Search found 865 matches

by mlipps
Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Doggy Day Care services
Replies: 7
Views: 815

Re: Doggy Day Care services

Rover is not a franchise, its a service to connect you with independent people who will care for your pets. We always meet the person ahead of time and have had great luck so far.
by mlipps
Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camera Experts Wanted
Replies: 36
Views: 2140

Re: Camera Experts Wanted

I have the original Sony RX 100 and I love it. The newer model with electronic viewfinder may fit most of your needs, although it's a bit above your requested price range. The one caveat I would give is that the optical zoom is pretty limited. For my purposes I haven't minded much but I did regret i...
by mlipps
Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Telecommuting Job, House Construction and Taxes
Replies: 3
Views: 394

Re: New Telecommuting Job, House Construction and Taxes

If you are not self employed, you would deduct these items as "unreimbursed employee expenses" on the Schedule A. You can only deduct amounts which exceed 2% of your AGI. As others said, you can deduct the mortgage interest either way so no worries there. The tax benefit here is likely fai...
by mlipps
Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Phantom" Tipping
Replies: 68
Views: 11174

Re: "Phantom" Tipping

It happened to me once in college when I left no tip after a disastrous meal at Giordano's. The waitress gave herself a $20 tip on my $21 check. The restaurant tried to make me fax them my receipt to prove I had not left her this tip. Unfortunately I had used a debit card, not credit, so I did not h...
by mlipps
Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney World Orlando Advice
Replies: 36
Views: 3235

Re: Disney World Orlando Advice

We haven't been yet, but my first step to save money on our trip next spring was to get husband and I each the Starwood rewards card and rack up the points. Used those to reserve rooms at Disney Swan Dolphin. Only hotel with Disney level privileges that allows you to use loyalty points to book. Best...
by mlipps
Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee - just starting out
Replies: 43
Views: 5705

Re: Coffee - just starting out

Agree with the suggestions that an Aeropress is a great way to make something very similar to an espresso at home.
by mlipps
Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you do to relax just after returning from work
Replies: 59
Views: 6454

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

Cooking dinner usually helps me. It requires enough focus that I can normally stop worrying about whatever happened at work that day & the end result is pretty rewarding. However, we don't have kids yet; I'm sure it's much less relaxing when you have hungry little ones under foot!
by mlipps
Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm thinking about becoming a financial adviser...but I need some guidance.
Replies: 37
Views: 4746

Re: I'm thinking about becoming a financial adviser...but I need some guidance.

There's a thread like this every month. We all want to share our enlightenment with the world, but its not easy. Try searching for some of the old threads, they're incessant.
by mlipps
Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: booking travel to Disney
Replies: 23
Views: 2018

Re: booking travel to Disney

Slightly off topic, but since we are discussing ways to do these trips on the cheap, Universal tickets are available in the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal if you have a premium card such as Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus. This let's you buy the tickets with a 20% discount!
by mlipps
Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bread Machines?
Replies: 41
Views: 2917

Re: Bread Machines?

You can also knead dough really well (and fast) in a food processor. It's my favorite way to make pizza dough especially.
by mlipps
Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Western Governor's University (WGU)
Replies: 15
Views: 1721

Re: Western Governor's University (WGU)

For teachers, its a great option. A friend from high school went there and is now employed as a third grade teacher her first year after graduating. However, their business program is not AACSB accredited, which ultimately made my husband decide to get his MBA elsewhere. Thanks for your comment. Ma...
by mlipps
Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement and Proximity to "Teaching Hospitals"
Replies: 44
Views: 4379

Re: Retirement and Proximity to "Teaching Hospitals"

Here's probably a dumb question, but in major metropolitan areas, are there many hospitals which aren't teaching hospitals? Are non-teaching hospitals mostly hospitals which don't have a med school nearby? Yes, in most cities there are a small number of teaching hospitals, and then any number of ho...
by mlipps
Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: booking travel to Disney
Replies: 23
Views: 2018

Re: booking travel to Disney

We are going end of March and what I have done is get the Amex Starwoods rewards car for husband and I. 25k points sign up bonus each, plus 5k pts accumulated to hit the $5k min spend, so 60k pts total btwn the two of us. This was enough for 5 nights at the Swan Dolphin for free, plus a few points ...
by mlipps
Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: booking travel to Disney
Replies: 23
Views: 2018

