I’m Giving Up Alcohol for Dry January. Here’s How It’ll Save Me Money

Dry January
Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

Look, I may still be in college, but I don’t go out and dance on top of bars or shotgun beers — at least, not anymore.

Instead, I’ve traded Bud Light for Framboise and boxed wine for bubbly.

I’m not sure when I got so snobby about my alcohol preferences (maybe the day I got drunk in front of the Eiffel Tower?), but hey, it happened — and it’s starting to catch up to my wallet.

So, while I’m sure I’ll be ringing in 2017 with plenty of champagne, it will all come to a screeching halt come the morning of Jan. 1.

That’s right — I’m participating in Dry January.

What is Dry January?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, Dry January is the practice of giving up alcohol for the entire month of January.

It can do more than just help out your wallet; in fact, the American Psychological Association found that those who successfully finished the challenge showed healthier drinking habits afterwards.

And cutting alcohol out of your diet can also lead to better sleep, a lower risk of developing cancer and clearer skin (yes, please!), according to Prevention.com

Aside from the obvious health benefits, I also know that I’m going to save a good chunk of change as a result of it — something that will give me an extra incentive to finish strong come the end of the month.

Why I’m Joining In on Dry January

Have you ever stepped back and looked at how much you spend on booze per month?

Well, I did.

I immediately regretted it, but I did.

In November, I spent $167.78 on alcohol alone. That included two trips to ABC Liquors, two nights out bar-hopping with my friends and happy hour drinks with my boyfriend — and doesn’t account for Uber rides (safety first!), which totaled about $27.

That’s a big chunk of change. To put it in perspective, that’s more than my car insurance payment.

Taking that into consideration, I think it’s time to step back and reevaluate my relationship with alcohol. I certainly don’t abuse it, but it has become quite an expensive indulgence.

I’m setting up strict rules: no buying booze, no accepting free booze, no IOUs on booze, etc.

And, instead of turning into a hermit for the entire month, I’m still going to go out with my friends; I’m just going to stay sober during it. I guess you could say I’m always up for a challenge (or that I’m a lunatic).

If you want to join in on the fun (LOL) and spend the first month of 2017 sober with me, post your experience in our community Facebook group and let me know how you’re doing. I want to hear it all — the good, the bad and the thirsty.

Not only am I going to be detoxing my liver and mind, I’m also going to be detoxing my wallet.

Think I can handle it? We’ll see. I’ll write a post in early February about my trials and triumphs throughout the process — and how much money I was able to save all together.

Until then, cheers!

Your turn: Will you take part in Dry January? If so, let us know in our Facebook community group!

Kelly Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist and a senior at The University of Tampa. Dry January can’t be that hard — can it?