Fiscal Whiskey

04/12/2006 12:00 AM |

It’s that time of year again — the time of year when we hold our collective head in our hands and rue our fiscal irresponsibility: tax time. Yay! Whether you’re newly in debt to the IRS or are being handed a wad of cash that you’ll blow on Juicy Fruit and boxed wine, gathering a year’s worth of pay stubs and receipts into a little pile and then ending up taking the standard deduction (because who the fuck understands itemized deductions?) is a humbling experience. For me at least, tax preparation highlights both how pathetically little I am paid and how ridiculously irresponsible my spending habits are.

But things are going to be different this fiscal year, oh yes. This is the year we are all going to mend our debt-accruing ways, which is why I’m here today to talk to you about value. Now, in FY05, it was my habit when out drinking to order the cheapest item available, so as to save money. I would get, say, the $3 can of crappy beer. But in a way that was dumb. Not only did I have to drink lots of $3 cans of crappy beer, I was paying a huge markup. It’s like how McDonald’s makes the most money on their sodas even though they’re one of the cheapest things on the menu.

Think about it: if you were to buy a six-pack of Stroh’s cans at the grocery store, you’d spend prolly like six bucks, whereas at the bar you’re paying $18 a six-pack. But if you buy a fifth of Jack Daniel’s for $30, you’re paying about $2.50 for a 2-oz drink, as opposed to the $5 you’d pay at the bar. That’s double instead of triple. Now I know that bars get special prices on their liquor and so my numbers aren’t exactly right, but it’s clear to me that the better the liquor you’re buying, the less markup you’re paying. Compare the value of a $5 pint of Bass to a $7 glass of Maker’s Mark. See? By spending more money on your booze, you’re actually saving money! And drinking less! And getting drunker! A tax season miracle.

So in the name of sound money management, I want everyone to march themselves down to Bar 89 and order one of their enormous $12 martinis. It’s the only sensible thing to do.