Search found 644 matches

by msi
Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners Insurance
Replies: 20
Views: 1970

Re: Homeowners Insurance

I've found Travelers to be the cheapest every time I've done a round of home insurance quotes here in NJ.

NJM has a limit of $5k on water backup coverage, or at least they did for my quote. When I spoke to them, that's the most they were willing to sell, even though other companies offer $10k.
by msi
Wed Mar 24, 2021 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole house humidifier recommendations
Replies: 14
Views: 853

Re: Whole house humidifier recommendations

Is mold a risk with whole house humidifier, and have any of you ever had problems like that which were caused by them? We've been thinking about installing.
by msi
Sat Mar 20, 2021 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Natural gas, tank water heater. Which brand?
Replies: 26
Views: 1901

Re: Natural gas, tank water heater. Which brand?

We also have Bradford White. No problems with it.
by msi
Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your alternatives to big name brands, like Amazon?
Replies: 72
Views: 4977

Re: What are your alternatives to big name brands, like Amazon?

I was burned by Amazon's counterfeit electronics—Amazon claimed "shipped and sold by Amazon" but the products were fake in ways that were difficult to detect until they totally failed. Search for "comingling" to see how third-party Sellers inject their dubious products into Amaz...
by msi
Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to make strong coffee equivalent to Starbucks for cheaper?
Replies: 134
Views: 10469

Re: How to make strong coffee equivalent to Starbucks for cheaper?

I own a single serve drip machine but I find myself walking to the corner Starbucks and paying $2.65 or so for a grande Pike Place roast. The Starbucks coffee has 330mg of caffeine and gives me a nice productivity boost/buzz. I use Folgers at home but it’s not the same and I can’t seem to replicate...
by msi
Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New or used car?
Replies: 17
Views: 1390

Re: New or used car?

Another possibility that we are considering is the Ford Edge Titanium. Enterprise Rental Car has two year old models with less than 30,000 miles in the $25,000 range. They are extremely safe and well appointed. Basically a Lincoln MKX without the badge. Something you may want to consider. I actuall...
by msi
Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a Lexus RX 350 big enough for a family of 3?
Replies: 48
Views: 2956

Re: Is a Lexus RX 350 big enough for a family of 3?

If you're not comfortable with it, some other options:

1) Lexus GX, but fold down the third row.
2) Previous generation Acura RDX.
3) Just buy out your Jeep and accept that it will probably need more work than a Toyota or Honda product. The Jeep looks nicer anyway.
by msi
Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dryer vent cleaning DIY or Professional?
Replies: 45
Views: 4214

Re: Dryer vent cleaning DIY or Professional?

Our condo complex requires dryer vent cleaning every few years. We had it done professionally for $60.
by msi
Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Toyota 4 Runner owners -- opinions?]
Replies: 54
Views: 3758

Re: [Toyota 4 Runner owners -- opinions?]

This is like the Tacoma thread thats running. Ask yourself: Do you want to drive off road? I mean really offroad - deep mud, sand, rocks... not just parking on grass at the state fair. If the answer is Yes - the 4Runner will go anywhere you want to. They haven't changed it in forever becuase it jus...
by msi
Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best healthy meal delivery service
Replies: 29
Views: 3046

Re: Best healthy meal delivery service

We like Home Chef and have been using it for a while now. You can filter by low carb, low calorie, etc. when choosing your menu each week. They're pretty good.
by msi
Thu Feb 11, 2021 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Credit Card Companies Are Changing Benefits (Extended Warranty, Trip Insurance, Rental Car Coverage, Etc.)
Replies: 25
Views: 3891

Re: PSA: Credit Card Companies Are Changing Benefits (Extended Warranty, Trip Insurance, Rental Car Coverage, Etc.)

I need to to see what BOA and FIDO change their's to. The fact that everyone moved lockstep makes me think that it was a "Gentleman's agreement." So Fidelity lasted a year and a half extra, but I wanted to give folks a heads-up that the Fido CC will be ending some of their benefits on Mar...
by msi
Thu Feb 11, 2021 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is "Amazon Day" delivery less reliable?
Replies: 23
Views: 1825

Re: Is "Amazon Day" delivery less reliable?

