Giving up fags makes you healthy, wealthy and wise

Just when your New Year’s resolution starts to collapse into a duvet day you come across someone like Julie Parnell, who turned her 40 a day smoking habit into a small fortune. Julie dreamed of running her own business but with no security and no home of her own it remained just that – a dream. She was also sending £13 a day up in smoke on cigarettes – scary but true. The day she made the connection between the two was the day her luck turned. She already had a deposit saved for a home but didn’t think she could afford the monthly payments – until she gave up smoking and realised that she was spending £400 a month on cigarettes – more than she needed to buy her own home. Today she is smoke free and about to launch her own business selling shabby chic china and homeware – plenty of which can be seen decorating her home in Northamptonshire bought from the ashes of her disastrous smoking habit. So what other vices can we turn into virtues?

An expensive habit.

Booze – an obvious contender – a two glass a day Chardonnay habit =  £80 a month Coffee – one cup a day on the way to work = £30 a month Takeaways – A weekly “just can’t be bothered to cook” Chinese = £100 a month Gym membership – only a vice if you don’t go! = £40 a month plus What have I missed? Chocolate? Shoes? Let me know on Twitter @livingwithkids