Drinking and money

The drink costs more than you think. How much can you save?

 View the full graph at www.comparethemarket.com.au/health-insurance/the-cost-of-drinking

You’d be surprised what general living expense Australians spend the most on. You might think public transport. You might think fashion. You might think medical expenses. You might think alcohol. And you would be right.

Australians exhaust a whopping $14.1 billion a year on alcohol, making it the most costly living expense and more than double what we spend on fashion. So how is it that our drinking spending habits with surpass how much we spend on dining out, extra mobile data or even how much we spend on looking after ourselves?

Consider a major sporting event, Australia Day, the Easter long weekend, New Years Eve, your birthday, the Queen’s birthday, the Melbourne Cup, a wedding, a work party, a music festival or even just the weekend. These can be prime drinking situations that will be sure to empty your pocket. Whether it’s buying a bottle of wine to celebrate, shouting your friends on a Saturday night or having that after-work drink. The spending accumulates. Sometimes, without us even realising.

Start a drinking piggy bank. No, the piggy’s not drinking. You contribute money you could spend on alcohol to a bigger goal. Set yourself a time period you would initially be saving for (possibly starting with just one week at first) and gradually increase how long you save for. You may wish to start being more mindful of how many drinks you buy whilst out or even opt out of a few boozy social events every few weeks.

Ultimately, how much you are capable of saving comes down to your own existing drinking habits. You may decide to only contribute to your piggy bank every other day or perhaps replace all alcohol expenditure with saving. It’s all up to you. For inspiration, download the HSM App and select the “contribute to a drinking piggy bank” challenge. Over 1,000 HSMers have tips and tricks for how to save money during your HSM.



After 1 week of saving: Minimum $20-$50
You’ll most likely open your wallet and find a few spare notes sitting in there. Into one week of saving you deserve an immediate reward. That could be a massage, new clothes or training gear, going out for breakfast, a new book or tickets to the movies.

After 1 month of saving: Minimum $80-$200
Saving for an entire month allows you to really put into perspective how much additional spending money you could have available if not directed towards alcohol. This extra money can make general living more manageable or be used for monthly gym membership, cooking classes, dining out etc.

After 3 months of saving: Minimum $240-$600
Three months of saving is well worth the effort. Here, you could afford to contribute to a long term deposit, grab tickets to a show or sporting event, participate in an activity like rock climbing or kayaking or invest in something that may encourage you to start a new hobby.

After 6 months of saving: Minimum $480- $1200
Down the track you’ll probably get more of an understanding of not only how much money you spend on alcohol in a matter of months but possibly over the span of a few years. Direct this money towards a concert, camping trip or a challenging yet memorable activity to do with family and friends.

1 year of saving: Minimum $960- $2400
One year of saving makes for an enjoyable (and difficult), choice of how you could spend your additional cash. You might accumulate enough to spend on a new laptop, contribute to an overseas holiday fund or have enough money for a health retreat or holiday.


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