Finances, Stress, and Quitting

Finances are often a source of stress, worry, or anxiety. This stress can contribute to smoking and make quitting harder. If this sounds familiar, know that you are not alone. Many people are in the same boat.

Quitting can save you money. The exact amount you save depends on many factors, like how often you smoke, and state and local taxes. No matter how much you save, quitting can have other stress-relieving benefits.

Quitting smoking means more money in your pocket

Some people find that tallying up how much they would save on cigarettes over time is motivating.

One EX Community member found that they were saving over $700 a month by quitting, now that the price of cigarettes increased in their city. Another saved over $300 a month and saved enough to send a child to summer camp. And another saved enough to pay for an expensive car repair without taking money out of their savings.

You can try it, too. Keep track of how much you spend per day or per week on cigarettes. Then add up how much it would be if you quit for 6 months or a year.

Once you quit, you can put the money you would have spent on cigarettes into a separate jar or savings account and save up for something meaningful to you. Or you can use it for small rewards for yourself for quitting. No matter what you choose to do, having extra money can bring little moments of joy or relieve major sources of stress.

The hidden costs of smoking

In addition to the cost of cigarettes, there are also “hidden” costs of smoking. These can add up over time and can increase your stress.

These can include things like gas for trips to the store to buy cigarettes, and the cost of other unplanned purchases you end up making at the same time.

People who use tobacco take more sick days off of work. Once you quit, having to take fewer days off because of illness can mean more money in your pocket. This is especially true if your job doesn’t offer paid sick leave. Smoking can lead to higher health and dental care costs, too.

You might also see a surcharge on your insurance premium because you smoke.

Dealing with stress

Maybe smoking has felt like a familiar and comforting way to cope with stress. It might have also felt like a low-cost way to feel good. Quitting can help you find other ways to manage stress that won’t hit your wallet so hard.

  • Remind yourself that you have gotten through hard situations before. It wasn’t the cigarettes. It was you. Think back to those times. Recall what helped you make it through.
  • Take advantage of all that EX has to offer. Connect with EX Community members or read their posts. They get what you’re going through and are here for you.
  • Learn new ways to deal with stress. These stress management techniques are completely free and you can do them anywhere.
  • Be kind to yourself. Focus on what is in your control. Quitting is a process. Each time you try to quit, you learn more about yourself, your patterns, and your triggers. You blaze a new path toward the person you want to be. The key is to use that information the next time.

What are EX Community members saying?

Guilt free money for fun things in life

I have always had a fun money “pot” that I’ve used to motivate myself to save and it certainly applies with smoking. Now on a weekly basis I can calculate how much I saved by not smoking and it can go in the pot. I always had a physical cash pot or physically transferred money to a different savings account. Then that is guilt free money for fun things in life.

Rewarding yourself

For new quitters, it's a great way to reward themselves for quitting. Rewarding yourself actually helps to increase dopamine lost from quitting smoking and reinforces behavioral changes. Knowing that a reward is at hand can help you to stay focused.

Resources available in the United States logo

Get information about financial assistance, food pantries, medical care, and other free or reduced-cost services near you.

Search and connect to support at logo

Get information about government benefits, help with bills, affordable housing, and more.

Learn about financial help at