By in Saving | 13 comments

And Barb Recommend’s Winter Reading


Imagine this, it’s 8:21 am, temperature 24 degrees Fahrenheit and icy. El Carino and I are sitting in a hotel lobby. Into the lobby walks a mom, wearing a top, sweater, and jeans accompanied by her daughter in a soccer uniform; shorts, ankle guards, and uniform top. Neither were wearing coats.

You may be thinking, who cares, mind your own business. But I do care, about the environment and the economy!

I am 99% certain these two are headed for the car, where in lieu of putting on their coats, they will crank up the heat. These are the same folks who are too lazy to walk into the fast food joint and would rather wait 15 minutes in a long line, motor running, for their hamburger and fries.

What is wrong?

Let’s list their infractions. 

  1. Wasting precious energy, by leaving the heat on high before letting the car properly warm up.
  2. Wasting money by running the heat on high, using extra fuel, instead of simply putting on a coat.
  3. Mom is teaching these wasteful habits to her daughter who will then continue the cycle of waste.

Over the course of the year, this family probably spends countless extra fuel and money on habits which could be changed. Now, I’m not opposed to convenience, but being too late or lazy to put on a coat is just WRONG.

The takeaway

Be mindful of those small wastes; time, money, and energy.

Small changes in your lifestyle lead to more money in your pocket and more natural resources for future generations.

Think before you act.

  If you like what you’re reading, pick up my RSS feed and follow me on twitter so you get the word immediately. 


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  • Dividend Monk’s Bullish predictions for 2011. Agree or disagree?
  • Wealth Artisan University is writing a 6 part series on BALANCE. Who doesn’t need more balance in their life?
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  • Who doesn’t want to win a free kindle? Visit Realized Returns to apply.
  • Join Happy Simple Living in the January Money Diet-It’s an awesome idea!
  • Take control and feel great! Read Falling Prey to Temptation ; Self Control in an Age of Excess at Invest it Wisely.
  • Stop by for a free copy of Carol’s, In the TrencheseBook. Financial Survival During Times of Hardship.  Great advice for navigating these tough economic times! 

What do you think, am I being too judgmental? What are small steps you take to save money and the environment?

image credit: hrrrhrrr


  1. Hey Barb,

    I really liked your perspective on this. Until you stated your exasperation, I really couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I live in the warm, southern climate so to put it into my context, it would be like seeing people in winter coats in the middle of summer jumping into a car to crank the AC!

    That just seems ridiculous! It’s funny what you can notice when you dig a bit deeper into a situation. I bet that anyone else sitting in that lobby would’ve just seen a mother and daughter walking around. Thanks for the inclusion! Have a great coming week!


    Wealth Artisan

    January 24, 2011

  2. I agree; kind of lazy to not wear a coat! Sometimes I wouldn’t throw on a coat but that’s cause I was able to walk to the subway from indoors. Even that I don’t do after a couple of bad experiences when the subway broke down and I ended up having to walk outside!

    Thanks for the mention!

    Invest It Wisely

    January 24, 2011

  3. I was just talking about this very topic. Here in Michigan, teens seem to very Hoodies at best, winter coats are too much work I guess.

    My youngest tried to get in the car wearing shorts yesterday to go to basketball practice. (I think it was around 10 degrees outside.) I sent him right to his room to get some clothes on. I will say, I see this all the time.

    Thanks for the link!

    Everyday Tips

    January 24, 2011

  4. @Wealth, I like your reverse analogy, wearing winter coats in warm weather and getting the car to crank the ac. So True. Makes me wonder, am in the minority, thinking about the environment?
    @Invest, Exactly; how lazy does one have to be to avoid putting on a coat. I’d say lazy and entitled!
    @JT, I always figure the lowest heat and blower settins are the most efficient. I also challenge myself to use the heat and ac as infrequently as possible. Thanks for stopping by and welcome to Yakezie!
    @Everyday-I am smiling, your scenario is so familiar! Teens believe it is uncool to wear a coat!!! Keep the messages coming as long as you can. Soon, your kids will be too old to influence their “coat wearing.”


    January 24, 2011

  5. I don’t think it takes any more fuel to put the heat on high in the car. Heat is by product of the engine right?
    I can see your point though.
    I went to see my tenant last weekend to get the check in sheet and the guy had the heat cranked up to 75 degree. He was wearing a t-shirt… I’m thinking to myself, I should have charged this guy more rent!!!
    I can only hope he turns down the heat at night…


    January 24, 2011

  6. @Retire-Are you trying to upset me :)? I would probably tell the tenant to turn the heat down to 69 or I’d remove his thermostat control.


    January 24, 2011

  7. I like that you mentioned “too lazy to walk into a fast food joint..” I don’t think people realize that letting their engines run is wasteful – its wastes much more gas than turning it off and then restarting it. Get out of the car and walk into the restaurant!

    Little House

    January 25, 2011

  8. Funny..I’m sitting here in my house with 4 layers on as I write this…and a scarf. How come 68 feels cold in the winter but comfortable in the summer. Must have something to do with humidity.

    I’m always amazed at the volume of stuff in grocery stores and shopping malls. Every week, they get new shipments and I have a hard time imagining that when you multiply that by all the stores in the world, it’s mind boggling.

    First Gen American

    January 25, 2011

  9. @Little House, Oh! I also forgot to mention, that the added exercise of walking into the restaurant won’t hurt anyone either. It’s a pretty good habit! And not too strenuous!
    @First Gen-I am totally with you. If my layers in the house aren’t warm enough, I can always throw on a down vest. I’d rather eat dirt than crank up the heat past 68 F. I think about all the stuff in the stores too. (But not too much or I just get depressed by the “overconsumption” promoted in this society)

    Barb Friedberg

    January 25, 2011

  10. I lived in Anchorage, Alaska, for 17 years. One morning when it was about 15 below I got up early and drove my daughter to high school as a treat rather than make her wait for the bus. A girl leapt out of the car in front of us and raced for the entrance. She was wearing a skirt, a shirt that showed a bit of her midriff and a cute little jacket.
    Later that same day a teacher burned a bag of microwave popcorn in the break room and. The smoke alarm went off. So did the fire alarm. Outside, everybody!
    My daughter was lucky enough to be wearing a sweatshirt. Not so lucky some of the other girls. Brrrrr.
    The first time that the mom and daughter you saw have a fender bender or a breakdown or a flat tire in that kind of weather, perhaps they’ll see the light.
    P.S. I now live in Seattle. Am currently wearing a bathrobe over my sweats and T-shirt — why turn on the heat if an extra layer will make you just as comfortable for free?

    Donna Freedman

    January 28, 2011

    • Hi Donna, Thank you for the illustrative story. I am a bit surprised that even in Alaska the kids dress that inappropriately (IMHO) for the weather. I sound like my grandma, but, why not save money and optimize your health by wearing warm clothes in the winter?


      January 29, 2011

  11. This is such a cool post Barb, I was just thinking of you today. Belated thanks for posting the free book link, I was not aware of it until now.


    January 2, 2012

  12. Hi Carol, My pleasure for the link. Best regards.


    January 3, 2012

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