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Re: How to track expenses to the penny?

I use Excel. I used to use Mint, but it wasn't as customizable as I wanted it to be. But after doing this for the last 3 years I'm thinking of taking a step back and not tracking things so closely. But I keep coming back to the fact that since I manually enter every transaction into the spreadsheets...
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to track expenses to the penny?
Replies: 23
Views: 1165

Re: Help with Excel reformatting of fund price data

That can be done. You'd probably have to write a macro to do it. Might be able to do it with a very long and convoluted cell expression. Accounting for weekends might be tricky doing it that way. But looking through data for start/stop identifiers and then extracting only what you need is fairly tri...
by Kosmo
Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help with Excel reformatting of fund price data
Replies: 5
Views: 398

Re: Hw many credit cards to own?

We have 7. 3 are used regularly, 2 occasionally, and 2 only for certain seldom large purchases.
by Kosmo
Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hw many credit cards to own?
Replies: 54
Views: 2305

Re: Saving for Basement Finish

Don't think it matters much. I'd go with a savings account so the money is easily accessible if it's needed for something else.

Will you be doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor? DIY would allow you to spread the cost out more.
by Kosmo
Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving for Basement Finish
Replies: 16
Views: 754

Re: What to look for in HOA resale package

Read everything. Start with the by laws and resolutions. That will have the listing of what you can and can't do. The declaration might also have some rules in it. You can probably just skim the Financials and meeting minutes. They aren't interesting. But the reserve study will tell if there might b...
by Kosmo
Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to look for in HOA resale package
Replies: 9
Views: 860

Re: Favorite Athlete

Don Mattingly. And that's heavily influenced by the sports and teams I watched growing up, which was dictated by my dad.
by Kosmo
Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Athlete
Replies: 22
Views: 786

Re: Anyone here flip houses?

If you know the market and know a good buy you can make money. That's the tricky part- the rest is relatively easy. It's all about making a good buy. This thread is almost depressing. Flipping is not brain surgery. Recommending REITs over owning RE is mind blowing to me. I think you've greatly over...
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone here flip houses?
Replies: 39
Views: 4249

Re: Zoning Issue in PA

In my part of PA, zoning hearings are open to all residents. Call the township office to find out when and where the hearing is. It's usually a monthly meeting. Residential zoning is definitely better than commercial for this instance. You wouldn't want a Wawa/gas station/pizza place sitting in a re...
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Zoning Issue in PA
Replies: 5
Views: 737

Re: Fix Car or Get a New One?

What vehicle would you purchase if you got rid of the Explorer (or exploder as some people like to say)? That's the $64,000 question. I don't really like any of the SUVs/CUVs built on car frames. The current lineup of truck-based SUVs are all monsters (Tahoe, Suburban, Sequoia, Durango) and more ca...
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fix Car or Get a New One?
Replies: 11
Views: 1116

Re: Using Emergency Fund to Pay off Auto Loan

Keep the loan and keep the cash until after the baby is born and things return to a more normal state. Then re-evaluate the best use of the money. I wouldn't pay off a loan at that low of a rate early.
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Emergency Fund to Pay off Auto Loan
Replies: 20
Views: 1550

Re: Fix Car or Get a New One?

Cherokee8215 wrote:How many miles on the Explorer?

115k
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fix Car or Get a New One?
Replies: 11
Views: 1116

Re: Fix Car or Get a New One?

Thanks, guys. Reliability is questionable...I've had numerous issues over the years. But the cost has been fairly minimal, it's more of a hassle to drop the car off and get the work done. I quite like the car and unfortunately no one makes a vehicle of comparable size/capability as that anymore.
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fix Car or Get a New One?
Replies: 11
Views: 1116

Fix Car or Get a New One?

After chiming in here: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=142877 , it's time for me to actually put my money where my fingertips are. My 2005 Ford Explorer needs a transmission repair. It will cost at least $1800. I don't know the upper bound on the cost, depends on what parts ...
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fix Car or Get a New One?
Replies: 11
Views: 1116

Re: Anyone here flip houses?

ugaDAWGS09 wrote:I definitely won't be able to do the renovations myself, not only do I lack time but I lack the skill for that kind of work.

