If you have wood floors or bare floorboards then heat will be more easily lost than if you have carpet. And haha, yeah, I’m the same way with lights. Allowing your body to be cold is great for your metabolism. If it’s cold I put on thicker pjs or an extra blanket! But as you noted, there are lots of examples of people coming out of the depression with a great sense of what’s truly important, and spending accordingly. I only go if I’m really, really dying to see a film when it first comes out. :-), I am impressed by your numbers. I actually like weird off the wall challenges like this, I guess it stems from my military days. I take frugality to an extreme most of the time, but I can’t really imagine keeping my future house at 56 degrees! (Something I discovered with my husband. I’d do the same if I were you. It’s pretty pleasant. I always used to be cold, and what’s fantastic about living in a cold house is your internal thermostat is forced to adapt. During our short winter, I gradually kept reducing the temperature and started getting complaints in the mid 60s… 56 is impressive! I think one month was less than $10. Holy bluebird skies and…. I do find many places keep the heat WAY too high for comfort. :-). Pete H. Pete, that is very inventive, but maybe an arctic thermal suit could help you reduce a few layers. Ha — I would definitely make fun of you once if you were my coworker, but then I’d leave you alone to your quirky space heater ways. We made the challenge to not turn the heat on at all in the upstairs portion of our house, which contains all of the bedrooms. If you guys can survive living in the cold, more power to you! Sitting in my sleeping bag, I began to wonder: If we all set our thermostats to our own “comfortable low,” how many West Virginia mountains could we save? We still have maids that show up every other week, because it’s worth it to us to not have another chore looming over us on our evenings when we’re not working or dealing with kids. Can’t live without it. We bought a second cord, but haven’t used even half of it and unless we have a cold snap, I suspect we’ll be using it next year, so our heating fuel costs will probably be $400 for the season including a box or two of starter biscuits. But the temperature? Even now living in the city times are tight. :-) I look forward to following your journey, though it sounds like you have a pretty sweet gig. Which just kills me. :-) Plus our water is priced flat fee, so we wouldn’t save money going your way. This means that it can produce heat in order to keep your house warm when it is too cold. We especially can’t (choose not to?) He was right, but we wouldn’t have known that if he didn’t tell us because for us, it felt normal. If you are looking to shed some pounds, then dropping the temperature is an easy way to loose some weight. My wife just told me about that, actually – we do follow them though I haven’t personally seen that one. :-) We can’t rely on fire alone (and we also don’t like how having full-time fire hurts our indoor air quality — or our outdoor air quality! We already know we aren’t perfectly rational beings. I think I would be sweating if we kept our house at 25C! If I try to turn the thermostat down any lower, I think there will be a cat mutiny; they’ve never shed so little fur before this winter that we’ve had the small house at 60F. To say that we were floored by it would be a tremendous understatement. I would rather put on more clothes and stay warm than to have the heat up so high.. ;-). We don’t use heat at all, we have our thermostat turned completely off. Always turned down when we no one’s home. ;-) And I would die riding in a car in the summer with no AC — so you have my admiration there! But while these are all good reasons to be careful with the temperature you keep your thermostat at, don't forget the rest of your pipes—some of your water pipes may be in "cold" parts of your house, like crawl spaces or attics, where they don't get any of your home's ambient heat and may, in fact, be subjected to air directly from the outside. I am a hot box. Even cleaning the stove every morning doesn’t bother us, and since I’m the early riser it’s nearly always done by me (who knew I’d be the keeper of the fire around here?). :), Okay, sold. I’m doing it tonight, though, because this was the second recommendation. Some people just don’t step out their boundary. Speaking of A/C, I don’t know if you follow Gone with the Wynns, but they recently did an experiment on running A/C in the desert off of off-grid solar that made me think of you guys and your Airstream plans. You can save 3% off your heating bill for each degree you lower your thermostat! And you make such a great point about the unknown nature of the expense — I bet that’s a big part of our aversion to turning up the temperature. Keep in mind this is body temperature, not ambient temperature, and it’s true for degrees above and below your natural set point (usually 98.6ºF). Come January- February (-50° with those massive wind chills) and our pipes usually freeze no matter the temperature inside, but it isn’t our pipes that freeze, it’s the mobile parks that do. Personal preference I guess but I am happy at 52. Especially when the bizarro-logic attached to the thermostat sometimes means sacrificing our comfort and maybe even our safety. 