Today I have a guest post from Anum that owns Current on Currency. Enjoy!
Ever heard of Dryanuary? It’s when people take a break from alcohol during all 31 days of January. It’s part of the New Year’s resolution trend that people follow when each new year rolls around.
The cool thing about Dryanuary, though, is the way we evaluate ourselves once we’ve pledged to abstain from alcohol. Some of us sleep better, some feel happier, and some lose weight. It makes us realize that our consumption habits might be taking a toll on our health.
Dryanuary began in 2013 when U.K.-based group Alcohol Concern launched the campaign. Alcohol Concern reported more than 17,000 people joined in the pledge to go dry in January 2014. The trend soon made its way over to the states, with #dryanuary popping up on Twitter and Instagram.
Why should we limit ourselves to just one month? Could we try to eliminate alcohol during other months throughout the year? It’s certainly possible, but it takes a lot of dedication, motivation, and resistance. You’re probably shaking your head, saying that just simply isn’t possible for you. Maybe these benefits will change your mind:
You’ll Save Money
Saving money is an obvious benefit. Consider this statistic: a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report from August 2012 declared that Americans spend about 1 percent of their yearly income on alcohol alone.
We all know some heavy drinkers in our lives. It’s a well-known fact, of course, that heavier drinkers will spend more on alcohol per week. Even if you drink only a few times a week, your bill can still add up – especially if you go to restaurants or bars. The trip to get there and back, plus possible food costs, can end up being a $100 night.
To put it another way, think about when you were between the ages of 18 and 21, when most people drink pretty heavily. If you use $50 as a baseline for the cost of alcohol, you could have saved almost $8,000 over that time period.
You’ll Feel Better
Besides financial benefits, your body will also benefit from being free of alcohol. If you stop unwinding with a drink every night, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start your day.
Taking a break will also decrease your tolerance level. When we drink, we build up a tolerance to alcohol. This means that every time we get drunk, we need to consume a little more each time in order to get the same effects. If you abstain from alcohol, your tolerance will reset itself, which will make it easier to cut back.
Some studies have even connected abstaining from alcohol to weight loss.
You’ll Be More Productive
When you wake up feeling alert from skipping a drink, you’ll be more productive, and for good reason. Alcohol is often associated with cardiovascular disease, depression and high blood pressure – and these diseases can all affect how productive you are.
One common misconception about alcohol is that it can help you fall asleep faster. Instead, alcohol affects the body’s ability to enter deep stages of sleep. Instead of having a nightcap to help you fall asleep, you could try tea, water or a quiet activity such as reading.
Hopefully, these three benefits have convinced you that taking a break from alcohol every once in a while can be a healthy life step. You’ll be more financially sound, more productive and happier without it. So skip that drink tonight – it’ll be worth it.
Anum Yoon recently joined the blogging bandwagon to write about money management, frugal advice, and financial trends. She started and maintains her personal finance blog, Current on Currency. You can also sign up for her newsletter to read her weekly updates.