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Re: Poll: Net cost of your checking account annually?

I put "0". However, I do pay $12 annually to belong to the credit union's "Premier Club" (for those over 60). For the $12, I get a box of free checks and 50% off the cost of a safe deposit box. Since a box of checks costs more than $12, I figure I'm still ahead. You use an entir...
by mlipps
Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Net cost of your checking account annually?
Replies: 44
Views: 2237

Re: How often do you go out to dinner?

We used to go out once a week plus a quick lunch once or twice a month, but as my cooking and meal planning has gotten easier w/more practice, we're down to only 1 or 2 times a month now. I like the idea of going out, but it rarely lives up to my expectations flavor wise and even when it does, it al...
by mlipps
Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you go out to dinner?
Replies: 60
Views: 4539

Re: Experience with Target Redcard?

Love ours. We have the debit version & have had it for almost 3 years now. I checked our school donation stats the other day...there are two people contributing, which I assume is me & the husband, and Target has donated $150.22 to my high school total. I'll let you do the math on that one.....
by mlipps
Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with Target Redcard?
Replies: 30
Views: 2710

Re: Winter Coat

I tried a Columbia Mighty Lite hooded jacket. I couldn't even get through October in Chicago in it. Sent it back and replaced it with a cozy and surprisingly stylish down parka from lands end. So far so good, but February is the real test... I think I found your problem: "100% Polyester" ...
by mlipps
Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Coat
Replies: 51
Views: 4368

Re: Winter Coat

A year ago, my son bought a Columbia coat/jacket that had an inner reflective layer. I admonished him that it was much too light for a NE winter. Well, there was something magical in that coat, because he was toasty while I felt cold. They say every generation is supposed to be smarter than the pre...
by mlipps
Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Coat
Replies: 51
Views: 4368

Re: Cost to furnish a condo

We spent $7,000 at the outset for a 1 bedroom apartment. I didn't keep track of things we bought after that, but it's a few hundred more. The stuff we bought at the beginning was nice; the rest is mostly cheap stuff that we're just getting by with, and a few odds & ends from Craigslist.
by mlipps
Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost to furnish a condo
Replies: 29
Views: 2661

Re: Landlord wants us to sign an entirely new contract!

Sign it, and be grateful for a warm bed. If a restaurant announced a change in price of a meal after you ordered it would you be grateful for the hot meal and just pay? No kidding! Be grateful if they're giving it to you for free, otherwise, get what you pay for. OP, I would not resign the lease wi...
by mlipps
Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord wants us to sign an entirely new contract!
Replies: 51
Views: 5810

Re: 36 y.o. New at investing, am I in too much debt?

Where in Ohio did you find a house that cost that much? And the taxes! Dang! We have beautiful vacant land in Ohio that we couldn't give away. It's in very, very depressed S. Ohio and basically worthless. Taxes are next to nothing on it. Been for sale for a long time. We inherited it yrs ago and we...
by mlipps
Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 36 y.o. New at investing, am I in too much debt?
Replies: 63
Views: 4795

Re: My DISH tv bill just keeps going up and up

What's the solution for current shows on premium channels like HBO, Shotime, etc like Boardwalk Empire, Ray Donovan, Homeland, Episodes, Shameless, etc. Is there any legal way to get current episodes for those other than through cable? I doubt most people watch those channels for the movies. I thin...
by mlipps
Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My DISH tv bill just keeps going up and up
Replies: 50
Views: 4331

Re: Which Tablet?

I replaced my iPad 1 with an iPad Air 1 two days ago. The old iPad was getting really frustrating as it would close down pages that had too many pictures or a video. If you're on a budget, maybe my post will help. I bought the iPad Air 1 with 16 GB (this meets my needs but you may wish to go with m...
by mlipps
Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Tablet?
Replies: 24
Views: 1712

Re: Messy baby restaurant etiquette

One question I have for the forum is are tips usually split amongst all the staff? Say you leave a huge tip on the receipt, will the busser get a portion of it? I have sometimes made a point of asking how to "take care of" whoever has to clean up. My favorite is to take a glass and put ca...
by mlipps
Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Messy baby restaurant etiquette
Replies: 75
Views: 4469

Re: Cash In CC Points?

