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Quitting Alcohol: Where You’ll Save Money…

Glass of wine with sign saying 'Dry January'

It’s that time of year again, when we all have a little think about our alcohol intake and try to give it up for at least a month during Dry January. 

Of course, it isn’t the easiest thing to do, particularly for those that do enjoy a drink or perhaps suffer from addiction, but not only is it beneficial to your health, it’s hugely beneficial to your finances too.

If you think about it carefully, you can save money in all manner of areas just by quitting alcohol, and the savings you can make over an entire year can be huge. But where exactly will you save money?

The cost of alcohol

Of course, first up there’s the cost of alcohol itself. It isn’t cheap these days with all the taxes added to it, and you can keep your bank balance looking a lot healthier by avoiding it, particularly if you tend to drink alcohol in bars and pubs rather than at home.

Let’s say the average cost of a drink was £5, and you maybe had even just four drinks per week. That’d equate to £20 per week, and over a year that’d exceed £1,000. That’s a lot of money that could be spent on a holiday, put into savings, or even spent on bills during the current cost of living crisis.

The cost of transport

If you are regularly going out for alcohol, then chances are you won’t be driving. Or you certainly shouldn’t be. Which will likely mean you’ll be paying for public transport or taxi fares too. Again, this can prove costly over a longer stretch of time, particularly if you require transport when living in a more rural area.

Think about how much you spend on getting to and from the pub or a night out each visit, and see how much it equates to over a year. It may seem a small amount each weekend, but it could surprise you over 12 months. 

The Cost of Food

Do you like a takeaway after a night out? A big, dirty kebab? Then add it to the tally. Yes, we can’t forget those takeaways to mop up the alcohol and finish off the night. Again, it may only seem like a few pounds and a bit of a treat over the short term, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But without the booze, it’s unlikely you’d really want that food, and it could be another source of spending that could go into the hundreds over a year. 

The Cost of Recovery

Ultimately, alcohol is bad for you, and whether it’s taking the day off sick with a hangover, or checking into private alcohol rehab because your relationship with the substance has become healthy, it also costs money. Whether it be through a loss of work or paying the thousands to go through rehab, it can be quite the expense. An expense that can be avoided by not drinking. 

About author

Poppy loves personal finance almost as much as she loves her two cats, Tif and Taz.
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