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Alcohol: What Is Your Night Out Costing You?

We're thrilled to present this smart LearnVest story here on Savvy!

We’ve all seen the math before: Smoking cigarettes can cost you $1,500 per year, not to mention your lung capacity and wrinkle-free skin. We’re also getting tired of the latte metaphor (“If only you stopped buying a giant Starbucks latte every day, you’d save…”). But, we’ve never seen anyone do the same thing for alcohol costs.

We’ll never judge you. It’s your choice whether to drink, smoke, or spend all your time outlet shopping. Our only hope is to help you go out tonight with your eyes open and wallet comfortably full. If that means that you convince someone else to buy your green beer for you tonight, that’s your prerogative.

Want to know how much your night out is costing you per year? Check out the add-up after the break!

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Here’s how it shakes out:

Some Things to Keep In Mind (If You’re Not Too Far Gone):

  • Imported beer often costs as much as $2 or $3 more per drink.
  • Studies have shown that the price of a wine bottle influences perception—so don’t think a more expensive wine necessarily will taste better.
  • On average, a bottle of cabernet sauvignon can be up to 20% more expensive than pinot noir.
  • If you’re in a bind, Walgreens just put out its own private label brew—only $2.99 per six-pack. It goes down–well, inexpensively!

Fuzzy Numbers.

In our calculations, we’re making estimations to give you a general sense of what your alcohol budget might look like. The cost of a drink will vary by where you’re buying that drink, and each state has a different alcohol tax. Washington leads the nation in spirits tax, while Iowa has the highest tax on table wine and Alabama has the highest tax on beer. If you want a cheap cold one, head to Pennsylvania or Colorado instead.

Mixing Things Up.

For creative ways to serve beer at home, try this.

For high-quality wines with low price tags, we’ve got you covered.

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