Search found 785 matches

by Kosmo
Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take a 0.74% car loan or pay with cash?
Replies: 76
Views: 5401

Re: Take a 0.74% car loan or pay with cash?

I'd take the loan. That's well below inflation and you can easily beat that rate in an online savings account.
by Kosmo
Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacations this Year?
Replies: 28
Views: 1097

Re: Vacations this Year?

Took the family to Williamsburg, VA in June. The kids are not old enough to understand the significance of the area, but my son loved to march next to the fife and drum corps.

Possibly taking a long weekend to NH around Thanksgiving. Planning a trip to Disney World in early 2016.
by Kosmo
Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to upgrade my HVAC?
Replies: 22
Views: 2294

Re: Time to upgrade my HVAC?

...and not compatible with my furnace. That triggered my B.S. alarm. Yeah. If the AC is that old it most likely uses R22. When you got a replacement furnace, the evaporator coil had to be compatible for R22. And I can say with 100% certainty that you get a replacement compressor designed for R22. I...
by Kosmo
Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you donate to your kid's public school?
Replies: 60
Views: 4452

Re: How much do you donate to your kid's public school?

The portion of my property taxes that goes to the school district is about $5800. And my kids aren't even old enough to attend.
by Kosmo
Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 80/20 rule -> How to learn the 20%?
Replies: 7
Views: 2212

Re: 80/20 rule -> How to learn the 20%?

I think you're interpreting this wrong. The percentages don't really matter. If you want to learn how to do something, then go and learn it. If you want to "do" what you've learned then you have to continually use that learned skill. Do you routinely bake crappy cakes and want to learn how...
by Kosmo
Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oversized HVAC?
Replies: 39
Views: 4078

Re: Oversized HVAC?

I was advised against a 2 stage system for a 2 story house because of short cycling. If the thermostat is on the bottom floor (and especially near a register) it will short cycle the 1st stage because the air temp is getting to the commanded value quickly. Have you tried closing all the 1st floor re...
by Kosmo
Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card "billing cycles" and outstanding balance
Replies: 18
Views: 1300

Re: Credit card "billing cycles" and outstanding balance

I still don't see what you're issue is. The info you want is easily available when you log in to the cc website. The outstanding balance is usually pretty clearly marked. You may have to do some addition or subtraction for charges/payments that haven't posted yet, but that is trivial. A running tota...
by Kosmo
Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got a great entry level full time offer (70K + 10K signing bonus), not sure if I should accept or decline
Replies: 35
Views: 4397

Re: Got a great entry level full time offer (70K + 10K signing bonus), not sure if I should accept or decline

Take the job. A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush.

giwaoka wrote:Do you have some insight on non audit consulting roles, like management/strategy consulting? Thats also something I am interested within consulting.

Do you have experience in management or strategy? You need that to consult on it.
by Kosmo
Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank closed all my accounts without explanation
Replies: 66
Views: 6048

Re: Bank closed all my accounts without explaination

That the problem with no name banks, never heard of Santander. Ha, this was quite amusing. Santander is one of the largest banks in the world. But in the US, they are only in the northeast. I remember a few years ago when they converted all the Sovereign banks over, they had non-stop radio ads abou...
by Kosmo
Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attic Fan & Noise Ordinance
Replies: 35
Views: 2709

Re: Attic Fan & Noise Ordinance

In my city if someone complains of noise, they will send out an officer with a sound pressure meter to take measurements. There are objective standards for noise pollution. It doesn't seem like this is what you mean to do, but if the sound is within the legal limits you can ignore them. This. Do no...
by Kosmo
Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I actually earn more than what shows on my W-2?
Replies: 19
Views: 2163

Re: Do I actually earn more than what shows on my W-2?

