“There’s nothing like summer in the city.” ~Alexander Hamilton or Lin Manuel Miranda. And it’s true! Summer is a magical time full of warm nights, beach days and bar-hopping. It’s so tempting to buy a whole new wardrobe and enjoy the endless sunshine. But there is a trap with summer spending. Millennial budgets often take a hit with summer fun, especially when it comes to drinking.
Millennial budgets and drinking
In general, millennials are spending far too much on drinking. If you drink three alcoholic beverages a day at $12 each, five times a week, you will be spending $9,360 a year. This is seperate from bottle service, which can cost you a couple of hundred per night. That is a tremendous amount of money and doesn’t even cover tipping your bartender. Millennials’ impact on the alcohol industry has been huge, especially the wine industry. They are drinking more wine than past generations, and wine has become the preferred drink of choice. Wine varies in price, but no matter the price bracket, millennials are buying it.
There are ways to budget drinking. It’s effortless (I have fallen victim to this) to become a generous bar patron. After a drink or two, I suddenly think I’m very wealthy and can afford a round for everyone. A simple way to combat this is to slow down on drinking. Sip and savor your cocktail or drink of choice. There’s no need to return to the beer-chugging days of undergrad. Also, ward off the social pressure to drink more. If you have budgeted one drink, stick to that plan. Your wallet will thank you.
Other summer expenses
Living on a financially secure millennial budget does not mean your summer has to be boring. Take advantage of free excursions in your town or city — such as parks, beaches or lakes. Utilize the libraries for books and movies. Have potluck dinners with friends and reconnect. If you’re looking to get away for the weekend, check out Airbnb locations. A change of scenery does not have to break the bank. Summer should be used to recharge, take a break from your phone and relax a bit.
Millennial budgets do not mean zero fun. Drinking can still be enjoyed, but it should be done consciously. By setting a budget and realizing how quickly the cost of alcohol can add up, millennials can drink while being financially responsible. Summer can be relaxing and exciting without going into debt. Like most decisions, if summer planning is approached with a sense of financial literacy, your bank account will thank you.
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