If you’re like most alcohol drinkers, you’ve had that sobering moment at the doctor’s office when you’re asked to calculate how many drinks you have per week. The even more frightening experience occurs when your doctor tells you how many you’re allowed to have if you don’t want to put your health at risk. FYI, that’s no more than seven drinks per week for a woman, and no more than three drinks in any single day—men can get away with up to four in a day and 14 in a week. This conversation can come as a bit of a shock to many women who happily end each day with a couple of cocktails, easily putting them over the seven-drinks-per-week rule. But is having the half bottle of wine each night worth the toll your health will pay later in life? Especially when there are much healthier ways to wind down? Here are convincing reasons to stop drinking today.
You could save for retirement
If you spend just $50 a week on drinking (and we both know that’s a conservative number) then you spend $200 a month on alcohol. That comes out to $2,400 a year. Considering that you should be putting about $3,000 in your Roth IRA every year, quitting drinking could help you get closer to that financial goal.
You’ll apologize less
You can stop apologizing for saying mean things when you’re drunk, or for revealing a secret you weren’t supposed to. You can stop saying sorry for knocking over your friend’s precious vase, or spilling on her rug, or eating her cake she specifically bought for her boyfriend’s birthday tomorrow.
Your sleep will improve
Your sleep will improve for a number of reasons. First off, your bladder won’t wake you up, full of alcohol every two hours. Second off, you won’t wake up because your blood sugar spikes and drops as you begin sobering up. Third, you won’t have those disturbing drunk dreams.
You’ll replace your phone less
How many times have you forgotten your phone in a bar, in a bathroom, in a taxi, or just on a bench after taking a selfie? How many times have you dropped it because you were drunk and your hand-eye coordination wasn’t all that it could be? Now count up those times, and multiply them by the cost of a phone. That number hurts, doesn’t it?
You’ll save on rides
You don’t only spend money on alcohol when you go out drinking—you also spend it on rides! If you’re fortunate enough to love a watering hole near your home, then maybe you walk there. But a drinker can easily spend $100 in transportation alone in a weekend.
You can leave whenever you want
You are not at the mercy of your designated driver’s schedule, nor do you have to wait for surge charges to go down because it’s Prime Time on Lyft and Uber. You don’t even need to sit patiently while one of your friends convinces your driver to take you all through a drive through. If you’re sober, you go home on your time.
You’ll choose better dates
Admit it: you’ve met guys who you thought were so cute while drunk, only to sit down for the sober date you planned and think, “Oh no. What was I thinking? Did he always wear this much leather jewelry?” Half the time, you already made out with these guys while you were drunk, before the official date even happened, which makes breaking things off even more awkward.
You’ll assess dates better
If you stop drinking alcohol on dates you can actually get to know your dates. Here’s another little secret many drinkers don’t want to admit; some of their relationships have survived just on alcohol. Alcohol gave them the illusion of emotions, excitement, and connection. But when the alcohol is gone one day, these couples often realize, “We have nothing in common…”
You can avoid post-drinking depression
You may feel on top of the world while you’re drinking, but you feel at the very bottom of it the next day. Alcohol messes with the neurons in your brain and essentially robs you of happy chemicals the next day. Hence, the post-depression blues. Wouldn’t it be nice to never have to experience those again?
You’ll lose weight
If you stop drinking alcohol you will cut the calories that come from the actual alcohol, as well as the calories from the junk food you end up eating when you’re drunk, and the calories from the hangover food you gorge on the next day. Plus, you’ll have more energy to exercise.
Your skin will look better
We can forget that alcohol is a toxin, and when your body is breaking down and flushing out toxins, it becomes inflamed. This inflammation can manifest itself as acne and breakouts on your skin.
You’ll stop drunk shopping
Here is just one more way you waste money when you drink: the drunk shopping. Once you’ve had a few cocktails, you buy that purse you’ve been eyeing on Amazon, or you wander into the boutique that’s open late and buy a vintage dress, or you say “Screw it!” and book a vacation you cannot afford.
You’ll feel closer to your friends
You have great conversations with your friends when you’re drunk—you all open up and say things you’ve been meaning to say for years. The only problem is that you don’t remember those conversations, so you’ve been blacking out essential bonding moments.
You’ll work faster
If you drink regularly then you experience a general foggy sensation in your brain, which makes you do every task a little slower. You’ll be amazed at how much time you get back when you stop drinking.
You’ll stop having that recycling bin
You can stop sneaking your multiple bags of empty bottles out to the recycling bin at 2 in the morning so your neighbors don’t see you and judge you. You can stop having literally the loudest recycling bin that sounds like a hundred windows breaking when the trucks pick it up.