Learn creative ways to save money and create wealth every Thursday on the Evening Report at 6:00pm, by watching Change in Your Pocket.
Saving By Quitting
Smoking is both a deadly and expensive habit those who manage to quit for good not only feel healthier, but they also save money.
"I smoked a pack a day, depending what I did that day," said former smoker Jonny Buchholz.
That was until a bout of pneumonia landed Buchholz in the emergency room.
"Laid up in the hospital for six days with a very high fever, climbed almost up to 106 degrees."
Once he was released, Buchholz vowed to quit smoking.
"Having a relapse of something like this could kill me the second time around."
For Buchholz, the choice to quit wasn`t so much about saving the $80 a month as it was to live. But many more people make a conscious choice to quit. The problem they struggle with, finding something else to occupy their time.
"It relieves that tension you might be feeling from breaking that habit. It can help you sleep better, if that`s something you`re struggling with from the addiction that you might be thinking about," said YMCA Fitness Director Lindsey Peterson.
For some, it`s all about breaking routine and forming new habits, such as exercise.
"The neighbor you meet in class becomes that accountability factor. It`s a huge and that`s what you get from group fitness," Peterson said.
Quitting smoking won`t just give you a healthier body, it also makes you more insurable.
"You`re looking at nearly doubling in reference to life insurance policies, nearly doubling the cost because you`re using tobacco. And plus the cost of the tobacco they use, there`s a great savings on a monthly basis that can definitely be used elsewhere instead of going to pay higher premiums for the actual product itself," said Shane Splonskowski with American Family Insurance.
Fortunately for those without insurance, Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health provides free assistance to those who want to quit.
"The cost savings, when you do the math, $4.60 a pack. That`s just under $1,700 a year, which is quite a bit of money to spend on tobacco," said Pat McGeary with Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health.
After one month of being smoke-free, Buchholz admits activities like driving a car still trigger an urge for a cigarette. But he says he`ll soon enjoy living healthier and having a little more change in his pocket.
McGeary says the North Dakota Tobacco Quitline reports a 34 percent success rate, which means about two-thirds of people who try to quit will relapse in the first year.