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Save Money by Extending Dry January

During the holidays, we often say, “Eat, drink, and be merry”. This is usually a time where lots of drinks are flowing. When the new year rolls around, resolutions are all the rage. Many people decide to take a break from alcohol. Have you heard of “Dry January”? This is a period of sobriety for the first month of the year. CNN reports that, in 2022, “according to surveys from CGA, a food and drink research firm, 35% of legal-aged US adults skipped alcohol for the entire month”.

How Does Alcohol Raise Health Care Costs?

Cutting out alcohol can save you a lot of money. Think about how much you spend on alcohol at the grocery store and when you go out. We all know the prices of alcohol have increased lately so ordering one drink can be over $15. But what about long-term costs? According to the Healthier Together podcast, a study from last year funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation named alcohol as the second highest risk factor for cancer after smoking. Alcohol has damaging effects on your skin and hair, your brain, your immune system, and your entire body. Even light consumption increases your risk of cancer. Ultimately, cutting out alcohol saves you money in the short term and in the long run.

Health Benefits of Not Drinking

According to the Washington Post, “taking a break from alcohol can trigger immediate health benefits, like weight loss, better sleep, and a boost to your mood and energy levels, which can reinforce the new habit”. They also share results of a study that will blow your mind! Researchers compared outcomes for men and women who reported a moderate level of drinking. One group continued drinking as usual while the other ventured into a month of sobriety. Even though they changed nothing else about their health habits, the sober group saw many benefits, including a loss of more than 4 pounds.

Based on WebMD, some of the health advantages of sobriety include:

  • Losing weight

  • Lower risk of diabetes

  • Decreased blood pressure

  • Reduction in cancer risk factors

  • Improved sleep

  • Higher energy levels

  • Clearer skin

  • Better memory

  • Sharper focus and clarity

Trying Sobriety

Are you sober curious? Here are some tips for getting started:

  1. Set an amount of time for yourself to give it a try.

  2. Identify new drinks that you would like to incorporate into your day.

  3. Mocktails are all the rage now. In fact, in the study that CNN cited, “about 75% of those surveyed by CGA said they would continue drinking alcohol-free beer, spirits and mocktails, and 64% planned to stick with alcohol-free wine”.

  4. Pick a family member or friend who would like to try a sober month with you.

  5. Journal about the health benefits that you notice to remind yourself of the benefits.

  6. Add up your savings from not buying alcohol and brainstorm new ways to spend that money.

  7. Remind yourself that you are ultimately extending your life and preventing future you from incurring a mountain of health care costs related to a cancer diagnosis. Read our “Avoiding the Costs of Cancer” article to find out more.

Read about other ways to improve your health and cut insurance costs on Insuravita.

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