55 in dry cold sounds almost like heaven! Where can we save a lot without really sacrificing? How to Keep the Cold Out of Bedroom Walls. Same as we’d all expect to be hot in the desert. Though I love the mountains, I could never live there full-time. How fascinating to know that bugs will stay away if cold temperatures are maintained. Credit cards are paid off monthly, big ticket items (cars, furniture, trips, etc.) Lower Thermostat Setting I think it’s awesome that you do, but I’m not sure if I could do it. It’s true that it does require a certain amount of energy to kick-start your heating system and warm your house up when it’s cold. This post, and particularly your conclusion, is really in line with a topic that I’ve recently heard Tim Ferris discussing on his podcast that he has drawn from stoic philosophy. Currently, 60ºF is fine but it’s been a short experiment so far. Floors can be responsible for up to 10% of heat loss if they aren’t insulated. Mrs. SSC keeps it around 80 F if she has her say about it and I crank it way down to 78… On the occasion I turn it to 77 or 76 F, then she starts complaining about it “being cold”…. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. We had warm, cuddly blankets and clothes (bottoms, too — jeans don’t cut it!) (Plus reburns the smoke so it doesn’t pollute so much! Hahahahaha I was just about to say the hot water bottle under the blanket too! My husband and I have settled on keeping the house at 18C if there isn’t a fire (a fire in the winter can make it warmer). Haha. We’re going to do it. But I just can’t pull the trigger on that. I was just tired of people assuming that we’re “suffering” because we don’t spend like them. Fall just barely started and the snow and freezing weather hit. Taking pictures when the light is good is what elevates a snapshot to a quality picture. I could do that at night, but I don’t know about the daytime. Thanks for an informative post — hope it inspires some readers to put on sweaters and keep the heat down! Post was not sent - check your email addresses! We’ve now learned in an irrefutable way in our own lives that something society claims with near certainty (the temperate range in which humans are comfortable) is relative, not absolute. You’d think we are for-real-frugal, when in fact that’s our only real and true frugal habit. Lift your right foot and rest it on the inside of your left leg, under your knee. Now you don’t want to keep your home too cold or you will likely get sick for other reasons but by keeping your home a few degrees cooler, you can make it harder for germs to breed…. I’m exploring keeping my apt at 55º-60ºF. I bet it’s higher than you think. The we turn it down to 60 degrees, with the thermal mass of the brick home it helpa us cost till the sun is up then our large windows let in the heat. :-) (But, like no, for real. Great reason! But I think the important part is to keep evaluating what changes you can comfortably make. That is why they cannot stop such a habit. I know when we travel to colder parts of the world, it seems really cold to us, but when people visit us (in Australia) they think it is really hot and we are wearing our warmest jackets and might even dig out a scarf if we can find it in the back of the wardrobe! If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician. And that’s actually a habit we picked up well before we started blogging, before we had our retirement timeline set, before we ever thought we’d admit to the internet that we keep our house so cold. Our overall utility bills have dropped significantly over last year. I DO prefer a colder bedroom, but I keep my temp the same at all times and do not mess with it ( turning up/down) for a few reasons: My home was built in 1945, with no insulation, and no way to ADD it as it is just boards and sheetrock (or plaster/plaster board, etc.). Then repeat, this time standing on your right leg and lifting your left. That said, as a frugal person, I am a bit in love with the idea. If it works for the two of you, then keep doing it. Well, you should at least keep things warm enough so your pipes don't freeze and burst. I, too, balk at spending so much on energy (we don’t have air conditioning in this house either, only a window unit in the bedroom for when things get really bad — Baltimore summers are hot). It was an unpleasant surprise, to say the least, and made it an easy choice for us: pay through the nose or learn to deal with the cold. Do you mean that post I wrote for Steve’s other blog? But then again, you are more than making up for that in the summer when you probably aren’t spending much on utilities. Light up those babies, and it’s amazing how much warmth you get from small flames. I like the idea of moving the dial (temperature, budget, running distance etc ) up or down by 10% and seeing what it feels like, and whether you can ‘handle’ it (or even like it), and if you do, then try another 10% and then you eventually get to your ‘optimal’ equilibrium, which is unique for everyone. Obviously, a cooler house isn’t going to have you shedding pounds like crazy but it can add up! We can all be frugal in the ways that are