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How to drink less: see alcohol as a luxury, not normality

The nights have drawn in now and Christmas advertising is already beginning to appear on TV, in magazines, and in the shops. For some, the cost of Christmas is already preying on many their minds. Festive season food, drink, presents, cards, decorations and other expenses can add up to a colossal amount, making going into the New Year with a huge credit card debt or bank overdraft practically unavoidable.

Save money by planning ahead

One way to considerably cut costs during a holiday period is to set a strict budget on what you’ll spend on alcohol, and stick to it. This can be achieved by thinking of alcohol as being a treat or a luxury, rather than an everyday norm, like tea and coffee. Then, beyond Christmas, why not look upon drinking in that way overall?

These people do:

“For me now, enjoying a pint of lager on a Friday night after a hard week’s work is something I really look forward to. I used to drink five or six pints a night, every night of the week, before my marriage came under threat and I sought professional help for alcohol abuse.” – Ray*

“I’m ashamed to say that I always had a bottle of red wine tucked away somewhere, before I went into residential rehab. Now I only drink very occasionally. Life is better, and I look much trimmer, which is a no bad thing. A glass of wine or a vodka and Coke when I socialise with the girls a couple of times a month feels like a lovely treat.” – Morag*

“Last Christmas was the first festive season for me after getting help for alcoholism as an outpatient at Manor Clinic in Southampton last autumn. In previous years, I’d get through a couple of crates of beer, at least half a dozen bottles of wine, and a couple of bottles of gin over Christmas and New Year! At rehab, I was taught to look at alcohol differently, to perceive it in a completely different way to how I had been for almost two decades. Now, enjoying the odd drink feels like a real treat, an extravagance even.” – Lesley*

Look better, feel better

By reprogramming your thinking about alcohol, through getting professional help, and taking complete control of your drinking (rather than alcohol controlling you and being the dominant force in your life), you will enjoy all the benefits that Ray, Morag and Lesley have described. You’ll feel better, look better, and also have a lot more disposable income every month.

*All names have been changed.

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