Thursday, September 3, 2009

Trimming the budget, quitting smoking

Within the week I'm going to start actively trying to reduce my budget with the biggest step, quitting smoking. At around five bucks a pack, a pack a day, this should save around $150 per month. This is by far going to be the biggest challenge! I'm going to start cutting down on cigarettes over the next few days, and hopefully start the patch on Monday.  This is a huge step in becoming a stay at home mom, as this is one of the biggest drains on my budget.

One thing I did last time that really helped was to keep a dirty ashtray laying around. When the urge to smoke becomes more than you can handle, take a big whiff of that nasty ashtray. Craving gone. Deep breathing exercises also helped. In the middle of being stressed out and thinking about cigarettes, take a deep breath in, hold for five seconds, and slowly exhale. Do this a few times in a row. Your brain will get a rush of oxygen, and you will appreciate how much better your lungs feel. 

Last time I stopped smoking, I joined the website It almost felt like AA for smokers. There is a message board that was invaluable those first few days and weeks, being able to talk to people having the same effects of withdrawal as you and tips and tricks from the seasoned vets really helped. They also have a widget that tracks from the time you quit smoking, how much money you've saved, and how much time you've added to your life by quitting. THAT is very motivating. It shows your progress updated frequently, so when you SEE how far you've come you're less likely to slip up. I highly recommend this for anybody trying to kick the habit.

There is nothing wrong with getting a little help when quitting smoking. The odds of quitting are much higher when using a smoking cessation program. Many can be costly, but in the grand scheme much cheaper than continuing to smoke. Shop around for cessation products to get the best price.

Quitting smoking isn't just a financial decision, the health benefits of quitting smoking can't be overlooked. I know I'll feel better being nicotine free. I hope I can quit for good this time. With the goal of becoming a stay at home mom, quitting smoking seems more important now. Wish me luck, I'm going to need it!

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