We are all warned as children to learn quickly the difference between right and wrong, to stay away from the naughty kids, and to generally keep out of trouble. And being the ultimately fallible humans that we are, it is virtually a given that as children we ignored this and set about causing as much mischief as we could. Of course as we grew up and became a little less self-absorbed, we began to realise that stealing toys from our friends, throwing stones at greenhouses, and spreading gossip about those that we didn’t like was actually not all that big or clever. On the contrary, we come to realise that getting into trouble like this is a bit stupid and very mean. However,although we all eventually succeed in outgrowing such childish, mischievous troublemaking, in truth all we managed to do was to merely exchange our juvenile vices for a new set of adult ones.
Vices great and small, in all shapes and sizes
The thing with vices is that we know we shouldn’t indulge in them and we should know better, but we still go out and do them anyway. For some, their greatest sins are committed when they sneak downstairs in the dead of night whilst their partner is asleep so that they can tuck into that bowl of ice cream that they know they shouldn’t. Cheeky! Others out there might be a little more outfield, and will regularly indulge in a storm of drinking, gambling, and unclean living to such a degree that Keith Richards himself would raise a glass in approval of their debauchery. Whatever the vices are, however many we have, and whatever the degree is to which we partake in them, we all have vices because unfortunately vices are usually not only very moreish, but also very fun, and gratifying. The down side is that there are a great many implications for indulging in vices, particularly when it comes to how they affect your bank balance!
Drinking and partying
For many in Britain, drinking, dancing, and making a nuisance of yourself is as much an integral part of their weekly routine as going to work and brushing your teeth. We are by default a nation of drinkers and revellers, as can be seen if you head into the centre of any town or city in the UK on a weekend to join the throngs of party-goers. It is fun to go out on the lash from time to time but as you will have found out the hard way, it is also very, very expensive! With the average cost of a pint, a glass of wine, or a spirit and mixer costing anywhere between £3 to £4 a time, it is easy to spend an enormous amount of money in one hazy evening.
Many of us are partial to a little flutter from time to time, in the hope that lady luck will smile on us and grant us that big win we were hoping for. The problem is that lady luck is a capricious and fickle being and more often than not we will just be sent home with empty pockets and a bad mood. Gambling is very addictive indeed and whether you are playing on a bandit at the pub, holding court over the roulette table at a top-end casino, or placing a few bets on the footie at the bookies, it is easy to get carried away in the excitement of it all and get fleeced.
Smoking might make you feel like a rock star but you will pay a high price for it in the short, medium, and long-term with regards to your health and bank balance. The health implications are so well known that there is no need to go into details, but there is no doubting that at best it will strip years from your life and at worst it will send you to the grave with the utmost haste. Oh, and the average 20-a-day smoker will blow around £2,520 per year for the privilege. The problem, as any hardened smoker will tell you, is that cigarettes are far too gratifying.
Djamil Benmehidi publishes his guest content on a variety of finance blogs. Djamil recently published an article titled Been Rejected by Your Bank? Check it out!