Alcohol Budget

Does anyone feel comfortable sharing with me what you spend on alcohol monthly? My husband and I are trying to figure out what is a reasonable amount. I realize this will vary for everyone based on income, etc. I wish there was a suggested amount somewhere so I could know what amount I should be in.

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  • Hi there, I am okay with sharing. We have a specific category set for this. We use it for alcohol we buy for the house and when we go out for drinks specifically with others. Examples are drinks after work or after sports or meeting someone just for drinks (maybe appies). If it is for a dinner, then we use a dining out category. Our current goal is $75/month. The average spend is $127 for the current year.  We have ranged from $99/month to $137/month on an annual basis. These are Canadian dollars so you can do any conversions that may be helpful. 

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  • That's entirely up to how much you drink, and how often.  Can you look at history to see?  If not, just put something that sounds reasonable, and see.  If you spend more, you can pull from some other category to cover it.  If you spend less, then you can use what's left to cover something else.  Once you've got a month or 2 history, start using the quick budget "average budgeted" and you'll be pretty close.

    I can tell you that my personal household alcohol budget is $0.00, but I'm assuming based on your question that yours will be higher than that.

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  • Depends entirely on your priorities. Do you go out or make drinks at home. Are you a connoisseur or drink bottom shelf booze and crap wine?

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  • This is going to vary widely between individuals and lifestyles, so I don't know that looking at other people's numbers will give you a great guideline. I think it's best to think about how important drinking is to you compared to the other categories you want to budget for, and adjust accordingly.  You can choose to drink more or less, or change your type of drink or location. A few years ago I was spending about $300-500 per month on alcohol. The last few years it's been closer to $50-80/month due to natural lifestyle changes. I am happy with both sets of numbers and think they're all totally valid.

    Your best bet, as mentioned by others, is to gather data about your own spending on alcohol over the course of one or two months and then reevaluate from there.

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  • Sure, I don't have a category but I'd guess $10 a month on average. Not much of a drinker. Mostly social.

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  • Normally its folded into my "social spends" about £60 (approx $75 USD) per month as I try not to drink at home


    Lately I've saved up for a very special debt free celebration whiskey though that cost me £73 (approx $91 USD) when I bought it today  and I'm hoping I can afford to make that an annual Christmas expense 

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  • I'm a single.  I allocate $10/week, so $40-$50/month depending on number of shopping Saturdays in the month.

    It's not all liquor, though.  I have a Gracious Living category and use it for wine, liquor, indulgent foods and treats, and sometimes fresh flowers when the category gets really flush, basically all those items I didn't allow myself to habitually buy while I was smacking down debt, but which I can now afford in my phase of gracious living.  I like to contain it in its own category in order to pace myself on indulgences.

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  • I only this month decided to track alcohol separately, so I only have the data for July so far, so half the month.  And it's kinda depressing.  About $50.  On alcohol!  That counts alcoholic drinks out at dinner, now that restaurants are open again. 

    I don't budget a certain amount, I move money there from other categories so I can track how much was spent on it.  

    • WordTenor
    • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
    • WordTenor
    • 3 mths ago
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    Before or after the pandemic? 😆

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  • I thought this an interesting question. For US resources I have looked at the USDA's website for what the government says a family of X spends on food per week/month, but I've never looked for alcohol. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a chart that shows mean yearly expenditures by geographical location. Alcohol is listed and it seems that the yearly average (of total expenses) is 0.7 - 1.5%


    ETA:  This is pre-pandemic! 2017-2018

  • My husband and I have budgeted/set a goal in our template for $100 USD a month for alcohol. We're one full month into YNAB (started mid-June). We didn't spend from it in June since I was gifted nice wine for my birthday so it rolled over to July and we still haven't spent from it. 

    I think we picked this number based on pandemic/stay-at-home order which we might have been hovering around that.  Seeing it listed I feel that money can be put to use somewhere else however, it's the summer and I love a nice glass of rose after work on Friday!  😅 

  • July is my first month.  I budgeted $50 to my "Fancy Coffee & Cheap Booze" category, though I haven't actually spent any of it because I've been drinking what I've had on hand in both categories.  That might change this weekend, though.

      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Cornflower Blue Hail And how much did you budget to your "Cheap Coffee & Fancy Booze" category? Don't hold back on us!

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