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Re: Costa Rica?

Last time we went was in 2008 I think. Have they fixed the bridge to Manuel Antonio? It was constructed of duct tape and loose iron pipe and not nearly enough duct tape IMO. The drop was only 40 feet or so into the river below. We followed a concrete mixer truck but stayed a bit back from him. Moun...
by crowd79
Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costa Rica?
Replies: 14
Views: 1368

Re: Costa Rica?

I just did Costa Rica in early February for two weeks through Contiki Tours. Pretty much hit all the hot spots there, i.e. Volcanoes, beaches, and did many adventurous activities like rappelling, ziplining and whitewater rafting. Had an incredible time. A beautiful, diverse country with very friendl...
by crowd79
Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costa Rica?
Replies: 14
Views: 1368

Re: Use credit cards to pay rent: Amex Serve?

Amazon Payments is the way to go. You can send money (up to $1,000 per month) using a credit card to anyone without fees. Wish I had known about this years ago, I could have earned thousands of more points or miles from my credit cards rather than paying my abroad-living landlord through my bank acc...
by crowd79
Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use credit cards to pay rent: Amex Serve?
Replies: 56
Views: 3313

Re: best cash back credit card

Chase Freedom 5% ends in a few days on gas purchases. Is it okay to go to my local gas station and stock up on gas gift cards to cover gas purchases from April to June? Will this credit as a gas purchase on my card? I believe July-Sept starts another 5% cashback period for gas on the freedom. That'...
by crowd79
Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20266

Re: What age did you reach 100K networth?

Just about there now. I'm 34.
by crowd79
Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you reach 100K networth?
Replies: 264
Views: 31165

Re: best cash back credit card

I am thinking of entering the frequent flyer zone and applying for a Citi AAvantage card for 30,000 bonus miles since I plan to travel soon. This would be enough for a roundtrip ticket in North America. American Airlines claims that each mile is worth 1.5 cents, so that would be a "free" $...
by crowd79
Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20266

Re: $3000 to invest for 3 years

I know rates are terrible, but money needed in 3 years needs to be in a 3 YR CD or I-Bonds at best.
by crowd79
Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $3000 to invest for 3 years
Replies: 18
Views: 1211

Re: best cash back credit card

Chase Freedom 5% ends in a few days on gas purchases. Is it okay to go to my local gas station and stock up on gas gift cards to cover gas purchases from April to June? Will this credit as a gas purchase on my card? I believe July-Sept starts another 5% cashback period for gas on the freedom.
by crowd79
Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20266

Re: Buy a used car or pay $5,000 more to get a new one?

Always buy used cars. Cars are suppose to get you from point A to point B, not be an investment. Buying a brand new car fresh off the lot is the worst decision one can make. I've saved thousands over the years buying cars with 50-80K miles on them for $4k-$8k and driven them till they die. Current c...
by crowd79
Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a used car or pay $5,000 more to get a new one?
Replies: 62
Views: 4223

Re: How Much of Tax Refund Do You Save/Spend..??

I honestly can't remember the last time I received a significant refund. I have considered overpaying, so I could purchase a $5K Ibond, but I just cant bring my self to give uncle Sam an interest free loan :oops: With interest rates on savings so low, generally less than 1%, I don't mind overwithho...
by crowd79
Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much of Tax Refund Do You Save/Spend..??
Replies: 68
Views: 2414

Re: Synthetic engine oil worth better/cheaper in the long ru

I change my oil every 3 months regardless of mileage as stated by my windshield stickers I get from the lube shop. Any later than 3 months you risk destroying your engine.
by crowd79
Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Synthetic engine oil worth better/cheaper in the long run?
Replies: 89
Views: 8982

Re: short term investment as of today

mml44 wrote:5% reward checking. No bond can beat that.http://www.myconsumers.org/personal/che ... cking.html


I don't like all the hoops I would have to jump through to get that rate. Thanks but no thanks..
by crowd79
Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: short term investment as of today
Replies: 11
Views: 788

Re: How Much of Tax Refund Do You Save/Spend..??