I've had Amazon claim that packages were delivered when they never were. Not often, but it happens. They've always made good on it, either with a replacement or refund. Never used Amazon Day, though. It sounds more like luck of the draw than Amazon intentionally giving you a low quality driver or th...
by msi
Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru auto loan: what are the early payoff penalties? Should I just pay cash?
Replies: 26
Views: 1716

Re: Subaru auto loan: what are the early payoff penalties? Should I just pay cash?

Thanks again! I actually picked up the Crosstrek tonight. It came in on the truck early and we are supposed to have severe snow again, so I wanted to get it earlier rather than later. I got the 0.9% financing. I decided to finance half of the price to keep the extra cash flow on my end. The loan do...
by msi
Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: In price negotiations now for Subaru Crosstrek (AKA Crosstrek vs CX-30)
Replies: 46
Views: 2542

Re: Subaru Crosstrek vs Mazda CX-30

Is the ability to fit your dog's kennel without folding down the rear seats a dealbreaker? You can't go wrong with either one, but I would give the edge to the CX-30 because: 1) Consumer Reports gives it slightly higher predicted reliability (5/5 vs 4/5). 2) Subaru CVT replacement out of warranty co...
by msi
Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cash vs. Credit
Replies: 189
Views: 9566

Re: Cash vs. Credit

I prefer credit cards. Rarely ever use cash these days.
by msi
Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental PPO - Cost for Cap/Crown
Replies: 31
Views: 2787

Re: Dental PPO - Cost for Cap/Crown

Fascinating how everyone questions price but never quality. You don't always get what you pay for, but you will never get what you don't pay for. As if all crowns are the same. Quality meaning the aesthetics of the finished product, or quality in the sense that some brands or labs make low quality ...
by msi
Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best place for a lot of cash with low-ish risk
Replies: 8
Views: 830

Re: Best place for a lot of cash with low-ish risk

Yields are pretty bad right now. Not really any good options for what you're looking for.
by msi
Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portable humidifier recommendation?
Replies: 13
Views: 961

Re: Portable humidifier recommendation?

We've had a Vornado 4 gallon evaporative humidifier for several years. It works well - based on a hygrometer in the room I store stringed instruments. Every couple of weeks or so, I soak the majority of the accumulated mineral out of the paper filters in a bath tub. The amount of mineral that accum...
by msi
Sat Jan 30, 2021 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Banktivity Subscription Model
Replies: 12
Views: 734

Re: Banktivity Subscription Model

I'm still on Banktivity 7, but I've been looking for alternatives rather than upgrading to Banktivity 8. I don't like the subscription model. That is one of the issues... If you assume you will not get a windows computer just to have personal finance software and you will not use things like person...
by msi
Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Banktivity Subscription Model
Replies: 12
Views: 734

Re: Banktivity Subscription Model

I'm still on Banktivity 7, but I've been looking for alternatives rather than upgrading to Banktivity 8. I don't like the subscription model.
by msi
Tue Jan 26, 2021 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone security
Replies: 21
Views: 1544

Re: Cell phone security

I got a new sim card for my phone with the same number and I was no where near my phone. I simply handed my phone to my daughter who took it to a phone store. I did give her my credentials to unlock the phone. She did not have my ID, doesn't live with me, didn't have my passport, etc. She now also ...
by msi
Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Amex Blue Cash preferred card still worth keeping?
Replies: 51
Views: 3370

Re: Is Amex Blue Cash preferred card still worth keeping?

For those comparing between the Preferred and Everyday cards, check your benefits. Amex dropped a lot of stuff from the Everday card in 2020, like return protection and other such things.the Preferred card still has these. I'm not sure those benefits are really worth $95/year, though. Amex return p...
by msi
Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Amex Blue Cash preferred card still worth keeping?
Replies: 51
Views: 3370

Re: Is Amex Blue Cash preferred card still worth keeping?

For those comparing between the Preferred and Everyday cards, check your benefits. Amex dropped a lot of stuff from the Everday card in 2020, like return protection and other such things.the Preferred card still has these. I'm not sure those benefits are really worth $95/year, though. Amex return p...
by msi
Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To Keep or Sell? Nissan Sentra (90k)..
Replies: 14
Views: 1047

Re: To Keep or to Sell? 2013 Nissan Sentra (75k).. Concerned about CVT long-term Reliability

I would definitely not keep a 2013 Nissan Sentra, largely because of the transmission.
by msi
Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HBO Max Issues?
Replies: 31
Views: 2544

Re: HBO Max Issues?

