What's your habit worth?

Published Jan 1, 2013 at 04:00AM

It's New Year's Day: Time to make your resolutions, if you haven't already. In this time of economic uncertainty, where better to start than your pocketbook — and your habits?

Consider whether you're buying too much gear, playing too much video poker or just eating and drinking too much. What if you decided to stop indulging and instead invested the money you would typically spend on your habit in a savings account?

To help you decide whether giving up a habit would be worth it, we've done some math. For these examples, we've deposited 30 days' worth of savings every month into an account that has an interest rate of 3 percent, compounded monthly. Keep in mind that the cost of your habit will likely go up over time, so these estimates, in today's dollars, are on the low end.