There are so many things that we do “wrong” when it comes to personal finance: we have debt (the bad kind! And the good kind! All kinds of debt!), we let (encourage!) our kids to do (FREAKING EXPENSIVE) activities, I pay for third parties to hold birthday parties for my kids, we travel and eat out sometimes and sometimes, I even (gasp!) get coffee from Starbucks. Sometimes, I even get a caramel macchiato instead of a plain cup of coffee.
We decided to do solar panels almost on a whim. I had heard about them, I had thought about them, I figured they weren’t for us, an acquaintance told me she had them, I explored the website, and within the afternoon we had figured out it was possible. Not really possible, in terms of “we have the money for this,” though. It meant taking on more debt, and now we are digging ourselves slowly out. It suuuuuuucks.
According to the estimate from when we first put them in, they’ll pay themselves off in 7 years. I’m guessing that’s best-case scenario, because estimates like to try to sell you on things, and also, maybe we’ll get hit by some monster sharknado between now and then and so who knows.
But in the meantime, my dashboard is telling me that in the past 10 months, we’ve saved $857.69 on our electric bill, and it would be the same as if we had planted 238.81 trees (actual trees planted during that time: one. Actual trees cut down during that time: one).
Our bill this month is $2.23. We will still be paying about $250 a month to pay off the loan for the foreseeable future, so it’s not like we’re in the black here, but man it’s nice to get a bill for $2.23. And, even if it doesn’t end up being financially worthwhile, 238.81 trees is pretty great, too.