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We’ve all been there. Summer is a wonderful time of year when we all get to hang out and cut loose. For many Australians, this means a great barbecue and a beer or wine while socializing at that BBQ. But here’s the thing. Many people do like to overindulge (don’t worry I’m guilty!) and this means putting on extra kilos and fast. Others don’t know when to stop and when drinking becomes habits (a regular daily habit) people can, without really noticing, that addiction sets in. If you are after a little detox advice and some awesome ways to reduce the holiday addiction to wine, beer, or your favourite beverage of choice, read on to discover my six quick quit drinking tips.

Quit drinking during winter

It takes 21 days to break a habit. Therefore, it is logical that summer is not the best time to consider giving up drinking. This is simply because it is very difficult over the Christmas and holiday period to find a good three week stretch-of-time where you are not getting invited to a zillion events. So consider quitting drinking during winter. You’ll have endless weeks of no events, and you’ll get the opportunity to have a reprieve from socialising and drinking.

Start exercising

Exercising is by far one of the best ways to give up drinking. This is because exercise puts you in a fantastic frame of mind and shifts your focus. If you start to exercise, you will naturally want to drink less (especially in the evenings mid-week) because exercising is hard if you have a hangover. You will not want to have a hangover because you know this. Overtime your body will crave exercising over alcohol.

Just quit midweek drinking

You don’t have to give up drinking altogether. Drinking is a social lubricant that many people enjoy and used to de-stress. If you simply want to reduce your drinking rather than quitting drinking altogether, consider just cutting down on drinking during the week. That way when you have a nice beverage on a Friday or Saturday night, you will really enjoy it and appreciate it. Plus using this method, if you love a drink, you will have something to look forward to every night of the week.

Replace midweek drinks with mineral water

Consider replacing your evening drink (usually the one you might have while cooking) with a lime soda or diet Ginger Ale. Alcohol addiction is both a sugar addiction and a ‘hold a glass in your hand’ habit. This way you will greatly reduced your craving for alcohol.

Read everything you can about alcohol

Learn as much as you can about alcohol generally. You will be quite shocked by some of statistics and health benefits associated with reducing or quitting drinking. Get a full knowledge on the topic so that you can make informed choices as life goes on.

Watch YouTube videos on how to quit

There are plenty of people who have successfully reduced drinking or quit drinking altogether. Many of these people post their success stories on YouTube. Spend some time watching these videos and you will find instant inspiration on the topic of quitting drinking, as well as valuable tips for making sure you succeed.

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We are a nation who loves a drink that’s for sure. But next time you are sipping on an ice-cold beer in the shed or dropping a strawberry into your Champagne, consider these facts. These make for wonderful conversation while you are actually drinking and are a sure-fire hit (conversation starter) with friends or family who will think you oh-so interesting to chat with.

Here are the 12 drinking facts that will really bamboozle you

They’ll also make you think about drinking in a different light!

  1. Alcohol production started about 12,000 years ago
  2. Ancient Romans thought that eating a fried canary would cure a hangover (I’m thinking of the KFC modern equivalent!)
  3. Ancient Greeks thought cabbage to be a great hangover cure
  4. 13 of the most essential minerals for human life can be found in alcohol
  5. There are 49 million bubbles (well, not that exact number) in a bottle of Champagne
  6. Alcohol actually lowers your body temperature, which most people think is the opposite
  7. This sentence includes all the letters of the alphabet: Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.
  8. Most fruit and veg contain tiny amounts of alcohol
  9. The world’s oldest recipe is drum roll….beer
  10. Our bodies actually produce alcohol every day 24/7
  11. There are school cafeterias in Europe that serve students alcohol
  12. Out in space there is a ‘cloud of alcohol’ that can produce four trillion-trillion drinks!

How are you organising Christmas this year?

Check out Christmas In A Box – the ultimate toolbox for planning Christmas.

CHRISTMAS IN A BOX

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Not sure where all your money goes? What about your time? Studies show that people who spend an hour a week on their finances do far better with money management than those who don’t – and most people do have an hour a week. It’s just usually spent on something else. Money and time are the two things people let go of far too easily. It’s probably safe to say that you have a few vices eating into both of these precious commodities. Now the next question is a little tougher; do you know how much this costs you? If your answer is ‘too much’ and you think you need help with debt and managing your finances, there are debt counsellors who can help you step out a strategy. You can find out about this kind of help more online by checking sites like www.positivesolutionsfinance.com.au. In the meantime, here is some more information on the most common vices costing you money and time.

