Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyers See Economy as a Good Excuse to Kick Bad Habits

What's more powerful than peer pressure, a way to relax or a desire to fit in? Money! I could tell you that at 15 years old, when I quit smoking. To be fair, I had only been a smoker for about a month. As an honor student, I had been desperate for a not-too-scary way to shed my goody-two-shoes image and cigarettes seemed like an easy answer. Sure, I worried that my mom would smell the smoke on my clothes or that, oh yeah, I might get lung cancer. But what finally clinched my reformation was the cost - at $3 a pack, my bad habit was eating into my allowance (what can I say? I'm cheap).

Since then, I've relied on my budget to keep my penchant for alcohol and fast-food in check (unfortunately, it doesn't do much for my fingernail biting, but that's another story). Of course, I believe personal responsibility also plays a role. I don't refrain from drinking myself into a stupor on Friday night because I can't afford the wine - I refrain because I respect myself and my liver. But being on a limited income is a big factor.

Just look at the numbers. Today, some cigarette packs are more than $4.50. If you're a smoker, you're tossing out more than $1,600 a year! And that's not including the medical costs and insurance premiums you'll pay in the long run.

If you're looking for ways to cut costs, take a look at your vices. If you're not a smoker, how about paring back on the fast-food runs to save several bucks a week? Or swapping your daily glass of wine or Frappuccino for water or homemade coffee or tea? It's healthier, lower in calories and a heck of a lot cheaper.

Now, I'm not saying you have to give up your vices for good. I'm not a doctor and I'm certainly in no position to tell you what's right or wrong - that's up to you. I'm just here to offer up some strategies for saving money. And if you have a habit you've been wanting to break, why not kill two birds with one stone? Kick the caffeine or cigarettes or alcohol - what have you - and save some money. Or simply cut back. I like to have a latte now and then, but I've long since stopped going to the coffeehouse every weekday.

Or maybe you've curbed all your habits but still find yourself in the hole. In that case, it sounds like debt - not just your splurges - might be the root of the problem. If you consistently find yourself overwhelmed by what you owe, bankruptcy might be the best way out. Why not find out for free with our one-on-one debt analysis? At DebtStoppers, we can help you kick the ultimate bad habit - debt. So you can have a clean conscience - at least, financially speaking.

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