Listen to this article

Sometimes finances, particularly personal or domestic finances, gets to be a very  hot topic!  Heated arguments, er, debates, can inflame discussions so badly that nothing gets accomplished.  It may be time to add a little cold water.

Seriously.  Laundry is the worst offender.  Most loads of wash can now be handled quite well on the cold water cycle, rather than the hot water cycle.  Stains don’t get set in as badly, clothes don’t shrink as readily, the hot water tank doesn’t have to work as hard or as often to keep hot water available,  and money is saved in the process.

This one trick has also saved money at the clothing store or thrift store as well.  You’ll be amazed at how many care-tags on clothing say to wash in cool or cold water.  When I was growing up, such clothing was lumped into the “special care” category, but these days, the tag that says to wash in hot water should be in the “special care” category instead.

Using hot water to wash clothing or linens should be reserved for those times when you’re disinfecting the house, killing pests, etcetera.

Hot water showers should be kept to under 10 minutes as well.  Figure out time-saving methods to get clean that don’t involve standing there letting the hot water rush over you.  A little time management combined with a little task management in this very private aspect of life can also mean the difference between a constantly-working hot water tank and money saved on your gas or electrical bill (depending on how your tank is fueled).

Choosing to shower every other day not only will save your hot water bill, but will also be kinder to your hair and skin.  Many people are unaware that their societal habit of showering every single day is actually contributing to their dry skin and straw hair.  A whole industry has sprung up offering body creams, hand and face creams, lotions, oils, etc. in an effort to continue perpetrating the myth that you MUST shower every single day!  But I have news for you!  Unless you have a severe health issue or work in an absolutely filthy job, you do NOT need to shower every single day!

Not regularly stripping your body of its needed oils will reduce your need to buy supporting products to rehydrate and remoisturize.  When you let your body do what it was designed to do instead of interfering with it every day, you’ll save money in the personal care section of your favourite grocery store.

If we combine the two suggestions above with one more, the comment earlier about saving money at the clothing store will become even more apparent.  I’m talking about only changing your daily outfit when you shower, or when it’s too soiled for presentable use, such as receiving a stain, heavily sweated in, etc.  The other social taboo seems to be wearing your clothes for two days in a row, or more.  This social behaviour is wearing out clothing unnecessarily fast.  When clothes are constantly going through the washing machine, the fibers wear out, colours fade, and usability lowers faster than if the clothes only entered the wash once a week or less often than that.  Much of our socially-accepted/expected behaviours when it comes to cleanliness and presentability are unnecessary.  Is it important to be clean? Yes!  Must your clothes be presentable? Yes! Should you wear something different every day? No! Does being clean mean showering every day? For most people the answer is also no! The truth is, most people don’t care what you’re wearing, only about their interaction with you.  The rare person might be turned off by your thrifty behaviour and appearance, but most people honestly don’t care if you wore the same clothes three days in a row. (I live out this test on a regular basis)

Saving on your hot water bill will by extension, save money on your clothing bill and your personal care bill as well.  Gotta love it when addressing one issue solves several others in one fell-swoop!