From holiday parties to New Year celebrations, enjoying alcoholic libations often plays a prominent role in people’s lives at the end of the year.
And while it’s fun to indulge, come January 1 many people are looking for a reset.
One way you can do that is by taking the Dry January challenge. However, the benefits of not drinking alcohol go beyond just your health. Here’s how Dry January can give your wallet a much-needed boost, too.
What is Dry January?
Dry January is a movement that encourages people to go 30 days without alcohol in the month of January.
Many people start January 2 since they’re likely still celebrating on New Year’s Day. It’s a great time to detox from the holiday season and stay focused on your new year’s resolutions.
Ultimately, the goal of Dry January is to help you reset and change your relationship to alcohol.
For example, when you’re in your 20s and 30s it’s easy to have friendships that often revolve around grabbing drinks together. And while there’s nothing necessarily bad about that, it’s easy to let alcohol creep into your life on a daily basis and become an unhealthy fixture.
How Dry January can boost your finances
There are many health benefits of not drinking alcohol for a month.
According to Alcohol Concern, an organization in the United Kingdom that promotes Dry January, 62 percent of people who take the challenge sleep better and have more energy. 49 percent of participants lost weight, too.
The biggest benefit for participants though was saving money — a whopping 79 percent save money during Dry January.
Starting the new year off by going 30 days without alcohol can give you the financial boost you need to pad your savings account. Even minimal to moderate drinkers can stand to save some money.
For instance, buying booze at restaurants and bars can be notoriously expensive. And while getting alcohol from the store can be a frugal alternative, it’s still an extra cost. In fact, alcohol sales in the U.S. generate around $90 billion each year.
Plus, through Dry January, your relationship to alcohol may change entirely. Perhaps you’ll realize you don’t need to drink as often, putting you on the path to saving money on things like Ubers or Lyfts and late-night munchies.
Anyone that’s been hungover knows your finances can go out of the window when all you want is greasy take-out, Gatorade, and some Advil delivered to your door. There’s no doubt that opting for Dry January can be beneficial for your overall physical as well as financial health.
My own experience with Dry January
Last year, I decided to try Dry January. After drinking alcohol for ten years, I realized that in that time, I never once went 30 days without alcohol.
You see, I love happy hours with friends and trying out fine wines or fancy cocktails. I like exploring drinks from other countries. I’m all about the experience when it comes to drinking alcohol.
However, although I knew that going 30 days without alcohol would help me reset in a number of ways, that doesn’t mean it was a walk in the park for me.
At first, it was hard not to have a glass of wine after work for the first week. In fact, I sipped sparkling water out of a wine glass to help me cope (which it surprisingly did).
After a few weeks, it got easier to go without alcohol. I started sleeping better, felt less moody, and even slimmed down a little. The benefits of not drinking alcohol were definitely noticeable.
I saved money by not going out to bars or buying booze at the grocery store. And, I was able to reconnect with my goals and focus on what I wanted without the haze of inebriation affecting me.
Now, let me be clear. Going 30 days without alcohol is not a cure-all for everything wrong in your life. Everyone will react differently to the process. You may see huge shifts in your health or small changes that seem almost insignificant.
Personally, I was hoping for more energy, which didn’t happen. But here’s one thing that’s certain — you will save money by abstaining from alcohol for a month.
Recipe for a successful Dry January
If you’re a regular drinker, going 30 days without alcohol can be a test of your willpower.
To be successful, you need to change your behavior, as well as avoid some triggers that might encourage drinking. Here are some tips for having a successful Dry January.
Be vocal about it.
Tell your friends and family that you are doing a Dry January. That way, they won’t feel bad if you say no to going out for happy hour drinks. And, they’ll be less likely to ask if you want a drink.
Change up your routine.
Don’t think you can just hang with your friends at a bar and stick to soda. Avoid bars altogether and hang out with friends over coffee or tea.
Come up with new ways to hang out to, like visiting museums or going for a hike.
Try mental hacks.
Part of the reason I enjoy wine is the ritual of it. As silly as it sounds, it was easier for me to stick to water by drinking it out of a wine glass.
If stress or a long day of work is a trigger for you to drink, go to the gym afterward instead. Replacing the habit with something else can be a major factor for success.
Find accountability partners.
See if you can find friends or family to join you in Dry January. Having someone you can chat with or do things with that don’t involve drinking can be helpful.
These tips can make the process of going 30 days without alcohol a bit easier. Just make sure that you don’t binge after a month of no drinking and blow all the savings you’re pocketing thanks to Dry January.
That way you can reap the benefits of not drinking alcohol for a month and start the new year refreshed — and in better financial standing.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.
Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.46% – 6.97%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.57% – 8.44%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.05% – 6.47%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.24%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.79% – 8.39%6||Undergrad & Graduate|