The High Costs of Smoking Cigarettes

smoking cigarettesIf you have a costly addiction, it can be difficult to see life without it. Whether it’s using a credit card for impulse purchases, gambling, drinking, eating out at fancy restaurants, or a host of others, an addiction can be a difficult thing to quit — such as smoking cigarettes.

In addition to being an expensive habit, smoking cigarettes is unhealthy and has other high costs, such as for medical care and life insurance.

Here are some of the high costs of smoking cigarettes:

Buying cigarettes

A pack of cigarettes costs $5 to $15 per pack, depending on what state you live in. A pack a day at $10 per adds up to $3,650 per year.

Work productivity while smoking cigarettes

Ohio State University researchers found that smokers average five breaks per workday, resulting in less productivity at work than nonsmokers. Smokers also take 2.5 more sick days per year than nonsmokers.

That lost productivity and extra health care costs for smokers costs employers $5,816 more per year, the researchers found.

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Is Your Laziness Costing You Money?

April 22, 2015 Permalink 0

9 Ways To Waste Your Money By Being LazyLately, I feel like I haven’t been as frugal as usual.

I’ve been letting little things slip and it’s mostly because I’ve been more lazy about being frugal.

After adding up how much money I’ve wasted over the past month, I’ve realized that the amount has been a few hundred dollars already!

I have been blaming this on the move and the fact that we’re still settling into our new town, but in reality it’s just been because of laziness.

I can’t be alone when it comes to wasting money due to laziness though. I’m sure there are many ways that even YOU may waste your money by being lazy if you think hard enough.

However, let’s change that today!

Below are nine ways you may be wasting your money by being lazy.

1. You waste your money by not negotiating.

You are definitely wasting your money if you do not negotiate any of your expenses. Many things are negotiable. Like I always say, the worst thing that can happen is that someone might say no. However, most of the time they will say yes!

You can most likely negotiate your cell phone bill, your cable bill, hotel fees, medical expenses, furniture costs, insurance rates, and more.

Many things can be negotiated, and many times companies are expecting someone to haggle.

Many people are too scared to negotiate or they just simply forget. You are throwing away hundreds of dollars by not negotiating! Once you get into the habit of negotiating, it gets easier. My top tip is to always remember to be nice. There is no need to bully someone into giving you a discount.

If you don’t feel like negotiating, you could always search for cheaper pricing through other companies as well. An example of this would be to search for a cheaper cell phone plan. There are companies out there such as Republic Wireless where you can get cell phone plans for as low as $5.

Why Your Gadgets Don’t Last

April 20, 2015 Permalink 0

I should have known it was a bad sign when I called the customer service line for a tech gadget I was thinking of buying, and the CEO answered.

It can be a good sign when a CEO answers customers’ calls — it could mean he’s highly involved in the company. But looking back on it now, I see it as a possible sign that the company doesn’t have enough workers and that its gadgets aren’t worth hiring people to promote it. I wish I would have figured that out before I bought one of the devices at Ambient, only to see the company stop offering support for it less than three years later.

It was 2011 and I was doing research for a story I was writing about energy saving gadgets when I saw the wireless devices Ambient was selling. One was called an Energy Orb that changed color when your household energy use changed.

gadgetsI called because I had some questions about its products, and was surprised when the CEO and co-founder answered. We talked for a bit, and I moved on with my story, eventually buying the Ambient Baseball ScoreCast for $43.82 on Amazon. About 2-1/2 years later, Ambient stopped supporting the device.

The ScoreCast was introduced in 2008 for $125, providing baseball scores through radio signals. A wireless plan isn’t needed.

My wife and I are big baseball fans, so I thought it would be fun to have the gadget on the fireplace mantle so we could see updated scores. Believe it or not, we didn’t have smartphones in 2011, so we didn’t have the immediate access that we now do on many devices in our home.

Just for the fun of it, I decided in early April to put four new AA batteries to see if it still worked. It didn’t. While $43 wasn’t much of a loss on something that worked for two baseball seasons, I wondered why it didn’t work and I again contacted customer service. Guess who got back to me? The same guy I talked to in 2011:

“On March 1, 2014, Ambient discontinued support for the Ambient Baseball, Ambient Football & Ambient Centerfield products. As of that date, customers with these devices in their homes stopped receiving game and standings data. The Ambient ScoreCast products were introduced in 2006 and manufacturing ceased in 2009. Sincerely, Pritesh Gandhi CEO | Ambient Devices”

I emailed him back, asking him what a consumer’s expectation should be when buying a tech device. I haven’t heard back yet.

How long should a gadget last?

Ambient’s pulling the plug got me wondering what consumers should expect when buying a tech gadget. Will the startup company that you were so fond of be around seven years from now when your device dies or needs tech support?

Is it just part of the expectation of a disposable society that when a relatively inexpensive gadget stops working, you’ll trade it in for a new one, recycle it, or worst-case, throw it away?