As I was preparing the 2013 individual tax return due in April, I started thinking about how much money I blew on alcohol over these past few years.
I did the calculations and…WOW! $100,000 is the gross amount of cash I wasted on booze. Even though I started abusing alcohol when I was in a rather stable financial situation, it still feels like a staggering amount of money.
I can’t believe Iíve spent that much
After recalculating several times, I had to accept the fact that I threw $100,000 out the window. I’m still shocked that I spent a small fortune on something that was slowly killing me, instead of buying a new car or opening a savings account. I had the money for a mortgage down payment and then some more; yet I wasted it all on booze.
I could have used the cash to help my wife fulfill her lifelong dream of opening up a bakery. I could have invested it in myself and taken specialty classes to advance in my career. How on Earth did I manage to piss away so much money?
I changed my spending habits
Looking back, I know I was never too careful about putting some money aside for rainy days. There was a time in life when money was not a problem and I could afford to eat out five times per week.
That was until my wife lost her job and we were due with a hefty premium we took out to renovate our home at the worst time possible. With the 2008 global financial crisis tearing at what seemed to be stable economies, I had no choice but to drink at home.
When I was primarily a home drinker, I never thought I was spending so much cash. To tell you the truth I believed I was actually saving money. Besides, I always preferred drinking alone; just sipping from my neat whiskey and daydreaming of what my perfect life would be like.
When my wife started asking me about why and how much I drink, I had no choice but to change my daydreaming place. I found a place with cheap drinks and limited clientele, where nobody would bother me or keep track of how much I drank. Considering that I used to finish at least one bottle of Jack per night, I believe that’s when the losses quickly piled up.
$100,000 and counting
In addition to spending thousands of dollars on poison, alcohol reduced my ability to act as a valuable employee. I used to skip work rather frequently because I always woke up with this pounding headache and I couldn’t focus. Consequentially, I missed on a great promotion…an endorsement that went to a person who’s not qualified for the job: my boss.
My alcohol addiction takes cash out of my pocket even today. Because I was recently diagnosed with an early form of pancreatitis, my health insurance premium went up by 30% due to my past. I’m just thankful that I was still an employee when I attended the detox and my medical insurance covered a substantial part of the expenses.
As you can see, I’m still paying for my alcohol addiction. Then again, this is just one aspect I’m struggling with while building my road to recovery.