Is it just me, or does January kind of stink? You just got back from vacations and the holidays, there’s no sun, and you’ve got less room in your pants but more room in your wallet. Overall, I entered January feeling a bit bleh. I’d had one too many Christmas cookies, and was ready for a change. So this year, instead of January, I’m celebrating Drynuary.

Drynuary is simply 4 weeks without drinking (dry January). I got the idea from an article by a man who lost quite a bit of his holiday weight just from giving up alcohol for the month. Although I’m not much of a partier, I normally enjoy a few drinks a week. I figured giving them up could be an easy way to cut calories and step up the healthy living this month.

Before we go further, no, I have not become a fitness blogger. (Gina and Julie have great workouts and recipes if you need one). I’m chatting about Drynuary on the blog because it doubles as a great and easy way to save money.

About 1% of American spending goes to alcohol, or $1 out of every $100. That’s not a ton, but it’s also not negligible. And I’m guessing that for many of us young adults, our alcohol spending makes up an even higher percentage.

In dollar terms, let’s say that a drink or glass of wine averages $10 at a bar or restaurant -including tax and tip. (For my New York readers, I know it’s likely more than that, and I’ve felt your pain). Then let’s assume you buy 4 drinks per week at a restaurant or bar, plus a bottle of wine also averaging $10.

That’s $50 per week spent just on alcohol (or however many drinks you have per week x $10). Not to mention that you’re probably also dropping money on late night food runs and cabs. So let’s say that all in you’re spending about $75 per week on drinking.

But if instead you cut out drinking for the four weeks of Drynuary, you can save $300 or more! That’s a good chunk of money for a relatively simple, healthy elimination.

I realize that Drynuary isn’t always easy, especially when you’re with friends who are drinking. I was tempted to break the resolution the other night when I was out to drinks with my brother and friend. I was worried they would judge me for being lame, but they totally understood when I explained why I wasn’t drinking.

By the way, if you are worried about still hanging out with friends, a club soda with lime is everything. You can even ask for it in a drink glass and no one will know you’re abstaining.

Originally the post was going to stop here, but adding up the money I’m saving this month got me thinking. If I extend the principle past Drynuary, there’s probably something simple I could give up every month to save money. So I’m turning this post into a series: the TDT 2015 Simple Saver Series!

The premise of the series is simple: each month I’ll give up one habit to save money. This month it’s drinking. I’ll write a post at the beginning of every month detailing what I’m giving up, and then recap how it went and roughly how much money I saved.

I’d love to have you join me! Feel free to join in for just one month or all twelve. If have ideas for items to give up, need extra motivation, want to share your progress, or just want to chat, you can email me or Tweet me with #TDTSaves2015.

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