Search found 737 matches

by nordlead
Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Do You Watch Television?
Replies: 81
Views: 20597

Re: How Do You Watch Television?

I've paid for cable once in my adult life. It cost me $30/month compared to what i pay right now for internet. So, you could say i save only $360/yr, but the intro price spread is closer to $45-50 or $540-600/yr. If you dont continually switch companies eventually you cant get those cheap prices and...
by nordlead
Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable investing "schedule"
Replies: 12
Views: 1268

Re: Taxable investing "schedule"

Looking at the historical ex-dividend dates for those two funds it appears they are all paid on the 26th of the month or before. So in a taxable account I'd set my deposits for the 27th or later to avoid the possibility of "buying the dividend" every 3rd month. I was going to post somethi...
by nordlead
Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: >$250,000 portfolios with Vanguard? Insurance?
Replies: 42
Views: 8729

Re: >$250,000 portfolios with Vanguard? Insurance?

Investments (ETF's, individual stocks, mutual funds, etc...) are not FDIC insured anywhere.

FDIC insurance only covers bank deposits.

https://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/
by nordlead
Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pemera Blue Cross Hacked
Replies: 5
Views: 704

Re: Pemera Blue Cross Hacked

The only things I know you can do are 1) freeze/monitor your credit reports 2) use different username/passwords on all accounts 3) use 2-factor authentication on everything that allows it. And you should be doing this prior to any hacks, as your information is probably already stolen. The sad part i...
by nordlead
Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A great shave at a great price
Replies: 53
Views: 19382

Re: A great shave at a great price

I haven't bought a razor blade in ~5 years. I use about 1 blade per year (~8 uses per blade) and I get just enough free samples or coupons for free razors mailed to me to keep me going. I just can't be bothered to shave every morning. But, I'll have to see if my wife will try this company. She typic...
by nordlead
Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mortgage expense and income
Replies: 6
Views: 1103

Re: Mortgage expense and income

If you are only saving 5k/year for retirement then you are spending MORE than you can afford on other things. So yes, buy as much house as you can afford if that is what you enjoy, but right now you can't really afford the house you are in. As for school district, unless you are moving from the best...
by nordlead
Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Having 1x salary by age 30-35, is this after-tax?
Replies: 11
Views: 3447

Re: Having 1x salary by age 30-35, is this after-tax?

At age 30, I just take 25x my current spending. I then extrapolate savings + earnings (in real dollars) and see if I'm roughly on track. I don't care if the savings are pre or post tax. 25-35 years out is too far for me to make a more accurate guess. What I spend on 25-35 years from now will not be ...
by nordlead
Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ooops on taxes, what to do?
Replies: 11
Views: 2484

Re: Ooops on taxes, what to do?

If you file an amendment, I'd wait until after you get your refund. I doubt the IRS will notice prior to sending the refund.

As for if you should file one, that is a different question that I have no input on.
by nordlead
Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?
Replies: 60
Views: 5471

Re: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?

I was at 30% (I thought this was low). I'm now at 0%. In 1-2 month I should experience a significant bounce it seems. I was under the wrong impressions about what "high" was -- I thought I was actually building credit by building balances and paying them down without fail (in full). Oops....
by nordlead
Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Having 1x salary by age 30-35, is this after-tax?
Replies: 11
Views: 3447

Re: Having 1x salary by age 30-35, is this after-tax?

Since the 1x-8x by age rule is a quick rule of thumb it doesn't matter.

Complicate it if you want, or just do a straight comparison to see if you are generally on track. Whatever makes you happy.
by nordlead
Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?
Replies: 60
Views: 5471

Re: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?

I would also sign up for creditkarma.com. They now are able to provide actual scores from 2 of the 3 major credit agencies updated weekly for free. They give you detailed info on what is affecting each of your scores and also have a "calculator" to estimate how your score will change unde...
by nordlead
Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?
Replies: 60
Views: 5471

Re: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?

Also, 2 missed payments in 8 years isn't "just about perfect". 0 missed payments with a 1-2 hard pulls and a 5% utilization is just about perfect . I can believe a 650 with two missed payments and 20% utilization. You also didn't mention how many hard pulls you have. I had a score of aroun...
by nordlead
Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping the change (making saving automatic)
Replies: 15
Views: 2112

Re: Keeping the change (making saving automatic)

Go over your past 6 months of CC statements and round up every transaction, and then divide by 6. Set up an auto-deposit for that much every month. You have now done the same exact thing only for free. Redo this every 1-2 years to account for inflation or a rise in spending.
by nordlead
Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you buy an Apple Watch?
Replies: 456
Views: 76297

