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Don’t Drink And Buy: How Many Of These Ways Have You Wasted Money…While Wasted?

Reflections on some of the stupid things we do with money after overindulging.

drinkingmoneyBy the time you’re managing your own money, hopefully you’ve learned that there are at least two things that a responsible adult never mixes with alcohol: Driving home and texting exes.

Although sending a two-a.m. SnapChat to your estranged college flame after a heavy night at the bars may cause not create lingering problems of a financial nature, driving drunk sure will. Assuming you survive your stupidity, the average cost of a first-offense DUI is a whopping $12,000. That’s 240 times the cost of a $50 cab fare. Enough said.

A DUI might be an extreme example of how getting trashed can trash your wallet, but trust me, there are other ways. We know. Here are just a few.

Drunk online shopping.

Thanks to two vodka tonics, a six pack (give or take) and a Jäger shot, I now own an awesome tuxedo. Do I wear it? Nope. Will I ever wear it? Probably not. But I was sure damn proud of my winning eBay bid on a no-name brand tux I made as my friends and I excitedly discussed implementing “Tuxedo Tuesday.” Here’s to many years of James Bond halloweens and overdressed New Years parties.

Using cabs/Uber as if you can afford a personal chauffeur. 

Calling a cab for a ride home instead of driving drunk? Smart. Using Uber to hop from pup to pup instead of walking or taking public transit? Obviously not.

Open tabs and buying rounds.

“You wanna keep it open?” Your bartender asks with a smile. Why yes, I say, I would love to. Keeping your card at the bar makes for a wonderfully efficient process when ordering your second, or third, or fourth drink. Too often, though, my open line of credit leads to covering a pal, and forgetting just how ridiculous it is to pay $6 for an IPA.

Editor’s note: I know this pain all too well. Long ago, when I was still an imbecile with money, I took some friends to a karaoke lounge for my wife’s birthday. After the first scorpion bowl, I started a tab with my debit card. By the last scorpion bowl, I decided I’d treat everybody in the party! I signed for the $200 tab and then proceeded to make one of the stupidest financial mistakes of my life. In my stupor, I neglected to notice that an 18 percent gratuity had been added for our large party. So I added on another 20 percent. You might think that would be painful enough, but here’s the worst part: That additional tip caused me to overdraw my checking account — another $30 fee. I recall not only groveling with my bank over that fee, but also returning to the bar and awkwardly asking for a refund of my erroneous additional tip. I forget how that worked out. – David


Apparently, Americans love to waste money at casinos. Many of them are, at least presumably, sober. Indulging in a casino’s free drink at the tables, however, will surely only compound the magnetite of your inevitable losses. Bets first, then beers.

Gentlemen’s clubs.

Do you see a theme here? (Maybe just stay away from Las Vegas.)

Although the average guy probably needs a few in the tank before thinking a strip club is the best way to spend the evening, these places are designed to take advantage of the intoxicated male. If you get past the cover charges and $20 cocktails you’ll be pressured to drop tips like your money is extra weight you’re trying to shed from your pockets. And do not, under any circumstances, use an ATM in these places or pay for “services” with a credit card. Our, er, “research” has seen these establishments charging ATM withdrawal fees of up to $30 and credit card convenience fees of $100 or more.

OK, let’s hear it! What’s the stupidest way you’ve overspent after overindulging? Share here.

Published or updated on June 27, 2014

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About Jamie Weliver

Jamie Weliver is a Boston-based multimedia producer and Marketing Manager for Money Under 30.


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  1. Have made this mistake before. Don’t forget about the cover charge to get in! Ouch! Live and learn!

  2. Colin says:

    My friend made the mistake in Vegas of being drunk out on a bachelor party night @ a gent’s club. Several bottles of champagne, VIP rounds for him and for the groom, and other assorted tips he left with a credit card bill in the neighborhood of $5k. Definitely not an expense that was trivial to him.

  3. amanda says:

    hah! i used to do this kind of stuff a lot in my early twenties, aka “my dark period”. hah. one day i woke up and realized i had purchased a plane ticket for two days later. it was fun attempting to get off of work on such short notice. not to mention i didn’t really have the money to travel!

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