Re: booking travel to Disney

We are going end of March and what I have done is get the Amex Starwoods rewards car for husband and I. 25k points sign up bonus each, plus 5k pts accumulated to hit the $5k min spend, so 60k pts total btwn the two of us. This was enough for 5 nights at the Swan Dolphin for free, plus a few points l...
by mlipps
Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: booking travel to Disney
Replies: 23
Views: 2018

Re: booking travel to Disney

There are a few options. You could always camp at fort wilderness for pennies. Alternatively, you can stay at Pop Century or one of the 3 All Star hotels for fairly cheap. It is more expensive around holidays and cheaper when not. You get the benefits of a great dining area, constant activities for...
by mlipps
Sun May 31, 2015 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Western Governor's University (WGU)
Replies: 15
Views: 1721

Re: Western Governor's University (WGU)

For teachers, its a great option. A friend from high school went there and is now employed as a third grade teacher her first year after graduating.

However, their business program is not AACSB accredited, which ultimately made my husband decide to get his MBA elsewhere.
by mlipps
Sun May 31, 2015 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement and Proximity to "Teaching Hospitals"
Replies: 44
Views: 4379

Re: Retirement and Proximity to "Teaching Hospitals"

Oh, and one resource you all may or may not know of is HospitalCompare.gov. There, you can see the quantitative answers to your points about Hospital Acquired Infections, Patient Experience (those touchy feelys that many of you say are missing at the teaching hospital), and overall quality on some o...
by mlipps
Sun May 31, 2015 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement and Proximity to "Teaching Hospitals"
Replies: 44
Views: 4379

Re: Retirement and Proximity to "Teaching Hospitals"

Yes, when I see older (>55 year) folks like myself buying very rural places that are distant from healthcare, I wonder if they have thought of possibly needing to be airlifted by helicopter or plane to a hospital and the delays that may entail which could affect their outcome, even if it would have...
by mlipps
Fri May 29, 2015 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi double cash card vs. Amex Blue Everyday
Replies: 34
Views: 5092

Re: Citi double cash card vs. Amex Blue Everyday

If you don't already have an Amex, the Amex offers, including Small Business Saturday, are alone enough reason to get one! So far this year I've gotten $15 back on $15 at Amazon, $25 back on $75 at Chewy.com (dog food) and now I have another offer for $10 back on $50 at Wag.com (more dog food!). Oh,...
by mlipps
Wed May 27, 2015 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Kid Toys
Replies: 32
Views: 2767

Re: Best Kid Toys

surveyor wrote:A 4 year old boy can and should start legos. The small creator series might be good at that age.

Bruder makes particularly good toys.


Any kid should have Lego's, not just boys.
by mlipps
Wed May 27, 2015 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Kid Toys
Replies: 32
Views: 2767

Re: Best Kid Toys

How old?
by mlipps
Sun May 24, 2015 7:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30 year old freelance musician who wants to catch up
Replies: 8
Views: 1043

Re: 30 year old freelance musician who wants to catch up

Watty had a great idea. Based in not taking all your expenses (I don't think the Federal government has any laws about not reporting all your expenses), you could report about $10k or $11k of earned income, take the standard deduction & personal exemption (about $10k) to esentially have $0 of t...
by mlipps
Sat May 23, 2015 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30 year old freelance musician who wants to catch up
Replies: 8
Views: 1043

Re: 30 year old freelance musician who wants to catch up

If your gross income is close to 0 and therefore you are paying little or no self employment taxes, you need to save more than 15% because you will not have earnings to receive a meaningful amount of Social Security. In addition, you should consider purchasing disability insurance since you will lik...
by mlipps
Fri May 22, 2015 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed 0.99% auto loan
Replies: 34
Views: 3327

Re: Penfed 0.99% auto loan

I called Penfed about this. Loans are usually approved/funded within 24-48 hours. Sat/Sun together count as a business day and Monday is actually a business day as well, so if applied today it will likely fund in time (1-2 business days). Here's the deal breaker for me: They require a $500 deductib...
by mlipps
Wed May 20, 2015 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any advice on handling frequent weekend getaways?
Replies: 14
Views: 2074

Re: Any advice on handling frequent weekend getaways?