Re: Will you buy an Apple Watch?

no, but that is because I have no Apple products and I'm not likely to start buying them now. As for smart watches in general, I'll pass for now. I may have been 4 years behind the curve with smartphones, but that was only due to cost (mostly of the data plans). I had a PDA that did everything an iP...
by nordlead
Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what point is it too much house? How much do we need?
Replies: 52
Views: 19725

Re: At what point is it too much house? How much do we need

I don't own a 4ksqft house but I'll give my opinion/experience anyways. I have a 4-bedroom, 2.5bath, 2ksqft, full basement, large 2-car garage house. We have 3 adults and 3 children, and I've lived there since the first child was born. To this day, 2ksqft is plenty, but remember, I have a full basem...
by nordlead
Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sedan or SUV
Replies: 22
Views: 2721

Re: Sedan or SUV

I don't see why the lack of a V6 is a let down. I've never had a problem beating anyone off the line with a V4.

If you want excitement get her a motorcycle.

(my more serious thoughts are just buy an Accord with front wheel drive and traction control)
by nordlead
Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone had your home appraised recently?
Replies: 23
Views: 2628

Re: Anyone had your home appraised recently?

Zillow is pretty much always way off in my area and has been for the past 6-12 months. On zillow my house has been as low as $100k. This is a 2sqft house with a large 2-car garage and a full basement in a populated area. No one in their right mind would sell for that little. If they were, I'd be buy...
by nordlead
Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the most ubiquitous, platform-neutral video format?
Replies: 14
Views: 1650

Re: What is the most ubiquitous, platform-neutral video form

I'm coming at this as a professional, so my concerns might be greater than most, but if you are really serious about quality for archival purposes then I would recommend using the highest quality codec you think you are willing to store on hard drives. H264 is widely used because it was designed fo...
by nordlead
Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the most ubiquitous, platform-neutral video format?
Replies: 14
Views: 1650

Re: What is the most ubiquitous, platform-neutral video form

The answer to your question is.... there is no format that meets your needs. 15 years from now in technology is a long time. Microsoft Windows could be gone and Apple may not support mp4 by default. Linux may not come with any video player by default, or it might only support double clicking a ogg f...
by nordlead
Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking carbon efficient S&P fund
Replies: 19
Views: 2571

Re: Seeking carbon efficient S&P fund

I wonder if Google is in this fund? The company has a fleet of jets they use to fly for weekend trips in Europe. Doesn't even begin to touch on the amount of fossil fuels burned so their customers can view mindless Youtube videos. Just curious. http://portfolios.morningstar.com/fund/holdings?t=GCEQ...
by nordlead
Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to avoid extra $100/mo. to keep min balance on escrow
Replies: 13
Views: 1181

Re: Trying to avoid extra $100/mo. to keep min balance on es

I get ~$50 in interest on my escrow, and it commonly fluctuates between $1k and ~$3k, so I'm earning more than 1% Personally, I'd just accept the extra $92/month. Next year you'll have to pay less extra. Ultimately it'll all work out in the end. Paying $925 to close out the escrow means that you pro...
by nordlead
Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I learn to like sushi?
Replies: 80
Views: 23328

Re: How do I learn to like sushi?

If the point is to connect with co-workers at a lunch at wegmans just go and buy a sub, pizza, or whatever. Heck, some wegmans will even make various kinds of sandwiches instead of just subs.
by nordlead
Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No heat
Replies: 20
Views: 2195

Re: No heat

I replaced the blower motor for my furnance myself and it ran ~$130. All you have to do is turn off the power, remove a few screws/bolts, undo the electrical wires, remove the impeller, and then put everything back together. It can be done within 4 hours with no experience, and probably in 1 with ex...
by nordlead
Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age do you guys plan to retire?
Replies: 143
Views: 24046

Re: What age do you guys plan to retire?

My current plan says 55, but it could be anywhere from 50-65. It is too far away to know what is going to happen. 55 looks like the earliest unless I seriously start investing in taxable accounts (not likely).
by nordlead
Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What % of your gross income do you spend on mortgage/rent?
Replies: 155
Views: 33586

Re: What % of your gross income do you spend on mortgage/ren

22.5% for Mortgage, Taxes & Insurance.

Since the OP asked for mortgage/rent, Mortgage, Taxes, Insurance, and Maintenance is the closest you'll get to compare it to rent. I didn't include maintenance, but then again that would probably only bump it up ~1%.
by nordlead
Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving guests free WiFI @ short-term rental = get sued?
Replies: 32
Views: 6312

Re: Giving guests free WiFI @ short-term rental = get sued?

