Saving Heat Costs in winter/fall & saving everything else

I wanted to take some time … to congratulate myself… While everybody is congratulating the President-Elect (and I secretly feel enormously happy for him) I think its time to give myself that once-in-a-while pat on the back, the kind you give after you had, yet, scale another mountain. Or maybe just a molehill out of a series of molehills.

Today I am going to talk about what I did at home, in an effort to save energy, and energy cost. I pay for my own electricity and heat (in singapore, it would be a/c); I only get water free. But even then, hot water comes at a price because you need heat to get hot water (duhhhh).

There was this ad in the local flyers, for a free energy assessment. So I invited those guys into my home and ask them what I can do to save my bills which climbed to more than 400% within one billing cycle. One of them held a machine on his arms like those of a Ghostbuster with a screen he looks at when he reaches a spot he wants to measure…or detect

At the end of it, we said bye and I said thank you; Lina said I should have tipped, but they were already gone and here’s the list of things we did or were going to do:
– Change all the bulbs to CFL (compact florescent lights/lamps).
– Block out switches that uses non CFL bulbs.
– Replace refrigerator seal because it was not closing the refrigerator tightly now. We know because the guys pointed out condensation at the sides.
– Tilt refrigerator forward to stand at 90degrees so that the motor could run with less effort on an even ground.
– Latch all windows so that they are tightly closed.
– Put weather sealer on windows that does not close too well at the top.
– Pulled up blinds in the day to let the natural sunlight heat up the rooms.
– Lower thermometer dial by 10 -15 degrees at night when we are inactive.
– Refrain from using space heaters because central heating that uses natural gas cost less than space heaters that uses electricity,

In addition to the things we were already doing:
– Sealed all windows with transparent plastic wrapping.
– Switch off lights in rooms we do not use.
– Lower thermometer dial to the lowest before we go out.

I think that’s about it. The men also helped us shut our windows tight with so much force I think I’ve never gonna open them again, for fear that I wouldn’t be able to shut them as tightly.

Saving money goes a long way. About a month ago, I decided to sell my car and get a gas-saving one such as a Honda, Toyota, or Nissan. It’s amazing how much mph (miles per hour) they can go. And I learnt what a 4 or 6 cylinder means. The rest that I do not understand, I’ll leave it to a car doctor. After all, you don’t have to know you’re sick to cure yourself. You just have to know the symptoms and find a good doctor. I also learnt the precautions to take when buying a used car.

I think, cost-saving can only go so far. Like, the bulk of my expenses are on food and gas. So what? You can’t stop eating, can you? When you are already cooking at home 7 days a week. And eating out, like, once in 2 or 3 weeks. I figured going out is the only thing now that can restore our sanity since I do not have other forms of interesting entertainment. Clothes? Nah. Ok I do have a gym membership hehe. Health is more important than gold…

So when there’s really nothing more to save on, I switched gears and focused on making money, while maintaining my current frugal lifestyle. Maintenance is important. Non-maintainance can be a setback to increasing wealth. So, not that I think money is very important, but it beats worrying if your next paycheck is going to come because your next billing cycle is coming a FEW DAYS after your paycheck gets cashed in, or worse, seeing your paycheck swallowed by the whole of debt. If credit spending is freedom, it is warped thinking. But I’d like to say a few words for the young adults who have fallen into credit spending here… it is hard…I know it is also so tempting I had to meditate to strip myself of all the layers of bodily temptation.. its like rehab. Not that the act of credit spending is addicting, but the lure of those colorful ads, the imagination they let loose compared to your boring suburban life, the hope they present if you just have this product… The success of American Media and the fall of Wall St.

So maybe this post will seal my mini-project of cost-saving and kick start (had-been-brewing) my larger and riskier project of money making. Like the cost-saving project had to satisfy my doubt and test my capability before going for serious risks. Deuteronomy 8:18 will seal my success, “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

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