It’s that time of year again where thousands of pub-goers – both eager and reluctant – are casting their beers aside in favour of a non-alcoholic tipple. The annual ‘Go Sober for October’ campaign was started in 2013 by Macmillan cancer support and has gathered pace every year since.
The countless health benefits of giving up booze – even just for one month – are often shouted about. Clearer skin, improved sleep, and more energy – we’ve heard it all before. But what about the money-saving element of shunning the pub for a booze-free evening? Forget restoring your health – just how much money can you restore to your wallet or purse by ditching the drink for a month?
We can reveal that Brits could save a whopping £433 by giving up alcohol for just one month. And the brave souls that choose to abstain for even longer can expect an extra £1,245 in their bank accounts come Christmas Day.
We asked Phil Hoey, editor of leading financial comparison platform Quotezone.co.uk, who said: “Extending ‘Go Sober for October’ right through to Christmas could save a typical British consumer well over £1,000. Higher earners, as well as those in managerial and professional occupations, could potentially save even more than this since they’re more likely to be frequent drinkers and more inclined to binge drink on their biggest nights out.”
While the traditional British pub is a huge part of our culture the money-saving aspect of ditching the booze for one month is striking, and the 85% of Brits that think their drinking money could be put to better use are right. With an extra £433 in your back pocket you could get your hands on return flights to New York.
Why not jet off and take your Christmas shopping up a level in the Big Apple? The extra dosh could also get you a 49-inch ultra HD 4K LG TV or an Xbox One S complete with eight games.
Shop-a-holics can upgrade their shoe collection with an extra eight pairs for this amount, while techies could splash out on a brand new Samsung S8+ with 64GB of memory. Sounds good doesn’t it, but why let the savings stop there? With the run up to Christmas being the period when the majority of us are strapped for cash, the financial benefits of going alcohol free are only magnified even further.
Extended your alcohol-free stretch beyond October until 25th December could save you a staggering £1,245. The things you could buy with your new found fortune include return flights to Orlando for a family of four or a week skiing in Austria for two people – 4* hotel and all.
If you’re after a new laptop you’d be able to afford a slick Apple MacBook Pro 128GB, while foodies could settle for a large Domino’s pizza and side every week for a year. That would be Saturday nights in sorted for the foreseeable future then…
Whether a trip to the pub is your favourite way to wind down after work, or you reach for the bottle from the comfort of your sofa, it’s worth thinking about how you could put your beer money to better use. These indulgent purchases are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how much money you could save by giving up booze.
Cutting out drink long term – or even just cutting down – can have profound consequences on your financial situation. Putting money aside that you’d usually spend at the pub can be saved up and put towards a house deposit or a brand new car, for example.
It’s not hard to see how Brits spend so much on alcohol. The price of alcohol in the UK is 43% higher than the EU average, making Britain the fourth most expensive place to drink in Europe (behind Sweden, Ireland and Finland). And if that’s not enough to make you wince, the cost of drinking in the UK is only set to become even more expensive if the last 10 years are anything to go by. The NHS states that the price of alcohol has gone up by 33% in the last decade, increasing by 0.8% relative to retail prices.
And that hasn’t gone unnoticed amongst pint-loving revellers. According to a recent YouGov poll the majority of people in Britain believe the price of a pint of beer in a pub is unaffordable – an opinion that only gives more weight to taking part in this year’s Go Sober for October efforts.
If you baulk at the idea of ditching the booze for a month you should still give it a go. This year almost 50,000 people have pledged to go booze free in October – will you be putting your money where your mouth is and finding out how much money you could save too? Heaven knows you can’t put a price on the health benefits, and the far-reaching consequences for your bank balance simply cannot, and should not, be ignored either.