If you fly, you could get the Southwest credit cards and earn companion passes so half the family flies for free each time. Otherwise, I would do some credit card churning to cover the hotels, or at the very least get a card for the hotel chain you like to most so far. Also, try Kimpton! But because...
by mlipps
Tue May 12, 2015 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking input on vehicle purchase
Replies: 19
Views: 1851

Re: Seeking input on vehicle purchase

My 2010 Toyota Matrix has traction control and AWD was an option. Keep in mind you sacrifice a good bit of MPG for the AWD. The Matrix also doesn't get quite as good of MPG as the Fit to start with. We average about 32 highway.
by mlipps
Fri May 01, 2015 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What sort of MBA is right for me?
Replies: 13
Views: 1184

Re: What sort of MBA is right for me?

My husband is graduating in 2 weeks from the part time program at Purdue, and he got a $15k scholarship. That plus the $5k/calendar year from his employer cut the $60k price tag in half for us. Their program was new and he had a 3.9 undergrad GPA which both helped him get the scholarship, but I woul...
by mlipps
Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: South America [vacation recommendations]
Replies: 32
Views: 2858

Re: If You Were Going To S. America ...

We went to Peru and spent 5 days hiking to Machu Picchu and 4 days in the Amazon. Machu Picchu was every bit as good as everyone said, but the 4 days in the Amazon took the cake. It will be a long time before a vacation beats that one. We flew into Puerto Maldonado, then did a tour with Peru Nature....
by mlipps
Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do parents still charge their kids room and board?
Replies: 9
Views: 927

Re: Do parents still charge their kids room and board?

My parents charged me rent when I lived with them in 2011 after college. I believe it was $200/month plus my own car insurance.
by mlipps
Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford [a masters degree]?
Replies: 38
Views: 3101

Re: Can we afford [a masters degree]?

I'm in a data science masters. N of one and all that, but I've already obtained a paid internship that will last for a full year and have every reason to expect they will hire me next winter. My programs average starting salary is $80k and only about half my peers come into the program with previous...
by mlipps
Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: protecting passport from damage
Replies: 23
Views: 1844

Re: protecting passport from damage

For all of you worried about water & your passport, don't be. I had a pop top water bottle in my purse along with my passport on an in country flight in Australia. My passport was 100% drenched in water when the cabin pressure forced the water bottle open. I didn't realize it had happened until...
by mlipps
Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: protecting passport from damage
Replies: 23
Views: 1844

Re: protecting passport from damage

For all of you worried about water & your passport, don't be. I had a pop top water bottle in my purse along with my passport on an in country flight in Australia. My passport was 100% drenched in water when the cabin pressure forced the water bottle open. I didn't realize it had happened until ...
by mlipps
Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I renege [on a] job offer?
Replies: 48
Views: 4934

Re: Should I renege [on a] job offer?

Are you planning on going to bschool at a later point? 2-3 years Banking or Consulting, then MBA is a classic path. Which can then be parlayed to...more banking or consulting, or something else. The travel of a consultant is great when young, but can get old quick, especially if you want to "s...
by mlipps
Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I renege [on a] job offer?
Replies: 48
Views: 4934

Re: Should I renege [on a] job offer?

There is no such thing as a dream job. There is only the job that fits you best at each point in your life.
by mlipps
Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best US city to spend Xmas
Replies: 40
Views: 2809

Re: Best US city to spend Xmas

If we're going off-topic (non-US), I can recommend Vienna or a German city such as Aachen or Cologne. No-one does Christmas better than the Germans & Austrians. Outdoor Christmas markets with lights, music, and Gluehwein stands... Magical. You can come to Chicago for a (probably poor) imitation...
by mlipps
Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 for State (IL) Deduction Only--Timing Issues
Replies: 0
Views: 160

529 for State (IL) Deduction Only--Timing Issues

My husband and I are paying cash for my master's degree. I live in IL, where we get a state tax deduction up to $20,000 in contributions for a year. Last year, we paid the first $10k normally, then "laundered" the rest of the money through a 529 to take the state deduction. I was careful t...
by mlipps
Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funny security question for Credit Report and SSA.gov
Replies: 14
Views: 1490

Re: Funny security question for Credit Report and SSA.gov

True Bogle heads don't have cars worthy of posting on Facebook Victoria.
by mlipps
Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a condo for college student or rent?
Replies: 34
Views: 3459

Re: Buy a condo for college student or rent?

