(0.25) Putting yourself in difficulty
(0.56) The cost of drinking
(1.35) Other ways alcohol will cause problems
(2.16) My financial problems
Spending Money on Alcohol
The most obvious way that you can put yourself into financial difficulties because of your drinking is by spending more money on alcohol than you can afford.
Your alcohol cost will depend on where you buy it, the quantity and quality of what you buy, and whether you drink at home or in a bar.
Not everyone will be put into financial hot water because they spend a lot on alcohol, and being an alcoholic doesn’t necessarily mean you are poor. There are plenty of people in the middle and upper sections of our society that have drink problems… they just tend to hide it better.
Alcoholism and Your Job
One of the bigger risks of being an alcoholic is losing your job because of your behaviour. No work means no money! No money means you can’t pay the bills, buy clothes, buy food, pay for education, etc. And losing your job because you’re failing to do it properly might make it impossible to find another one.
Even if you don’t lose your job, you can lose money by taking days from work because of drinking, losing out on a day’s wages.
Other Causes of Financial Difficulties Because of Your Drinking
If you are responsible damaging property while you are drunk, you could end up having to for the repair, fines , or compensation.
If you injure someone or yourself whilst drunk you may land yourself with hospital or doctors’ bills, or worse.
Alcoholics, and children of alcoholics, generally have lower education expectations. This means you will be lower in the employment market and unable to get higher paying jobs.
There’s also a strong connection between problem drinking and gambling. It’s a lot easier to take gambling risks when you’ve been drinking. It is also said that gamblers increase their drinking when they’re winning, which in turn anchors alcohol and gambling in the brain, meaning alcohol eventually becomes associated with any gambling.
The Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions conducted a study in 2001, which looked at the occurrence of alcohol and gambling in the US. It found that
“Compulsive gamblers are much more likely to be alcoholic or alcohol dependent than the average person.”
John W Welte, Ph.D., a senior scientist and one of the study’s lead researchers said
“If you have an alcohol problem, the odds of also having a gambling problem are 23 times higher, compared to individuals who do not have an alcohol problem. That’s a really huge odds ratio.”
Drinking Because of Financial Problems
Many people turn to drink and drugs when they start having financial problems. It’s not uncommon for ex-alcoholics to relapse when money starts getting tight.
The ones who are most at risk of ‘drowning’ their financial worries are older males with less education.
My Financial Costs
The cost of alcohol was never a big issue for me…the work days lost through drinking were…
I always earned decent money, so even when I was drinking in bars in Ireland, merely buying drink was never a problem.
But I did lose a lot of work days because of my alcohol problem. I worked in forestry which took me all over the country. I would travel to the first work-site, finish my days work and check in to a hotel or B&B. Then I’d make my way into the local town or village to get a bite to eat, unless there I could get food in the hotel.
Most towns had a choice of restaurant or pub where I could get some food. If it was only a small town or village, the most likely option would be the village pub.
All it took was to get chatting to one of the locals, get a taste of the Guinness and I’d be off. And it didn’t take much arm twisting, believe me. I worked on my own most of the time, so I’d be glad of some company in the evenings.
If I’d had a skin-full the night before, the only thing that’d drag me out of the bed in the morning was breakfast, which in general stopped at 9.30. Then, depending on how hung-over I was, I’d either go to work or back to bed. So, I lost quite a few days that way.
I was self-employed so I couldn’t get the sack and no-one at home was any the wiser.
At the height of my drinking, I would drink 6 or 7 pints every night, going up to maybe 20 on two nights over the weekend.
The cost: at €4.00 per pint, even at a conservative estimate of 50 pints per week, I’d be spending €200 per week on booze, plus whatever I had at home. That’s €10,000 a year… Conservative!
This was the sixth post in the series of articles on the Johns Hopkins 20 questions which was designed for you to self-test and discover if you might have an alcohol problem. If you answer yes to this question and yes to some of the others in the test, you need to take a look at your drinking habits. You can find the master article here
Leave a message below if I can offer any help at all in your fight with alcohol.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards…