Mr K’s anti-smoking pack includes a card where you put down your main reasons for wanting to give up. I haven’t done this yet but, already-bolted-horses notwithstanding, I will have a bash at it sometime in the future.
There are some suggested reasons on the card one of which is ‘saving money’.
Well I have got a little jam jar. Each day I stick in £2.80 which represents the price of 12.5g of Golden Virginia.
It is a bit of an arbitrary figure. Ignoring the incredibly cheap black market options there is quite a bit of variation in the price of legitimate goods. From Sainsbury’s I can get it at the equivalent price of £2.25. Even within my local off licence I can knock 10 pence off the price simply by doubling up the amount I purchase at any one time.
As well as the £2.80 a day I chuck in a bit of spare change every now and again to represent cigarette papers and lighters.
So, without actually counting it up, there should be about £24 sitting in there, now that I have reached Day 8.
But have I saved myself £24? Well…no.
For a start off I have my patches prescription charges to pay currently running at £6.50 per week.
I then have my other compensatory expenditure to factor in. For example, to keep myself occupied on Wednesday night, I went on a shopping trip to Sainsbury’s with the overriding motive of buying any fast-moving consumables that took my fancy. £30 got me some green tea, some spaghetti in an extra fancy packet and some moisturiser (why?).
And then I paid for the curry on Good Friday. Then lots and lots of expensive coffees. There will soon be chewing gum to add to my costs as the six-pack Rose gave me has been chewed out.
On the other hand home and pub drinking has all but evaporated. I don’t save with the home drinking because R hoovers it all up but the lack of pub visits and pints consumed has helped. My current account looked healthy enough last night.
In the long run I guess I’ll be saving money but the main point of the jar at the moment isn’t about net savings. On the dole £24 was the difference between despair and rejoicing. Nowadays it is less significant. The £24 is important because it’s £24 that I haven’t spent on smoking rather than £24 saved. If you know what I mean?
Changing the subject., for those of you who have enjoyed the links I have made to Wikipedia, a word of warning .