I’ve mentioned before my fascination with living an economically simple life (remember, not cheap rather simple). To be honest, it consumes me. I’m always trying to figure out ways to trim my spending even more and to be entirely honest, I’m finding it more and more difficult.
This week, I received my electric bill – it was $54 for the second month in a row. Now, that’s not a huge chunk of change and it’s probably ridiculously less than most people’s, but it was the most expensive bill I’ve gotten to date. What got me was I actually used less energy and last January and it cost me more.
I know who the culprit is too – my teeny tiny energy efficient propane heating unit that I keep set at 48 degrees 18 out of 24 hours a day. And don’t get me started on the cost of propane. Basically, I’ve decided to turn off the heat completely for the seven hours a day I’m at work. I’m confident the pipes won’t freeze – they’re insulated and my neighbor will undoubtedly have his heat on.
Anyway, another avenue I’ve been traveling toward the zen state of simplicity is to spend only $20 a week on groceries (see The art of simplicity). The $20 goal is rarely achieved and is more often than not $30 – 35 but even at that (which includes things like toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. – you know, those little basics you find you need one or two of every week) – even at $35, it breaks down to $5 per day. That’s pretty bloody fantastic, but now that I know this I want more – $3? $2? – is it even possible to do and still eat well? Sans ramen noodles?
Taking the idea even further, I sat down to tot up some basic expenses. Telephone, internet, heat, electricity and rent…cost me a whopping $26.35 per day. Add the groceries, taxes, insurance and misc. other things like cell, gas, etc. and I’m probably spending more like $30 – 35 a day to survive on a minimal level. I smell room for improvement! But where? How?