For ages I’ve been serious about saving money, but I’ve never been as diehard as my cousin Charlie is. Truly, the guy will do anything to save a buck. While I’m content to clip coupons, make my own meals, not eating out, and walking instead of owning a car, Charlie has taken things to the extreme. He even recently completed an energy purge last month, just to save on his bills. I couldn’t believe it when he told me that he turned off his HVAC system entirely. Instead of being tempted to touch his thermostat, he decided to power down his air conditioner and furnace completely. He has unscrewed all the lightbulbs in his house, and was relying upon sunlight and candles for his lighting sources. He opened all of his windows for fresh air, and even locked his box fans in a storage shed so he couldn’t be tempted to use them when times got desperate. Despite the ridiculous humidity outside, he somehow managed to continue living in his 18th century home, with no airflow or way to regulate the indoor air temps besides opening or closing his windows. I couldn’t believe how he was living, and assumed he would retreat to his modern heating and cooling system prior to the end of the month, but I was wrong. In fact, he was so satisfied with the amount of money he saved without using HVAC systems this month, that he sold off his air conditioner and furnace for good. I don’t know about Charlie, but there are some sacrifices I’m not prepared to make.