Money & Love – A “Heated” Debate Over Energy Costs

February 15, 2007

I love my wife. My wife loves to be warm. I hate to pay the heating bill. Read on for the gory details. Welcome to the first article in the new Money & Love series at Money Smart Life. This series was inspired by the following statistics from a recent survey, brought to my attention by the Frugal Duchess

Money beats out sex and house-cleaning as the number one issue couples fight about – 37% of young couples report that they fight more about money than cleaning (34%) or frequency of sex (28%)”

Money & Love
These numbers highlight the need for discussion, debate, and some humor when it comes to love and money. The Money & Love series will include financial feuds from my marriage and those of friends and co-workers. I’m also looking forward to publishing reader questions, stories, or complaints on this topic. If you have one to share, let me know here.

A Hot Topic
Growing up we put on more clothes if we were cold, turning up the heat was the last resort. My wife on the other hand is used to being warm and toasty in her house. Needless to say winters can be a bit of a thermostat struggle, she turns the heat up, and I turn it down. This has led to many an argument over the years but over time we’ve come to somewhat of an unspoken agreement.

Degrees of Separation
We’ve gotten to the point where we still play thermostat see-saw but her upper temperature range is lower and my lower range is now higher. I’m willing to turn up the heat a few degrees and she’s willing to put on a sweatshirt. I still think we pay too much for heating bills and she still says she’s cold but we’ve met pretty much half way. I guess compromise is the name of the game and on this issue we’ve done pretty well.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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4 Responses to Money & Love – A “Heated” Debate Over Energy Costs

  • moneysmartz

    Wow Blaine, you guys don’t mess around. Here in the Midwest it is in the single digits tonight so we’re leaning on our furnace pretty hard.

    Kevin, I’m just the opposite. I don’t mind layering up in the winter but I hate sweating to death in the summer.

    Clever Dude, we typically keep it just below 70 when we’re here and around 65 when we’re gone. Our house is newer but still hard to heat with high ceilings and an open floor plan.

  • Clever Dude

    So what is YOUR happy medium temp? Ours seems to be 74, but I think I can get that lowered by insulating the house better (I just worked on my crawl space and it’s helped ALOT. Oh and I posted on it today).

    Having an old house, the heat seems to escape more quickly, which means drafts and the furnace kicking on more often. Our most expensive heating bill runs about $300 (usually in January)

  • Kevin M

    Fortunately my wife and I have never had this argument about the heating bill. We both like it warm in our home. I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit there and shiver in my own home all month long for the lousy $30 – $50 it will save me. It’s worth spending the money for the all the hours of comfort.

    Now summer is a different story. While my wife is perfectly happy turning the thermostat to 77 in winter (I like 74 or 75), she sit’s there and complains about how hot it is at 80 in the summer. I’m perfectly happy up into the upper 80s.

  • Blaine Moore (First Time Home Owner)

    My wife and I both laugh when we see money saving tips like “Turn your thermostat down to 62 degrees when you leave the house” since when we are home and awake we turn the thermostat up to 58 degrees. When we are gone or sleeping we leave it around 52-54 or so.