:-) And yeah, on most things, we’re about shaving off small increments, but for some reason we just went for the drastic change on this one, realized we could live with it, and are going with it for the time being. I don’t think that being frugal is not crazy at all and is more reality. Is it because of anchoring, because we think that more than $200 a month is too much to pay for heat in the winter? Pete H. Pete, that is very inventive, but maybe an arctic thermal suit could help you reduce a few layers. Wow, you keep your thermostat at 64 degrees! But we’d probably lose on every single other frugal comparison, so if we can have an impressive number on ONE THING, we’ll take it. Keep blinds closed during the day. I did a post about it on my blog, but it’s a combination of curtains, fans, and inside window insulation. I wish we could get there on maids — it would give us SO MUCH peace of mind, because we certainly don’t have time for real cleaning. And there is one example: the thermostat. Third, we’ve learned that we’re more adaptable than we think. How high? January 12, 2018 by admin. I think I would be sweating if we kept our house at 25C! Full Disclosure. We’re in this with an open mind and, while working longer wouldn’t be the end of the world by any means, retiring earlier would always be a welcome problem to have! Floors can be responsible for up to 10% of heat loss if they aren’t insulated. ;-) And I would die riding in a car in the summer with no AC — so you have my admiration there! We always sleep with our temp between 60-64 but he pumps it up when we get up to 72 or 73. But that’s just an academic finding, not anything meaningful for our lives. Haha, yes, you’re right about MMM’s fancy cheese! ;-). I don’t think you’re crazy at all. Wait, really? So funny. Kuffa explains the affect of cold on your home. All rights reserved. Hahahahaha I just hope my sister enjoys sleeping in the cold as I do. Oh, we’ve fully been those moochers! First off, I have to ask…where are you guys to get skies looking like that?!?!? If someone you know is in a group facility, pay attention to the inside temperature and to whether that person is dressed warmly enough. You have to factor in house pets, plants, etc Then their are the inanamint objects. My wife does that :), My hot water bottle is a game changer. Sometime as a child (with painfully frugal parents), I had a Scarlett O’Hara moment, “I will never be too hot or too cold again!” So I make lots of money so I can have heating when it’s cold and a/c when it’s warm. Obviously, a cooler house isn’t going to have you shedding pounds like crazy but it can add up! I miss going to see more movies in the theater since I’ve become frugal. High five for you guys! Yes, we have a high savings percent, but we also earn more than about 99.9 percent of the planet. In order to keep germs from spreading around your house, you need to know what influences this process. We never consider forgoing things we need, we only occasionally forgo things we want and our fill-the-bucket list is very full. We don’t use either one super often, but they are lifesavers sometimes! As for rest of the house heating doesn’t go on until November and later the better and goes off in March end of!!! :-) And 60 degrees is still pretty great. Save 90%. 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. 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. I spend my money wisely and set my priorities but aside from cutting unnecessary shopping, I haven’t really committed to doing anything extreme like what you guys are doing. Are We Cut Out for Small Town Living Long Term? Spinel ( 3220) “Great Answer” ( 2 ) Flag as… ¶. Some people just don’t step out their boundary. 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). Step 2: google “cleaning service in my area” I’m not an overly large person, so I get cold pretty easily. 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. As it turns out, your body likes to be a bit cooler when it sleeps. We scrimp on certain things, like eating out or trips to the bar, because we don’t enjoy them and we’d rather use the money to invest in our future or travel. I’d rather spend my money on other things. 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. :-) And yes, we’d recommend that everyone try going up or down a few degrees on the thermostat to see if you could adapt to a temp that requires less energy. :-) (But, like no, for real. We just want to let you guys know how thankful we are that you’re reading. I’d do the same if I were you. We especially can’t (choose not to?) My thermostat is set at 64 day and night. I don’t think you are crazy at all, saving money does make sense and it is good to embrace the climate you are living in. I think we are all aware that using the heater less means more money saved and I’ve shared how to keep warm without cranking up that thermostat but there are actually a few other reasons to keep your home thermostat set just a bit lower this season! Haha — that’s why PF is personal! If anything, I have more arguments with roommates over the years about keeping it too warm in the summer. But thanks for the reminder to add the rest to the reading list! Where can we save a lot without really sacrificing? 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. This changed my life. If we’re feeling cold, we should say, “Let’s turn the thermostat up.” But we rarely do. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. In truth, it’s probably a little bit from each one. If it works for the two of you, then keep doing it. Turning your thermostat down 2 degrees can save 2000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. Amazing, right? I also sleep much better in the winter under a wool blanket, down comforter and several other blankets. Light up those babies, and it’s amazing how much warmth you get from small flames. Our best advice for feeling less sadness about not going to the movies is to move to a small town with no movie theatre. It’s interesting that you said that keeping the house cooler can help with inflammation. We’ll share where we live in two years when we quit our jobs. Not the principle but the more extreme approach. Personally, I’d like to drop it down a bit further at night but my husband likes things warmer. Ah, a fire. We miss those low utility bills at apartments. 