If you plan to stop smoking, you’ll see from the quit smoking timeline the range of health benefits you’ll gain as the days, weeks and months of being free from cigarettes go by. However, besides improving your health, you’ll also save a considerable amount of money by quitting your habit. These financial savings begin from the first day you stop smoking and accumulate as time goes on. Take a look at the financial quit smoking timeline below to see exactly how much you can save.
As a pack of 20 cigarettes currently costs close to £8.00 and the average UK smoker gets through around 12 cigarettes each day, if your smoking habits are similar to this, each day you are smoke-free you’ll save about £4.80. With this amount of extra cash in your wallet you can treat yourself to a small item to reinforce your efforts or better still put the money towards a session at the gym, swimming, or an exercise class, as physical activity is a great mood booster and can help you to deal with cravings.
After seven days without cigarettes, if you save up the money you would otherwise spend, you’ll be around £34 better off. You could put some of this additional cash towards your weekly food shop or use it to pay for a weekend treat that you or your family usually couldn’t afford. For instance, you could treat yourself to a relaxing massage, meet a friend for lunch or a family of four could go to the cinema with this amount of money and still have some change left-over.
At the end of 30 days cigarette-free, you’ll typically have an extra £144 at your disposal. Knowing that you’ll have this much extra money at the end of each month you don’t smoke is a real motivator, as thinking about how you plan to use your savings will discourage you from lighting up if you’re tempted. Whether you intend to head to the high street, take your partner or kids to a Premier League football match or spend the money saved on an experience day, there’s plenty of choice with this level of savings. On a practical note, you may decide to put the money towards household bills.
You’ll also start to make savings in other ways too. For instance, you won’t be so reliant on tooth-whitening products or dry cleaning to remove nicotine marks from clothing; over the months these additional savings will start to build up.
By the time you have managed three months smoke-free, you will have saved around £430. Besides paying for a cheap week in the sun as a couple, you could put the money towards an electrical item or buy a football season ticket. However, a more practical use if you have financial difficulties is to use this money to help you pay off debt. Even without short-term debt, you may decide to overpay on your mortgage or start saving extra money each month to boost your long-term savings.
With more than £850 saved, you can start thinking big. With this amount you might like to treat your family to a set of high quality bikes and with your heart and lung function improving, it is now much easier to enjoy cycling. Alternatively, you could buy your partner an item of expensive jewellery or treat your family to a trip away together.
Keeping off cigarettes for a whole year would provide you with around an extra £1750. That’s enough to treat your family to a memorable holiday abroad. However, you might prefer to put the money towards home improvements, the cost of a new car or continue to save to help you meet a longer-term aim.
The money you save on buying cigarettes isn’t the only financial benefit of quitting, which you’ll see after a year off cigarettes. As smoking is the most common cause of preventable ill-health and death, any financial products that pay out in the event that you become ill or die are more expensive for smokers. This includes private health insurance, life insurance, cover for critical illness and income protection products. Quitting your habit will therefore save you money on premiums for all these. While getting a cheaper premium for these policies shouldn’t be you main motivator for quitting smoking, it’s an added bonus of kicking your habit.
Although some providers of private medical insurance charge the same premiums for smokers as those who don’t smoke, other provides charge smokers more. You won’t benefit from premium reductions right away though, as only after you are free from tobacco products and nicotine replacements for a year are you technically a non-smoker. At this point, request a policy review to take into consideration that you are now a non-smoker, as this should see your health cover premiums fall. Even if you only see a 5% reduction in your premiums, these savings mount up over the years. However, your insurance provider may wish to verify that you have abstained from smoking for at least a year, so may request to access your medical records for confirmation. It’s therefore important to always be honest about your smoking status, as providing inaccurate information can invalidate your cover.
Whether you have term life insurance for a mortgage or to safeguard your family if you die, providers will only make a payment if you die within a given period of time. As a smoker you’re more likely to experience potentially fatal illnesses during this time, so your premiums are higher. Once you are no longer using tobacco or nicotine replacement products, after a year you can benefit from reduced premiums. As an ex-smoker you will typically receive around a 50% reduction of your term life insurance premiums.
Similarly, with income protection policies, which make payments if you are unable to work, you can look forward to around 25% cheaper premiums as a non-smoker. While you simply need to declare your smoking status, providers take this matter seriously, so it’s important that you only tell them you are a non-smoker when this is genuinely the case after a year of successfully quitting. If you decide to take out critical illness cover, which is a single payment made if you develop a range of critical illnesses, you can receive even bigger reductions on your premiums once a non-smoker.
When you pack in smoking, this increases your chances of extending your life-expectancy. If you quit age 30, you’ve potentially another 50 years ahead of you, which means that over your lifetime you’ll save in the region of £87,000. Just think what you could do with that amount of extra money.
You’ll also benefit financially from the fact that once you’re a non-smoker, you’ll generally have better health, so you’ll take fewer sick days over your working life. This is particularly important if you’re a contract worker or self-employed, as extended periods of sickness have a significant effect on your earnings.
If you want to see how much money you will have available to spend on other things when you quit, take a look at the British Heart Foundation’s financial benefits tool, which bases the savings on your own smoking habits.