Personal Finance

How Much Energy Do You Save with a Heat Pump?

Quartz published an article today titled “Want to cool your home, save money, and curb climate change? Try a heat pump“, which has some helpful tips about what a heat pump is and why it may be worth considering for your home. About a year after we bought our Central Indiana home, we converted our HVAC system from an all-electric furnace and central air system to a heat pump. Now that I have a few months worth of data, I thought today would be a great day to see what a difference it made.

Continue reading “How Much Energy Do You Save with a Heat Pump?”
Personal Finance

The Net Worth Budget

You know that you need to budget, save, and pay off debt. Your parents, your teachers, your friend who is a financial advisor, and the morning news show you watch have all told you so. You made a list of bills and expenses and subtracted them from your income, figured out how much you had left, and maybe put some of that into your savings account every month. You’ve been doing that for awhile and don’t seem to be getting anywhere.┬áThe savings always gets spent, or somehow the money never makes it into savings in the first place. Something always comes up. The student loan debt seems like it is never going to go away, and saving up to buy a house is never going to happen. It’s time to look at a new approach to budgeting. Continue reading “The Net Worth Budget”

Education · Personal Finance

Budget Breakers

I have been wanting to put this lesson together for awhile. I created an annuity spreadsheet to calculate the long-term impact of various spending habits. What would your retirement income look like if you brewed your coffee at home instead of going to Starbucks or drove a sedan instead of an SUV? When you replace small spending habits over a 30 year period and earn investment returns on the savings, the difference can be tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Check it out:

Investing · Personal Finance

How to Start a Retirement Fund with Almost No Money

money pink coins pig
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Many people I talk to want to do a better job of saving for retirement but don’t know where to begin. Maybe their employer offers a 401(k), but they don’t feel like it’s enough, or maybe they have no 401(k) at all and desperately need to get something started.

Many people also don’t have much money to get started with. They might want to start investing as little as $20 per month. The fee structures of mutual funds and the transaction fees brokers have for purchasing securities can make investing small amounts of money at a time very impractical, but that aspect of the investment industry is changing, and there are some new opportunities for small-time investing that weren’t there only a few years ago. Continue reading “How to Start a Retirement Fund with Almost No Money”