Box 1 is income that is potentially taxable (not the same as taxable income on a form 1040). This does not include things like traditional 401k contributions, cafeteria plans, medical insurance, dependent care plans, etc. which are deducted pre-tax. If you add back in all those thing you'll arrive a...
by Kosmo
Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice please: Professionally wall mounting a TV and 5.1 sound
Replies: 22
Views: 1561

Re: Advice please: Professionally wall mounting a TV and 5.1 sound

This involves opening up a lot of wall space. You might find a person to do the AV work, but you'll probably need to hire a drywall guy to patch all the openings and re-paint. I'd recommend going wireless if don't already have the walls open for a different reason. I did this work myself when I was ...
by Kosmo
Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Insurance [Possible damage caused by nearby construction]
Replies: 9
Views: 962

Re: Home Insurance [Possible damage caused by nearby construction]

Do you have a crack now? Or are you anticipating a crack due to construction? If it's the latter, make sure you've got pictures (with an embedded time stamp) that show your foundation has no cracks now. Should something happen, it'll be responsibility of the construction company to repair. Do you ha...
by Kosmo
Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: loan for a dental practice
Replies: 17
Views: 1631

Re: loan amortization

I'd interpret those as balloon payments due at 5 and 10 years, respectively. The payments are based on a 20 year amortization schedule, but only last for 5 or 10 years. At that point the balance is due. I had a 2nd mortgage like this when I bought my first house. I refinanced out of it before the ba...
by Kosmo
Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I wrong? [to assist family members with finances]
Replies: 32
Views: 4218

Re: Am I wrong?

You are definitely not wrong. They asked for advice and you gave it. Their inability to execute simple instructions ("Call Vanguard") shows me they really have no interest in making changes.
by Kosmo
Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV advice
Replies: 119
Views: 8781

Re: SUV advice

I have a Honda Pilot and the wife drives a Subaru Forester. I enjoy them both. The backseat of the Pilot is wide enough for 2 car seats and an adult in between them, which is a huge plus on some longer drives. And the cargo area is plenty deep for our 65 lb dog and a week's worth of clothes/toys/etc...
by Kosmo
Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New A/C Install
Replies: 13
Views: 1179

Re: New A/C Install

Just had an XC14 installed in June. My price was about $12k for the AC and a new gas furnace, installed. So your prices look about right. How much do you use the AC? If it's only 3-4 months out of the year, not worth it to go up to an XC17. It might take you longer than the life of the unit to recou...
by Kosmo
Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord Question - Military Tenant
Replies: 25
Views: 1506

Re: Landlord Question - Military Tenant

Do you know tenant 1's BAH? Monthly income may be irrelevant to you getting paid rent.
by Kosmo
Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?
Replies: 201
Views: 13923

Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

I think $1000 is a lot. We are 2 adults and 2 toddlers and spend about $600 on groceries. Plus another $150 or so eating out.
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of concrete installed
Replies: 9
Views: 1383

Re: Cost of concrete installed

Installed meaning the contractor does everything? I can't say for that. But for delivery around here it's $180 for the first yard and $120 a yard thereafter. I'd guess about 3x that for them to install. And maybe another 3x for demo and disposal of the existing plus site prep.
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC to buy cabin
Replies: 21
Views: 1591

Re: HELOC to buy cabin

Are you comfortable taking out a loan for $60k to buy the cabin when you already owe that amount to your in-laws for their help with the downpayment on your primary home? I would not be; I'd use the HELOC to pay the in-laws back before I'd buy another property. I was going to bring up this same poi...
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does % of students from low income households factor when you pick schools for kids?
Replies: 39
Views: 2763

Re: Does % of students from low income households factor when you pick schools for kids?

I picked a school for what it is supposed to do, that is teach kids academics. Your kids are going to be much more successful with good academics. If you want to teach social values, do that through other groups, church, boy/girl scouts, boys/girls club, 4-H, etc. Agree here. Academics was the deci...
by Kosmo
Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Window Replacement - Recommendations (Southwest)?
Replies: 13
Views: 973

Re: Home Window Replacement - Recommendations (Southwest)?

We just had our windows replaced about 2 weeks ago. Went with a local company (had 4 come give quotes). 24 windows cost just under $11k. We also had them replace the front door, rear slider, and all the shutters. I can't say what type of financing you can get, but I'd be surprised if you could get 0...
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place to live for a young family?
Replies: 42
Views: 4617

Re: Best Place to live for a young family?

This is far too personal of a question to make heads or tails of the answers. It entirely hinges on what you value more. Do you care about job opportunities? Proximity to family? Climate? Proximity to large cities, countryside, mountains, beach, etc.? What about cultural activities like museums or t...
by Kosmo
Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When did you start investing in the Market?
Replies: 60
Views: 3639

Re: When did you start investing in the Market?

August 2005, so almost exactly 10 years ago. That was when I stated my first real job after college.

