# Lifestyle impact

We normally go about our lives with little habits which we think are normal and are part of our daily routines. These tasks we do throughout the day come second nature to us, we don’t realise we are really doing them. Some of these habits which we have can majorly impact our lives. Anything from grabbing a coffee in the morning before work, smoking a packet of cigarettes or eating out. For me personally its alcohol which is my habit, every weekend I end up spending between £30-£50 on alcohol, add this up and you realise how much you really are spending.

Here I want to break down for you how these little habits we have have an impact on our lives and what it would be like if we invested this money instead. With a visual of how changing these habits might get you to take a step back and re-evaluate your habits and see how they are also impacting you.

The price of the morning coffee…

Let’s say you grab a coffee on the way to work and you work Monday to Friday every day of the year, obviously this is a kind of extreme case but it’s to prove a point. Not something you would normally think about on you way to the office in the morning but they really do add up.

A coffee every week day (261 days) X average price of a costa coffee medium latte (£2.45)

261 X £2.45 = £639.45 a year.

Yes that is £639.45 a year you would be spending just on coffees! But what happens if you invest it? Well the average return of the stock market is 7%. If you invest that money into a tracker fund, you could be looking at a gain of £44.75! What about if you’re looking for income? Well now let’s look at a dividend income stock which gives 5% return in dividends. That 5% dividend return over a year would return £31.95 in dividends! That’s not taking into account any stock gain.

Smoke away the stress…

Lets say you smoke a fair amount, maybe a packet a day or just at work. We can say every week day one packet so that’s 261 days a year. The average price of a packet of 20 cigarettes is £10.80.

Pack every weekday (261 days) X average price of a 20 pack of cigarettes (£10.80)

261 X £10.80 = £2,818.80 a year.

This definitely a expensive habit smoking a 20 pack a day. Again we will compare that expense against the stock market return of 7%. With a 7% return you could be looking at a capital gain of £197.30, giving you a total of £3,016.10. What would you do with £3,000? Now let’s look at a dividend income stock with a 5% yield. Over a year you could receive a dividend income of £140.90! That definitely could pay for some bills.

A drink here and a drink there…

Now let’s take my example of what I spend on alcohol each weekend! This amounts to £200 each month just spent on the weekend. For me this is used to relax but how much is it really costing me in the long run?

Each weekend I spend £50 (52 weeks) X the basic amount I spend on alcohol (£50)

52 X £50 = £2,600

This is the exact reason why one of my goals this year is to cut down, Just look at that number! This hits come a bit as I have never truly looked into the numbers of my habits! Now if I had invested this into a tracker fund with an average of 7%, I could have got a capital gain of £182! Now my investment strategy is dividend income/growth, this next bit is what is going to interest me. With a stock yielding 5% I could have got a dividend income of £130 for the year.

All these things just seem a normal habit, on the way to work grab a coffee. The weekend is here? Let’s go out! But putting the numbers against the habits really do put them into perspective. Of course everyone has to have fun, the whole point in life is to enjoy it. But now I and you know the numbers behind these 3 habits, maybe we will appreciate them more or re-evaluate them. Not everything is about money.