In this article each week I try my best to bring you money saving tips and techniques that you can really use. I try all my ideas first so I KNOW they work. But this past week I noticed that while "I" am implementing tons of money saving ideas into my day, my family is not on the same page.
For instance my husband does not see the need to turn of lights or unplug appliances that he is not using. It drives me and him nuts that I have to go behind him and turn things off.
Turning off surge protectors that I have through out the house drives my husband nuts too. An example would be our TV in the living room. We have a large TV, VCR, DVD player, Tivo/satellite box connected to one surge protector. For the past 3 weeks or so I have started turning the surge protector off at night and turning it back on in the morning.
My husband did not notice this at all until one day when he came home while I was out and tried to turn the TV on.(I forgot to flip the switch that day) He thought a fuse had blown and was checking every one when I got home. I waited a few more minutes to tell him the surge protector was off *snicker*
My husband thought I had gone to far with the penny pinching at that point. But I told him to give me until the next electric bill came. Then I would prove that turning off the TV and computer at night would save more than a few pennies.
Well the bill came a few days ago and was even better than I had hoped it would be! Our bill went from $57 last month to $46 this month! (reminder: our bill as over a $100 a month a few years ago before I unplugged an old fridge, and switched to fluorescent bulbs)AND I unplug everything that is not being used: toaster, chargers, extension cords, water cooler etc.
$46 for a 2000 square foot, 2 story and basement, house! Can you imagine how low you can get YOUR electric bill in a smaller house or apartment?
BY the way my husband says he is no longer going to argue about my conservation methods!
So the moral of my story is talk to you family about helping YOU to conserve energy in your home. Explain why you are doing it...to save money, help the planet, etc. Be prepared for some resistance from the kids...they think everything grows on trees and will always be there. But with gentle reminders and maybe a few rewards for helping to conserve energy(ice cream run with the extra 20 bucks saved off your bill?) everyone will get on the conservation train!
Mandi G. money correspondent for gather.com
Mandi Lives in Alaska(formerly northern IL. Someone moved the state when she wasn't looking)