Ten Dollars Worth of Comfort

As I’m typing this, I’m sitting at my desk in a sweatshirt, sweatpants, and SpongeBob slippers (Just FYI, it’s totally natural to be envious of my style right now). I’m huddled into my warm leather chair, clinging to it like a baby koala, but my hands are freezing because they’re out in front, intrepidly typing away.

Downstairs, Wes is working away in his office. He has the door closed for maximum warmth retention and he’s wearing duck slippers and a full length bathrobe. He looks like he’s permanently suffering from the flu because he can rarely be found around the house without benefit of his warm, fuzzy bathrobe.

The reason for this thermal sob-story is that we, being the industrious young homeowners we are, keep our house at a bone-chilling 65 degrees F during the day. At night, we splurge and go up to 67 degrees, but for the most part our house is frigid and it doesn’t make sense to walk around in anything but full Arctic tundra gear.

We don’t keep our house like this because we love the cold. In fact, we’ve both been known to enjoy a good warm front as much as the next Washington-born albino helio-phile. The reason we keep our house this cold is because we’re trying to save money. We figure that, as old as our windows are, we can save lots of money by keeping our house teetering on the brink of intolerability.

When our energy bill arrived today, Wes demanded to know whether it really did make more sense for us live like indoor Eskimos. So, we did the math. Our refrigerator-unnecessary lifestyle is saving us a whopping $10 a month. Ten. Whole. Dollars.

Man, it’s great to have that kind of influence over your bottom line, isn’t it? *insert sarcastic eyeroll here*

If we kept our house at a comfortable 67 degrees, we’d be paying ten more dollars per month in energy costs. So, is it worth it?

How do you quantify physical comfort with a monetary amount? As of right now, when we’re still climbing the icy peaks (please forgive all the cold-temperature metaphors. I’ve got cold on the brain) of my student loan debt, it’s totally worth it. I’ll wear three sweatshirts at a time if I have to in order to pay off my student loans faster. However, it’s an interesting question: how much is your physical comfort worth to you?

Would you wear mittens in the house if it meant that you could get yourself out of debt faster?

6 thoughts on “Ten Dollars Worth of Comfort

  1. Well, I just got the energy bill today and it was $40 more than it was last month!! I am quite confused, because although it is getting colder, we haven’t been using the heater that much more than last month, because we’re more used to the cold now. I really don’t want to go back to freezing my buns off!

  2. I completely understand the issue…. sadly, having two pianos in our apartment right now (one is mine, the other is my mother’s), we have to keep the apartment a bit warmer otherwise it would basically destroy the soundboard…. that and my mother made the choice a long time ago that her $10 would go toward warmth anyday.

    Now, when I get my own place, might be a different story. Although, I have two EXTREMELY large cats to help keep me warm at night.

  3. I get cranky when cold, so dropping the temp beyond 70-72 is pretty non-negotiable if my husband wants to have a happy marriage. He luckily agrees it’s a small price to pay.

    If you haven’t tried them, those shrink films for windows really work. Not perfect, but they stop the breezes flowing. In the meantime may I suggest adding a hat to your style, as you lose most of your heat through your noggin.

  4. -Del, It’s weird, our energy bill went up, too, even though our energy using habits haven’t changed much. I suspect a conspiracy, or at the very least, foul play. We should commence an investigation immediately.

    -Genay, I hear you on the pianos thing. Wes has about four guitars downstairs and he doesn’t feel comfy going any lower than 65 degrees in the house for their sake. I have the feeling the very large cats are the equivalent of walking space heaters :)

    -Mrs. Higrens, Ooh, 70 degrees sounds downright tropical! I’m glad your husband is amenable to keeping the temperature so comfy, I know some guys who would complain that that’s too hot :) As for the hat…I have about two feet of hair hanging off my head at the moment (as a hair cut is not in the budget) so I’m not too worried about my head’s warmth. Now, if I could just look into a mustache so my nose wasn’t always so cold, THEN I’d be in business!

  5. No need to respond to this one, ms. queen of blogging protocol, but for the sake of all things warm-blooded, TURN UP YOUR FRIGGIN HEAT! I say this from someone who is also struggling with how to keep costs down, but who also NEEDS TO STAY ALIVE!!! 65 is too friggin cold! You have to guess who wrote this! ;-) He He!

  6. -Anon, Oh you rogue you! Queen of Blogging Protocol, indeed! You see, here’s the thing, except for my nose and hands, 65 doesn’t generally feel freezing cold to me. Sometimes it feels frigid, but during the morning it feels just fine. At this point, we’ve been living like this for so long that 67 feels really nice to Wes and I, almost tropical. It’s kind of crazy what you can get used to, isn’t it?

    Now, as for who this is, I only know three people who would tell me so fircefully to turn up my heat. Of those three, only two of them would be reading my blog that late. Of THOSE two, only one would leave a comment anonymously.

    You can expect a call soon :)

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