I don't see how the change makes any difference. A statement credit is better than a check because it's faster. If you need the money, just take a credit & then use the money you would use to pay off your CC to pay whatever you needed the money for. Big deal.
by mlipps
Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash In CC Points?
Replies: 22
Views: 2479

Re: My DISH tv bill just keeps going up and up

I advocate using the over the air antenna and connecting it to a computer and using Windows Media Center. Get a 2 Terrabyte harddrive and record all the shows you want. You can build or have built a computer for this purpose for the cost of a couple months of cable/satellite. Over the air broadcast...
by mlipps
Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My DISH tv bill just keeps going up and up
Replies: 50
Views: 4331

Re: Great camera to take pics?

I'm not understanding the comparisons of Sony rx100s. An first-gen or ii is a completely different camera from an iii. I can see where some people might prefer an ii or iii (not quite clear why anybody would want a first-gen model), but the feature set is completely different. The post linked below...
by mlipps
Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Great camera to take pics?
Replies: 44
Views: 4522

Re: Great camera to take pics?

I bought my Sony RX100 (original model) from an Amazon Warehouse deal last summer. I got it for $485 or so because it was a return. It turned out it was missing the power cable, contacted Amazon & they shipped me a replacement & I was on my way. I will say that to make that kind of camera re...
by mlipps
Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Great camera to take pics?
Replies: 44
Views: 4522

Re: My DISH tv bill just keeps going up and up

Drop all or most of those movie channels... If you drop the premium movie channels what is left to watch? Sports(?), not interested Comedy & drama shows(?) - either cable or network - renew your library card Oh, wait, not much worth catching at the movies. Makes the library card more valuable Y...
by mlipps
Sat Nov 08, 2014 5:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My DISH tv bill just keeps going up and up
Replies: 50
Views: 4331

Re: need to brush up in math

Khan Academy was going to be my suggestion. Have you tried it & not liked it or just looking for general ideas? I used Khan to refresh math for the GMAT and scored a 710. :D
by mlipps
Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: need to brush up on math
Replies: 7
Views: 1055

Re: "Easy" social security question...

It would be better to start taking benefits earlier if you know you have a short lifespan ahead of you. I think the break even for waiting, ignoring spousal benefits is sometime in your mid 70's. I read Mike Piper's SS book to prepare for my parents' retirement and found it very helpful.
by mlipps
Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Easy" social security question...
Replies: 50
Views: 3722

Re: Tough spot, decided to lease a car

You keep blaming your wife but you're the one leasing a car. You have to cut the sacred cows for both of you to see some progress. Also, $600/month on food, especially given the amount of debt you're carrying, is a lot. My husband and I spend about $400 and eat just about every meal at home. Do you ...
by mlipps
Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough spot, decided to lease a car
Replies: 209
Views: 13859

Re: Fighting Through Risk Tolerance Questionnaires

mnvalue wrote:Larry, is this one publicly available?


+1, sounds like just what I need right now.
by mlipps
Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fighting Through Risk Tolerance Questionnaires
Replies: 53
Views: 3017

Re: Pets and extended travel

My parents graciously agreed to take care of our two small dogs while we went to Peru for 2 weeks in May. While we were gone, my dad came down with a case of severe pneumonia and had to be taken to the hospital in a major city 2 hours away. I ended up spending a few hours of our vacation on the phon...
by mlipps
Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pets and extended travel
Replies: 13
Views: 1225

Re: Brother-in-law w/ CC Debt

He now has some funds (due to inheritance), that he could pay off this debt. He was planning to pay off the debt by negotiating a discounted payoff. However, since it has been so long, the collection agency is having trouble identifying his debt. He should really aim for a pay for delete. If the CA...
by mlipps
Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brother-in-law w/ CC Debt
Replies: 40
Views: 4534

Re: Oatmeal suggestions

Here's a delicacy: When the oatmeal has thickened enough, crack an egg on top. When it's done you have a beautiful poached egg laced with rolled oats to season as you like, and to eat along with your oatmeal. I seldom eat eggs with the yolk anymore. So alternately I've been doing something similar ...
by mlipps
Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oatmeal suggestions
Replies: 137
Views: 9274

Re: Oatmeal suggestions

We get our oatmeal in 50 pound bags. But you also have to be really committed to oatmeal! :D We used to buy it in bulk but couldn't keep the moths out. You got a method? Not the OP of this comment, but I bought these great food grade buckets for my bulk bread flour: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/s...
by mlipps
Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oatmeal suggestions
Replies: 137
Views: 9274

Re: Oatmeal suggestions

Surprised no one has mentioned baked oatmeal yet! I love the recipes from Budget Bytes. I make mine in a loaf pan and it eat it with a small serving of plain yogurt on top. You can have it cold or warm. My favorite is peach blueberry! Pumpkin is also really nice this time of year! http://www.budgetb...
by mlipps
Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oatmeal suggestions
Replies: 137
Views: 9274

