You’ve probably heard about some of the potential consequences of binge drinking* like weight gain, personal injury, unintended sexuality activity, and poor sleep quality and academic performance. But did you know that there’s big money associated with binge drinking?
* Definition of binge drinking: Consuming 4 or more drinks in 2 hours for women, 5 or more drinks in 2 hours for men.
But here’s some information that might surprise you:
The alcohol industry spends over $4 billion each year – or $11 million a day – promoting their products, mostly through advertising and sponsorships (1). Each year, college students spend about $5.5 billion on alcohol – that’s more than they spend on books, soda, coffee, juice, and milk combined. For the average college student, this means $900 a year is spent on booze while only $450 is spent on books (2).
Let’s break this down a bit.
If you purchased five drinks on Friday and Saturday night at $5.00 each, you would spend:
- $50.00 a week
- $200.00 a month
- $1,800.00 over the course of the academic year
That $50.00 could buy you a bus ticket to New York City for a fun weekend trip. Or, that $200.00 could be put towards those leather boots or Marchand jersey you’ve been eyeing. And $1,800.00 could buy all of your textbooks for the year, with some to spare! Or how about a Spring Break trip to Bermuda?
Want to know how much you’re spending? Check out this easy alcohol spending calculator.
What can you do to fix this financial frenzy? Instead of depleting your bank account on overpriced drinks at the bar, stay in one night each weekend. Experiencing FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)? Go out but don’t drink alcohol – water is free, and many places provide complimentary soda if you’re the DD (designated driver). Or alternatively, try having one less drink over the course of the night to cut down on costs. You can also track how much you’re spending on alcohol using apps like Mint. These easy strategies could keep your bank account in check!
SPREAD THE HEALTH: On average, college students spend more money on alcohol than textbooks, coffee, and other beverages combined. Track your spending, go out fewer times per week, and buy 1 less drink to minimize spending on alcohol.