I’m a big fan of small changes that add up to dramatic differences. I don’t have an official motto, but if I did, it could be something like “The little things sure do count!”
Since I refer to stretching the dollar being an art, let’s think of tiny changes on masterpieces that would have a huge effect, like if Leonardo da Vinci had painted Jesus, or the disciples, as having crossed eyes in The Last Supper, or if the meal on their table was hot dogs. The vibe might have been…um, a bit different.
In our translation to life today we can think of the little things we do or say that can have a strong, long-lasting impact. Like the littlest things said in a moment that can result in the loss of a friendship forever. Or the modest donations to RRSP’s that can add up with compound interest over the years. Or the purchase of a single no name product for $2 less that will add up to over $100 saved in a year, or $1000 in ten years.
This past winter, a change my husband and I have made is the lowering of our thermostat one degree for overnight from 16 to 15°C (or 61 to 59°F). In the past, the furnace has been regularly coming on during the night when set for 16°C whereas now it kicks in much less frequently. The daytime furnace use has been comparable to the past these last few winter months with the bills being about $150 per month (though balanced out with equal payment plans over the year). But after one month of having lowered the degree by just one, the energy bill was lowered by $30 to $120, and we saved a dollar a day painlessly.
The only difference is waking up to a slightly chillier house but we are still getting the same base level of warmth throughout the day and evening. (If you have young children, you may not want to go lower than 16°C.)
Of course we don’t use the furnace as much all year round, but easily for the four coldest months of the year, we can now save $120 total for just a slight, painless shift of that one degree, and have less money flying out of our vents. And of course on the other end of the degrees, having 19°C as our top temperature (with the occasional nudge to 20), and a cozy sweater to top it off, we save another couple hundred dollars over the winter.
What about you? Can you take it down a wee notch and save a lot of money on energy? Think of all the other things you would rather do with that $120. It could even be enough to host a long table of your friends to a no name hot dog supper (with tofu veggie wiener options and dressings galore), hopefully just the first of many events to come with your lifelong friends.