On Creative Ways to Save: Keep It Simple—and Save
Editor Scott Omelianuk on creative ways to save
The editor, counting his pennies.
"What's in the new edition of TOH?" my wife asked me.
"Well, there's a story about little ways to save big," I said.
She said, "You should make sure to read it. Or maybe you should tell people about the big ways you lose big. They could learn from your mistakes…"
We were passing the time, huddled under a blanket in the cold, waiting for the technician to come fix our heat. The nine-zone, hot-water, radiator and in-floor-radiant high-efficiency system I was so excited to have—and, at least right now, the most urgent of my mistakes.
I guess you never save big when your heating system is so complicated that not only can you not fix it yourself but the usual repairman or repairwoman can't fix it either. No, you've got to call in a technician.
The only real difference I can see between a technician and a repairperson, by the way, is the bill's extra column of numbers, which tends to eliminate any savings the zones and the high efficiency were supposed to provide.
"At least the air-conditioning works well," I wanted to say, but the room was already icy enough.
The fact is, though, my wife was right. Savings should not have to be high effort. That just makes it too hard. A not too hot, not too cold approach that's just right is what you want, and, not coincidentally, I think that's captured perfectly in Small Steps to Big Savings.
"Did you know that dust can reduce light from a bulb by 30 percent?" I said to her, thinking about Tip No. 2, which immediately led to a recollection of Mistake No. 2.
"You mean if we'd had a box of Swiffers before our remodel, I'd have to buy only 10 bulbs instead of 15 for the fixtures in the kitchen?" she said.
"Um, yeah," I said.
So there you go. The big ways I've lost big. My service to you. Also my service: the savings story. Follow its advice and you could save yourself $75,403! Which is either just enough to pay for a technician late on a cold Sunday night or for a down payment on keeping your marriage warm and toasty.