Re: Trade in a 2012 Cruze w/ 58k miles for an 05 Z71 Tahoe 1

Is the Cruze underpowered for dealing with the hills? Because realistically if you aren't driving as much, front wheel drive is probably fine for most of the snow conditions that you would actually HAVE to travel in by yourself. I had no problems getting around in a Camry during the Snowmageddon (4...
by mlipps
Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trade in a 2012 Cruze w/ 58k miles for an 05 Z71 Tahoe 182k
Replies: 16
Views: 874

Re: Will I get taxed if family sends my bank $50K from abroa

Gift tax is paid by the giver, not the recipient. From a tax standpoint, I think she's fine.
by mlipps
Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will I get taxed if family sends my bank $50K from abroad?
Replies: 10
Views: 1119

Re: Choosing an AGI for ACA health insurance

An AGI of $0 will either leave you without a subsidy (in states that did not expand Medicaid) or Medicaid eligible. I would recommend that you contribute enough to max out the subsidy, but not enough to put you below the poverty line.
by mlipps
Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing an AGI for ACA health insurance
Replies: 5
Views: 899

Re: IRS Announces new 401(k) contribution max for 2015 ($18,

Is it ok to be excited that it will be a nice round number for contributions each month? The Type A is strong in me...
by mlipps
Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IRS Announces new 401(k) contribution max for 2015 ($18,000)
Replies: 50
Views: 7459

Re: [Best Option for Early Termination] of Apartment Lease

I once had a lease with an early termination clause of only one month's rent if my employer compelled me to move out of state. That's all I'm saying...
by mlipps
Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Best Option for Early Termination] of Apartment Lease
Replies: 21
Views: 1401

Re: Give me a road map!

Do you have to keep writing to keep the money coming? If so, maybe you need life insurance. If not, what's the point? Your family will keep getting the royalties for your books if something happens to you and it sounds like your husband earns more than enough on his own. That aside, you need to see ...
by mlipps
Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Give me a road map!
Replies: 21
Views: 2276

Re: Which HDHP Plan to choose?

I would go with Option 2. The premium difference is about $1000/yr, but the employer makes up $800 of it by contributing to the HSA. So, for $200/yr, you are reducing your out of pocket max and deductible by over $2000. I view that as a reasonable insurance premium in case of unexpected medical exp...
by mlipps
Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which HDHP Plan to choose?
Replies: 7
Views: 452

Re: Smartphone plans and MMS

Thanks, Browser and Quickfoot - the specifics about how SMS and MMS work on a smartphone are critical details I was confused about. You might look at Republic Wireless if you're buying a new phone anyway. Their $10/month plan will definitely allow you to send free MMS while on WiFi or cell w/o payi...
by mlipps
Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smartphone plans and MMS
Replies: 11
Views: 954

Re: Antique jewelry?

My engagement ring is an antique replica from Leigh Jay Nacht. They also sell estate jewelry, and many of their replicas have antique stones. Look them up on yelp, they have hundreds of happy customers which made us comfortable ordering the ring online sight unseen.
by mlipps
Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Antique jewelry?
Replies: 10
Views: 823

Re: Smartphone plans and MMS

You might look at Republic Wireless if you're buying a new phone anyway. Their $10/month plan will definitely allow you to send free MMS while on WiFi or cell w/o paying for data. Otherwise, yes, Google Hangouts works on WiFi only to send images; my husband does this from his office which has no cel...
by mlipps
Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smartphone plans and MMS
Replies: 11
Views: 954

Re: Android Apps for Toddlers

If you have time, you can get the Amazon app store, which then gives you the ability to test drive apps for up to 24 hours before buying.
by mlipps
Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android Apps for Toddlers
Replies: 17
Views: 1023

Re: Those under 35 with a child 5 or under: Costs of child?

