Money had an article called Here’s How Rich You’d Be if You Stopped Drinking that peaked my interest last weekend. I thought that maybe they were going to look at what investing the cost of what people are spending on alcohol would do over your lifetime. Instead they focused on the cost of drinks and food at bars and suggested things like drinking and eating before you go out to the bars and then only getting a drink or two. I’m not sure telling people to drink before they go out and drink more is such a good idea. Really, having more than one or two drinks in public is not a good idea at anytime since it leads to bad decisions and possibly the police station as either an inmate or a victim.
What the article really should have said is that using bars to drink is a dumb idea. If you walk into a bar and drink for the sole purpose of getting a drink, you’re being financially foolish. You can get the same alcohol that they are serving for maybe a quarter of the price at the store. You can make your own wine or beer for about one eighth of the cost of a drink at a bar.
If you go to a bar, you are paying for the atmosphere. You should be there to watch the game on a TV you don’t have at home or with a group of friends. You should be there to spend some time with a friend or a date. You should be there to get drinks you can’t get from the corner store (for example, brew houses). You should be there for entertainment such as live music. It should be worth your money.
Given how many sad, pathetic bars there are in the world, I’m guessing that many people don’t follow this advice. There are too many dirty, dingy, run-down bars with nothing but some tables and some neon that are still in business. Hopefully people will start demanding more from bars by voting with their pocketbooks. Coffee at coffee houses is way overpriced as well, but at least they are able to make coffee drinks you can’t buy at the corner store or make at home. Why should bars be any different?
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Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.