Market Watch – With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, it may be time to party. But is it also time to banish the green beer and get serious about Irish sips?
For the growing number of drinkers who have discovered Irish whiskey in the past decade, the answer is clearly yes. The category is the fastest growing in the American spirits market — up nearly 400% since 2002 and 22.5% in the past year alone, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. And that growth is spurring a flurry of business ventures and acquisitions, often resulting in the release of new whiskeys.
I just started exploring the Irish whiskey world and was surprised at how much money you can spend on a bottle of booze. You can spend anywhere from $20 a fifth to over $100 for a bottle of Middleton Very Rare or Jameson Rarest Vintage.
The cost of my new indulgence has to be figured into our household budget. Just like when I smoked, yes that’s right I quit! At first we weren’t including the cost of cigarettes in our budget and couldn’t understand why we didn’t have any money left over like the budget said we should.
Turns out we were spending over $200 a month on smokes between the two of us. That’s a ton of money in our world. So needless to say, we added that “little” expense to our budget and we have a more accurate look at where our money goes.
It’s interesting to see where your money actually goes each month. There is a great visual on where our money goes over at Visual Economics. Here’s a re-cap of where it all goes for the average American family:
- Housing – shelter – $10,023
- Pensions, Social Security – $5,027
- Housing – utilities, fuels, public services – $3,477
- Food – food at home – $3,465
- Transportation – vehicle purchases – $3,244
- Transportation – other expenses and transportation – $3,130
- Healthcare – $2,853
- Entertainment – $2,698
- Food – food away from home – $2,668
- Transportation – gasoline, motor oil – $2,384
- Apparel and Services – $1,881
- Cash Contributions (optional retirement and cash savings) – $1,821
- Housing – household furnishings, equipment – $1,797
- Education – $945
- Housing – household operations – $984
- Miscellaneous – $808
- Housing – housekeeping supplies – $639
- Alcoholic Beverages – $457
- Personal Care – $588
- Life, other personal insurance – $309
- Reading – $118
For many people, this describes some form of their annual budget. Yes, some numbers are higher for some of us and other numbers are lower, but this really is a rough approximation of how we all spend our money.
So just like to cigarettes we have added a liquor section to our budget. …My Irish whiskey and my wife with her wine of varying vineyards and vintages.
I think the key to having a budget is having a budget! The second most important thing about budgeting is to make sure you account for everything. If you leave out an important item like cigarettes or alcohol you cannot get an accurate picture of your spending and you will never be able to save.
I’m going to reveal the little know and hardly ever followed secret to saving money and living on a balanced budget… Shhh! Don’t tell anyone…