Someday there will be a thread like this and no one will accuse those who choose to put their kids in daycare of not raising their own children. That will be a measure of progress in my opinion. There are other ways to express that sentiment without casting judgments on others choices.
by mlipps
Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those under 35 with a child 5 or under: Costs of child?
Replies: 58
Views: 4573

Re: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking

Personally I have yet to make cornbread from scratch that can hold a candle to the Trader Joe's mix. It gets crispy and almost caramelized on top. Absolutely amazing.
by mlipps
Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking
Replies: 108
Views: 10634

Re: Is it bad to put 23k a yr in retirement if I only make 4

"Am I the only one who believes retirement accounts are for retirement, not for ordinary expenses? My point is, liquidity is essential for day to day living. Retirement accounts are amongst the last line of defense withdrawals, or should be anyway. ......" No, you are not the only one. Co...
by mlipps
Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it bad to put 23k a yr in retirement if I only make 42k?
Replies: 29
Views: 3707

Re: headphones for running

I have these bluetooth headphones:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008MN ... UTF8&psc=1

I really like not having a cord that's connected to my phone & for me at least they stay in place reasonably well.
by mlipps
Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: headphones for running
Replies: 40
Views: 1701

Re: What did you always wish for but never got?

I've always wanted to truly learn to ride horses. I spent my childhood reading every book in the Saddle Club series. At this point in my life, riding lessons are still too expensive, but I'm hoping in a couple more years we'll be able to afford it. Obviously I will never be an Olympic show jumper, ...
by mlipps
Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What did you always wish for but never got?
Replies: 87
Views: 5437

Re: Trying to understand Uber and similar "ride sharing" ser

In many cases the stringent taxi regulations only apply for cabs that can be hailed from the street. This is the case in New York City, for example. NYC does not require million dollar taxi medallions to run a for hire car service that is called by phone instead of being hailed from the street, tho...
by mlipps
Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trying to understand Uber and similar "ride sharing" service
Replies: 54
Views: 3844

Re: Trying to understand Uber and similar "ride sharing" ser

I've heard that a medallion in Chicago costs 300k+ and even more in NYC. That's kind of sick. This is off topic (sorry!) but too good not to share. I was doing VITA taxes this season & had a client tell me he had itemized the prior year. He had very small income this year, so I probed a little ...
by mlipps
Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trying to understand Uber and similar "ride sharing" service
Replies: 54
Views: 3844

Re: Trying to understand Uber and similar "ride sharing" ser

I have read mixed reviews on insurance coverage. Unclear whether drivers insurance will cover you. Don't know how that has shaken out, if it has. My good friend's sister was assaulted by an Uber driver earlier this year and found this out the hard way. They were also very hard to get a hold of afte...
by mlipps
Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trying to understand Uber and similar "ride sharing" service
Replies: 54
Views: 3844

Re: What did you always wish for but never got?

I've always wanted to truly learn to ride horses. I spent my childhood reading every book in the Saddle Club series. At this point in my life, riding lessons are still too expensive, but I'm hoping in a couple more years we'll be able to afford it. Obviously I will never be an Olympic show jumper, b...
by mlipps
Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What did you always wish for but never got?
Replies: 87
Views: 5437

Re: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]

Do you have a food 4 less near you? I shop at ours and save so much money on veggies and meat there. What I did was sit down once and make a meal plan and grocery list for a month. This took a few hours. Now, every week I make a new list for 4 weeks from now. The way this helps is I can go to Aldi o...
by mlipps
Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]
Replies: 158
Views: 11144

Re: Tax Question about Tuition Expenses

Yes, you can amend your 2013 tax return. Likely the best credit for you to claim is the Lifetime Learning Credit, unless your income is above the limit, in which case you can claim the tuition & fees deduction. Both are for required tuition & fees only, not books. ETA: Since you're amending ...
by mlipps
Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question about Tuition Expenses
Replies: 8
Views: 567

Re: Any success stories of ppl who never made >$50,000?

My parents never made anywhere near $50,000 per year, probably not even $25,000 per year, between them. And they retired in 1976. They saved, invested wisely, paid off their home, didn't believe in keeping up with the Joneses, whoever they are, were frugal and kept their cars until they died. They ...
by mlipps
Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any success stories of ppl who never made >$50,000?
Replies: 149
Views: 10304

Re: Macbook Air; how much RAM?

Not to pile on here, but this thread brings up a really big issue I'm having. I bought a MacBook Air six months ago, and already its 4 GB brings up the wheel of death every time I try to use a Microsoft Word doc with Chrome and another doc open. It was my first Apple, and it's really disappointing ...
by mlipps
Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Macbook Air; how much RAM?
Replies: 59
Views: 3362

Re: Any success stories of ppl who never made >$50,000?

My parents have never made more than $45k and I can't think of too many mistakes they've made financially, except buying a business for $20k that didn't work. On the other hand, they built their home & took out a loan of only $17k to do so, so I think those cancel each other out. They only have ...
by mlipps
Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any success stories of ppl who never made >$50,000?
Replies: 149
Views: 10304
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