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. And we have plenty of equivalent things to that. So true that we do make up for it in the summer with no A/C. We keep it cold at our house unless it is a certain temperature outside. We may not all be uber frugal, but we’re being conscientous about our money, with the realization that you don’t have to live a mainstream, consumerist, work-till-you’re-old life. 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 now buy a cord of firewood and religiously build a fire first thing every morning. In general we do not run the heat at all it stays off.My husband, daughter and 1 roommate never complain about being cold. With the weather turning cooler, you might be thinking about reaching for that thermostat but not so fast! If you don’t mind bundling up and adapting to that temp, it probably doesn’t seem worth paying $200 extra per month. If you go to work in a warmer space for 8 hours a day and then come back to your cold home, you will feel like the house is cold. We have had some really colder weather than usual. We’ve definitely been pondering the same question about “frugality.” When we started our blog we hesitated to use the word much, but it became cumbersome to avoid it since much of what we do is viewed as frugal. 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. I think this is why smaller living spaces appeal to me- it’s less expensive to control the indoor climate. In extreme cases, low humidity can even crack wooden furniture. Even if it’s like us and just bi-weekly, it’s WAY worth it to us to not have to do as much cleaning. Nothing contained here or in the book Work Optional implies a consulting or coaching relationship. That is why they cannot stop such a habit. I mean if someone doesn’T like the cold, why would he chose to live in the mountains? Okay, like I said saving money because you are using the heater less is a bit of a no brainer. Like you guys, we would probably not truly be considered frugal in a lot of areas of our finances. Even our friends here mostly do low 60s, which is still plenty cold by most people’s standards. Definitely encourage others to read his stuff! Some say you’ll burn up to 100 extra calories each day if that thermostat is turned down. When she is not blogging, you can find Brittany making elderberry syrup, whipping up yet another batch of sunbutter, or drinking her fourth cup of tea. “…And we still need TONS of help with cleaning.” There you go, no other excuse needed. (These fees cover blog expenses only, and do not net a profit for us.). That really is the cheapest way to heat a house, and keep your home at the temperature you want. People think we’re a bit strange to keep a $200 grocery budget. :-). Our room gets so cold because it sits over the garage and all of the walls are outside walls and covered in windows. Does that make me a moocher for taking advantage of the radiant heat of surrounding units? I don’t think you guys are crazy at all. A mother to five kids, Brittany began her journey of living naturally because she wanted the best for her kids. In the summertime, though, that’s where I get to flex my frugality muscles a bit. If we’re out of coffee, I will say: “Let’s go buy more coffee” (at an unfrugal $16 a pound for our organic, shade-grown, locally-roasted beans). ), We’re in similar but opposite situations in that we run the AC warmer than most around here. I have been sick with Bronchitis for a month now do to know if keeping it cool in here is good. We have a woodstove and do that sometime, but don’t want to buy enough expensive firewood to keep our house toasty. We’re going well into the midnight hours. I’m hoping my kids catch on like I did, and it saves us some green. He has some interesting stuff on there from years back when he worked summers in Alaska and did various strenuous outdoor pursuits. There could be some funny ones coming up, now that I know about that! A couple years ago my furnace died. The Non-Financial Benefits of Strict, Strategic Frugality - FIRE Wanderer, Ten Simple Changes For A More Sustainable Life - Tread Lightly, Retire Early, 15 simple tips fabulously frugal people NEVER do when organising their finances, How to Retire Early With Minimalism | the minimalist mom, 15 things fabulously frugal people NEVER do organising their finances, Big City Vs. Small Town // Which Is Better for Saving for Early Retirement? If your ancestors survived without air conditioning, so can you. The only part that doesn’t fit with this theory is the home theater…hmmm…more data points are needed. What this taught me as a young boy was to plan ahead. It’s not unhealthy to keep the heat down if you don’t have other adverse health problems. Can’t wait until hubby is able to get off of workman’s comp so we can move. To me, that’s cold enough. :-) And WOW, your utility bills seem super affordable for that level of cold you deal with! Hey, guys, welcome to the club! A cord costs $250, and we bought a splitter from Harbor Freight (my nominee for best frugal purchase of 2015) that beautifully splits the wood into wood stove ready sized logs quickly and effortlessly. I live in an area with cool climate and it’s winter now and for years I haven’t turned on the heat even once. Out near Crookston. The same with our whole coffee beans or non-GMO yogurt or whatever. Tiled floors are notorious for being very cold and this cold surface not only causes heat loss but also feels cold on your feet. Does that mean that our messy house and undone laundry are intentional living too? :-). 