Buying lunch

While it is tempting to run out at lunchtime and grab something from that cafe in your office block, this can be a very expensive vice. Buying lunch costs around $3,000 a year, so maybe that new tandoori wrap isn’t that great. You may only have time to throw some veggies and hummus in an old takeout container and race out the door, but think of the savings. If you really are time-poor in the morning, cut your lunch the night before and freeze it. It will taste all the fresher when you get around to eating it – and think of the money you’ll still have in a year.

Takeaway coffee

Coffee is a vice most hardworking people have. Long days, not enough sleep, and demanding work environments mean people crave their caffeine fix for more than just the taste. However, buying that daily cappuccino adds up; around $1,000 a year is the number on that particular vice. The same goes for bottled water – bringing your own from the tap saves around $800 a year. So equip yourself with a travel mug for the coffee and bring it from home. There’s a lot you can do with $1,000, even if all you do is save it.

Television time

Lastly, that big time sucker; the TV. You can also add your phone, iPad, and laptop to this list. Unless you’re working out a budget or making a shopping list, your techno-vice will keep you from focusing on your finances for that precious hour a week – if you let them. If the difference between financial security and financial hardship is an hour a week, surely there’s something you can cut from your time budget. Social media time? Online gaming? None of those will keep you comfortable in your retirement.
We all have our little vices and most of the time they are harmless. If you’re trying to make a difference to your life though, in terms of getting on top of your finances, you might find that these vices cost you more than you suspect.
What’s your main vice? How much does it cost you in money and time? Share your insights in the comments box below.

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The alcohol and party season is fast approaching and while Australians are preparing to fire up their BBQs for the silly season, there are some shocking statistics that might make Australians think twice about how they consume alcohol at a party.

Shocking facts about alcohol consumption in Australia

  • The cost of alcohol misuse is approximately $25bn a year, including medical expenses, lost wages and productivity.
  • 10 million Australians experience negative effects from other people’s drinking, 70,000 Australian’s fall victim to alcohol-related assaults
  • Children as young as 10 are seeking treatment for alcohol addiction.
  • The problem is fuelled by a powerful alcohol industry.
  • 168,000 Australians between 12 and 17 have reported binge drinking or drinking at risky levels
  • 10 percent of teenagers binge drink every week
  • 50 percent of 16-year-olds drink at harmful levels
  • 35 percent of teenage males consume between 11 and 30 drinks per session
  • More teenagers die from the effects of alcohol than any other drug

Anti-alcohol campaigners are fighting for stronger restrictions on the industry; and for people to change drinking habits, starting at home.
These are just some of the actions we can take to reduce our binge drinking habits and live a better day tomorrow.

  • Avoid standing at tables scoffing down peanuts and chips. These salty little devils will make you thirstier and cause you to drink more alcohol.
  • Become a clock-watcher. Write a plan before going to a party. Writing your plan down a plan seals it in your mind. When intoxicated your plan will be in your subconscious. Make a plan to watch the clock and drink slowly. Aim to drink one drink per hour. There are a bunch of fantastic apps out in the market, which help drinkers pace themselves during a night out.
  • There are some great party tricks you can use too including arriving later to a party, starting off with some non-alcoholic or light drinks and putting your drink down by helping out the host. And my big tip is to have a bottle of mineral water in front of you. People naturally go for water later in the night as dehydration kicks in.

For a full list of my hot boozing and party tips for reducing a hangover check out this cheat sheet. Also be sure to watch my video on hot tips for avoiding a hangover.

There are plenty of ways to save money and the Savings Room has collected 65+ ways for you! If you are trying to cut your drinking or change your habits, one great excuse is to save money!
Drinking on a regular basis is expensive. This cheat sheet delivers practical tips on both saving on alcohol and covers scenarios like if you are out at a restaurant or at a party. These tips will help you save money and your liver! They include getting to the party later, starting a little later than everyone else and buying booze in bulk. If you are like me, and you love to party, you will save stacks using these tips.