Tell the management company to provide it for free, and if lawsuits are a concern, combine the wifi agreement with the property rental agreement. Signing with the rental papers should be just as binding (if not more so) as a click through.(I am not a lawyer) And, if they insist on a landing page, yo...
by nordlead
Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What video games are you currently playing?
Replies: 374
Views: 47495

Re: What video games are you currently playing?

I'm a huge fan of strategy games.

I'm currently playing Fire Emblem: Awakening.
by nordlead
Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not clearing snow from driveway
Replies: 81
Views: 18868

Re: Not clearing snow from driveway

Outdoor extension cords have molded plugs and a solid insulation outer layer, so dragging the cord through the snow/wet grass shouldn't be a problem. Both ends of the cord should be protected from the elements well enough (sheathed tassel on the equipment and the outlet is in a garage or porch), so ...
by nordlead
Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trade Mechanical Piano for Electronic?
Replies: 16
Views: 1276

Re: Trade Mechanical Piano for Electronic?

I consider myself an accomplished pianist, having memorized the likes of Chopin's Grande Valse Brillante at 13, but I'm no where near as good as those that pursue it as a career. With that said, I own a console piano by Story & Clark, an electronic stage piano from Yamaha (P-140 I believe, it is...
by nordlead
Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: apple pay v. google wallet
Replies: 16
Views: 1794

Re: apple pay v. google wallet

Here's a soapbox rant: Apple needs to use some of their massive fortune to encourage availability. Once Costco accepts it at their registers and gas stations I could technically leave my cards at home. Mike Apple would have to defeat the likes of Walmart, Target, Kmart, CVS, every major gas station...
by nordlead
Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: apple pay v. google wallet
Replies: 16
Views: 1794

Re: apple pay v. google wallet

Anywhere that Apple Pay is accepted Google Wallet should also be accepted. Google Wallet uses NFC (like Apple Pay), but to the merchant looks like a MasterCard. Anyhere NFC is accepted probably accepts MasterCard, so therefore Google Wallet should work. If it wasn't for the fact that Google Wallet c...
by nordlead
Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not clearing snow from driveway
Replies: 81
Views: 18868

Re: Not clearing snow from driveway

Yes, the freeze/thaw cycle can damage your driveway, but clearing your driveway probably won't make much of a difference. There is so much snow here, that the ground will be completely saturated, and water runs down the street from the melting snow. That water will re-freeze under the end of my driv...
by nordlead
Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not clearing snow from driveway
Replies: 81
Views: 18868

Re: Not clearing snow from driveway

I live near Syracuse, (the snowiest big city in the US averaging 124"/year, 2nd in North America), and I also don't always clear my driveway. My parents driveway is getting pretty bad at the moment. It doesn't harm anything other than your back a few days later if you have to clear it and possi...
by nordlead
Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opinion-hunting: NW to home ratio? NW is high...
Replies: 16
Views: 1992

Re: Opinion-hunting: NW to home ratio? NW is high...

Interesting opinions. Seems a lot of you guys don't dig expensive homes. A $400k home in my area would be a 4ksqft monstrosity. With only 2 people I don't even need the 2ksqft I have now. Right now there are 3 adults and 3 little kids and I'm wasting at least 150sqft (one whole bedroom). Sure, it w...
by nordlead
Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: should son cash EE savings bonds?
Replies: 5
Views: 923

Re: should son cash EE savings bonds?

Treasury direct has the answer to your questions. They should double in 17 or 20 years. https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ebonds/res_e_bonds_eeratesandterms_eebondsissued051997_042005.htm You have to pay federal income tax unless you use them for qualified educational expenses. N...
by nordlead
Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: One stock
Replies: 35
Views: 3318

Re: One stock

... to rule them all, One Stock to find them,
One Stock to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

uh... I mean If I had to pick one for the next 10-20 years it might be....

Exxon
Apple
GE

not really sure as I don't pay nearly enough attention, but probably one of them.
by nordlead
Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which of these 3 Things Should I Focusing On First?
Replies: 10
Views: 1656

Re: Which of these 3 Things Should I Focusing On First?

I wouldn't buy a home for the low interest rate. If you are buying a home because you are going to have kids and want somewhere nice they can grow up (or any number of reasons), that is a different story. But, buying because something is on sale with no real use for it typically ends up costing you ...
by nordlead
Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opinion-hunting: NW to home ratio? NW is high...
Replies: 16
Views: 1992

Re: Opinion-hunting: NW to home ratio? NW is high...