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…. And do eskimos die young? Haha — yeah, I just started tweaking the URLs. I keep my house at 57°F. II keep my temp completely off at night all throughout the house. It is all about emotion. My fav line on your post was “smart people can behave irrationally”! But certainly it’s a fact that plenty of people spend too much and save too little. Thanks for an informative post — hope it inspires some readers to put on sweaters and keep the heat down! Yes! But if I just give it the right mind set, it’s cold, yes, and refreshing! Here’s my theory: maybe this is (subconsciously?) She blogs at The Pistachio Project in order to share what she learns with others. Thanks for sharing this. Then we would all convene in the kitchen which was the warmest room in the house as Mom always would have something cooking in the oven for later that day, (Come to think of it that would explain a lot of my waist line as a kid.) :-) (Though I will confess that I totally love it too.) During the winter here in SoCal my house temperature is about 51-59 degrees when I get up in the morning. No sign of mould; haven’t had any cold symptoms or respiratory problems for at least a couple of years even though I was asthmatic and catarrhal as a child and growing up. And after your post about living in the cold, I bought a water bottle, and it has CHANGED MY LIFE. :-), I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a freeze baby (pretty strange for a guy, I think). During the depression she had to use lard on her chapped hands. Everything looks nice, smells nice, and has that “almost hotel” feel about it. I open the windows and air out the house in cold temps too! I don’t know that we’d go full-on stoic, but it’s good not to get too soft from luxury. Did you know that bugs prefer warmer temps to breed and live? All rights reserved. But I think the important part is to keep evaluating what changes you can comfortably make. That’s awesome for you guys though – that is a HUGE cost savings! I know a post is coming on this whole frugality tourist notion, but while that one keeps cooking in my brain, I decided to look at our lives and see if there was any area in which we truly are frugal, and ask what that means for us. But it warmed up the little bathroom, to finish the rest of the daily routine and dress for the day. A lot of our so-called frugal choices boil down to efficiency. I’m shooting for full retirement by 45 (29 now) and hoping to cut back to PRN (aka picking up a few shifts per month) by around 40. PS: I highly recommend getting a hot water bottle to sit with under a blanket. //, I’ve been having weird feelings about the word “frugal” lately, especially after reading great posts by Pretend to Be Poor and Creating My Kaleidoscope about what frugality really means (hint: remember the Great Depression?). Even though turning it up for a day would only cost a few extra dollars. Though I can’t imagine wearing a jacket if it’s remotely warm at all! We generally keep our house at 19C but from 9:30 PM to 9 AM the thermostat is kept at 16C. 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! First off, another great pic. SD is constantly windy and winters get well below freezing – the lowest we’ve seen in our two years here was -20 with wind chill pushing it to around -30 to -35. I really wish I could be the 56 degree house, but I just can’t do it… I literally shiver! The house is long since paid off — I did that all on my own before I got married — and I enjoy beautiful clothes and great restaurants. Although I think that’s mostly true if you are in that cold house most of the time. Learn how your comment data is processed. saved up for. Within a few minutes I’m totally acclimated. :), Okay, sold. Another culprit is a poorly ventilated laundry. Still dropping your temperature on the thermostat for more productivity is worth a try! He’s been known to walk around the house in his parka too…which makes me laugh…. In the end, I think we both have our extremes of what our tolerances can handle. Oh, and thanks for the mention! Keep reading to find out the possible risks and benefits of drinking cold water. If the cold is a deal breaker for you, then it’s worth paying for heat. Haha — that makes sense! Is it because we like the challenge of having to adapt to something different? After that, we adjusted the thermostat and started putting on more layers instead. 55 is too low and we have a well insulated home with a high efficiency furnace. © 2010-2020 The Pistachio Project All rights reserved. But certain things just aren’t worth it to us, and apparently heat is among them. I was fine in our cold house but he worked elsewhere and thought the home was frigid.). I’ll often go weeks without turning on the heater once. If I make our laundry soap, dishwasher soap, hand soap, fabric softener or hair conditioner I know the exact cost of those ingredients and how that compares to the watered down, wasteful, over-packaged store bought alternatives. Be goo to the earth since is the only place we can live. Kuffa explains the affect of cold on your home. We got a lot better when my boyfriend moved in briefly with us and he pointed out how we keep our house really warm just so we can wear our summer clothes inside. But that’s for the AC and not the heater. 