Many people have this reality check when they first move out of their parents’ home, in which the costs that come with simply living and existing are much higher than they realized! I know I experienced an incredible shellshock when I moved out to live on my own, as I couldn’t believe how expensive simple household products were until my first grocery run. Ten dollars for laundry detergent, really? Outside of groceries, there’s the incredible costs that come with using certain appliances – especially the heating and air conditioning system. I was so accustomed to running the heating and air conditioning system all day and night, so I had no idea how much it would hurt me to do that in a poorly insulated apartment. Then I got my first utility bill, and let me tell you – I’ve never run so fast and unplugged so many appliances at once! It was a major wake-up call, and ever since then I’ve been watching the thermostat like a hawk. I always run my A/C system at a temperature that’s about five degrees above what I would prefer, as it makes a world of a difference to keep me cool through the warm summer days. Just as well, I’ll make sure that my electric furnace runs only when I absolutely need it! I’ll run the heating system at a temperature that forces me to still wear pajamas to bed just to stay warm. It might sound like intentional suffering, but some things are worth suffering for – like a lower utility bill!