What I Spent This Weekend: “Sober” January


After gaining ten pounds and losing hundreds of dollars over the Christmas/New Year’s break, I made the decision to do a sober January this year. Well, sober first-half-of-January, since I’m going to Vegas in a couple weeks for my cousin’s 21st birthday. Basically, it’s less of a sober month as it is me desperately trying to save some money and calories for, like, two fucking weeks before I have to try and keep up with a 21-year-old in the devil’s playground. Anyway, my willpower was resolute heading into this weekend, and I was confident in my ability to not have a drop of alcohol touch my lips.


What I Spent:

– Groceries, $12.68
– 12 Pack of Coors, $14.24

Apparently, my willpower was not as resolute as I had thought. I braved the bitter negative temperatures and walked to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for #PastaFriday, and on the way back, I decided I deserved a reward. Unfortunately/fortunately, I live next door to a liquor store, so two minutes and fourteen bucks later, I was the proud owner of a twelver of rocky mountain water-beer.

How I Saved:

While my desire to stay sober was not high, my ability to save money was. I worked from home, eliminating the need to buy lunch, and I managed to convince my friends to do a board game night instead of going out to the bars. What would have been a $60+ bar tab turned into an under $15 night.

Where I Should Have Saved:

I should have stuck to my plan of sober January and not buckled by 5 p.m. on the first Friday of the month. Hell, all I really wanted to do was stay sober for two weeks. I don’t drink during the week, so if you really boil it down, I just needed to not drink for four days. Instead, I drank at the very first opportunity I had. Oh well.


What I Spent:

– Sports gambling, $10

I doubled down on my previously ruined attempt at sober January by doing nothing all day on Saturday. I rejected plans for brunch, turned my phone on “do not disturb,” and hid out in my apartment. I had plenty of food to eat and no desire to set foot in the freezing outdoors. My only financial concession was to put a modest ten bucks down on a five-game parlay, because you have to spend money to make money. I’m pretty sure Warren Buffet said that, and I’m pretty sure he was talking about sports betting.

How I Saved:

Everywhere. I ate nothing but pasta for all of my meals and spent the day on my couch, with only a gym trip to break up the monotony. I also saved years off my life by losing in the fantasy football finals last week, allowing me to finally enjoy football for the first time all season.

How I Should Have Saved:

I guess I could have not pissed away my money, knowing full well that I’m the worst gambler in the history of both sports and gambling. I could have just watched football for the purity of the sport instead of having to attach my personal finances in order to feel some kind of rush, but that’s just not who I am.


What I Spent:

– Bed and breakfast reservations, $168.82

Since I spent all day on the couch relaxing and watching football, I had yet another great savings day. I made all my meals at home and wrote a couple columns, so I actually made some money this Sunday instead of wasting it as usual. I did, however, spend a decent chunk of change on a nice little bed and breakfast reservation for Valentine’s Day weekend. I’m taking the girlfriend to upper Wisconsin to get wine drunk and desecrate a rustic little cabin in the woods. Gonna be romantic as hell.

How I Saved:

I continued my perfect weekend and ate pasta for lunch and dinner once again, making it three days in a row I’ve eaten pasta for at least one meal. One hand, I’m disgusted in myself, but on the other hand, I’m pretty sure my lack of alcohol calories more than made up for how much I ate. Also, pasta is fucking delicious.

How I Should Have Saved:

I guess I could have planned something cheaper for Valentine’s Day, but I’ve given my girlfriend more than enough reasons to break up with me, and I didn’t need to add another. Although, if she dumps me, I would definitely save more money on dates. And bar tabs. And anniversary gifts. Shit, getting broken up with may be the ultimate money saver, now that I think about it. Hopefully, that bed and breakfast is refundable.

Total: $205.74

While this looks pretty high, if you discount my preemptive Valentine’s Day plans, I actually spent under forty bucks all weekend. That’s a fucking win in my book. I may have faltered on my start to sober January, but I at least managed to stay as low budget as possible. Hopefully, I can repeat my performance next weekend as well before I go to Vegas and spend likely five hundred dollars on bar tabs.

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Nick Arcadia

The opposite of a life coach. Email or DM me if you want some bad advice:

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