In preparation for next week's Women and Money group, I've been updating my financial assets. I try to be dispassionate about money and how about much I have and if there will be enough for a graceful old age should I live that long, and I got to thinking about how much money my addictions have cost me over the years.
I spent most of my allowance on candy until I left home. I spent most of my discretionary income on sweets in early adulthood and then on alcohol. I liked to eat out and drink good wine and I spent a lot of money that way. And while I was a conscientious employee and a hard-worker, my drinking also kept me in low-paying jobs as they were often easier to drink around. Even as a college professor, I was too desperate to find work and took a very low-paying first job, not realizing that all my subsequent teaching salaries would be based on increments of that low rate.
But the biggest financial drain was the alcohol itself. I had early developed a taste for good wine and good bourbon and I found the money to drink good stuff, telling myself it would create less of a hangover. And maybe in the beginning it did. But I was probably spending $20 a day for a lot of years.
Then after I got sober, I spent not quite as much but still a lot on sweets again. I liked gourmet chocolates and expensive ice creams and I consumed a lot. I don't eat desserts now but I still buy lots of food, more than I can eat. Interesting to see what all lies underneath that.