I'll use this year's refund ($3,170) to pay for my recent vacation to Costa Rica....
by crowd79
Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much of Tax Refund Do You Save/Spend..??
Replies: 68
Views: 2414

Re: finding ways to save money

Nobody needs an expensive phone plan. I have a cheap sliding Tracfone with double minutes for life, not one of those iPhones that require a service contract and other costs. I spend about $10 per month for phone service! My friends may laugh at me, but I laugh back at them. I keep contact thru Twitt...
by crowd79
Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: finding ways to save money
Replies: 39
Views: 3431

Re: best cash back credit card

I use the following cards right now to maximize my cashback:

AMEX Blue Preferred: Groceries, 6%
Chase Sapphire: Travel, 2%, restaurants 2% (3% on the first Friday of each month)
Chase Freedom: Gas, 5%
Cap One Quicksilver: Car insurance, YMCA (gym), Hulu, everything else, 1.5%
by crowd79
Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20266

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Just came back from an incredible 2 weeks in Costa Rica. Saw lots of amazing wildlife, scenery and did amazing adventurous activities such as rappelling down waterfalls, canyoneering, whitewater rafting, ziplining on super long cables over a cloud forest and horseback riding through the jungle. The ...
by crowd79
Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?
Replies: 54
Views: 3177

Re: What is your 10-year historical returns (to Dec 31, 2013

Not even sure since I am young and basically in the "contribution" phase of my retirement goals. My large contributions each year make a bigger difference right now than the % return I get. Hopefully when I reach $100k then the magic of compounding will start to work for me...
by crowd79
Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your 10-year historical returns (to Dec 31, 2013)
Replies: 71
Views: 2837

My AMEX CC 0% promo ends 1/14, interest question

I currently have a balance of roughly $1,450 that is under the 0% promo period which will end on January 14th, which is my next billing statement date. I've made additional charges on the card of about $200 since my December 14th statement date, which was $1,285 at the time, minus the $35 minimum pa...
by crowd79
Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My AMEX CC 0% promo ends 1/14, interest question
Replies: 5
Views: 306

Re: Sell and repurchase I-Bonds?

Only if you don't plan to be maxing out the I-bond allowance this year. In which case, 1.38% minus penalty is better than 1.18%. Otherwise, you are weighing the 1.18% against other opportunities for that $10K. For me, it's still worth it. When you sell I-bonds you lose that year's quasi-tax-advanta...
by crowd79
Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell and repurchase I-Bonds?
Replies: 10
Views: 918

Re: US Dollar Increasing

What amazes me is how well the Euro is doing despite all the talk of the past few years of it's inevitable collapse due to Greece, etc..
by crowd79
Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US Dollar Increasing
Replies: 14
Views: 1507

Re: Do you oversave for retirement or not?

I am saving roughly 30-35% of my income for retirement, so technically I am "oversaving" but I am also shaving years off of my working life (I hope!)
by crowd79
Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you oversave for retirement or not?
Replies: 70
Views: 5815

Sell and repurchase I-Bonds?

I currently have a stash of I-Bonds earning 1.18%. Should I cash out and repurchase to get 1.38%?
by crowd79
Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell and repurchase I-Bonds?
Replies: 10
Views: 918

Re: How much do you spend on books a year?

$0.

They're called libraries.
by crowd79
Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on books a year?
Replies: 47
Views: 1920

Re: How much was your total 2013 credit card rewards

Signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card last yr August since I knew I was going to Costa Rica this February, and would easily meet the $3k minimum spend threshold after paying for the tour and airline tix for the 40,000 bonus points which I'll use for a future airline booking for a future tr...
by crowd79
Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much was your total 2013 credit card rewards
Replies: 51
Views: 4004

Re: What was your 2013 return?

