Almost two thirds of Brits have noticed their finances being stretched since the credit crunch began – Kick the habit this No Smoking Day (March 11) and beat the recession, says Fairinvestment.co.uk
From insurance to disposable income, smoking is a drain on finances. Some cigarettes now cost more than £6.00 for 20, so someone smoking 20 a day could find themselves smoking the equivalent of around £42 a week, which soon adds up to £2,184 a year.
And, as research from Fairinvestment.co.uk* has found that 63 per cent of Brits have noticed their finances being stretched since the credit crunch, what better time to give up smoking?
Kicking the habit this No Smoking Day could mean an extra £2,184 in the bank by this time next year. And, although interest rates have fallen to record lows, there are still some tax free saving deals around, like the Birmingham Midshires Cash ISA
, paying three per cent annually, which would equate to a return of £65.52 on £2,184.
Higher risk alternatives include investing the cash saved into things like bonds or Stocks and Shares ISAs
, which could mean an even bigger return on the money saved by giving up smoking.
Other cash saving incentives for smokers come in the form of insurance. Give up for twelve months and an ex-smoker could save £1000s** on their life insurance
, health insurance
and critical illness insurance
Giving up smoking this No Smoking Day could also help people become debt
free sooner. Statistics from Credit Action show that the average debt for a UK adult via credit cards, motor and retail finance, overdrafts and unsecured loans is now £4,870.
An average annual saving of more than £2,000 per smoker could mean that this debt is paid off in just over two years.
Meanwhile, an extra £2,184 a year could equate to a mortgage
overpayment of £182 a month, making a saving of seven years and £26,708 on a 25 year fixed rate £150,000 repayment mortgage at four per cent.***
Commenting on the potential savings, chartered financial planner at Fairinvestment.co.uk, Sharon Bratley said: "As the recession eats into household budgets, stopping smoking could help smokers to beat the credit crunch.
"Those struggling with debt or mortgage repayments could easily use the money they save each week to make a dent in their debt, which could in turn loosen their belt when it comes to other areas.
"Investing the cash into bonds or Stocks and Shares ISAs could also mean that the money saved grows at a higher rate than it would in a savings account due to historically low interest rates.
"And as budgets are stretched, I am sure the extra cash would be welcomed by most households at the moment."
*Research conducted by OnePoll for Fairinvestment.co.uk, with 2,000 respondents
**moneysupermarket.com found that a 30 year old male wanting £150,000 worth of combined life and critical illness cover over 25 years could save £8,404 over the term
***Calculated using the What Mortgage calculator, based on a 25 year £150,000 mortgage with an interest rate of 4 per cent