I can’t have a blog about quitting alcohol without discussing the financial advantages of not buying booze every-day of the week. I would stop at the corner market almost every-day to pick up a six-pack of beer–and when grocery shopping, especially at Trader Joe’s, I would take advantage of the wine specials. My guess is that, on average, I spent about $65.00 per week on alcohol just at grocery stores and corner markets. The amount spent would’ve been more–but my ex-girlfriend would pick up wine or beer several times a month for most of our relationship–that is, until she finally admitted to herself that she was dating an alcoholic.
Now, I can’t leave out the several times per month that I would meet up with friends at a local pub/bar. In San Jose you can’t find an establishment that sells a beer for less than six dollars, and needless to say I didn’t just buy one or two beverages.
Weekly grocery store/corner market tab: $65.00 x 4 weeks = $260.00
Weekly bar/pub tab: $25.00 x 4 weeks = $100.00
Grand monthly total: $360.00 x 12 months = $4,320 annually
I have spent a lot of time thinking about how absurd it was to be willing to waste $360.00 per month on my drinking habit. The amount I spent per month is the equivalent of my collective monthly utility bill (including internet and cable), four times higher than my car insurance bill, gasoline for three months and would’ve covered half of my daughters pre-school tuition (she is in Kindergarten now). If I wanted to, I could list a thousand better uses for money than alcohol–but that would just end up making me vomit all over my computer.
The point is, just like I was oblivious to my declining health and relationship–I was blind to the fact that I was making poor financial choices. The annual total of $4,320 will be better spent on my daughters college tuition or extracurricular activities–as opposed to a substance that was destroying my liver. The only person I can blame is myself–I made the choice to drink, and I let it spiral out of control. But, i’ll tell you what–it’s nice to see that $360.00 sit in my bank account and not be wasted on Coors Light and two buck chuck (Charles Schaw).
Sobriety has not only brought a sense of self-worth, improved health and a more rational thought process–it has also brought a higher level of being personally responsible and accountable. I can’t change that I wasted valuable resources on making myself sick–but moving forward, I won’t make that mistake again. In the past 97 days, I have reduced my credit card utilization to under 25 percent, have a credit on all of my utility accounts, already paid my car registration that is due in October and generally take my finances more seriously. When boozing–I was an over-spender, and had no problem picking up the tab. Now, I can go out with friends, listen to live music or just hang-out–and spend a grand total of $5.00 to $10.00…when drinking, it could’ve been $50.00 to $60.00.
I am thankful for renewed perspectives.