Giving up Alcohol Could Save You Big

Man, I had a great day at work, let’s have a few drinks to celebrate!

What a crappy day at work, I don’t know if I want to go back tomorrow. Let’s have a few drinks to relax.

My best friend from college is in town this week! We’re going out for drinks tomorrow night!

I’m starving, lets grab a steak and some drinks.

I crushed my workouts this week! Let’s have a few drinks, I deserve it!

I only worked out twice last week.. I feel like crap, let’s have some drinks. I’ll just work harder this week to make up for it!

Do these scenarios sound familiar at all? Well, you’re not alone, my friend!

Up until about three months ago, my days usually ended with varying degrees of intoxication. What started as a fun way to relax twenty years ago turned into a lifestyle, if not high functioning alcoholism. Then one day, through no effort on my part, purely by the grace of God, I completely lost the desire to drink. If that miracle isn’t awesome enough, I cannot wait to tell you what happened next!

If you’re looking to get free from bad habits or addictions, please seek professional help, and at the same time – seek Jesus Christ.

Now, I realize that you may not have come here for an AA meeting or spiritual enlightenment, so I’m going to get right to the bottom line – When I stopped drinking, I started saving A TON OF MONEY.

Let’s just take my nightly consumption of three to six cans of Truly’s, alright, alright, six cans of Truly’s. At an average price of $8.73 per pack, there’s $43.65 a week.

If I went out for dinner only once a week, you know I’m having a couple scotches or maybe Campari – There’s about $27.00.

Who doesn’t love Sunday football?!? I don’t, but it’s an excuse to drink with your friends. So, we’re getting a 12-pack of Heineken and a pint of Fireball; there’s about $20.00.

You can probably guess where I’m going with this. Any given week I was spending between $65 to $100 just on alcohol. Before you wag your finger at me, I’m not the only one. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends about one percent of their gross annual income on alcohol. For the average household, that’s $565 a year, $5,650 in ten years, or a sickening $22,600 over forty years!

Try it on for size, sit down and see how much you’re actually spending on devil water. Once you have arrived at a figure, start thinking about whether all or some of it, should be going towards something else — maybe you could use it to pay off debt, or contribute to a retirement fund, or shall I dare say it, help out those less fortunate or donate to a cause that you feel passionate about. Or, you could save it up and buy some in-home gym equipment so you can cancel your overpriced gym membership.

Related: Build a Home Gym on a Budget – Less Than $1000

Think about this, if you take the average amount of money wasted, er spent per year on alcohol and invested that over forty years at seven percent, you would end up with about $110,000. Righteous bucks!

Let’s face it, just about anything you do with that money as long as it doesn’t involve feeding another unhealthy addiction, is better than wasting it on what amounts to poison and killing yourself. According to the Mayo Clinic, moderate alcohol use for healthy adults means up to one drink (12 ounces of beer) a day for women, and up to two drinks a day for men. I don’t know about you, but two drinks, really? That would just be a good start for me, just saying. That being said, drinking can lead to greater costs than just the sticker price of the booze. If your drinking becomes excessive, which according to the Mayo clinic, doesn’t take much, then you could possibly incur greater health care costs, greater life insurance premiums, or God forbid you get a DUI, there’s about $10,000 in legal fees and car insurance premiums.

Related: 5 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Motor Insurance

If you read this far, then you must be ready to get this drinking thing in a head lock and take back what God already said is yours.

Obviously, abstinence is the best way to eliminate the costs of drinking—financially and otherwise. But if you’re not able to go all in just yet, here are some tips to strike a healthy balance between how much you drink and what you spend on it:

Budget your alcohol spending.

Related: How to Save Money: 8 Simple Tips

Find the best “Happy Hour” deals.

Cut costs by using coupons, mail-in rebates, discount sites, or by shopping at wholesalers, discount retailers, or warehouse clubs.

Try “drying out” every other week or month.

Instead of “drinks OUT with friends” try “drinks IN with friends”.

Before you take the next sip of that adult beverage, please think about what it actually costs you.

Be wise, and God Bless.