Last month our energy bill was $62.60, about twice as much as any energy bill I have ever received in any of the previous places I have rented. Needless to say, I’m a little confused and more than a little pissed.
A number of factors could have contributed to our ballooning bill, and the following are a few I could think of off the top of my head:
- We have never had to pay for gas before, just electricity.
- This is the biggest place we’ve rented yet, at 932 square feet (which includes an extra bedroom and extra bathroom to heat).
- We recently acquired a washer and electric dryer in our unit; in the past we always used a communal laundry room.
- According to Ben, energy costs in California have increased in general.
- All the condos in our complex are similar to stand-alone houses in that each unit has its own water heater (that we pay for through our energy bill I’m assuming).
For whatever reason, it costs more both in rent and energy expenses to live here, and I will just have to accept that.
A Throwback To My Life Pre-Adulthood
This new unpleasant reality got me thinking about how I used to approach utilities when I wasn’t the one paying for them. I distinctly remember bitching to my parents in winter that I was too cold and in summer that I was too hot, begging them to turn on the heat or air conditioning, respectively, for fear of dying of utter discomfort.
Buried thick within the self-absorbed, ignorant haze that is adolescence, I couldn’t understand why they simply wouldn’t end our suffering with a flick of the thermostat. Well, let me tell you, I sure as hell do now because now I know- paying for that stuff yourself SUCKS, and you’ll do just about anything to keep that bill down.
Spending My OWN Money Is Less Easy
In a previous entry, I spoke of the benefits of living on your own, and believe it or not, paying for your own stuff is a benefit, not a drawback (despite my complaints today). When I was a minor and living under my parents’ roof while they footed the bill for all my living expenses, life was certainly easier.
But living this way insulates you from reality, from what life will be like when you inevitably must stop relying on Mom and Dad for everything. I know if I had continued on this path when I reached adulthood, there would have been serious retardations in my understanding of the value of money later on, making the transition to the real world that much more difficult and painful.
Now, you’d better believe I don’t mind throwing on long pants and a couple layers to wear around the house to avoid turning on the heat. I will also delay doing laundry until I can get a full load in each time I use the washing machine and dryer. And when summer comes around I’m sure I will find ways besides running the air all day to stay cool, all in the name of saving a few dollars. But these aren’t just any old dollars. They’re my dollars, and I happen to be quite attached.