Here's an interesting stat from the latest issue of Women's Health magazine:
Women who belly up to the bar make 14 percent more money than women who don't.
A survey of 6,050 full-time workers found that the mean annual income for female drinkers was $17,216 vs. $13,982 for those who did not drink. Neither of those sounds all that great, so I wonder what kind of workers they surveyed.
The author of the study thought the reason for the difference was that "social drinkers have bigger social networks... and the more people you know, the more likely you are to find a better job or new clients."
I happened to read this item at a point when I had been thinking about my own spending on alcohol. In January 2006, I did a contest on this site where readers were invited to guess how much I spent on liquor-- the answer was about $1,006 for 2005-- $754 in my Dining:Liquor category, which is mostly bottles of wine purchased at a liquor store, plus an estimated additional amount for drinks in restaurants that were lumped into the Dining:Dinner category. How much did I spend in 2006? $1,059 in Dining:Liquor, plus maybe another $200 or so in restaurants.
This is one instance where understanding your finances can lead to understanding other things about your life-- it's probably not a good thing that I increased my drinking by 25%, for health reasons as well as financial ones! (And it was definitely an increase in consumption, not in the price range of what I was drinking.) I guess all that condo-buying/homelessness stress took its toll on me!! Anyway, cutting back on the sauce a bit is now one of my resolutions for the coming year. I just hope this doesn't mean my career will start heading downhill!