I remember I had to borrow money from my dad because my rent was due before I got my first paycheck. But I had that 401k contribution set up.
by Kosmo
Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What can you deduct for undermarket rental?
Replies: 23
Views: 1656

Re: What can you deduct for undermarket rental?

I do not know the answer, but you should try biggerpockets.com. Someone over there will know.
by Kosmo
Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with bill received for prior homeowner
Replies: 41
Views: 3791

Re: What to do with bill received for prior homeowner

Flobes wrote:Federal law makes it illegal to open or trash correspondance addressed to someone else.
Not necessarily true. See my post above which links to the federal law and quotes an appellate court judgement.
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which professional to contact? [Front yard maintenance]
Replies: 12
Views: 1071

Re: Which professional to contact? [Front yard maintenance]

hmm, yes, there is clay in the soil.... So, what are my options then? Add similar clay mixed soil on top? Topsoil is still the best bet. But if there is a lot of clay in the soil, you may just get a level-looking wet and squishy spot (or a mud puddle if the grass doesn't grow). But you haven't solv...
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with bill received for prior homeowner
Replies: 41
Views: 3791

Re: What to do with bill received for prior homeowner

We occasionally get mail for the previous owners of the house, and I just rip it up and trash it. I used to write a note and send it back, but that didn't seem to have the intended effect, as this still occurs. I did some quick "research" into the legality of what you can/cannot do with su...
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift Card Exchange Web Sites
Replies: 19
Views: 1668

Re: Gift Card Exchange Web Sites

I've used abcgiftcards.com maybe a dozen times or so. The only issue I've had was with a card to a clothing store. The card had the proper value on it, but was locked and the company couldn't unlock it, so it was unusable. I had to jump through a few hoops like emailing photos of the actual card to ...
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which professional to contact? [Front yard maintenance]
Replies: 12
Views: 1071

Re: Which professional to contact? [Front yard maintenance]

It's probably a deeper depression than you think. A cubic foot of dirt doesn't go very far, so you'll need to get more bags of top soil than you expect. Any clay in the soil? If so you might just be making a mud patch.
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renegotiating Contract, selling our house
Replies: 18
Views: 1564

Re: Renegotiating Contract, selling our house

It appears you didn't babysit the agent enough and you signed a contract that you can't really get out of. I don't really think you have negotiating power. Ask her if you bring in a buyer will she accept the 3% for seller's agent and the 3% for buyers agent is waived. That'll save you the money. But...
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Increase retirement savings vs pay off mortgage
Replies: 5
Views: 844

Re: Increase retirement savings vs pay off mortgage

I would do anything and everything else before pre-paying the mortgage on a rental property. (I do not pre-pay mine.) Especially one with such a low interest rate. Remember that interest is always deductible against rent. Contributions; - I max out the 403b contributions Keep this up. - I save $1-2K...
by Kosmo
Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wiring home network cable type?
Replies: 30
Views: 1988

Re: Wiring home network cable type?

Why not go wireless?
by Kosmo
Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 22 years old want to do rental properties
Replies: 35
Views: 3813

Re: 22 years old want to do rental properties

4) I have been using youtube to learn just about everything. But for plumbing, electrical, structural issues, isn't a state-specific license required? For example, if someone gets hurt by how you inproperly fixed a toilet, in trouble? A contractor's license doesn't absolve you of any consequences t...
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holes in concrete driveway
Replies: 5
Views: 1084

Re: Holes in concrete driveway

Option 1. I'd be more concerned about cracks than small holes.
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget and Housing Question
Replies: 10
Views: 1405

Re: Budget and Housing Question

Are these averaged out numbers over some period of time? Some seem oddly specific: Vehicle gas: $77.00 Electric/heat: $177.00 Gifts: $26.00 Entertainment: $64.00 Misc: $66.00 Your home improvements (which I take to include routine maintenance) and water/sewer expenses look low. Do you really not buy...
by Kosmo
Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you think this is a smart budget ?
Replies: 17
Views: 2888

Re: Do you think this is a smart budget ?

