Three HIDDEN Positive Financial Effects of Quitting Drinking

It’s the Little Things That Add Up.

Photo by Paulo Silva on Unsplash

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” — Oscar Wilde

“You can’t put a price tag on experiences, Kenny,” said Mike, as he took a drink from his bourbon.

“Perhaps, ”but…” I paused, as drank my club soda, thinking about the money I had spent on “experiences” in the past.

Mike was trying to make the argument that the money I was saving on not drinking was really a price I was paying for not experiencing various things in life.

While I could see some truth in this, for me the large amounts of money that I’ve spent over the years drinking was exorbitant, and I wasn’t sure if the “experiences” that I’ve had because of it were worth the lack of funds currently in my bank account.

My wife and I talk about it all the time.

Over the past two years that we’ve both become alcohol-conscious, it’s not only the actual cost of buying the alcohol that has been so beneficial to our financial wealth but also the slew of the ancillary cost that most people just don’t think about that has had the biggest positive effect on our financial well being.

It’s surprising how these “little” things have made such a big difference.

Here are the main ones…

Uber/Lyft rides

This was the one that my wife and I really didn’t think about initially when we quit drinking, but the costs have added up tremendously. For us, when we would go out, we would easily spend anywhere from $50–100 per night on alcohol.

Add this to the pre-game purchases of Moscato and Ciroc Raspberry vodka, and our weekly alcohol bill could easily be anywhere between $200–400 per week, depending on how many times we decided to go out that week.

This cost was clear to us, and we quickly recognized the issue with this immediately.

Where we really started to see the true saving with alcohol, however, was in the lack of needing to pay extra to get to and from places any more.

Since we knew we were going to be drinking a lot each time we went out, we would take rideshare apps everywhere we went. We had to fall into the category of top 10% of users due to the number of times we would use it each week.

We would take numerous Uber or Lyft rides, traveling from spot to spot to find the most happening location to “keep the party going.”

There would be times in which we would take 3–5 ubers in one night just because we were so focused on finding the spot with the most people to maximize our fun.

This would easily add $50–100 on the night, or $100–300 on the week.

Late Night Eating Decisions

Once we got home and were thoroughly sloshed, there was no way that we would be in the mood to cook anything. We all know when we’re drunk and need to get something into our body fast, very few things sound more appetizing than greasy fast food.

However, it can be a bit tricky to get the Uber or Lyft driver to swing by your favorite fast-food restaurant, so the next best choice would probably be to use your favorite delivery app.

These apps know that there is a tremendous increase in people’s willingness to pay for food the later the night progresses, so many times, I didn’t even blink when I saw that $10 delivery fee.

The second part of this is that our drunken eyes were often hungrier than our proverbial bellies, and this would lead to us ordering copious amounts of food that we would inevitably not even come close to finishing that night.

And the last, and perhaps the most embarrassing part, are the numerous times we ordered food and passed out together in the bed before the food even arrived, never even getting the chance to partake in all of that greasy goodness.

This could easily result in a $30–50 extra each night we went out (2–3 times per week), so this could total anywhere from $80-$150 per week, if not more.

Dumb Sh*t You Do When You’re Drunk

Lastly, this is the one that really took the cake for me. As someone who likes to “go big or go home,” I have had the propensity to have some pretty “big” nights out drinking.

Some of these have turned into some of the most exciting nights of my life in which I did some things that you would see in movies, while others have resulted in me being put in the back of a cop car and driven off to the local state police precinct.

Due to alcohol’s effects on your decision-making skills, there could be times in which you could do or say something that could turn a great, fun night into one that could negatively change your life forever.

And while I would like to say that the amazing positive experiences were exciting enough to make up for the negative consequences, having gone through both, I can tell you they were not.

Some of these decisions have led to financial deficits of more than $10,000 and could’ve been way worse financially had I not be able to afford a good enough lawyer to lessen the damage in the long run.

Therefore, as I think about all of this and respond to Mike’s statement, “You can’t put a price tag on experience,” I can honestly respond with, “Perhaps, but I got a good idea of the estimate.”