• DIY,  Saving

    Insulation Results – June

    Well, our first full month of having insulation is now over and the results are in.  Lets take a look at our electricity bill in June 2019 vs June 2018.  The below is a screenshot from the It’s Your Power App from AEP. So we used 27% less electricity vs last year!  Not bad at all, especially since this is the summer and the temperature difference between outside and inside is much less than in the winter.  We would expect to see an even larger impact this winter, but we will  have to wait and see. Overall we used 688 kWh of electricity vs 940 kWh last year.  Clearly a large…

  • DIY,  Saving

    The Energy Audit – Saving Through Energy Efficiency

    Late last year we started to look into how much energy we were using.  The bills seemed high, but it was hard to quantify exactly how much we could save by air sealing and insulating.  Our local natural gas utility was offering an energy audit  for only $25.  The normal price of an audit is closer to $300-$500, so this was quite a bargain.  We decided to take the plunge and delve deeper into the efficiency of our home. Improving the energy efficiency of your home can be a great way to save money.  This will be the first post in a series detailing the steps we took to update the energy efficiency…

  • DIY,  Saving

    Phantom Loads

    Phantom loads, parasitic power, vampire power, so many names for the same thing; your electrical devices slowly making you poorer!  These terms all refer to the power drawn by electrical devices that are plugged in but not being used, yet still drawing power.  Think of power supplies plugged into the wall, computers, TVs, kitchen appliances, fire alarms, and garage door openers.  All of these draw some power, even when not being used.  Some items can draw considerable standby power that really adds up.  This article will detail our process for tracking down and taming electrical gremlins. AEP Power Bridge and Kill A Watt Meter Our interest in this topic all started after attending a fair…

  • LED Filament bulbs
    DIY,  Saving

    Make the Switch to LED Bulbs

    Early on, LED bulbs were expensive, did not start immediately, could not dim, and had a weird color that was nothing like traditional bulbs.  These days, those concerns have all been addressed.  LED bulbs can be had for under $1 for a 60W equivalent bulb.  I recently priced one at my local hardware store for a mere $0.74.  It puts out the equivalent light output as a 60W bulb, but uses only 6.5W to do it!  In addition to the power savings, you will also reduce unwanted heat in your house.  Not a big deal in the winter, but in the summer, not only are you using more power with a traditional…

  • Setting Savings Goals
    Featured,  Personal Finance,  Saving

    Managing Money as a Couple

    Now that we’re in our 30’s, the topic of money comes up occasionally with our friends. It is interesting to hear how each couple has a different approach to managing money within their relationships. Some couples view their money as “ours” while others keep it completely separate.  Each couple has their own reasoning for how they decided to manage their money. This is one topic where Christian and I have always been on the same page . We created a system that we love. While our core approach hasn’t changed much over the 7 years we’ve been married, it is something that we discuss and evaluate often to ensure that…

  • Personal Finance,  Saving

    Starting Out – Calculate Your Net Worth

    Investing and saving can be a daunting task. There are so many options it can make your head spin. Roth IRA’s, traditional IRA’s, 401k’s, annuities, 529 plans, CD’s, and countless other options abound. Where do you even start? Well for one thing, it is best to take things like this in small, digestible, steps. Build your understanding, bit by bit, and soon you will be in full control of your financial future. This blog is designed to lead you from lost, to mastering of your money and financial future. Just by reading this far you deserve a small pat on the back (not too big there, you are still just…