If you were to think of the best way to save yourself £15,000 in the next 10 years, where would your mind immediately go to?
Cutting out the takeaway you get every week to treat yourself? Walking everywhere to save yourself money on transport? Or maybe you could even get into couponing?
One couple didn’t need to do any of those things though, as they instead made the dramatic decision to go without central heating for an entire decade.
Joanne and Jim Bell, from Yelland, Devon, haven’t turned their heating on for 10 years – instead choosing to wrap themselves up in layers and use hot water bottles when it gets chilly.
The couple say they’ve adapted so well to their way of living that they’ve never fallen ill in the entire time they’ve been doing it.
Joanne, 75, said:
It feels uncomfortable when I’m in other people’s houses now. It’s too warm for me. Our heating bills used to be about £1,500 a year so we’ve saved thousands over ten years.
When it gets very cold we just wear plenty of layers and use hot water bottles. I don’t notice the cold any more. We’ve got two dogs and do plenty of walking which keeps you warm.
It can’t be that bad because neither of us has been ill in that time.
And the couple have no intention of stopping – despite the cold British weather – as they have so far saved approximately £15,000.
Of the money saved up so far, the husband and wife have spent £1,000 on Neil Young and Bob Dylan concerts – something which wouldn’t have been possible if they’d have put the heating on.
I don’t know about you guys but not even £15K would be enough to tempt me into being cold 24/7. No thank you. Pass me a radiator any day of the week.
However, the couple say they ‘don’t know any different’ and have become accustomed to the colder than average temperatures.
Joanne does recognise that this lifestyle isn’t for everyone though, admitting that it wouldn’t be possible if you had sick or vulnerable relatives in the house.
The 75-year-old said:
I’m not recommending it for everyone. If you have sick or elderly relatives you simply couldn’t do it – or if you have young children it wouldn’t be possible.
Mrs Bell, who describes herself as a wildlife lover, said the move was originally made in protest of wind farms.
However, the couple have now adapted so well to the change that they can’t see themselves ever going back.
Better them than me, that’s all I can say.
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