What if I had the money back?

a person holding a coin above a ceramic piggy bank to represent the money you could save if you stop drinking.
Photo by maitree rimthong from Pexels

Back in 2019 I wrote a blog post “Stop Drinking for Fun and Profit“. It was about the ways you could use the money you saved by quitting alcohol for Sober October. Looking back on that post, my math was off but the principle remains the same. Alcohol is expensive, and it’s not just the money you spend now… it’s also the money you lose by not preparing for your future.

That being said let’s take a look. (note: I went to art school, please cut me some slack if I mess up the math)

How much money could you save if you stop drinking?

On October 31st, 2019 the price in Canadian dollars of SHOP was just shy of $420 Canadian dollars. Let’s call that 70 drinks at $6 each, which is just about 2.25 drinks per day. That’s 17-18 drinks per week for the month of October. While this number might seem high, I don’t need to look at my bank statements to know I could have easily spent $105/week on alcohol without trying.

So if I was able to stash away $420 and buy a share of Shopify on the Toronto Stock Exchange on October 31st I would have profited… $947!!! Wait, what???

So maybe this isn’t a fair comparison… Shopify has done extremely well in the past year and most stocks don’t triple in value 12 months. Comparing that to a normal return of 3% per year, you would have only profited $12! That’s not really exciting, so let’s see what would happen if you invested $420 per month in Shopify every month from October 2019 to October 2020.

Assuming that we could buy fractional shares in the company (and that my math is correct) we could buy between 1 and 0.3 shares of Shopify per month, coming in just below 7 for the entire year. Still, this doesn’t seem exciting until we remember that each share is now worth over $1300!

So if everything in our experiment went according to plan (and we didn’t sell during COVID-19 panic) our 7 shares in Shopify would be worth almost $9600… that’s more than $4000 in returns. Even without investing, $420/month for 12 months is more than $5000. That’s not exactly enough money to quit your job… but it’s a lot more than if you had spent that money on alcohol.

Don’t try to get rich quick, stop spending all your money on drinks

You don’t have to be Warren Buffet to understand that saving money is preferable to spending all on an addiction. Please remember that I’m neither an addictions specialist, nor a financial advisor. I don’t want you to stop drinking, only to get addicted to playing the stock market. I just have a keen interest in cutting out alcohol in order to better your life. Good luck out there, and have a happy Sober October!

Shopify’s 1-year graph as of October 3rd, 2020. (ps I am not employed by, or hold any stock in Shopify.)

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