Sure, you know that if you cut back on smoking, or quit, you'll save some money. But let's get a little more specific, OK?

One way to save is simply to plan ahead and buy your cigarettes in cartons when they're on sale, rather than one pack at a time. But you'll save a lot more money by quitting. Consider the real cost of smoking: Imagine that you're 35 years old, you smoke one pack a day, and each pack costs you, on average, about \$3. Multiply \$3 by 365 days, and you're looking at an annual cost of \$1,095.

Let's see what would happen if you took this \$1,095 and invested it in the stock market, earning the historical average return of 11% per year. In 30 years, you'd have \$25,067. If you invested \$1,095 in the market each year for 30 years, you'd end up with a whopping \$218,000. Yowza.

If you'd like to quit, there are more resources available to you today than ever before. In Fooldom, we have a very active Quitting Smoking discussion board. In its first year, it received about 15,000 messages from people who have quit or are interested in quitting. These folks are continually supporting and encouraging each other, and many end their posts with this kind of signature:

Ed
One month, five days, 12 hours, 17 minutes, and 20 seconds. 730 cigarettes not smoked, saving \$109.54. Life saved: two days, 12 hours, 50 minutes.

Rebecca
Two years, five months, 17 hours, four minutes, and 39 seconds. 30,964 cigarettes not smoked, saving \$4,025.63. Life saved: 15 weeks, two days, 12 hours, 20 minutes.

Imagine the future signature that might end your own posts:

Me
Five years, one month, one week, one day, two hours, four minutes, and 13 seconds. 56,406 cigarettes not smoked, saving \$7,344. Life saved: 24 weeks, 28 days, one hour, nine minutes.

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) posted on our Quitting Smoking Board:

Other resources:

Once your cigarette savings begin accumulating, visit our Savings Center for more scoop on your options. To learn more about ways to save money and spend less, check out our Personal Finance area, which is chock full of guidance on insurance, buying a car or home, paying for college, banking, setting up short-term savings, getting out of debt, lowering your tax bill, and more.