Many of us are keen to find ways to save some money, especially as inflation and the cost of living crisis continue to bite. Quitting alcohol or cutting down on your drinking can be one simple (if not always easy) way to cut your spending, and you might be surprised at how much you could save.

There are plenty of other benefits to cutting down on your drinking as well in terms of your physical and mental health and general well-being.

Try our drinking calculator we have created which can show you whether you are drinking too much, how much your spending and how many calories you are consuming.

 

How Much Do I Spend on Alcohol?

The government’s ‘family food’ datasets suggest that the average spend on alcohol per person per week in 2019 was £7.28 across the UK. This included £3.80 on alcohol for the household each week and £3.48 for consumption outside the home.1

That includes households that do not drink at all, however, and the average spend for people who do drink may be considerably higher. And anyway, averages are all very well but what matters is how much you yourself are drinking. A single glass of wine or pint of beer in a pub or bar can cost more than £3.48, so if you regularly go out for drinks, you are likely to be spending much more than those averages.

Working out how much you spend is, theoretically, quite a simple process. Simply think about how often you drink in a week and how many drinks you are likely to have. Multiply that by the average cost of each drink and multiply that figure by 52 to get the rough annual cost of your drinking.

One problem with this is that most of us tend to underestimate how much we drink on a regular basis. To get a real idea of how much you are spending, it might be more useful to keep a drinking diary over a period of several weeks or longer.

You might find it eye-opening how much you actually spend on alcohol in an average week, especially if you include occasions like birthdays and holidays when your consumption might be higher.

Are you drinking too much?

Try out our drinks calculator and see if you’re drinking more than you think you are and see the effect that has on you and those around you.

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For some people, the cost of the alcohol itself is not the only cost involved. If you tend to drink on nights out there may be other monetary costs involved, such as taxis, tips and junk food. Research has suggested that alcohol tips you into ‘starvation mode’, increasing your hunger and appetite.2

Couple this with bad decision-making due to intoxication and that expensive and unhealthy end-of-the-night kebab or pizza might suddenly seem irresistible. Smokers also tend to smoke more when drinking and some people only smoke when consuming alcohol.

Even if you are drinking at home, you might find yourself emptying the fridge of snacks. And with more people than ever before shopping online, the phenomenon of drunken ordering is something else to be wary of.

More seriously, hangovers can affect your productivity, leading to missed days at work, while a serious drinking problem could even see you lose your job, miss bills and other payments and slide into a financial spiral.

 

The Other Costs of an Alcohol Problem

All these things can add up and should be built into any consideration of how much money you might save if you were to give up drinking. The monetary side is only part of the potential cost of drinking, however.

Drinking excessively can have a serious cost on your physical and mental health – alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49 year-olds in the UK, and the fifth biggest risk factor across all ages.

Alcohol misuse can also damage families, friendships and marriages, destroying trust and tearing relationships apart. It can also have a negative impact on your social life, hobbies, interests, work, education and pretty much every other aspect of your life.

 

How Can I Cut Down On My Drinking?

If you don’t want to quit entirely, or think that is too big a step right now, there are a number of simple things you can try to cut down on your drinking. Try setting a limit on how much you will drink or setting a budget and sticking to it.

You could try switching to lower-strength drinks and, if you drink regularly, aim to have drink-free days. Let friends and family know you are trying to cut down and ask them to encourage you.

If you do struggle to quit or even cut down on your drinking or feel anxious at even the thought of doing so, it is possible that you have a drinking problem that needs to be addressed. You might not think of yourself as having an addiction but issues with alcohol misuse can easily spiral out of control.

If this is the case, it is always best to seek help, whether that is via an alcohol rehab or some other route.

 

Is Rehab More Expensive Than Continuing to Drink?

We won’t deny that rehab can be expensive but, if you are in the position where you are considering seeking professional help for an alcohol problem, it is likely that you are drinking a lot and on a regular basis. When comparing the costs of rehab with the costs of continuing to drink, you have to consider the long-term costs of your drinking.

As noted above this can really add up over a few weeks, never mind a full year, a decade or a lifetime of drinking. By contrast, rehab represents a single piece of expenditure that will equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to stay sober long-term.

And then there are the other costs to consider – to your physical and mental health, relationships, family and other parts of your life. Leaving an alcohol addiction or even a less severe drinking problem unchecked could cost you more than you think, so get in touch and find out how we can help at drug and alcohol rehab today.

 

Sources

1 https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/research/alcohol-facts-and-data/alcohol-consumption-uk#howmuchdopeoplespendonalcohol

2 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38562048

3 https://alcoholchange.org.uk/alcohol-facts/fact-sheets/alcohol-statistics


John Gillen - Author - Last Updated: 21 July 2022

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of Nad+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. his passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases.

The journey continues, in recent times john has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with Nad+ scientists and the very best of the medical profession in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Clinics own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists, Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with Nad+ therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.

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