Budgeting is fun! Image courtesy of Flickr user Chris Waits. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.This week on Lifehacker/Mr. Money Mustache, folks have been discussing the idea of creating a dedicated alcohol budget. The suggestion in the article breaks down to an idea that most people should be getting drunk once a week, and so should budget six units of alcohol at about $1.50 a unit, leading to a budget of about $9 a week. The six drinks can be consumed as you wish (one a day or all at once), and they roll over. Good times!

The basic principle behind the article is sound. I’ve started doing something similar during the summer in an effort to lose some box wine weight.* However, the amount that it takes to get drunk and the per unit price of alcohol are perhaps off, particularly since the article’s directed towards the middle aged and not college folks. If you’re interested in doing a similar alcohol budgeting plan, here are some ways to modify the plan for a college student.

First, figure out a realistic drink budget and how much you would like to be consuming. (A good place to start is getting pretty tipsy twice a week–adjust as needed.) The six drinks a week in the original article probably aren’t going to cut it, and you may wish to spend more or less than $9 a week depending on your budget.**

Second, figure out the number of calories you would like to come from alcohol in your weekly budget. Again, this is personal preference–if you’re trying to lose the freshman 15, this will change things. Divide your weekly calorie allotment from booze into the number of drinks that you’ve decided on. This is the number of calories you should be aiming for as a maximum per drink. Use something like this handy tool to find out what booze is in your calorie range, and pick from among that list in order to figure out what you can afford. This way you can avoid the excess spending in the original article and the extra alcohol calories that are a worry to heavy-drinking college students. Cheers!

* Don’t judge me.

** That being said, if you’re looking to spend less you might want to explore homebrewing. It’s fun and allows you to make booze in your closet!