Federal Energy Tax Credits are Back!

Anyone who reads the Eco Friendly Cheapass knows I love tax credits and rebates. So I was really excited to see not only are the Federal Energy Tax Credits back, but they’re retroactive from 12/31/2017!

So for your primary residence there’s a variety of rebates for installing high efficiency heating/cooling systems, water heaters, insulation upgrades, etc. 

My favorite (yes, I have favorites) is the heat pump water heater rebate of $300 which can stack on top of your utility rebate. I’ve written about these units a number of times but here’s the short version:

  • You can get one on sale starting around $1000 (regularly $1300)
  • They can be DIY installed by a handy homeowner
  • Utility rebates commonly run $250-500 
  • Federal rebate is $300
  • The typical homeowner will save $300-400/year replacing a conventional electric water heater with a heat pump water heater

You can literally have a 1 year ROI on a heat pump water heater now and save thousands over the life of the unit.

For more information about these rebates check out this Energy Star page. 

CYA – this does not constitute tax advice, please see your tax professional to ensure you qualify.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Cars In Cash (and ignore the finance gurus)

This is part two on buying vs leasing cars. In the first installment we looked at getting a loan vs a lease. I recommend reading that post first if you haven’t as we’ll reference costs better explained in that article.

Rather than get a car loan or lease – a number of finance gurus think you should save up and buy cars in cash.

While the pain of writing a check for your dream car may temper your spending, with a bit of impulse control and math you’ll see buying a car in cash isn’t a great idea.

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Why You Should Lease a Car (and Ignore the Finance Gurus)

I got into a debate the other day about leasing vs buying cars. While most people were in the anti-leasing camp, I have to dissent IF (and its a big if) you do it right. By the way, this topic is 100% about finances, not at all about being eco friendly.

Now right off the bat I’ll say a lot of links were shared to “personal finance gurus” like Natalie Bacon and Dave Ramsey. These links were nonsensical at best (Ms Bacon’s main argument against leasing and for buying is because you should accumulate assets that go up in value, though cars do the opposite) and I’ll argue also offer financially poor advice.

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