The best thing about a recession is it smartens people up. It makes us tighten our belts and shed excess. I’m definitely guilty of piling on the debt circa 2004-8 in the irrational exuberance years. But as soon as the ball dropped I made significant change. Immediately I looked at all the monthly recurring fees and bills and cut down on about 80% of them.
I also have a monthly bill for home security alarm monitoring. But not once did I contemplate eliminating that. Actually I upgraded my system to one that’s more efficient that has more options too. My ADT Pulse system has an internet based dashboard that allows me to set schedules for lights, heat and cooling so I sat down and looked at how I could make this system pay for itself.
First thing I did was set schedules for the heat. I have a gas fired hot air system and gas isn’t cheap, nor is the electric to run it. It’s common knowledge that home heating should be set to 68 degrees, so I set my heat to run at 68 starting at the hour of 6 am, which is generally when everyone’s up and about. The 68 degrees runs all the way until 10pm because there is always someone home. Then I set the heat to drop to 64 degrees on the first floor and 66 in the bedrooms on the second floor. Nobody but the dog is on the first floor and she’s got a fur coat. And everyone in the bedrooms is under blankets and has enough body heat to handle the 2 degree drop.
Over the past year it has become evident that this simple tweak in my heat scheduling has saved me money in excess of what my home security system costs. Nice!