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13 things to do with the money you save on alcohol

Lifestyle — Posted 05/02/14

How much do you spend on your drinking? We’ve got a few ideas for better ways to spend your money.

It’s easy to lose track of your money on a night out. Research from personal finance watchdog MoneySmart suggests that the average Australian spends $32 a week on alcohol. So, if you took just a month’s break from drinking like during FebFast, you could save $132.4 … or possibly a lot more!

To keep you motivated, it can be helpful to think about the better uses you could put that money towards. What would you spend it on? Here are a few ideas…

1. Give it to charity

Even a small amount of money can go a long way helping those less fortunate, or making a difference to a cause you are passionate about. Not sure where you want to donate? Check out Australian Charity Guide for a starting point in your research. 

2. A fancy dinner out

If you’re not buying alcohol, your bill for dinner automatically becomes a lot lower – so you can probably afford to try someplace you might not normally go. Chances are there’s a restaurant in your city everyone’s raving about. Now’s your chance to splurge. Enjoy it!

3. Concert tickets

There’s nothing like the rush of seeing a great live band. Check out who’s touring and grab yourself a ticket – you might even be able to spring for the good seats. 

4. Treat your family and friends.

This could be a good opportunity to show your appreciation for the people you love. Surprise them with a small gift – even just something like a fresh fruit smoothie or their favourite magazine. Your thoughtfulness will brighten their day, and the feel-good vibes will keep you buzzing.

5. See some comedy

Laughter is great for your wellbeing. Get some friends together and enjoy a night out where you’ll all be in great spirits. 

6. Get a massage

Indulge in the pleasure of having a professional work out all the stress in your tired muscles. Having a massage is something that often feels too expensive – now you’ve got extra cash to spend. Feel the tension melt away and use the time to calm your mind, giving yourself a break from the hassles of daily life.

7. Invest in your fitness

Inspire yourself to live a more active lifestyle by treating yourself to a good pair of running shoes, some comfortable yoga pants, or a really great sports bra. You’d be amazed how much having new, good quality gear can motivate you to get out there and enjoy some exercise.

8. Go camping

$100 or so probably won’t cover the entire trip, but it may go a long way in paying for the food and campsite fees. Take a break from it all, get back to nature and enjoy breathing in the clean air – and have a blast with your family and friends at the same time. Check out our ideas for the perfect camping trip here.

9. Get some new tunes

Head on to iTunes and download some new music. Having great tracks to listen to can be excellent for your mental health and wellbeing, helping you to relax, or (depending on the type of music!) making you feel motivated and excited. 

10. Nourish your mind

You could use the money to buy some of the new books on your to-read list, or even to take a class, workshop or short-course to learn or practice a new skill. Or you could get a culture fix and visit a museum, art gallery, or the theatre – or possibly all three.

11. Stock up on healthy foods

Now could be the time to stock your cupboards with chia seeds, quinoa, and all those superfoods you want to try but can often be pricey. Fill your freezer with frozen berries and stock up on different kinds of grains to make healthy eating a breeze for the next few months. 

12. Surprise the kids

Delight them by taking them out to see a movie, or to the zoo, or to an amusement park, or whatever it is they’ve been begging for. Let them choose a special treat, and their happiness will be infectious. 

13. Save it

Sure, it’s not the most exciting option – but it could help you get that one step closer to a bigger goal, like a holiday or a car. Or, if you have debts, paying some of it off can take a lot of pressure off your chest.

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