Saturday, June 30, 2007

Booze Budget

What do most people spend on drinking? I realized I think we spend a pretty nice chunk of money drinking every month. For entertainment/pleasure. But I decided to post the question to people on a message board. What I found was interesting.

Single people spend the most eating out and drinking. Their budgets for bars/clubs usually was equivalent to grocery budgets of married couples or families. Though it seems high it makes sense, because they are basically going out to find a significant other. Thus though it can be categorized "entertainment," I'd personally catergorize it as personal health. After all these people are maintaining their frienships and good mental health.

Then there is the category of DINKS. I've found that these people spend money, but a little more frugally. Usually they spend money less frequently but at nicer bars/clubs. They are going for quality over quantity.

Finally there are those with families. These people rarely get to go out, rarely buy liquor to even drink at home. They are too busy and usually have better things to spend their money on.

So after reviewing groups, I decided I don't spend a ridiculous amount on booze. I was encouraged to go out and enjoy life before I have kids.

But why don't people who have families have time or money to go out? Or enjoy a drink at home? I recall my parents having daily nightcaps before and during dinner. I didn't realize that it was so unusual. I guess we take after our parents who had daily liquor intake.

Want to weigh in? Do you consume alcohol at home? Daily? Is it expensive? Did you stop when you had kids?


Anonymous said...

parents who drink in front of their children will most likely have children who drink. possibility?
i would assume that parents will NOT want to set a bad example, thus not spend money on booze nor drink.
my 2 cents.

Living Almost Large said...

LOL, considering the cultural background we're both from it might be more weird if we didn't drink.

I'll have to mull about whether we should drink if front of our kids. Do we ever overconsume? NEVER. We have 1 beer or 1 glass of wine a night.

I guess because it's a non-issue like Europeans, we don't need to celebrate and get drunk. I wonder if it's a cultural thing? How Americans are very puritanical?

frugal zeitgeist said...

I don't have kids. I have a strict two-drink limit when I go out (mostly because drinking out is so expensive) and drink three-buck chuck a couple of times a week at home. It's not excessive by any means, but I'm careful about it: there is a predisposition to alcohol abuse in some of my relatives and I don't want the same thing to happen to me.

jo-less said...

We drink a fair amount, both at home/friends houses and out at pubs and bars/restaurants. We have a wine cupboard at home and enjoy trying lots of varieties, both cheap and more expensive. I guess it's one of our interests so we indulge. We have no kids and both work hard. We have no mortgage, lowish expenses and a high entertainment budget :-) It's fun and part of our lives. We might cut down if we had kids but probably not until we needed to, money-wise. I think you can drink around kids and show them that it isn't a 'bad' thing, and can be just part of life, and very enjoyable. Also, that may take away the 'excitingness' of it, come 18 yrs old, and make it not taboo.

Living Almost Large said...

We don't drink when we go out usually because of cost. And we never get out of control either at home or out.

Drinking is not a big deal, it never has been. I guess because it wasn't treated as something "special". It could be because of the nonchalance of our parents.

Escape Brooklyn said...

Great post and a question I've been thinking about every night at the bar. Just kidding! I try to drink only on weekends and avoid keeping booze in the house. I'll have 2, maybe 3 (or okay, 4) drinks out on a Friday night (happy hours only, $3-$5 each), and usually go over to a friend's for drinks during the weekend (bringing a bottle of wine or beer).

Although I'm scared to really run the numbers on my alcohol consumption and usually just include it in the "eating out" portion of my budget, my husband and I probably spend $20-$40/week on drinking. And while this includes our Friday night out or time with friends, geez!

We don't have kids but I get so *furious* when people bring their young children to the bars in Park Slope and other spots in Brooklyn. And these aren't places that also serve food and coffee - they're strictly bars, like the 4th Avenue Pub. It's crazy.

But my question is: if drinking 1-2 drinks a day is still considered low alcohol consumption, is it okay to save those drinks up so you're consuming all 7-14 drinks during the weekend? Or is that bad? ;)

Living Almost Large said...

What sort of parent brings their kids to a bar? Every single one of our friends with kids doesn't even go out. Going out is a production, thus we invite them over for a dinner and a bottle of wine. Complete with a play pen for the kid to sleep. We're very kid friendly with two dogs.

Anonymous said...

Financially speaking booze is a complete waste of money...what do you have to show for it?

As for drinking in front of your children...well speaking from personal experience I was raised in a home with "cocktail" hour and 2 of my siblings became alcoholics. My extended family is also riddled with this disease that destroys families. My husband and I also used to be drinkers but decided to set a good example for our children and not drink at all. We look back now and add up all the money we spent on alcohol in the past and are shocked at all the wasted money!