So why do you think flipping houses would be a good fit for you?

If you have excess cash and are looking to invest in real estate, buy REITs.
by Kosmo
Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone here flip houses?
Replies: 39
Views: 4249

Re: Sell taxable account to pay down student loans?

I would not pay those down. Keep the cheap debt as long as you can.
by Kosmo
Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell taxable account to pay down student loans?
Replies: 15
Views: 940

Re: New vehicle...GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse, or Buick Encla

Getting a reliable car that doesn't meet your needs is no deal. Right, so what do you value most? Cargo capacity, people capacity, engine performance, handling, interior/exterior styling, features, etc? I'm also considering a new vehicle and looking at some of the ones you listed. For me, it's carg...
by Kosmo
Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New vehicle...GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse, or Buick Enclave?
Replies: 57
Views: 4162

Re: Engineer career change

My goal in life is to maximize my compensation to effort ratio and retire ASAP. Let me know what you find. I too would like to get paid handsomely to do almost nothing, then officially declare that I will do even less so I can travel and enjoy more hobbies. Maybe a government job is the way to go...
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engineer career change
Replies: 55
Views: 5382

Re: My house just flooded

Contact the water company. This should be covered under their insurance.

Does your house have a foundation? Those are generally a good thing to have. As for you freaking out and your girlfriend getting pissed off at you...neither of those should have happened, they just make the situation worse.
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My house just flooded
Replies: 13
Views: 1976

Re: Driving from outside Philly to Florida, with 3 children.

:happy The Battleship North Carolina is clearly the best thing to see between the Battleship New Jersey and the Battleship Alabama. :happy I like the way you think, I've hit 2 of those. But you forgot about the Wisconsin in Norfolk. To the OP- Is the point trip the journey, or are you looking for t...
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving from outside Philly to Florida, with 3 children...
Replies: 22
Views: 1796

Re: Munchies ?

Popcorners. They are corn chips but taste like popcorn instead of tortilla chips. And they are healthy. I know Costco sells them, can't say where else.
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Munchies ?
Replies: 22
Views: 2054

Re: Reusable crates for moving

We purchased large plastic black crates w/ yellow lids from Costco at ~$9 each. Returned most of them shortly after the move in very good condition. Probably qualifies as taking advantage of Costco's customer-centric return policy, but it was hassle-free and made packing and moving ten times easier...
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reusable crates for moving
Replies: 8
Views: 829

Re: Advice for how to fund my wedding

If filing your taxes as married filing jointly for this year will drop you down a tax bracket (or possibly not bump you up), then do option 2 and take the capital gains. Otherwise option 1.
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for how to fund my wedding
Replies: 54
Views: 2662

Re: Book for part-time Grad school?

I did a master's in engineering while working full time. It's a huge time commitment, no 2 ways about it. I was able to work with my manager to have a flexible work schedule so I could take some day classes (the program I was in was intended for full time students, so I had to make up for that by wo...
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Book for part-time Grad school?
Replies: 26
Views: 1528

Re: Neighbor's Fireworks

Clean up the debris. You don't want your new roof looking messy. No one can control the wind.
by Kosmo
Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor's Fireworks
Replies: 50
Views: 4276

Re: Is deferring 75% of your paycheck Roth 401(k) even doabl

I don't have access to a Roth 401k, but do you specify a contribution as a percentage of gross or net pay? Since the contributions are after tax dollars, is your (say) 25% contribution figured after taxes are paid?
by Kosmo
Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is deferring 75% of your paycheck Roth 401(k) even doable?
Replies: 14
Views: 1959

Re: Kitchen Remodel - Appliance Brand/Model Recommendations

I've got Kenmore Elite for the range and fridge, Bosch for the dish washer. I can't recall who actually built the range, but the fridge is built by LG. There are so many choices it can make your head spin. But if you are a good chef it's worth it to pay the big bucks for professional grade appliances.
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel - Appliance Brand/Model Recommendations
Replies: 47
Views: 3048

Re: Please Help Me Plan A Trip To Italy

I'm planning a trip to Italy in October. I'm curious what people suggest. We're going for a wedding, but plan to arrive a few days early. We'll be in Tuscany, so we'll visit Florence but not Rome. Flight plan is JFK to Pisa with a layover in Munich. Once I have the experience over there, I'll be gla...
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please Help Me Plan A Trip To Italy
Replies: 26
Views: 1838

Re: Sell rental property to pay down mortgage?