Overall about 6.6%.
by crowd79
Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Poll] What was your 2013 return?
Replies: 209
Views: 8514

Re: Capital One Quicksilver rewards isn't quite 1.5%

We're talking pennies, who cares.
by crowd79
Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Capital One Quicksilver rewards isn't quite 1.5%
Replies: 13
Views: 1036

Re: Dollar cost average or all in at once?

Dollar Cost Average.

The market is at an all-time high right now and would not sock all my money into the market at once right now. We're due for a major correction or a reversal as the economy continues to be very weak which the markets seem to be avoiding.
by crowd79
Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dollar cost average or all in at once?
Replies: 19
Views: 854

Re: Guaranteed 6.5% return

I've used more stamps this month mailing Xmas cards to people than I have the entire past 11 months combined.
by crowd79
Wed Dec 25, 2013 11:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Guaranteed 6.5% return [US postage rate increase]
Replies: 38
Views: 4217

Re: Swamped In Debt - Thoughts?

Sell the cars and buy a couple of beaters. Put extra money against debt.
by crowd79
Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Swamped In Debt - Thoughts?
Replies: 68
Views: 8213

Re: Crystal ball time...EM in 2014?

I have 10% of my retirement portfolio in EM, so yeah my accounts are suffering this year a bit.
by crowd79
Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Crystal ball time...EM in 2014?
Replies: 20
Views: 1372

Re: Target Credit/Debit Card Hacks - what to do?

Never, never use debit cards for purchases of anything. Credit cards are far safer. If your account gets hacked, it's a lot easier to notify a credit card company of a fraudulent charge and have it removed, since you have the power of not paying it. The Money is still in your hands and you'll elect ...
by crowd79
Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Target Credit/Debit Card Hacks - what to do?
Replies: 94
Views: 5905

Re: Online Saving Bank Account

We're talking about bank accounts with less than a 1% difference in interest. Hardly much money being gained or lost one way or another.
by crowd79
Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Saving Bank Account
Replies: 37
Views: 3619

Re: Mega Millions jackpot to $636 million

And here's the token downer post! Odds of winning Mega Millions: 1 in 259 million. You have a better chance of: Getting canonized: 1 in 20 million Becoming an astronaut: 1 in 13 million Dying from parts falling off an airplane: 1 in 10 million Getting a royal flush in the first hand: 1 in 649,740 G...
by crowd79
Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mega Millions jackpot to $636 million
Replies: 82
Views: 3942

Re: Ipad mini scratch guard necessary?

Scratch guard AND a good sturdy case. Trust me, you'll be thankful for it after dropping it once from more than 4-5 feet away from the ground.
by crowd79
Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ipad mini scratch guard necessary?
Replies: 7
Views: 453

Re: Mega Millions jackpot to $636 million

Buying lottery tickets are always a poor investment, any way you slice and dice it.
by crowd79
Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mega Millions jackpot to $636 million
Replies: 82
Views: 3942

Re: Anybody buying EE bonds these days

I max out my IRA and put the max into my work's 401k plan each year, too. After that, I have some money left over and have started out buying $150 in EE Bonds every month, increasing it by $10 per year. I am now 34 years old and have increased it to $160 per month. Then plan is to do this for 17 yea...
by crowd79
Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anybody buying EE bonds these days
Replies: 47
Views: 3186

Re: What percentage of your income are you saving?

38% of income.

For those that save beyond 50% or more, scale back some and enjoy life a little. That's kind of ridiculous. :beer
by crowd79
Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What percentage of your income are you saving?
Replies: 208
Views: 11660

Re: Capital One Quicksilver: 1.5% reward, thoughts?