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. It’s like magic. We don’t want pity from anyone. Also a mom of 5 kids (one of my identical twins is also named Brittney. I keep my place at 80f. :-) But I’d say: Take your time, take several shots in each place to give yourself options, and start to get attuned to the light. It makes sense to embrace your climate. Think we’re ridiculous for keeping our house so cold when we don’t scrimp in more frivolous areas? But I’m such a wuss about heat! 55 in dry cold sounds almost like heaven! :-) We’re hugely unfrugal in a ton of other ways, which more than offset our one virtuous thing. Hi Brittany! But it saves me a few pennies each month :). (Something I discovered with my husband. hard. But if it affords us a lot of organic produce and toilet paper (and other things…ha! They wouldn’t be unreasonable to question our priorities. I dress in many layers, always with a warm wool sweater, long underwear and 2 pairs of socks. It accomplishes this by reversing the direction of Freon flow using valves that are electrically operated. Sorry, I cannot imagine 56 on a regular basis – a shiver just ran through my body thinking about it. Have you read his blog? Our geothermal heating system helps, too, since it keeps temps more even rather than fluctuating all the time. I also can’t fathom this. When enough cold air infiltrates your home, the humidity might become uncomfortably low. We don’t scrimp and rarely tell ourselves no. The cold temps made my blood recede and benefit my inner organs. Unfortunately nothing will be done. A roaring fire exhausts over 20,000 cubic feet of heated air per hour to the outside. We have no kids, and we still need TONS of help with cleaning. With love and thanks for a great book! Thank goodness spring is on its way! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. I was always amazed (and HOT) when I went to friends’ houses and their heat was up at 70 degrees and everyone was wearing short sleeves. I have just introduced this way of living to my family and had just started to live in colder temps. When you have been sick with ear infections, bronchitis, pleurisy and pneumonia and can’t afford to heat your house over 62°, it isnt being frugal, it’s being miserable, and its not a choice. 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. Maybe one cold and have been doing this for 15 years. The remedy is to keep your blinds closed during the day; if this makes your home feel too much like a cave, focus especially on west- and south-facing windows. Wish we could do military showers… but it’s too cold! I also advocate here to not overheat the house and put on an extra layer of cloths. I keep our house colder than my hubby likes, but I am the frugal one. Thanks for the informative article. Mom hated working in a “hot house” I was off at school and Dad was working out side of the house. I could do that at night, but I don’t know about the daytime. Not only does that make a mess, but undetected water leaks could cause mold to grow in your house, which would be quite unhealthy indeed. Apart from comfort I think that is is very important to save energy and the environment. Not quite sure why we have such a hangup about our gas bill, but we are just not willing to pay that! I wear my wool socks and fleece bathrobe even in my 70 degree house! I finally realized to just turn the thermostat down and leave it. ;-). Understanding Reduces Fear // Lessons from the Sky, Around the Personal Finance blogosphere - March 4th, 2016, http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/01/24/opinion/this-cold-house.html?referer=, The Road Less Traveled Challenge – Our Next Life, Fessing Up to Our Most Cheapskate Habits – Our Next Life, What If We Retired Today? In the winter (heating season), I set the thermostat at 17C (62.6F) during the day and 13.5C (56.3F) at night. And that’s with a space heater in my office as well! Obviously, homes with infants should keep things a bit warmer because babies haven’t built up the tolerance and strength yet. Like Income Surfer mentioned, it’s all about intentional living, thereby utilizing your finances to best further your own agenda and goals. When we visit people and their houses are set closer to 70 or even 68, you can tell and it does feel pretty frigid. I only go if I’m really, really dying to see a film when it first comes out. I did just tell Mr. P your heat setting and he started fervently shaking his head. are. He already thinks 67 is too cold! You have no idea the amount of everyday cleaning and stuff that is just kid related. I gotta admit that I was floored when I heard how much it costs to keep your place at 56 in the winter time. If my utility bill were that high, I’d have to consider those kind of measures, or more likely, I’d have to move! had made me a lot wussier about heat! Step 4: hang up satisfied knowing you won’t feel guilty about cleaning again. Keeping that thermostat lower means you won’t get too cozy. To us, it’s simple: energy is extra expensive in rural areas, we live in a cold place, ergo the natural gas bill in the winter would be unacceptably high if we heated our house to a more normal temperature. That’s pretty incredible. Have a great week and I enjoyed the post. Yeah…the thermostat is not something I’m going to budge on. There are MANY gaps, allowing cold air/wet/moisture in. But if we could save, we’d probably consider military showers! It’s certainly not that we don’t like to be warm and toasty. Help please! Now I am trying it with my family, we use gas to fire up the house in the morning to 69 degrees to help get the kids out of bed. You know that your fancy coffee is probably better for people and for the planet than super cheap coffee that involves questionable cost-cutting measures, so you shell out. And it saves a ton of money. I love how the url for this post is “cold” – you guys are hilarious! Yours happens to be on the cold side while mine is very much on the warm side. Great way to say it: intentional living. Cutting out alcohol and soda? I dig it. Good call. You’d think we are for-real-frugal, when in fact that’s our only real and true frugal habit. Buy another one off monthly, big ticket items ( cars, furniture, trips, etc ). 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