If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line or call 911: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 or Text 838255

Is Drinking Draining Your Wallet?

Drinking alcohol regularly can be costly. Did you know that Americans spend an average of $583 a year on alcohol? While you might think “alcohol is cheaper on base so I’m good,” we have a challenge for you. Add up what you spend on booze with the steps below. If you want to save some extra cash, there are tips just for you!

Find out what you’re spending on alcohol

  • Check your alcohol spending in real-time using drink tracking apps.
  • Create a sticky note on your phone or tablet for a more detailed look at your spending. Get started with the following steps:
    1. Use the alcohol spending calculator to estimate how much you’re spending on alcohol weekly, monthly and yearly.
    2. Open a note (or something similar) like the one below.
    3. When you drink, make a note of how many drinks you have and the total costs including tip.
    4. At the end of the week and month, compare this to what you initially estimated – is it more or less?
    5. Keep track every time you drink and check your total costs over the following weeks and months to see how much you’re spending on alcohol.

Mikayla used to drink four days a week, spending around $4.83 on each alcoholic drink. This cost her $167 each month, adding up to $2,009 per year. Once Mikayla started tracking her drinks, she figured out her spending on alcohol and how to cut back. See how you can do the same!

notes in smartphone for drink tracker

How to save some extra cash

  • Stick to using your alcohol tracker to see how much you can save. Try decreasing your alcohol consumption by one or two drinks a week or use a monthly budget.
  • Set realistic and safe drinking goals. Give yourself a refresher on the moderate drinking limit to figure out and own your personal limit.
  • Take a break from drinking. Whether it’s for a day, week or more, hitting pause on alcohol can be great for your health and wallet.
  • Look for ways to practice smart spending (and safe drinking). If you choose to have a drink, you can do it responsibly while also watching your pockets. Consider cheaper drink options, bring a set amount of cash based on the drink limits you set for yourself or host your buddies at home to control how much you drink and spend.
  • Switch things up. Order a mocktail or non-alcoholic beer, which are often less expensive. Also, hydrate in between beverages (water is free!). Pacing yourself is good for your wallet too.

You may not realize it at first, but the costs of drinking can add up really quick. Save some extra cash instead and treat yourself to a good meal or buy yourself something fun. Check out other tips on how to drink responsibly and keep your financial health in check.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line or call 911: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 or Text 838255