Friday, January 30, 2015

Money NOT SPENT on Booze for January

Holy crap! I can't believe how much I saved this month just by not buying booze. This has been very eye-opening for me. It's also amazing how quickly it adds up ($5 here, $10 there) - even when I didn't think I "spent" very much.

A quick note on how I'm calculating my money-not-spent... 
I am adding items to my spreadsheet that meet the following requirements:
  • If I'm in a situation where I would normally order a drink (at a bar, or with a meal). I pretty much know when I'd want to order one. 
  • If people are having more than one drink, I'll include an extra one for myself as well. 
  • My estimated cost sometimes includes tip, and sometimes doesn't - just to allow for a little wiggle room. 
  • I like good booze, so I am not usually calculating for $2 beers - but $5-6 drinks (because that's what I normally have). For happy hours I'll try to guesstimate a little lower, for fancy-scmancy restaurants, I'll guesstimate a little higher. 
  • I'm only calculating liquor store trips for when I REALLY want to get a bottle of wine or something. Or if I'm going to an event where I would normally bring my own booze.
And one final note: This is not an exact science. It's just to give myself an idea of what I COULD HAVE spent on alcohol.

For the month of January I did NOT spend $233.00 on booze. 


Some things I learned about myself in January: 

  • Sleep is WAY better without alcohol. I sleep much more soundly, and sometimes for much longer. 
    This is how I pass the time when I'm watching Netflix
    (instead of drinking)
  • As alcohol has a tendency to do, it lowers my inhibitions. Having a clear head made me realize that I can make better decisions in my life!
  • I already feel like I'm developing better relationships with my friends. It's harder to connect with people when they're tipsy and I'm not - so I'm connecting more with people I may not have before, because they also either don't drink or don't drink very much. 
  • I still think it's hilarious watching my friends drink though. :) 
  • I love love LOVE not having to worry about how I am getting home at the end of the night. Knowing that I can always drive myself home is very comforting. 
One thing I'm still working on is dealing with that guilty feeling when I'm taking up a spot at the bar, and the bartender asks me what I'd like to drink, and my response is "soda water with lemon, please." 

I've realized that making a light-hearted acknowledgment helps ("don't worry, I'll still tip ya!"), or keeping them reassured that I understand they're there to make money by at least kicking them a few bucks for keeping my soda water full. I've been in the business before - I get it! 

In conclusion: so far, so good! 
Thanks to everyone for the constant love and support on this journey! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Weekend (Sober) Thoughts

I never need booze to help me with karaoke.
Friday night was… interesting. 

It was the first night that I went out partying without booze this year, and man, it was very apparent how sober I was. A bunch of us went to karaoke night, which was SUPER fun. But everyone else around me was either tipsy or flat out drunk.

When I was on the dance floor I realized I wasn’t letting loose as much as I normally do. I was suddenly a little self-conscious, which was weird for me. I didn’t have anything to take the edge off, just sureness of myself, and suddenly I was unsure. It was a strange feeling, but it made me think: why do I need alcohol to be my ridiculously silly self? 

Later that night I was talking to a boy I've kinda been crushin’ on. He had been drinking, I had not. We had an awkward conversation about our mutual attraction (well, awkward for me without the booze), and he told me that with everything said he was not looking for a relationship with anybody right now.

I realized if I had been drunk, none of what he said would have mattered. I would have taken the part about our attraction and run with it - ignoring the part about not wanting anything more. I maybe would have tried to smooch him. I would have not thought it through, just gone with the moment. I may have been okay with my decision later (or I may have had some regrets), but at the same time wondered if I was being true to myself.
Being a friend's back-up dancer is always a good idea.

With a clear head, I realized - I don’t want that. I thought to myself: I don’t just want a fling, I want something more (whatever that may be). I want to meet someone and get to know them, and if something comes out of it awesome, if not, move on. I want to see if something great could actually happen, not just a one-night make out session. I realized that this was a really good guy, and that doing something in the moment now could mess up any potential of something maybe happening down the road. Shit, nothing could happen in the future for all I know, but I didn’t want to just be some girl that was a temporary distraction. I’m better than that. I’m not a distraction, I’m friggin’ rad. I realized that I not only respected him, but I respected myself too much to just jump into the unknown. Don’t get me wrong - I’m all about living in the moment. But through a haze of alcohol? That’s not always the best way to do it.

Yeah, I don’t think I would have thought of all that if I’d been drunk. 

Saturday morning I woke up feeling good about my decision, and about myself. It felt good being the person that safely drove my friends home. It also felt good waking up on a weekend morning without any regrets, and with a clear head.

I can’t believe it’s only been 11 days, and I’ve already felt like I’ve learned so much!

PS. Money not spent so far (after the weekend): $62 total. That’s kind of awesome. 

PPS. If you get a “mocktail” at a bar or restaurant, be sure you know the price of the damn thing before the server brings it to you. Somehow our server on Saturday night failed to tell me that my deliciously mixed glass of non-alcoholic juice and fizzy water was 6-friggin-dollars. Ugh. Lesson learned!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Not Boozing When Bummed

Yesterday I had a date planned that canceled.
I actually had another date lined up the same night (just in case one canceled), then they canceled too.
Just the week before I'd had a date cancel as well.


It's gotten WAY too easy for people to cancel last-minute on things. I have always had a love/hate relationship with technology, and I hate that the ease of communication has resulted in people flaking out more regularly, and having very little accountability. But I digress.

Last night was the first difficult one for me without the booze. I know it's only been 7 days (one stinkin' week!), but I was bummed out, and I wanted a glass of wine.

But I didn't have one. I met up with some friends for not-a-drink at Terminal Bar (I had soda water with lemon), then went home, watched some Peaky Blinders, knitted a bit, made a soda water with elderberry juice concentrate, and went to bed. And it was just fine!
Looking at this guy is a nice distraction from anything, really.

When I thought a little more about it I realized: there is a healthier way to deal with this stuff. Not everyone will flake, and it just seemed worse because it happened all at once. I was bummed, but there are still good people out there (shit, look at my friends for cryin' out loud), and I can totally deal.

I woke up this morning feeling better (although a little tired), and more positive. Tonight I'm planning to go for a run after work, for the first time in a while.

Goodbye to bummed, and hello to a healthier and happier me! 

PS. Due to a lack of drinking last night, I have already saved a total of $36 for the month of January. That's a nice dinner, or a pair of shoes right there! Woot! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

4 days down - lots more to go!

Last weekend was my first weekend in a verrrrrryyyyy long time without any booze.

It actually went pretty darn well! The hardest part was sitting at home when nothing was going on, and not drinking out of boredom. So what did I end up doing instead? Drinking tea and SNACKING.

Yah, I'm gonna need to find a healthier substitute. Tea and biscuits (although delicious), will not help with making it a healthy 2015.

I went out a couple of times over the weekend, and calculated that I've saved about $26.00 on booze so far. So that's a bonus!

I have a feeling my next big challenge will be hitting the social scene and dating, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

As of right now, the New Year's No-Booze Challenge is going great. I feel good, I've slept like a rock the past few days, and I LOVE waking up without any fog in my brain.

Hope you all had a wonderful New Year!