I was so excited when I first received my water and trash bill for my new apartment because it was such a small bill, $11.99 to be exact. This was a huge difference from what I was paying at our rental house each month. Of course,  a few months have now gone by and our water bill has gone up a little, so the elation has faded a bit. However, I received our first electric bill a couple of weeks ago hoping to be just as pleasantly surprised since apartment utilities are usually less than house utilities. Yet that was not the case. Our electric bill actually seemed a bit higher. To remedy and reduce this cost, I’ve become much more diligent in turning off fans at night, shutting down unnecessary appliances, and trying out the different power saver options on our computers.

What I’ve found through trial and error is that one of the largest energy hogs in our apartment is our laser printer. Apparently it “spools” itself every few minutes causing huge power surges. Since we don’t use the printer every minute of the day, we’ve decided to keep that energy sucker off until we need it. Hopefully we’ll see a significant reduction in our next electric bill, especially since I’ve been much better at completely turning off my computer at night as well. I really want my utility bills to be as low as possible!

Now for a little round-up around the web:

  • The 2nd Yakezie Writing Contest is in full swing. This time around we had over 1,000 applicants and we whittled it down to 60. Be sure to check out the essays that are sure to inspire.
  • Well Heeled Blog wrote a post about finances in marriage in Yours, Mine, Ours: Money in Marriage. I have to say that in my case it’s always been an “ours” scenario, but that’s probably because we started off by owning a business together.
  • With tax season in full swing, Smart on Money posts about What Are My Options If I Can’t Pay My Taxes? The post offers alternatives and options on how to file tax extensions to paying in installments. However, being prepared is always the best plan.
  • Over at Moms Plans Melissa is posting her Saved Quarter Challenge Updates. I signed up for this challenge a month ago, but I haven’t been very good at updating my progress. I think I’m more of a once a month or quarterly updater. I just can’t get organized enough to update every Monday. Way to go Melissa!
  • Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance has some great investing advice with IS IT TIME TO SELL? I also like that she was able to throw in the word “deleterious.” I used that word once in a paper describing alleles. But that was eons ago.
  • Invest it Wisely with How Important is Financial Balance to You? Kevin makes some good points about finding balance in finances just as in relationships.
  • Early Retirement Extreme with Children and Early Retirement. I don’t have kids yet either, but Jacob makes some good points that children can be fully satisfied and happy without the designer clothes and iPhones, at least until they begin comparing what they have to what their friends’ have. 😉


  1. Did you use a Kill-a-Watt to help you track down the offenders? Energy is so cheap here that there’s not much incentive to save, but we still turn down our heating in the rooms we don’t use and put on a sweater instead.

  2. @Invest It Wisely
    No, actually I was able to use my battery back up to see that when the printer “spooled” itself, the killowatts jumped to over 900. When I turned the printer off, it leveled out at around 300 with two computers on. I now just keep the printer off until I need to use it.

  3. youngandthrifty Reply

    Good sleuthing work there! I would not have guessed that a laser printer would be such an energy sucker- good to keep in mind.

    • @Young and Thrifty – I know, I was shocked to see my battery backup surge so high when it was on then drop by so much when I turned it off. Who’d have known?

  4. Well Heeled Blog Reply

    Hey thanks for the link! My electric bills have been creeping higher and higher.. this post has encouraged me to take another look at all my appliances.

  5. Barb Friedberg Reply

    Hi Jennifer, I am always thinking about getting one of those things that scientifically measures the energy usage. Your article reminded me that “thinking” does not get it done 🙂

    • @Barb Friedberg – I would never have guessed my laser printer sucked up so much energy, but once we plugged it into our battery backup we were shocked. I haven’t used the Kill-a-Watt thing, but I’m guessing that I’d find some other things that are energy hogs. 😉

  6. Suba @ Wealth Informatics Reply

    We just got a laser printer and always keep it on. Now I better unplug it before I get a giant bill… Thanks!

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