would be and you couldn’t do anything extraordinary on your Christmas break this year like take a fancy holiday, buy all the presents you wanted or spoil yourself, maybe it’s time to think about how you spend your money in the months leading up to Christmas.

And if you’re a smoker, there’s even more reason to think twice about your habit.

It’s not common for smokers to tally how much money they spend on smoking – but when they finally do calculate their daily, monthly and annual spend on cigarettes, they will find it’s much worse than they thought. And it’s one of the first motivations for them to actually stop smoking.

Let’s do the Math together and see how much an average smoker spent on cigarettes last year.

Research conducted by Sefako Makgatho Health Science University’s Africa Tobacco Industry Monitoring and Policy Centre shows that the average smoker puffs on about nine cigarettes a day. Nine cigarettes a day translates into one pack of 20 cigarettes over two days. That translates into seven boxes over two weeks and 14 boxes in a month. If the average box of cigarettes costs about R30 a box, that’s about R420 a month that you spend on smokes.

Now if you tally that for the year, you’re looking at R5040 that would have gone up in smoke in 2018 alone. And this calculation doesn’t include special occasions and celebrations when smokers are bound to increase their intake.

Savera Kalideen, Executive Director of the National Council Against Smoking, explains that people don’t realise how much they smoke and what’s more, what they end up spending on smoking every month.

“Smokers often say its only one box of cigarettes, but it all adds up at the end of the day. If you think about it there are so many other things that you can spend your money on. And these can be small things or big things. You will find that you can even tick off your bucket list,” says Kalideen.

Here’s five ways that you could have spent a R5040 that you saved from stopping smoking last year:

  1. A weekend away for two

  1. Groceries this January

  1. Stationery and school uniforms for the kids

  1. A spa trip for your and four friends

  1. A contribution towards your post schooling registration fee

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