I don't see anything that looks unreasonable. I would add categories for clothes, medical expenses, general home maintenance, auto maintenance, and adult allowances. If you can reasonable expect (not necessarily predict) something will happen, like changing your oil, put in an item in the budget. As...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New to Golf
Replies: 45
Views: 5039

Re: New to Golf

Buy used irons and a new putter. Get some lessons. Keep hitting balls. I started about 6 years ago and I'm still learning. I have a driver but no woods, and I rarely use the driver. In fact for about 2 years I played every round with only a 5 iron, pitching wedge, and putter. It's way more important...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone put in a prehung entry door & sidelight?
Replies: 10
Views: 1211

Re: anyone put in a prehung entry door & sidelight?

Everything FreddieG said is the reason the carpenter is doing mine. What he can do in a couple of hours would take me a day+. Sorry I am confused, are you taking the old door out yourself or is that included in the 1400? $1400 is removal of old door and installation of the new one. The point is you'...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I open up floor of very old home to search for old coins?
Replies: 35
Views: 5158

Re: Should I open up floor of very old home to search for old coins?

Might it be easier to go in through the ceiling below? Is it lath and plaster or drywall? I wouldn't want to rip up 100+ year old hardwood floor. Even if you could get up the boards without breaking them you'll never be able to match the nails when you replace them. But I might consider a hole or 2 ...
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone put in a prehung entry door & sidelight?
Replies: 10
Views: 1211

Re: anyone put in a prehung entry door & sidelight?

You're going to hang a door and you're more worried about the paint job? Make sure you have a lot of shims on hand to get it plumb. Try not to damage any of the framing or drywall when you take out the old door. That's not terribly hard to repair, but it is time consuming. The painting is the easy p...
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do your children cost per month?
Replies: 83
Views: 7163

Re: How much do your children cost per month?

We spend $2200 for two kids for daycare alone. (HCOL) OP, Would you post an example of your monthly grocery list or bill. I am floored that you can get away with spending $202/month. For our family of 4 we spend that much a week. I would not say that we are extravagant in our food choices either bu...
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comfortable shoes for work
Replies: 43
Views: 4326

Re: Comfortable shoes for work

You do not specify whether you are male or female; regardless, Clarks shoe s--for both men and women. The shoes are more conservative than stylish, but once in a while you can find a gem. More importantly, the shoes are comfortable. The higher cost of comfortable shoes is so worth it. This. I have ...
by Kosmo
Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to introduce legos to my almost 5 year old boy?
Replies: 15
Views: 1242

Re: How to introduce legos to my almost 5 year old boy?

Just dump a bunch in front of him. He'll figure it out. Once he gets the hang of how to build with them, start building according to the instructions.
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsure of the process of paying off mortgage early (all at once)
Replies: 30
Views: 3611

Re: Unsure of the process of paying off mortgage early (all at once)

The most unnerving part was thinking about carrying cash from my credit union to the Wells Fargo branch 2 miles away -- but when the credit union heard what the money was for, they just cut a cashiers check at no charge. You mean you didn't get burlap sacks filled with cash with $ written on the si...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Company to Bundle Auto & Home Insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 2123

Re: Best Company to Bundle Auto & Home Insurance

Why don't you ask the broker for a quote on auto and home with whatever companies he now represents? Or just stay with the existing company.

FWIW, I use Grange insurance. Just last week I switched a landlord's policy over to them from State Farm.
by Kosmo
Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fellow condo owner stopped paying HOA fees. What happens next?
Replies: 19
Views: 3954

Re: Fellow condo owner stopped paying HOA fees. What happens next?

How do you have $9k in legal fees trying to collect $8k? I'm on an HOA board in PA and that sounds absurd. We are sending a house to sheriff sale in July and the filing fee (which is recoverable at the sale) is $3k. That's the most expensive legal bill I've seen in my 5 years on this board. The othe...
by Kosmo
Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New CC expiration date but same card number - do I have to update auto pays?
Replies: 11
Views: 1447

Re: New CC expiration date but same card number - do I have to update auto pays?

I was just issued a card with a chip last month. Same number. All my autopays worked without issue.
by Kosmo
Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you do to relax just after returning from work
Replies: 59
Views: 6695

Re: What do you do to relax just after returning from work

Between working 10+ hours a day, playing with the kids and the dog, preparing meals, and various home maintenance/improvement projects...I relax on Sunday night for about an hour by watching Game of Thrones and then going to bed early. This is accompanied by nightly feelings of vague guilt because I...

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