I'd be in no hurry to pay down a fixed rate mortgage at 3.6%. If you can max out tax advantaged accounts and are living comfortably otherwise, just keep doing what you're doing.
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell rental property to pay down mortgage?
Replies: 5
Views: 555

Re: Starting Retirement Investment in a Bull Market

Diversification is a lovely word. But can I have my cake and eat it to? Can I invest into my retirement fund but still have enough for the "expenditures" my father has in store? I just made a financial plan and when I put both of them in I feel like I have to save double the income. Not t...
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting Retirement Investment in a Bull Market
Replies: 21
Views: 1813

Re: How to Allocate 401k with Company Stock

In the 15% tax bracket you should prioritize Roth IRAs. Your wife's future income may bump you up into the 25% bracket and at that point it's probably more beneficial to prioritize traditional 401k and IRA. But if there's a company match, contribute enough to the 401k to get that free money. I like ...
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Allocate 401k with Company Stock
Replies: 13
Views: 1020

Re: taxes on family loan for mortgage downpayment?

There should be no tax issues for you. But the family member will need to declare the interest you pay to them as income. Does the mortgage lender know about this? They certainly do look at bank statements to ensure you have sufficient assets and income to be able to repay the loan. They will questi...
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes on family loan for mortgage downpayment?
Replies: 10
Views: 765

Re: Getting a chunk of money, where should I put it?

The short short answer is to put it all into total stock market index fund (VTSAX) in your taxable investment account. If you provide more details about your overall financial situation then better suggestions can be made. Things like paying off debt, ensuring an adequate emergency fund, saving for ...
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting a chunk of money, where should I put it?
Replies: 14
Views: 1943

Re: Roth and House Down-payment advice needed for 23yo

OP- I can see that we work for the same large corporation. It is a very good 401k, but don't use an advisor, just listen to the people here. Contribute to get the max match. Your desired AA doesn't match your actual AA. I'd drop the target date fund. I use the other 4 funds you've listed. Keep the A...
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth and House Down-payment advice needed for 23yo
Replies: 14
Views: 1084

Re: Re-hired at firm, given incorrect 401k info

People here obsess over fractions of a percent of expense ratio, but are now perfectly Ok with giving up 4% of salary. Doesn't make sense to me. I would go to HR and say you were given incorrect information by them and it materially affected your total compensation package in a negative fashion. Ask...
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-hired at firm, given incorrect 401k info
Replies: 27
Views: 2282

Re: Taxable investing for the first time: strategies?

After max 401k contributions, will you still be in the 25% bracket? If not, it would be better to make Roth IRA contributions. Making deductible contributions to get back into the 15% tax bracket doesn't save you all that much.

Otherwise plan and AA look OK to me.
by Kosmo
Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable investing for the first time: strategies?
Replies: 9
Views: 927

Re: Two month car rental

Just for my own edification, am I correct assuming if OP rented from one of the major companies (Hertz, Avis, etc.) and he had a major problem part way through his trip he could exchange the rented vehicle for another one at the local dealer wherever he happened to be? I once had a rental for 5 mon...
by Kosmo
Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two month car rental
Replies: 28
Views: 1895

Re: New home purchase: credits/repairs question

Get the septic tank and the window fixed by the seller a. Everything else sounds like a non-issue. They can all be fixed with some basic tools and minimal materials cost. Just because the inspector noticed something doesn't mean it's a problem.
by Kosmo
Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New home purchase: credits/repairs question
Replies: 11
Views: 834

Re: To HSA or not to HSA

"Individual" only applies if it's an individual plan. That means only 1 person is on it. Otherwise it's a family plan regardless of how many additional people are on it. So for your entire family, only use the numbers for a family plan. I'd say #2 would be the best for your situation. And ...
by Kosmo
Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To HSA or not to HSA
Replies: 12
Views: 1489

Re: How many Bogleheads golf?

