Many of us have a love-hate relationship with the things we pay for. We enjoy our purchases, eventually get used to them, and then take them for granted until we hardly notice them. However, the nuisance that they cause is very apparent to us every month when we receive our bills. Bills are huge sources of stress and are a cause for consideration when making everyday decisions that are supposed to make our lives better. Many of us ask ourselves: “Do I really want that sports package with my cable?” or “Do I need that extra data on my smart phone?” There are a number of questions about bills and expenses that are valid thoughts, and they unfortunately should be worried about. For this reason, it may make our lives a little easier if we focus less on expenses that will not have a huge effect on our wallets and instead focus more on making our lives more enjoyable. Splurge on dessert at a restaurant once in a while, try out that sports package, and don’t fret if you forgot to unplug your microwave before you left the house.
As electricity is one of the largest expenses for most households, concern with saving electricity is certainly justified. But there are many fun and interesting tips out there that many of us share and maybe even try ourselves that we tend to stress over more than we probably should, especially when it comes to appliances and electronics. It is a popular fact that unplugging appliances and electronics when they are not in use will save electricity. While this is true, the effort put into these actions may not line up with the value they provide. It’s good to turn these devices off when they are not being used, but there may be too much stress over remembering to unplug them compared to how much money this actually saves. Below is a list of a few appliances that are used by many households and their typical monthly cost when they are turned off but not unplugged.
Coffee Maker: $0.06-$0.08
Computer (Desktop with monitor and cable): $0.51- $0.66
DVD Player: $0.32-$0.42
Game Console: $0.06-$0.08
Cable Box (with and without DVR): $1.17-$3.68
Television (CRT and non CRT): $0.06-$0.33
Home Telephone: $0.19-$0.25
Depending on the types of appliances you own and how much electricity they use, the total amount that these devices could cost is $2.88- $6.17 per month, or $0.09-$0.21 per day.
We love to save money. For some people, it’s equivalent to a thrill ride. But when the stress of the effort becomes too high, it may be time decide whether the amount being saved is worth it. Like any other expense, electricity usage should be looked at in terms of the value it brings. If you find joy in saving as much electricity as possible and you believe that it is worth the effort, more power to you (no pun intended). Whether it’s frugality that makes you happy or if you just love to fall asleep in front of Netflix and wake up with twenty minutes to get ready for work, we can all rest assured that the things we left plugged in should not be a cause for stress.