Budgeting

  1. Do not buy alcohol in bulk if you are prone to binge
  2. Keep your bulk-buy alcohol in the shed out of view
  3. Make an alcohol plan and calculate monthly drinks
  4. Set a budget for your alcohol plan
  5. Buy alcohol in bulk according to your budget

Buying alcohol

  1. Brew your own beer and save
  2. Buy a Soda Stream to make your own mixers
  3. Buy direct from wineries if you live near them
  4. Buy in bulk for all events over Christmas holidays
  5. Buy online direct from the winery
  6. Buy spirits in bulk and make your own mixed drinks
  7. Buy the generic brand of your favourite spirit
  8. Buy wine in a cask
  9. Checkout wholesale alcohol suppliers
  10. Go for clean skins
  11. Go for wine bottles that offer 33%
  12. Join a wine club for the Christmas period
  13. Look for more economical drinks
  14. Set a weekly alcohol budget and stick to it
  15. Stay away from expensive brand alcohol
  16. Go for quality clean skins
  17. Stock up during non-holiday periods
  18. Try the Gossips brand (Nice for just $2.99 a bottle!)

Cheapest drinks

  1. Alcoholic punch
  2. Cask wine
  3. Cheap mixed drinks
  4. Generic brand spirits
  5. Jelly shots
  6. Lite beer
  7. Sangria
  8. Sparkling wine

Drinking habits

  1. Avoid salty food that makes you thirstier.
  2. Do not drink because you are pressured to drink
  3. Drink from a bottle or can. Hosts can’t fill your glass
  4. Drink smaller amounts. E.g. Use a smaller glass
  5. Have a few non-alcoholic drinks first
  6. Have a non-alcoholic drink between drinks
  7. Organise something to do tomorrow so you go easy
  8. Photograph yourself with a hangover for reference!
  9. Records your drinks using a mobile app
  10. Switch from white to red wine. You will sip slower
  11. Try to pace yourself. One drink per hour
  12. Water your drinks down

Drinking out and about

  1. Buy your own drinks
  2. Check restaurant drink menu prices before booking
  3. Do not get into rounds
  4. Do not try to keep up with everyone else
  5. Drink at your own pace
  6. Eat so you do not get too drunk and overspend
  7. Enjoy alcohol free dinners out
  8. Go to BYO restaurants
  9. Have a few drinks before going to a bar
  10. Shout the first drink and then just buy your own

Party tricks

  1. Arrive later to the party. Stay a few drinks behind
  2. Share the cost of the slab during a group shop
  3. Eat as you drink
  4. Have a glass of mineral water going
  5. Have a water plan. Keep mineral water handy
  6. Have an exit plan. Set a time for exiting the party
  7. Help the host clean up and stay busy
  8. Put your glass down on a table instead of holding it

Party host tricks

  1. Decant cask wine into bottles
  2. Get a keg
  3. Get the group organised ahead of time
  4. Make your party a BYO party
  5. Put out a tips jar on your bar
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Love to party but hate a hangover? Save your liver with these practical party tips on how to party on, have fun, go crazy but still avoid getting a hangover in the morning by avoiding drinking as much alcohol as you normally would.

How to party hard without getting a hangover. Feel better in the morning!

Avoid salty foods

They make you thirsty. You will drink more.

Watch the clock

Try to drink just one drink per hour. Pace yourself.

Start with a non-alcoholic drink

Let others get ahead of you. Start of slow. Watch the clock and then after about 7.30pm-8.00pm after a little food you can go a little crazy. This way you will drink for less hours.

Organise something to do tomorrow around 9am-10am

If this is in your mind you will probably get yourself to bed a little earlier.

Drink from a can or a bottle

That way you host can’t come and top up your glass with more alcohol. Also if you are trying not to drink at all you can top that beer can up with water!

Keep a bottle of mineral water

If it is in front of you when you are drunk you are likely to take a sip.
Have the odd non-alcoholic drink like a lemon lime bitters between drinks. Have two drinks and then a non-alcoholic drink and so forth.

Keep busy

Hosts always need help. Get in the kitchen. Help the host prep dinner and clean up. This way you will have to put your glass down!

Go into the party with a plan

Write down a plan and what time you will leave the party. E.g I am going to leave the party at 1am. Try it anyway!

Take a selfie

Next time you party hard and wake up with a bad hangover take a photo of yourself and then the next time you go to a party take the picture with you on the phone. It will be a great reminder of why you don’t want to go as hard this time!
Savings Room

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