Thinking about new year resolutions? Student Advice helps you count the financial benefit

We all make them, we all break them but what if you could do something that would do you good, save you money and only lasts for 31 days…….

Well you can!!

How about giving up alcohol for January? It is only for 31 days so the end will always be in sight, there are lots of benefits – and you can even use the dry January app.

You are offsetting some of the holiday indulgences when you probably eat more, drink more and exercise less.

You will sleep better, have more energy, not lose a day to a hangover, lose weight as you are not eating greasy kebabs when you are starving on the way home from a night out, and, best of all you will save money.

But let’s get real, this is not going to be easy, by the first weekend in January you will probably be wanting to celebrate getting your next instalment of Student Finance with your housemates so you need to develop a strategy to manage…

Think about some or all of the following:

  • Do it with a friend/buddy/housemate
  • When do you drink? (if it is a weekend try and schedule something to do, cinema, theatre, walk, exercise class – yes they will do them on Friday evenings and Saturdays!)
  • Join or start a book club or start a new hobby… as long as it is not wine tasting!
  • Avoid pubs, but if you are in one, try alcohol free beer, it has come a long way since Becks blue….
  • Start revising for your end of Semester exams or focus on your dissertation.

From a financial point of view put things in perspective, how much do you spend on a round? This is Brighton so for you and a friend you will probably not get much if any change out of a tenner. There are 4 weekends in January so that is £40 already, then, if you go out during the week possibly another £10 – £50 already with nothing to show for it

Treat yourself – what would you spend on alcohol, save it and get that pair of shoes/game/trainers you’ve had your eye on or you could give the money to charity.

One round is probably a Netflix subscription so if you’ve not joined up now is the time then you can stay in all January, binge on all the box sets you like.

The positives of a dry January far outweigh the negatives but one thing we have noted is that all soft drinks are very sugary so what you save by not drinking you might end up having to pay the dentist!

With this in mind here are a few suggestions that are not too sweet;

  • Herbal tea – try making a strong litre of your favourite fruit/herbal tea, serve it chilled with sparkling water or soda water ice and a slice.
  • Slimline Tonic Water – without the gin, sometimes it is just the ritual of pouring the drink into the glass…
  • Lime and Soda – but use a fresh lime, roll it on a flat surface applying pressure to it and then juice it, the rolling softens up the inside of the lime and releases more juice.
  • Lot of pubs (and even the uni canteens!) now offer free tap water infused with fruit or cucumber to add a bit of excitement.

And for those of you needing an authentic looking substitute, there are also a lot of alcohol free drinks on the market right now so have a look round, there will be an alcohol free alternative to your favourite tipple, and start off your new year with a clear head, a shiny liver and a few more pounds in your pocket!

And if it seems too much to manage in January, try it in February instead. After all, February is a shorter month!

Most of all, Happy New Year to you

Student Advice Service

Helen is the Student Advice Service Manager within Student Services and is based in Tithe Barn on the Moulsecoomb campus

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