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How much money does doing Dry January save you?

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You’ve finally made it, you’ve gotten to the end of January. That means, if you have partaken in Dry January, you are now free to indulge in a beer or cocktail and cut loose a little. In past years, about 11% of Americans have joined in on Dry January annually, but that number has increased to closer to 14% since 2021, and the trend is continuing, particularly amongst sober and health-conscious Millennials and Gen Zers who tend to drink less than previous generations. But before you look to make up for lost time, let’s take a look at some of the non-health benefits you may have gotten during your month-long tenure of complete sobriety.

On top of health benefits, Dry January can be a great way to save a little (or a lot of) money. Cutting out alcohol expenses may help you achieve debt free living faster. Maybe you can invest? But, first, how much are you really saving anyways?

What’s Average?

Americans spend a lot of money on alcohol. In 2016, Americans spent over $37 billion on beer alone, accounting for nearly 1% of annual household expenditures. The stress and isolation of the pandemic has only increased that total, as the weekly average of alcohol consumption has increased in the last couple years. According to a USA Today article, in 2017, the average number of drinks for adults 18 and older stood at around 13–14 drinks per week. In 2021, that number jumped to 17 drinks per week.

How Much Could You Save?

The average cost of a drink at a bar runs between 5$–15$. That means if you typically do all your drinking out and about, you’re saving $85–$255 per week, that’s $340–$1,020 per month or $4,080–$12,240 per year! But let’s say you drink mostly at home, as many probably have over the last couple years, say you also drink beer exclusively. In the city of Los Angeles, the average supermarket price of a beer is $1.87, and the average person spent $827 per year on just beer. This doesn’t account for those craft beers or bottles of wine or spirits, which amounts to even more savings.

What Do You Do with All Those Savings?


So you’ve saved yourself a nice little chunk of money, what do you do with it? There are a number of great uses for that influx of cash, from paying down debt to investing. Now could be the perfect time to reach out to a financial consultant to help organize your finances, debt, investments, or retirement opportunities (especially if you’re privy to a matching program).

While average drink consumption per week has risen, surveys suggest that interest in Dry January has also increased, especially for the younger generations. And at a time when saving and decreasing debt is a real struggle for Millennials and Gen Zers, a little financial boost during the first month of the year (and perhaps more) can pay huge dividends. Make sure you know how much you’re saving and how to put it to good use.

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