Browse Author: ROMT

Our First Week With Solar Energy!

Solar Panel
We can track online how much energy is being produced by each of the solar panels on our roof!

Over the past week, I have written about our decision to go solar, as well as our recent solar installation.

Today we get into the fun stuff: how our new home solar energy system has performed during the first ten days of a (hopefully!) long and productive life!

Our inverter, which converts the direct current generated by the photovoltaic panels on our roof into the alternating current that can be fed into the electrical grid and used to power our home, is made by a company called SolarEdge.

While the science behind how the inverter works is no doubt fascinating, I am more interested in the impact the solar panels and inverter will have on our electric bill!

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Update: Chase Freedom Announces 5% Cash Back Categories for Q3 17

Credit CardLast month, I wrote about our Smart Financial Decision to sign up for the Chase Freedom Credit Card.

As a reminder, Chase Freedom offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in specific spending categories each quarter, and 1% cash back on everything else. Our Fidelity Rewards card offers 2% cash back on all purchases.

We’ve now maxed out our spending on groceries, the current 5% cash back category for Chase Freedom, so we’ve switched back to our Fidelity Rewards cards for all of our spending.

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Our Solar Installation: The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

 

Solar Energy
Solar Facts, courtesy of a nutritional sticker on our solar inverter!

One of my favorite songs by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is “The Waiting.”

I’m not usually that good at discerning the meaning of lyrics, but in this case I’m pretty sure Tom was singing of his anticipation about the installation of a new home solar energy system.

Last week, I shared my thoughts on our decision to go solar.

The process took several months from start to finish, and the waiting was definitely one of the hardest parts!

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Should We Go Solar?

Solar Panels
Not a picture of our home!

Over the past several years, I’ve noticed the installation of more and more solar panels in the area we live.

I’ve long been intrigued by the idea of solar energy, but as someone who tries to base most of his financial decisions on facts and numbers, rather than emotions or peer pressure, it never made sense to me.

A local solar provider recently offered an incentive program through my employer. While the incentive was modest, it was enough to get me to seriously run the numbers, and do some further research about the pros and cons of solar energy for our family.

The verdict?

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Dumb Financial Decisions: My Long Commute

Wasting Money
My Long Commute Burns Up The Benjamins

A well-known episode of the animated television series South Park is entitled “Simpsons Already Did It”.

In the episode, Butters/Professor Chaos tries to find a way to destroy the town of South Park. To his dismay, he discovers every one of his ideas has already been a plot on the long-running animated television series The Simpsons.

As an aspiring blogger on early retirement and financial independence, I’m finding the corollary in this world is “Mr. Money Mustache Already Did It”.

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Smart Financial Decisions: Pay Attention to the Little Things

Sandwich
Mmmmm… sandwich!!!

Last month, our friends at Rockstar Finance challenged readers to avoid eating or drinking out for an entire week.

As someone who has purchased his lunch on roughly 99% of the working days of his career, I decided to give the challenge a try.

And you know what?

I was successful, and the world didn’t end.

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How Learning About FIRE Has Changed My Life

ROMT Logo Square

It has been a couple weeks since I started this blog, and a few months since I began learning what FIRE was all about.

But I have been pretty serious about personal finance for almost a quarter of a century.

After getting my first job out of college, I had disposable income for the first time in my life.

Of course, I also had a lot of expenses I conveniently didn’t have to deal with while I was living with my parents.

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Smart Financial Decisions: Chase Freedom Credit Card

As I have become more involved in the FIRE community over the past several months, it’s been hard to avoid articles about optimizing one’s use of credit cards.

Initially, I was skeptical. It seemed like the primary focus was travel hacking, which didn’t do a lot for me.

I am not a big traveler.

I am a middle-aged man, with a full-time job, a long commute, a wife, a dog, and two young children.

It’s a challenge for me to find time to travel to the local Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and grocery store, much less exotic locales around the world!

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Dumb Financial Decisions: The Water Heater

While I like to think I am an intelligent person, who usually makes good financial decisions, like everyone else, I make mistakes.

The @#$%^&* Water Heater

When our family bought our home in 2011, I encountered something I had never experienced before: the previous owners rented the water heater from the local utility, and paid them on a monthly basis for the privilege of using it.

This seemed odd to me, as although water heaters are expensive, most are priced well below $1,000. The furnace, the central air, and even some of the kitchen appliances were more expensive than the water heater, and they weren’t being rented.

There must be some benefit to renting the water heater, rather than owning it, I thought to myself. Perhaps if the water tank failed and leaked all over my basement, the utility would be responsible for the damages as the owner?

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The Easiest Money You Will Ever Make

What if I were to offer you an investment providing a guaranteed return of 50% or more?

Immediately.

You put in $1.00 today.

And it instantly turns into $1.50!

Or in many situations, $2.00!

You might suspect I was up to financial chicanery, a la Bernie Madoff.

But everything I am going to discuss today is completely legitimate.

And taking full advantage of this opportunity may be the one of the most important things you can do to begin securing your financial future.

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