Your Sober October Pep Talk

October 9, 2018

Well, we’re just about halfway through Sober October. Our more disciplined readers are likely reading this bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, not thinking for a moment that the coming weeks will be at all difficult. In fact, some might even be considering going sober indefinitely. If you happen to be one of them, hats off to you!

But realistically, we’re guessing that most of you Sober October-ers are getting a little antsy right now, somewhere between annoyed and thirsty for a drink to calm those pre-Halloween nerves. (Not that pre-Halloween nerves really exist, but it’s a convenient go-to if you need to explain to friends who didn’t partake in Sober October why you’re on edge.)

Even though—<cough> some of us <cough>—may have given up the cause within the first 12 hours of October 1st, we’re still rooting for all of you sober stallions trying your best to keep a steady jog going in what might seem like an impossible race. Everyone loves a good underdog story, and anyone who can successfully get through Colorado’s Oktoberfest season without imbibing is an inspiring underdog in our book.

All that said, as a financial resource for Colorado’s public sector workforce, we’d also like to remind you that while the main reason many participate in Sober October is likely health-related, the financial benefits of taking the month off from booze are just as legit. If you’re feeling like you need that extra bit of incentive to keep that ice-cold Fat Tire out of your hand, try crunching some numbers on this handy alcohol spending calculator.

According to Huffington Post, if you typically go out for three drinks a day, five days a week, at $10 per drink, abstaining for a month could save you a good 600 bucks. That’s a lot of cash, and it really only scratches the surface; after all, we all know that the drinks themselves are just the beginning. You’ll also be saving money on tips, buying a round or two for your friends, paying for rides to and from the bar—and don’t forget the late-night gyro, pizza, or tacos. In fact, economists have a term for all these related expenses: opportunity costs, or the loss of potential gains you would’ve had if you hadn’t made certain choices.

Let’s get back to that late-night gyro (or pizza, or taco). When you spill tzatziki sauce on your new blouse after a night out, that will cost you either a dry cleaning bill, or a whole new shirt. And while the ensuing full-day hangover may, monetarily-speaking, amount to just Motrin and Gatorade, what’s the underlying cost of spending a whole day watching bad sequels on Netflix instead of making progress on that film script you’ve been writing, or that work project that’s due next week?

We’re not trying to be preachy here, but there are plenty of reasons to participate in Sober October. If improving your self-discipline, pride, or social habits isn’t enough of an incentive, think of the cash, the tangible prize you’ll be getting when Sober October ends. That sweet, $600 carrot will be waiting for you on November 1. If you want to reward yourself with your favorite bar’s finest cognac, well, you’ve earned a celebration. Or maybe Sober October will help you realize that there are more productive ways to spend (or save) all that extra money.