It's working fine for us on a Fire Stick.
by msi
Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Products to remove grime from metal
Replies: 27
Views: 1458

Re: Products to remove grime from metal

Barkeeper's Friend? +1 Nothing works like Barkeeper's Friend. For pots, pans, and sinks yes. No way in heck I'd put it on any antique unless a last resort. First, try liquids that won't harm the metal: alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Dawn, mineral spirits. Second, try liquids that are mildly abrasive s...
by msi
Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Products to remove grime from metal
Replies: 27
Views: 1458

Re: Products to remove grime from metal

JupiterJones wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:16 am Barkeeper's Friend?
+1 Nothing works like Barkeeper's Friend.
by msi
Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Vehicle Shopping - SUV or Hybrid, suggestions appreciated
Replies: 65
Views: 5092

Re: New Vehicle Shopping - SUV or Hybrid, suggestions appreciated

TheoBanana wrote: Thu Dec 24, 2020 11:11 am I've been super happy with my Honda Passport. Can seat 5 and tow 5000lbs but still comfortable to cruise around town. I love the extra cargo space due to lack of 3rd row seating.
Has it been reliable? I've considered the Honda Passport, but Consumer Reports gave it only 2/5 for reliability.
by msi
Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to negotiate sale at Carmax?
Replies: 32
Views: 3060

Re: how to negotiate sale at Carmax?

You should also get an online offer from Carvana to compare, before you go in.
by msi
Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card cell phone insurance
Replies: 8
Views: 564

Re: Credit card cell phone insurance

MasterCard's Cell Phone Protection is definitely not going to cover a manufacturer defect, but hopefully the credit card you used to buy the phone had a separate extended warranty benefit. Cell phone protection just covers some forms of accidental damage and theft. A cracked screen would be covered,...
by msi
Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need Help: Update: Bought a 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro lo New Hyundai Palisades: Is factory list price too high to pay?
Replies: 57
Views: 3093

Re: Need Help: New Hyundai Palisades: Is factory list price too high to pay?

Sandtrap wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:54 pm DW's old Nissan Xterra has nearly 200k miles and this is her lst brand new car and we are retired so she deserves a new car and it is well within my budget to pay cash for it.
Just buy the car. This isn't a frivolous purchase, and it's well within your budget.
by msi
Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hybrid Exrended warranty question
Replies: 21
Views: 1018

Re: Hybrid Exrended warranty question

Toyota already includes a 10 year warranty on hybrid batteries https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a2942 ... -warranty/

I really don't think it's worth paying anything for an extended warranty in this case.
by msi
Sun Dec 20, 2020 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota 2021 Venza?
Replies: 41
Views: 3513

Re: Toyota 2021 Venza?

We got one after our 2019 Avalon was totaled. Like someone said it’s a snooze fest to drive but the fuel economy is great. We just took ours in for its 5k mile service and no issues as expected. Our trim is the limited with the panoramic roof I find it makes the cabin feel very roomy. Cargo area is...
by msi
Sat Dec 12, 2020 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need help: wrong medical charges, now with collections
Replies: 9
Views: 1148

Re: Need help: wrong medical charges, now with collections

Is it possible a nurse practitioner or physician assistant working under a doctor from this other practice was involved and examined her? Because that would be one reason you'd get a charge from a different OB/GYN without actually seeing the doctor.
by msi
Mon Dec 07, 2020 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: should I trust the cloud for backup??
Replies: 27
Views: 1481

Re: should I trust the cloud for backup??

Yes, to do a restore you have to give Backblaze your private encryption key. They do that on grounds of simplicity, and I think it's a perfectly reasonable argument... ...especially because if that concerns you, you can just change your private encryption key after a restore. No, you don't have to ...
by msi
Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: should I trust the cloud for backup??
Replies: 27
Views: 1481

Re: should I trust the cloud for backup??

Be sure to set the optional private encryption passphrase. Doing so will reduce the security risk of using Backblaze to close to zero. https://www.backblaze.com/backup-encryption.html But all decryption still happens on Backblaze's servers, rather than locally in the app. That means if you ever nee...
by msi
Mon Dec 07, 2020 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: should I trust the cloud for backup??
Replies: 27
Views: 1481

Re: should I trust the cloud for backup??