I'd rent. I'd keep my possessions low, and I'd probably try living in different areas of the US every year or so. I'd rather not waste my time owning. So, no home budget, maybe $900-1500/month to rent? Since I'm a software engineer I'd just look for a job that didn't require I actually be in a physi...
by nordlead
Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hackers steal £650m – 10 ways to protect your bank account
Replies: 6
Views: 1199

Re: Hackers steal £650m – 10 ways to protect your bank accou

"But when you ring the bank's number the scammer is still on the line, having not hung up (this prevents you from making a new call). The conman will now pretend to be a bank representative, persuading you to transfer funds, withdraw money or reveal security information. " Is it correct t...
by nordlead
Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much was your Tax Refund (or amount DUE)
Replies: 110
Views: 13005

Re: How much was your Tax Refund (or amount DUE)

Refunds of: $2270 Federal, and $1487 NY. Received both of them already. Next year I predict I'll owe ~$300 federal, and I'll probably be at ~$0 for NY. But that can change drastically depending on what I decide to do Roth vs Traditional wise. For the past two years I've been able to grab $400 of sav...
by nordlead
Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Men's Winter Pants
Replies: 18
Views: 2902

Re: Best Men's Winter Pants

I live in Syracuse, so its a good bit cooler here. I just wear blue jeans and throw on long johns if I think I'll be cold (almost never).
by nordlead
Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?
Replies: 452
Views: 119319

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

He needs to post that living on $25k while also doing $10k worth of construction work throughout the year for extra fun stuff is a great life, not that living on $25k is a great life. Here's his response to your concerns: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/13/mr-money-mustache-vs-the-internet-r...
by nordlead
Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google two step verification & overseas travel
Replies: 10
Views: 1921

Re: Google two step verification & overseas travel

You should do both 2 & 3.

I wish every service used Google Authentication as it is superior to SMS (no signal required, and you often don't get one in the basement of a building).

Print out the paper codes and lock them in a safe in case your phone gets lost/stolen/broken.
by nordlead
Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Streaming alternatives to Netflix and Amazon?
Replies: 5
Views: 916

Re: Streaming alternatives to Netflix and Amazon?

I mostly just go to the network websites with my htpc. Almost any small PC will work today and you can watch for free.

I use Redbox, family video, or the library for movies, as I only watch them on occasion.
by nordlead
Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: Do you personally own a cell phone?
Replies: 92
Views: 9634

Re: POLL: Do you personally own a cell phone?

I own a ton of cell phones.... Most of them are sitting in a drawer and I should throw them away :D

We currently use two smartphones, a Nexus 5 running Android 4.4.4, and a Samsung Galaxy S3 running Cyanogenmod 11.

We pay ~$276/year for service.
by nordlead
Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ways to save on electricity bill
Replies: 58
Views: 9927

Re: Best ways to save on electricity bill

If you want to save electricity (or energy really), attack the biggest energy users. So.... * Add Insulation, use fans, and use space heaters (instead of heating an entire house). * Replace your old fridge (say if its 20 years old, if only 10 years old you won't save as much, but will still save) * ...
by nordlead
Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: How Will You Complete Your 2014 Taxes?
Replies: 69
Views: 8147

Re: POLL: How Will You Complete Your 2014 Taxes?

TaxAct for $6 (fed + state). I already got my federal refund, but I don't think my state return has been accepted yet. I haven't checked. If the price jumped above $20 I'd probably just use the fillable PDF files as taxes aren't that complex if you are a w2 employee and things aren't really changing...
by nordlead
Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your Minimum Annual Expenses
Replies: 37
Views: 5465

Re: Your Minimum Annual Expenses

Due to still have a mortgage.... $1500 - Mortgage $800 - Food/Basic Necessities (toilet paper, soap, etc...) $250 - electric/gas $64 - Phones and Internet $150 - Auto insurance, gas, maintenance $50 - clothes (3 growing kids) $80 - Life & Disability insurance Total = ~$35,000 That is ~$14k less ...
by nordlead
Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refund from the IRS? Why?
Replies: 51
Views: 14374

Re: Refund from the IRS? Why?

Surprisingly, when I checked the IRS' "Refund Status" site just this morning it indicated that my refund had been approved and should be rec'd by my financial institution this Friday. All the more surprising since I only e-filed (via TaxAct Online) this past Saturday. This would be less t...
by nordlead
Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refund from the IRS? Why?
Replies: 51
Views: 14374

Re: Refund from the IRS? Why?

meh, it is too much work to get it to $0. First, I have to know ahead of time if I'm going to be authorized overtime, second I need to know if I can make the reach for certain credits, which I don't do that calculation until late November/December. So, two years ago I had a huge refund, last year (2...