10 Money-Saving Tips to Help You Stash $10,000 – Tip #4

by Jason on February 25, 2010

Tip #4 – Turn Your Heat Down

Welcome to day four of our roughly 10-day journey, where we are looking at 10 money-saving tips to help save $10,000!  If you missed the introductory post of 10 Money-Savings Tips to Help You Stash $10,000 you’ll definitely want to check it out so we’re all on the same page.

But to sum it up – here’s our mission:

  • The Goal: Save $10,000
  • By When: This time next year
  • How: By implementing 10 money-saving tips

For the next couple weeks we’re going to look at one money-saving tip each Monday through Thursday.

On Thursdays we’re going to look at a tip, but also hear Personal Finance bloggers’ and hopefully some readers’ ideas and experiences on how they’ve saved money!

If you’d like to be included in the Thursday posts – please let me know your best money-saving tip here! We’d love to hear your stories of what you did and how much money you saved by implementing your tip!

If you’re a blogger and have posted about your money-saving tip, please include a link to your post!

Tip #4: Turn Your Heat Down

Friends who know us will laugh at this one.  Our house is always the cold house!  We try to turn the heat up when we have company over to accommodate, but they’ve wised up and started bringing sweatshirts and slippers now!

We do this mainly to save money on our heating costs.  As my wife always says, “There is no reason why you shouldn’t have to put on a sweatshirt and a blanket in the winter time!”

We also do this because we love to sleep in colder temperatures.  Neither one of us sleep well when it gets hot, so we turn that thermostat down to 63 degrees at night.

If no one is going to be home for the day, we leave the temp set at 63.  If someone is home, then we crank that puppy up to a balmy 65 – sometimes 66 on a really cold day!  We throw on sweatshirts and deal with it.

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You’re Nuts!

That’s usually the response we get when we tell people what we set our thermostat to, but I’m glad we are not the only ones out there.

As promised we wanted to take a look at some PF Bloggers ideas on how they’ve saved money as well.  Take a look at these two submissions I received regarding turning the thermostat down:

Rainy Day Saver says:

We set our thermostat to 63 degrees to reduce our heating bill. It’s worth saving about $200/month.  Yep. The 7-degree difference from 70 degrees to 63 saves us a lot of moolah!

Kyle, from Suburban Dollar says:

I work from home all by myself, and to cut down on heating costs I keep the thermostat set at 63 degrees inside and bundle up while I work. 

Great job guys!!  In Kyle’s post, he had a link to an article by USA today that talks about the Challenge to Be Chilly.  They go on to say that some folks are doing this to save money and some are doing this in an effort to go green and conserve energy.  One family saved over $800 last year by turning their heat down and employing some energy-saving tips!

How Much Can You Really Save By Conserving Energy?

For most of you out there, you’re probably thinking, “OK, that’s great, but how much can you really save?  After all, it’s not worth saving $5 or $10 if I’m going to freeze my fanny off!”

According to Bill Pindle, deputy director for the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), “The rule of thumb is that you can save about 3% on your heating bill for every degree that you set back your thermostat”.

If you turn down the thermostat 10 degrees when you go to work, and again when you go to bed — a total of 16 hours a day — you can save about 14% on your heating bill, says Prindle.

That’s a pretty good savings!

Where I live, in the Chicago area, the average monthly heating bill in 2007 was $218.  In New York it was almost twice that, just shy of $500!  A 14% savings on those two numbers is roughly $30 – $70 per month in savings!!

Fight the Temptation to Crank It Up!

It will only take one day of you freezing your tail off to say, “Forget this, it’s not worth it!”.  Don’t do it.  Start with turning your thermostat down a few degrees to save some money and get used to the chill.

Buying a programmable thermostat will be a good investment for you as well, that way your temperature will automatically drop when you go to work and when you go to bed so you don’t have to always remember!

Give it a shot and see what happens!

Estimated Savings: $25-$200 per month!

How much have you saved by turning the temperature down?

Check Out All The Tips From Our Series

Tip #1: Cut Back on Going Out to Eat

Tip #2: Evaluate Your Entertainment

Tip #3: Cut Your Cable

Tip #4: Turn Your Heat Down

Tip #5: Negotiate Your Cell Phone Plan

Tip #6: Get Rid of Your Land Line

Tip #7: Slash Your Grocery Bill by Cutting Out Junk Food!

Tip #8: Use Coupons, For Everything!

Tip #9: Negotiate Your Home and Auto Insurance

Tip #10: Start Packing Lunches!

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