Taking the Dryuary Challenge: How Much Americans Drink and Spend on Booze

Most American adults spend $463 per year on alcoholic beverages.

If a month of holiday parties makes you want to swear off alcohol for a while, you’re not alone. Thousands of people across the U.S. participate in Dryuary, taking a pledge not to drink alcohol in January. Although some take part in the New Year’s resolution to achieve a feeling of control over their habits and life, taking a 31-day alcoholiday also makes financial sense.

Here’s how much Americans spend on alcohol and the financial benefits of abstaining — even if just for the start of the New Year.

Alcoholic Beverages Cost a Lot of Money

Each year, Americans spend about $219.5 billion dollars on alcoholic beverages. If you’re like most American adults, you spend $463 per year on alcoholic beverages, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That leaves just a couple of extra $20 bills in your pocket at the end of the month. If you’re an alcohol overachiever in the top 40 percent of drinkers, who slug down from one to 10 drinks per day, foregoing booze for a month adds up to even more Dryuary savings.

Find Out: 15 Guilty Pleasures That Are Hurting Your Bank Account

A Night Out at the Bar Isn’t Cheap Either

Booze itself isn’t the only place you’ll save money during Dryuary. Swapping a night at the bar for a night on the couch watching Netflix can save you more than $50 in other liquor-related costs like pub food, taxi fare and late-night pizzas. Stay in a few nights during Dryuary, nights you’d ordinarily spend partying, and you could wind up with a few hundred extra dollars in your bank account at month’s end.

Your Sleep Schedule and Productivity Are Affected

As little as one drink can disrupt your quality of sleep, according to a 2015 study by the University of Melbourne. Although that same drink will help you get to sleep faster, it makes your brain more active at night, counteracting restful delta waves that refresh your brain. It’s hard to put a dollar value on individual productivity, but you’ll likely experience a positive impact on your bottom line from waking refreshed during Dryuary.

Your Health and Weight Are Too

Eliminating alcohol during Dryuary not only cuts your caloric intake, it also fine-tunes your metabolism. Your body burns calories from that 500-calorie Pina Colada or 150-calorie beer while storing away pizza calories you’re noshing as fat. With the average per-month cost of being overweight topping $300, as determined by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, it pays to tweak your metabolism for fat-burning efficiency.

Abstaining during Dryuary will do more than trim your waistline. While red wine in moderation might be good for the heart, you can enjoy doctor-pleasing levels of reduced cholesterol, blood glucose and liver fat by ditching booze for a few weeks. The end of the month is a good time to schedule your physical for your life insurance policy, too. Liver enzyme levels are lower after a month of no drinking, translating into policy savings if your improved numbers place you in a lower risk category.

Your Inhibitions Are Lowered When You Drink

It’s no secret that getting buzzed lowers your inhibitions, but the effect begins when your blood alcohol is just .01 percent — the amount found in less than one can of beer or a glass of wine. Beer goggles make buying a round of drinks or ordering a one-of-a-kind vampire-killing kit on the internet seem sensible at the time. Without those beer goggles on but you’ll see larger numbers in your bank account at the end of the month without them.

Stay on Track in the New Year

Are you ready to make a New Year’s Resolution to not drink a drop in January? It’s easiest when you surround yourself with like-minded support. Challenge your friends in the workplace or sign up online at Dryuary.org for willpower-boosting emails.

Keep Reading: Here Are 7 Money-Saving Cocktail Hacks