Photo Credit: Landon Fraley

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I have to confess, I'm writing this post with a hangover. Not one of those little nagging headaches and a general feeling of fatigue mind you, but a full-blown sensitive to light and loud noises kind of hangover.

For some reason alcohol and the 4th of July weekend go together far too well.

While I had fun obtaining this hangover last night, more and more I find that the day after is pretty much shot, which got me thinking about the total cost, the monetary and opportunity cost,  of one good drunken night…

Buying your alcohol:

The most obvious cost is the purchasing of the alcohol. This varies dramatically depending on what kind of a night you're looking to have. For example, last night was one of those "let's go buy a 30-pack and head back to the apartment," kind of nights. Luckily, this was the cheap route to go, coming in at just over $20. Of course we could have bought a bottle of liquor of two, probably around $15-$25 apiece for what we like to drink. And then we always could have actually gone out to a bar or restaurant, which is where it's far too easy to drop some serious money, especially if when you drink everyone around you turns into your best friend from childhood and money seems like something that grows on trees… not that that's how I get or anything. Let's not even talk about throwing some cute girls into the mix.

The drunken munchies:

For some reason, drinking alcohol seems to have the effect of making you feel like you've been fasting for the past month, when in reality you've probably ate just a couple hours ago. Either way, you're gonna want some food at some point. Enter Denny's. Or iHop. or Wafflehouse. Or whatever local dive restaurant you live close to that's open 24 hours, has tons of food for a fairly cheap price, and that really only sounds good when drunk. Expect to drop another $10-$15 bucks at least.


I usually don't ever have to worry about this as there's always someone in our group who's not drinking that night that plays the role of designated driver, but once or twice there's been the need for a cab ride. I live in a city where public transportation of any kind is absolutely unnecessary (and actually, completely non-existent come to think of it, except for cabs), so when I have to pay someone a total of $20 just to drive me across town, something I do for myself every single day, I really have to hold back on the conniption fits.

Lost Opportunities:

As I mentioned earlier, I have a hangover. This means that there are things I wanted to do today that I can't do anymore (I don't really feel like dead-lifting my usual 305 pounds at the gym when my head already feels like it's been doing just that all night). Now, all I was planning on doing today was going to the gym, but I very easily could have been planning to do something that would have earned me money today (like the whole CraigBay thing), or something that would have allowed me to earn more money, like studying or something. Now all I want to do is finish this post, buy the most greasiest, fattening fast-food-type food I can find, and pass out on the couch in front of the TV.

Other costs:

There are many other intangible costs related to drinking, both monetary and opportunity, such as… 

  • Getting kicked out of your apartment because of excessive noise complaints (yes, this happened to my friend last week)
  • Incriminating photos showing up on Facebook of you and your drunken stupor at the local bar
  • Your boss seeing these photos
  • Your significant other seeing those photos
  • Letting certain things slip to the wrong people in the spirit of friendship and alcohol-induced camaraderie.
  • Broken toilet-bowl covers (have no idea how that one happened…)
  • Waking up with a tiger and a baby in the hotel room that were not previously there (movie reference people, name that movie!)
  • Waking up with some kind of new body art that you didn't have when the night began. Tattoo or piercing, take your pick.

So, anyone have any good stories they'd like to share about a night they drank just a little more than they should of, and what it cost you?

Jake Evans

Jake Evans