Give Up Coffee and Alcohol … and Your Social Life?

What happens to your life when you give up coffee and alcohol? It’s not something most of us would like to attempt any time soon, and yet we’re strangely fascinated by the idea of giving up our vices – for short periods of time maybe. Well, art director (and epic beard-haver) Tobias von Schneider took that bullet for us and found he actually liked living without booze or coffee in his life. He’s been without either for fifteen months and he recently broke down what changes the experiment has brought to his life… and why he means to continue with it.

The first change is overwhelmingly positive: he immediately started saving $1,000 / month. That might seem excessive, but von Schneider lives in New York, where everything is expensive, especially going out. He says he would pay $10 per cocktail at least (and that’s before tips), plus bar snacks and any booze he’d buy for his home. All of that was instantly back in his pocket once he quit. However, the changes did affect his social life in a negative way. It’s hard to go out for drinks and be the only sober one, so he just stopped going out as much. That saved him even more money, but it also meant he got less social interaction with his friends.

However, what time he still spends with friends is more meaningful and thoughtful because of his soberness. There’s less gossip, von Schneider reports, simply because his threshold for idle chatter is much lower now. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t meet up with friends if they offer to grab coffee, he just orders tea. And he says that it’s made him a much calmer person with less energy swings. He’s also sleeping like a baby. All in all, Tobias loves the changes that giving up coffee and alcohol has brought to his life, and he intends to continue with them. We don’t know that we have that kind of willpower, but hearing about all the benefits have definitely given us pause. What do you think?