I’ve had nearly three years of disagreements with the local natural gas provider. They wanted money and I, well, didn’t have any and so they cut me off. For the last two years, although I could now afford it, I’ve learned to live without hot water and just used my neighbor’s dryers (one unit hasn’t been occupied in months so I’m not inconveniencing anyone). But I’m getting tired of showering at work and heating up water to do dishes so I’ve agreed to whatever terms they offered to get me back in their good graces.

$146 now and $53/mo for the next year. Not bad, all things considered. My needs are quite modest, and as I recall I was spending about $50/mo in the past so this won’t have much of an impact on my budget. I was making about $7K/year less than I’m making now, so once again, minimal impact.

During this two year period I’ve also learned, as many experts have stated, that we really do wash ourselves too often. Thankfully I don’t sweat all that much and have found that a weekly shower or two and daily rinsing of the hair is actually sufficient to maintain good hygiene. I’ve always believed this but didn’t practice it until the gas was shut off. Even when the gas is back on I really don’t see much of a need to change. It sure has saved a bundle of time when getting ready for work or going out, I can tell you that.