She should get a roommate or two. No reason she needs her own private apartment for two years. Depending which school she's at, she should be able to pay $600-800/ month to share a room in a 3 bdr apartment.
by mlipps
Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health insurance for CFS
Replies: 4
Views: 390

Re: Health insurance for CFS

I do research on CFS (in the most modest sense of the word, I am not at all a medical professional) and my impression is that because much of the treatment is experimental it is hard to get insurance to pay for it. Have you encountered any ME/CFS patient advocacy groups? They would probably the best...
by mlipps
Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth buying a smart phone if you already have one for work?
Replies: 25
Views: 2787

Re: Worth buying a smart phone if you already have one for w

My friend has a work provided phone with a data plan and chose to get the lowest cost smartphone from Republic Wireless along with the $10/month plan, which allows unlimited talk and text, but data only on WiFi. They also allow you to change plans twice per month so you can switch to one of their pl...
by mlipps
Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling WiFi
Replies: 17
Views: 2302

Re: Traveling WiFi

You might look into Freedom Pop if you'll be in a city. I've had my hotspot for 3 years now; device cost $100 but is free every month unless I don't use it, in which case there is an inactivity fee of $1. They run promos often for refurbished devices. The free plan is 500mb but you can add "fri...
by mlipps
Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 To Pay Rent to Parent
Replies: 7
Views: 734

Re: 529 To Pay Rent to Parent

I think the dorms are likely to be much more expensive than rent. That was the case at my college & all the ones my friends attended that I'm aware of. Dorms are a ripoff.
by mlipps
Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1095-A mistake (No SLCSP)
Replies: 19
Views: 1707

Re: 1095-A mistake (No SLCSP)

Your 1095-A does not have a mistake. This is normal since you didn't take the tax credit. See here for evidence: https://www.healthcare.gov/taxes/tools/ Click the link that says "See if you need to use this tool to find your second lowest cost Silver premium". "You didn’t apply for fi...
by mlipps
Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Issue with TurboTax / rental property / mileage expense
Replies: 4
Views: 495

Re: Issue with TurboTax / rental property / mileage expense

I've never done a sch e but the vehicle wkt on the sch c requests at least some of that info, so its not terribly surprising. The make and model is a little weird but maybe there's a reason for it that someone else is aware of....
by mlipps
Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig-cup coffee makers - why?
Replies: 139
Views: 14512

Re: Keurig-cup coffee makers - why?

If cost is your measure a Keurig machine is not for you, if on the other hand you are willing to spend $200 - $300 on a machine to get coffee that tastes like it came out of a $3000 machine then it may be for you. And yet it still won't taste as good as properly prepared fresh coffee from a $20 fre...
by mlipps
Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables
Replies: 126
Views: 8452

Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

My local Aldi has REALLY stepped up their produce game and has crazy good prices. They also now have some organics. I believe the organic 10 oz. spinach/baby kale/arugala box is $2.50 or $3. They also have organic tomatoes, avocadoes, and bananas, but I've never checked the prices. The last few wee...
by mlipps
Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables
Replies: 126
Views: 8452

Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

My local Aldi has REALLY stepped up their produce game and has crazy good prices. They also now have some organics. I believe the organic 10 oz. spinach/baby kale/arugala box is $2.50 or $3. They also have organic tomatoes, avocadoes, and bananas, but I've never checked the prices. The last few week...
by mlipps
Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company Car & Personal Car?
Replies: 23
Views: 1473

Re: Company Car & Personal Car?

You could see if an insurance company called Metro mile is in your state yet. They charge by the mile. That could cut the costs of your personal car even further.
by mlipps
Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to get medallion signature guarantee
Replies: 56
Views: 9205

Re: Where to get medallion signature guarantee

My local Chase did it as well. No bank accounts there, just CC accounts. It seemed to be a bit of manager discretion at play. I called and asked to speak to him directly & he was really kind & wanted to help me out.

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