I'm surprised at how few people golf. I play only a handful of rounds a year ($50-$75 per round). I'd like to play more but I don't have the time. That means I'm not very good and not getting any better.
by Kosmo
Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many Bogleheads golf?
Replies: 81
Views: 4268

Re: To pay off condo rental investment or not?

You already have enough money in the taxable account to pay off the rental, so why haven't you? There's your answer...

I would not pay off the rental at this time. But re-assess in a few years and see what the best use of your money is at that point in time.
by Kosmo
Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: To pay off condo rental investment or not?
Replies: 9
Views: 735

Re: When to get an appraisal to remove PMI

I don't disagree with anything already mentioned, and I really have nothing new to add. But I took a quick look at a map to get an idea of the area you are talking about...How is East Palo Alto directly north of Palo Alto? Do compasses point towards the ocean when you're on the left coast? And those...
by Kosmo
Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to get an appraisal to remove PMI
Replies: 16
Views: 1355

Re: Best route thru DC on I95

I drive the Philly to Annapolis portion of 301 frequently and have never run into traffic except at the bay bridge approach going north. Otherwise, very predictable. I can't say about driving 301 all the way from Richmond. Summer Friday-Monday and holidays is no time to be on the Bay Bridge. This t...
by Kosmo
Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best route thru DC on I95
Replies: 23
Views: 1178

Re: burning 1 lb is how many calories?

Check out the paper here (courtesy of google): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2376744/ I skimmed it, but it appears that 3500 Cal is based on the approximate energy density of the body mass being lost, which is primarily fat cells, but also other components. And it's just a rule of thum...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: burning 1 lb is how many calories?
Replies: 69
Views: 5520

Re: Best route thru DC on I95

+1 using 301 to avoid DC. +2. I drive the Philly to Annapolis portion of 301 frequently and have never run into traffic except at the bay bridge approach going north. Otherwise, very predictable. I can't say about driving 301 all the way from Richmond. Might it be quicker to take 95/395/295 into DC...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best route thru DC on I95
Replies: 23
Views: 1178

Re: How do you afford to travel?

JupiterJones wrote:Fear of flying is very common. The good news is, you can do something about it.

One of the best ways to get over a fear of flying is to take flying lessons. It's a whole different ballgame when you're in control.
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you afford to travel?
Replies: 68
Views: 6142

Re: How do you afford to travel?

Your post implies that you don't actually like to travel, but you think you ought to like it and you're trying to force yourself to like it. If you get more enjoyment out of exploring local restaurants or taking weekend trips that are driving distance, then do that. I personally think that if you do...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you afford to travel?
Replies: 68
Views: 6142

Re: Would you take a tax free loan on investments?

The loan isn't really tax free since you'll eventually be double taxed on any interest you pay. I don't know the details of the TSP, but I think taking a loan is a good option if you can still contribute at the rate you are now. And if that's a fixed interest rate, I'd borrow the max possible that I...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Would you take a tax free loan on investments?
Replies: 15
Views: 693

Re: Rental property in asset allocation

I don't consider it. I think of it as a completely separate "business".
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental property in asset allocation
Replies: 18
Views: 843

Re: Help devising winning roulette system

Let's get straight to the money-saving advice. Any bet you decide to make MUST cover only even-red or odd-black numbers. There are no exceptions. Finally, you need to be very disciplined in excluding the number 30 and the group of consecutive numbers that begins with 11 and continues clockwise thro...
by Kosmo
Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help devising winning roulette system
Replies: 72
Views: 2988

Re: Help devising winning roulette system

I will confirm that the system proposed by wilked will work. Unfortunately, the system in the OP will not.
by Kosmo
Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help devising winning roulette system
Replies: 72
Views: 2988
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