Friday, July 16, 2010

Your Shower Costs HOW Much?

First off...If you are my Father, please stop reading this post immediately.  There are lots of other things on this blog for you to read.  Thanks, Dad.

OK, now that he's out of the way, we'll continue.

Have you ever noticed how the older you get the more you remind yourself of your parents?  Maybe it's just me, but I seem to be turning into Dad and Mom a bit more each year.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, in fact overall, it's probably a great thing in my case.  My folks are quite wonderful people.  But it does take me back a bit to hear words come out of my mouth, usually directed at one of my children, that I know I heard the same words about 25 years or so ago directed at me.

Take showers.  (I hope you do TAKE them, but in this instance, I mean "Think about showers.)  The older the Young'uns have gotten, the more I find myself knocking on doors and yelling sweetly calling, "Time to get out of there!"  I typically walk away from said door muttering something like, "What in the world are they doing in there?" or "We need a timer in the shower."

These are things I know my Dad yelled said sweetly to me umpteen years ago or more.

When the long showerer exits the bathroom, all rosy and clean from their sauna, I commence with the "Why You Don't Need to Take Such Long Showers" Speech.  It's one of my best, if I do say so myself.  I've gotten it down to the point where I can make the speech last for as long as the offender has been in the shower - just to help prove my point.  In the speech, I try to cover all aspects of the evils of long showers - the wasting of water, the wasting of gas to heat the water, the fact that others need the bathroom, the lack of warm water left in the water heater for others, etc.  Up to this point, I've included general statements regarding the cost of long showers and the toll such showers take on the family budget.  I've never been able to back up these references with cold hard facts...

until now.

I've found an online Shower Water Use Calculator!  Oh the joy!  Using this calculator and copies of our current water and power bills here on the Farm, I was able to quickly determine the cost of a certain son's showering habits - about .46 per shower.  (Am I the only one who finds such things fun to figure?)

On the surface, this doesn't seem to bad, but let's multiply this out a bit.  If only one shower is taken by this guy each day, that comes out to $3.23 per week, $13.85 per month and $168.53 per year.  If all of the Young'uns develop the same habits as they get older, we'll be paying almost $2,000.00 each year to wash their bodies.  "Ouch," says the family budget.

The Shower Water Use Calculator is easy to use, does all the math for you, has explanations about the numbers you need to enter and has even done some research on averages for where you live.  Pretty amazing, especially for the math challenged like me.  I share the basic calculator here as a service to other parents who might also give the "Why You Don't Need to Take Such Long Showers" Speech from time to time.  If you'd like to do a bit more figuring, there's a great addition to the Shower Water Use Calculator which will help you figure the energy used by each shower at their website, here.

Also, Dad if you've not followed my request and gone ahead and read this post anyway, I'm sorry in advance.  You're probably going get out those old utility bills I know you've still got in your office and figure out how much you spent on showers over the years for three teenage girls.  It's going to hurt.  Just know, our cleanliness contributed greatly to each of us being able to snag such great husbands who took us out of your home and, really, saved you a BUNCH of money every since.  I guess those long showers could be seen as a good investment...

PS- I love you Dad!


  1. I say make them take a bath next time. When ever I visited my Grandma's and Grandpa's house when I was little we took baths. We were allowed 2 baths per week. Wednesday and Saturday. We washed up in the sink the other non-bath days. We also were allowed to wash our hair in the basement in the big wash tubs.

    Kristina L

  2. Fantastic argument Wendy - except the last statement is a slight reach. My son-in-laws have (will) saved me millions, but then again daughters are never ever off the "books". Nor do I ever want them to be!!!!!!!


  3. One of our better investments, ecology and money-wise, was a "military" style shower head. It increases water pressure, uses less water, and it has a little button where you can just turn off the flow - to soap up. Or day dream. Anyway, it costs around $10, and I like it.
    One of our worst investments, so far, has been a composting toilet. It cost a zillion dollars, and it is still sitting in it's box in the garage. hmm.

  4. @Kristina - baths are good, but not the best when you can stretch your legs out. :)

    @Mary Jo- hmmm...sounds like a shower head I might need to look into.

    @Dad - Love you, too!