How Much Do Your Habits Cost?

Unfortunately, even considerable sums of money rarely help you give up your habits – no matter whether they are harmful or not. Still, the money spent on this would bring you a lot more benefit than it seems.


Habits cost a decent amount of money. Many people even try to count how much money they spend on this or that trifle monthly. It is rarely motivating to give up a bad habit or a small meaningless purchase.

From the point of view of economy, it is necessary to use another term in this case – “lost profits” rather than “direct costs”. It would be correct to consider not how much we have spent, but how much we have failed to get. The money donated to manufacturers of cigarettes or to coffee shops could be deposited on a bank account. But you never know what can be done by proper investing!

For example, you like to drink coffee and eat cakes in one of the neighboring coffee shops. Suppose that it takes about $14 a week (just one cupcake and a cup of coffee before or after the working hours!). This is about 728 dollars annually.

But what if you deposit the money to earn interest? Within two years, the rejection of a cake with coffee would bring nearly $1,500. You could earn more money as well. Hugh Chou, a system administrator from the University of Washington, has developed a “muffin calculator” that allows you to see how much savings small expenses can bring over time.

In one of her interviews Sharon Rosenberg admitted her love of eating cupcakes. She bought them at the price of $2.75, three times a week. It takes some time to realize that she eats the equivalent of a new Dell desktop with a monitor annually!

Of course, any expenditure on the habit can stand for that muffin in the calculator. You only need to enter a single value of the product (Gourmet Muffin price) and the costs per week (muffins eaten per week), select the time period in years and specify the interest rate at which the money will be invested.