What We Learned After Tracking How Much We Spent On Alcohol For 30 Days
Aug 27, 2019
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Last month, my husband and I went to the ABC store to restock our home bar. We got our usual staples: gin, tequila, bourbon, whiskey, and vodka, as well as some additional items to snazz up our cocktail-making game (triple sec, sours mix, and some fancy cherries).
What we didn’t know at the time? Apparently buying that much alcohol at once actually requires a transportation permit.
Yes. Seriously. The store made us fill out a permit for us to transfer that much booze.
I’ve never heard of such a thing, and while it was slightly embarrassing, we usually buy in bulk because:
- Buying in bulk saves you money (liquor doesn’t really go bad despite what Lucille Bluth may say…)
- Going to the ABC store is just another task to add into our already chaotic schedules, so we like to restock every couple of months vs. on a regular basis
- We like having a variety of liquor in stock. You never know if it will be a margarita, Manhattan, or gin and tonic kind of night
My husband and I are pretty adamant about managing our budgets, but we don’t actually have a line item for “alcohol and bars” (as Mint suggests). We lump our alcohol consumption into three main categories: Groceries, Entertainment and Amusement, and Restaurants.
After this permit-requiring trip to the ABC store, I wondered how much money we are actually spending on alcohol. So, I broke it down for the month of July.
ABC store: $265
Note: $366 of this was from Work For Your Beer adventures in Richmond, VA. Co-founder Alicia Valenski and I drank a LOT of beer when I visited her there. If you calculate this out, it’s around 100 beers. Whoops!
Booze at Restaurants: $77
Happy Hours: $35
Beer to Go: $13
Total: Just short of $1,000 on booze last month.
In our defense, stocking up at the liquor store will last us a couple of months — and if I’m spending my money at local businesses, I’m happy that they are craft breweries.
But when you think about $1,000 being slurped down by my husband (and co-founder) and myself, I can’t help but wonder if maybe we could have spent that money more wisely.
To put it into different terms, we could have spent $1,000 on:
- Our own at-home kegerator
- A new couch, upon which we could play ample rounds of Beerio Kart
- 70 different six-packs of craft beer to drink at home
- A weekend trip to a nearby beer-centric city
At the end of the day, I actually don’t regret any of our booze-related purchases. While we could have spent our money more intentionally, we made memories, supported local craft beer, and decompressed from our chaotic days.
But if you’re worried that you might be spending more money on alcohol than you should be, our friends at Wyndham are good folks to reach out to. They can talk to you about your financial goals for the future (buying a home, perhaps?) and how to get there… Which might just involve fewer trips to the ABC store.
Learn More About Financial Fitness & Saving for a Home From Wyndham Capital Mortgage
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That's why we are partnering with Wyndham Capital Mortgage for Work For Your Beer's new "Financial Fitness" series!
Much like you can't just wake up one morning and decide to run a marathon, you can't just snap your fingers and have an amazing credit score or enough money for a down payment in your savings account.
Both physical fitness and financial fitness require training, dedication, and patience.
And the same way you'd work with a coach or fitness instructor to help you get into shape, you can work with experts like our friends at Wyndham to get your finances in order as you aim for goals like improving your credit, building up your savings account, and more as you work toward buying a home.