Monday, January 03, 2005

A quick aside here from my Florida trip report, but I thought this was kind of interesting.

A columnist for the Metrowest Daily News , Julia Spitz, wrote in a recent column that she was quitting smoking after puffing a pack a day for 35 years. She said about the cost, “Let’s not do the math. I just can’t face those numbers. We’ll say I’ve wasted thousands of dollars in the past 35 years and leave it at that, OK?”

Well, that kind of a challenge couldn’t be left alone by my CPA brain. So I fired up Excel and figured out how much she had spent on cigarettes over the past 35 years, using the figures quoted in her article.

Over the past 35 years, Ms. Spitz has spent nearly $23,000 to destroy her lungs. If she had taken that money and invested it at 8%, she’d have almost $65,000 today.

That’s probably the biggest reason I never tried smoking when I was a kid. It wasn’t as much the health issues as it was the fact that there were lots of other things I’d rather spend my money on.

So, today’s lesson kids is don’t smoke. You’ll be richer for it in more ways than one.


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