This blog is a couple days late but I had to do a lot of research in order to put it together so it took some time. It was amazingly eye opening and I am entering 2010 armed with some real data, and I am a sucker for real data.
Well, I've recently set up my bank account with direct deposit, and its cool to see money actually being deposited in it! I love working and having a job again. But this got me thinking about my last bank account, and luckily I was online banking and decided to check out my transactions for 2008.... I kind of wanted to usher in the New Year with an idea of what a sober life might save me in terms of money. Shocking to say the least.
I used 2008 because thats the last full year I was in party mode. I was living with Alex, I was working full time, I had money, I had a car, and I had a nice robust alcohol addiction. And I figured as I head into 2010 with a new outlook on life, one of which is my perspective on money and working, I should probably take a look at what this cost me.
I spend a whole bunch of time detailing the emotional and spiritual cost, but the hard cost of addiction SUCKS as well. And this cost is conveniently spelled out in 12 consecutive bank statements.
Mind you, this is only my bank account, this doesn't count Alex's account or money that was spent on alcohol. It also kind of estimates the bar tabs - I didn't really drink at bars, I was a solo, at home drinker, so this would seem 'nominal' (can I use that word?)
In 2008, I estimate that I drank
308 pints of gin (cost $1268.96)
122 liters of wine (cost $868.64)
61 12 packs of beer (cost $798.34)
I bought 57 bottles of other alcohol (like rum or vodka, or something like that) (cost 889.20)
For a grand total of $3824.14
Now this does not include bar tabs or money I spent on things like cigarettes or food I ate while drunk or work I missed.
But lets do more math.
308 Pints is 38.5 GALLONS of gin. I went online and googled 38 gallons. Sam's club sells a 38 gallon trash can for 102 dollars - this is one of those massive trash cans you see at parks.
122 liters is 32 gallons of wine. 61 12 packs of beer is 8784 ounces of beer (68.6 gallons).
8784 ounces of beer is 52,704 teaspoons!
57 bottles of hard liquor is 102.6 liters, which is 27.1 GALLONS of rum, vodka or other booze.
So... let's add this up again. That's 166.2 GALLONS of booze in 2008. That is 2,656 cups of alcohol in 2008.
I went online and found the calories for each type of alcohol, and I estimate that I consumed 260,288 calories of alcohol.
Since a calorie is about 3500 calories, that is about 74.36 pounds of body weight I can attribute to alcohol.
That was 40% of my body weight.
So, It is nice to see that I am immediately going to cut out $3824.14 from my annual budget. This is an automatic raise of about $2.12 per hour of work. When you cut out cigarettes as well, that number jumps to $2.88 per hour. This doesn't seem like a lot, but imagine that every hour you are at work, you drop $2 in the toilet, just for the 'enjoyment' of it. And you do this every day, for a year. And then, look in the mirror and tell yourself, its not a problem.
Heck, do this experiment, I did it yesterday. I laid $2.12 on my desk at work. And I set my phone alarm to go off every hour. Not because I was really going to throw $2.12 down the toilet, but because I wanted to see how quick an hour of work passes, and I would glance over at the $2.12 each time the alarm went off.
Obviously, the cost isn't about the dollars, its about the hours I wasted, its about the experiences I didn't have, the cost was my health, my relationship, and when you add all that, its not $2.12 you are flushing down the toilet, its a future, its a past, its a present.
These days $2.12 an hour buys me a whole lot. It buys me a new life.
Happy New Year everyone.... be safe.