Best cashback cards right now for my personal spending:

AMEX Blue cash: 6% groceries
Chase Freedom: 5% department stores
Citi Dividend: 5% gas & drugstores (mail flyer sign up)
Chase Sapphire Preferred: 2.14% restaurants & travel
Cap One 1.5% everywhere else
by crowd79
Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One Quicksilver: 1.5% reward, thoughts?
Replies: 91
Views: 7325

Re: Did you wish you were more aggressive when you were youn

Wish I started putting away 30% of my savings into retirement right away starting at 20 years old rather than 25. I am now making "catch up" contributions in my mid-30's.
by crowd79
Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did you wish you were more aggressive when you were younger?
Replies: 47
Views: 3948

Re: Best website for travel deals?

If you do a trip to the Caribbean, I always check Cheap Caribbean.
by crowd79
Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best website for travel deals?
Replies: 17
Views: 1749

Re: Feeling like I am forced to contribute more to retiremen

JustinR wrote:It'll pay off 40 years from now.

Saving for retirement isn't really fun for those of us who are sooooo far away from that day.


Ohh, I enjoy it. It's money I'm not missing and makes me feel like I am taking care of myself.
by crowd79
Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Feeling like I am forced to contribute more to retirement?
Replies: 82
Views: 6414

Re: I Bond Question

There is a 3 month penalty if you redeem the bond prior to 5 years (you can't redeem at all for 1 year). Because of the potential of the penalty if redeemed in first 5 years, the value of the bond doesn't include the most recent three months interest until you get to the 5 year mark as that interes...
by crowd79
Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I Bond Question
Replies: 8
Views: 828

Re: Feeling like I am forced to contribute more to retiremen

Let's say someone makes $40,000 per year but maxes out their IRA and puts away an additional $5,000 per year into a 401k. That's slightly more than 25% of their total income socked away for retirement each year ($10,500). By my accounts, that person would be doing a terrific job relative to income. ...
by crowd79
Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Feeling like I am forced to contribute more to retirement?
Replies: 82
Views: 6414

Re: Nov 2013 I Bond Rate - 1.38% (0.20% Fixed)

Mel Lindauer wrote:
crowd79 wrote:Existing I-Bonds don't get this .20% fixed rate do they? I've been buying I Bonds for the past couple of years.

Nice to see some good news for once! :D


No, the fixed rate of each I Bond is set for the life of that bond at the time of purchase.


I thought so, thanks for clarifying.
by crowd79
Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nov 2013 I Bond Rate - 1.38% (0.20% Fixed)
Replies: 94
Views: 7115

Re: Shiller Thinks Owning a Home is a Terrible Investment

My current cost of renting: $434 a month which includes internet and all utilities. And no I don't live in a dump. If I bought a property of my own, yes I could pay less than that per month via a 30-year mortgage for a $90,000 house (housing is cheap where I live), but then I'd be saddled with payin...
by crowd79
Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shiller Thinks Owning a Home is a Terrible Investment
Replies: 255
Views: 20769

Re: Nov 2013 I Bond Rate - 1.38% (0.20% Fixed)

Existing I-Bonds don't get this .20% fixed rate do they? I've been buying I Bonds for the past couple of years.

Nice to see some good news for once! :D
by crowd79
Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nov 2013 I Bond Rate - 1.38% (0.20% Fixed)
Replies: 94
Views: 7115

Re: Travel Insurance Question: amount of coverage?

Thanks for the insight all. I went ahead and just went with $500 worth of cancellation/interruption, $100k medical and $1 million evac coverage which includes all the sports I listed for $46. For just $2 more, it was better to go with $500 of c/i coverage than none at all. Should a cancellation/inte...
by crowd79
Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel Insurance Question: amount of coverage?
Replies: 8
Views: 610

Re: New ibond rates for nov 2013

Just read my local newspaper today. Electricity rates are going up an eye-popping 25% over the course of the next 3 years, or 8.5% per year. Article: http://www.miningjournal.net/page/content.detail/id/591902/Big-BLP-rate-hike-approved.html?nav=5006 Yeah, tell me there's no inflation or cost of livi...
by crowd79
Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New ibond rates for nov 2013
Replies: 45
Views: 7947
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