I use Backblaze, because I think that for me, the risks of not having an offsite backup exceed the security risks of using Backblaze. I also keep local backups. Be sure to set the optional private encryption passphrase. Doing so will reduce the security risk of using Backblaze to close to zero. htt...
by msi
Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is it ok to download Big Sur for MAC yet??
Replies: 47
Views: 3913

Re: is it ok to download Big Sur for MAC yet??

I haven't had any problems with Big Sur.
by msi
Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you backup?
Replies: 80
Views: 4873

Re: How often do you backup?

Hourly Time Machine backups + daily Arq backup to the cloud.
by msi
Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LG refrigerator failure - any hope of compensation?
Replies: 34
Views: 2776

Re: LG refrigerator failure - any hope of compensation?

For the record, whether the appliance is produced is the United States or Mexico, many of the parts are produced in China. For years, manufacturers like Whirlpool and GE have followed the lead of the automotive industry in forcing price cuts from their suppliers in lieu of managing the labor cost o...
by msi
Mon Nov 30, 2020 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switching to Ooma
Replies: 48
Views: 3284

Re: Switching to Ooma

Will either Ooma or Obihai allow you to send outgoing faxes from your home landline? I know I can scan, upload and send via free fax service, but there are a few entities I do business who still require an old fashioned fax for some transactions (they will not accept the document scanned and emaile...
by msi
Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switching to Ooma
Replies: 48
Views: 3284

Re: Switching to Ooma

Ooma is fine, but if you're getting a lot of robocalls/telemarketers, you'll need to pay extra for Ooma Premier in order to use NoMoRobo. I have Ooma + Premier, and some robocallers still get through. If you typically have a cell phone near you, I don't think having a separate landline for emergenci...
by msi
Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Outback engine stop/start
Replies: 125
Views: 12682

Re: Subaru Outback engine stop/start

I am an engineer working in the automotive industry. I am on the engine combustion side, not on electrical. However, I think I can give some context regarding the engine stop/start. By federal regulations, this stop/start functionality cannot be permanently turned off. With regards to the wear, the...
by msi
Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to move out of AAA Insurance
Replies: 23
Views: 1809

Re: Need to move out of AAA Insurance

Every time I've done a round of insurance quotes, Amica is one of if not the most expensive. They also don't pay dividends in every state, so check that beforehand.
by msi
Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volvo Cost of Ownership
Replies: 28
Views: 3443

Re: Volvo Cost of Ownership

My history with two XC60’s (2010 T6 and 2019 T8) are Volvo’s are very reliable but you must do all services on or before scheduled. When I upgraded from my 2010 to my 2019 my insurance went up a few bucks. It’s so insignificant I can’t even be bothered to look it up. My fuel costs went down 55%, an...
by msi
Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another bank is getting rid of extended warranty on purchases
Replies: 18
Views: 2034

Re: Another bank is getting rid of extended warranty on purchases

Will do good wrote: Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:21 pm Anyone know if the Costco Citi Visa made the same changes?
Didn't find anything online yet.
No, it did not make the same changes. Citi had already cut extended warranty and other benefits from many of their cards last year, but it still exists on the Costco Visa.
by msi
Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another bank is getting rid of extended warranty on purchases
Replies: 18
Views: 2034

Re: Another bank is getting rid of extended warranty on purchases

I wonder if we'll see this benefit eventually disappear from all cards entirely.
by msi
Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fraud attempts on two credit cards in three days
Replies: 30
Views: 2725

Re: Fraud attempts on two credit cards in three days

Are you sure your computer hasn't been compromised? Or that someone with physical access to your home did it?

I'm more inclined to believe that over... a coincidence where two different cards from two different issuers both had fraud attempts within 3 days after never having this issue before.
by msi
Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visible Wireless vs Total Wireless
Replies: 17
Views: 2668

Re: Visible Wireless vs Total Wireless

mhalley wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:15 pm I switched to visible from regular Verizon several mos ago. The plan itself is fine, but the hotspot is horrible if you plan on using that feature.
Meaning the hotspot speed cap or some other issue?