No Booze March: The End
Updated: Apr 4, 2019
March has come and gone. I set out to test myself, pit myself against the quiet of my own sobriety, and see how it felt to be a teetotaler. You know what? It felt great. I wasn't able to stay completely dry, on March 29 I had one drink at a friend's birthday party when they needed me to play a drinking game. Besides that, piece of cake, and not a rum cake either, just a great chocolate cake.
I had no desire to drink at home, and when I was out, I didn't feel the need to join in other people's drinking (except that one drink). I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything, and I didn't want to be drunk at any point. I think it also helped that I didn't have any beer in my apartment and I don't like going to clubs. Dubai is actually pretty great for not drinking because every place has non-alcoholic alternatives. There were no cravings, even when I was stressed out, which was a pleasant surprise.
So, what did I drink instead? Coffee, juice, water, Coke Zero. I've been an orange juice addict for years now, and I probably drank a bit more of that than usual.
It's hard to judge the financial impact of this decision, because I rolled my alcohol costs in previous months into my entertainment or eating out budget if I bought booze when I went out. I do know that last month my savings rate was the highest it's ever been, 76%, and not spending money on alcohol, when Dubai is the most expensive place in the world to drink, had to have helped that.
While I wasn't drinking this month, a friend of mine confided that he spent HALF his take home pay on drinking in Dubai. I can't even imagine that. But you can bet he lives paycheck to paycheck because of his drinking.
In terms of my health, I did sleep better, but it's hard to know exactly what led to that, because there have been other big changes the past month that I'm about ready to unveil. My skin is also clearer and feels fresher, which could also be from not drinking.
If you want to cut back on your drinking, I think the best tip would be to have less of it around you. Make it take more effort to get it, and it will take a lot less willpower. Just by not having beer in my fridge, I made this 100% easier. The second best tip would be finding social things to do that don't center around drinking. Find people who want to do healthy things that you enjoy, and go do that instead. That'll most likely help you save money as well, because drinking is quite expensive.
Even if you try to stop drinking and don't fully succeed, it's still a good thing! You might not be totally alcohol free, but you are still ingesting less, which your liver will thank you for!
Overall, I think I'll continue this as much as possible. I won't be as rigid about it, but I think minimizing my alcohol intake in the future is a good plan. It works well with where I am in life. It saves me money, it makes me healthier, and it doesn't hurt my social life. It's a win-win-win.
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