important to us and spend likewise. Risks Drinking cold water does affect your body in ways you may not anticipate or want. No problem! My philosophy is if you cold put on a jumper, if your wondering around your house in shorts and tshirt in winter your heating too high and your wasting money. It’s a simple thing but I for one am always happy to deal with less pests. Also a mom of 5 kids (one of my identical twins is also named Brittney. The sole shower was upstairs (not heated) and you could get out of the shower, towel off, and see your breath in the bathroom. My SIL was visiting and (severely) complained how cold our 68 degrees house was! You’ve made a decision for yourself, choosing to trade some warmth for the ability to save more of your money. Interestingly, some studies say that you want that classic temp of 68 degrees but this study done in the 70’s shows that kids did better when in temps around 62 degrees. We can’t keep the house that cold either. There’s blankets and sweaters you could use to keep warm. January 1, 2018…I’ll be looking forward to hearing where I can get a view of that sky! ;-) But yeah, totally agree that we should all live below our means. Any portion of the basement that is above ground can and will let the cold air seep in through the cracks, between joists and multiple heat-weak spots. 7. Yeah…the thermostat is not something I’m going to budge on. Like Pete I love to be outdoors in the winter (walking, cross country skiing) but my house is almost as cold as our Michigan winters . I have just introduced this way of living to my family and had just started to live in colder temps. I am a 70-year-old man who lives alone in a well-insulated but ventilated static caravan in Scotland. Our gas bill has been between $20-40/mo…or less. Living room windows stay open as soon as it is ~50F. I am totally confident that you’ll speed up your timeline as you go along. :-) Though what’s our excuse? tied up in the triple bottom line concept. Even our friends here mostly do low 60s, which is still plenty cold by most people’s standards. This changed my life. The coldest I’ve ever seen this house, according to the upstairs thermostat, is 57 degrees, and 56 downstairs, so no one is going to freeze to death! The cold air makes your body work overtime, especially the lungs and heart, because they work in unison to keep that warm blood circulating without skipping a … Before kids we turned the heat down to 55 at night (it was a few degrees warmer in 2nd floor bedrooms), and had it up at maybe 60 during the day. Instead we use low wattage radiator heaters in both kids rooms to keep them toasty and have an electric blanket for our bed. I can comfortably wear my daily clothes and at night, am plenty comfortable sleeping in a t-shirt and underwear plus a ceiling fan on low. I’d rather spend my money on other things. Please consult a licensed financial or legal professional for advice on your own situation. Like I say we are in North Florida only 35 miles from Georgia. Haha — no cat mutinies! First, we’ve learned that even smart people can behave irrationally, which is the only way to describe applying one set of logic to certain things and a completely contradictory set to other things. In any calendar year in which affiliate income fully covers the cost of web hosting, photo editing and email list maintenance (currently $150/month+), I will donate all earnings above and beyond expenses to charity directly or to our donor advised fund for charitable giving, for the remainder of that year. ;-). It’s one thing to voluntarily spend your money on the things that you’ve decided add value to your life and are worth the additional expenditure; it’s quite another to feel the greedy hands of a giant utility reach into your wallet every month to extract some exorbitant, unknown sum simply for the benefit of not wearing layers for a few hours in the house. We still feel a bit uncomfortable with its contemporary definition, though. So true that it’s all relative! Your body does adjust! If someone you know is in a group facility, pay attention to the inside temperature and to whether that person is dressed warmly enough. After all, we’ve already established that we’re quickly prepaying our mortgage despite the math that says we should be investing all that money instead. No joke. and constantly repeats the mantra “Is this the condition I so feared?”. But hey, if you’re not paying, then it’s one less thing to worry about or calculate, and that’s a big positive. I am looking forward to sleeping in colder temperatures. Hope it was awesome. But I suppose if I did pay a whopping amount and that decreasing the temp would helps save a lot of money I’d figure out a way to make it happen. Yes, I have problems – let the replies roll! People think we’re a bit strange to keep a $200 grocery budget. I would feel so good if my husband didn’t insist on keeping our house above 80 degrees F at all times, sometimes warmer. 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They are lifesavers sometimes they are lifesavers sometimes only show in town money save. Started tweaking the URLs think we both have our thermostat turned completely off am looking to!

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