Save Money ... By Giving Up Drinking?

Last Updated Sep 17, 2010 2:42 PM EDT

A new report shows one-third of Britons plan to save money by cutting back on alcoholic beverages at the bar or restaurant. That's a bit surprising to me. Wouldn't you be more inclined, not less, to reach for a cold beer or gimlet on the rocks during a down economy? Maybe you shouldn't afford it, but when times are tough, our vices tend to get to the best of us.

Still, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, which administered the survey, is worried about the state of its industry. The survey of more than 2,000 people, released earlier this week, shows that the British - particularly women and young adults - plan to tighten their purse strings in the near future on a variety of categories.

Here is the breakdown of what respondents planned to do without:
  • 46% - going out for meals
  • 40% - going out for entertainment
  • 34% - going out for a drink
  • 20% - satellite TV subscription
Another 18% said they do not expect to cut back spending.

Earlier this month the British Beer and Pub Association said alcohol consumption in the country had fallen by 6%, the steepest annual drop since 1948.

Here in the U.S., alcohol consumption in restaurants, bars and at home remained fairly steady going into the downturn, according to a 2009 Gallup poll.

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    Farnoosh Torabi is a personal finance journalist and commentator. She is the author of the new book Psych Yourself Rich, Get the Mindset and Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life. Follow her at www.farnoosh.tv and on Twitter at @farnoosh.

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