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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: 894

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: 894

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: 20
Views: 1249

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: 1812

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: 1679

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: 1083

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: 2564

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: 855

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: 2796

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: 1667

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: 1667

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: 4536

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: 4536

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: 2455

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: 137

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: 1388

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: 3193

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: 370

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: 2311

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: 2150

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: 704

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: 18
Views: 1347

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: 463

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: 13380

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: 7653

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: 7653

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: 1273

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to get medallion signature guarantee
Replies: 49
Views: 5401

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.
by mlipps
Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxation of NSF REU undergraduate research stipend
Replies: 12
Views: 1360

Re: Taxation of NSF REU undergraduate research stipend

Zapped, it does not work that way. If you provided over 50% of the support, you are the only one eligible to claim the child. The child is not eligible to claim him or herself, regardless of whether or not you claim him or her or not. I don't mind being wrong, but please explain what you're saying ...
by mlipps
Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxation of NSF REU undergraduate research stipend
Replies: 12
Views: 1360

Re: Taxation of NSF REU undergraduate research stipend

Zapped, it does not work that way. If you provided over 50% of the support, you are the only one eligible to claim the child. The child is not eligible to claim him or herself, regardless of whether or not you claim him or her or not.
by mlipps
Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of getting a Masters in I/O Psychology
Replies: 20
Views: 1522

Re: Thinking of getting a Masters in I/O Psychology

I'm in a data science masters. I am very happy with my experience. My school records in class lectures and posts them for the online students, so all the courses are available in either mode. PM me and I am happy to share more details. I don't have any schools nearby that offer this program but one...
by mlipps
Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?
Replies: 70
Views: 4866

Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

When I was in 5th grade I had this super fun game called "Jump Start Typing". You did things like rock climbing, soccer, etc, using typing. As you got better at certain letters, it would progressively add more, or add tricky combinations. I played it relentlessly for about a month, and eve...
by mlipps
Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of getting a Masters in I/O Psychology
Replies: 20
Views: 1522

Re: Thinking of getting a Masters in I/O Psychology

I'm in a data science masters. I am very happy with my experience. My school records in class lectures and posts them for the online students, so all the courses are available in either mode. PM me and I am happy to share more details.
by mlipps
Thu Feb 19, 2015 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help me buy a tablet
Replies: 15
Views: 886

Re: help me buy a tablet

I got an 8 inch Samsung tab pro for $200 on black Friday. It's comparable to their more popular 8 inch tablet (can't think of the name right now) but much cheaper because it hasn't sold as well. I'm very happy with the choice I made and the cost. I would never pay $500 for a tablet, personally.
by mlipps
Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preparing for 2 months incommunicado
Replies: 142
Views: 7274

Re: Preparing for 2 months incommunicado

USPS mail hold, at least at my post office, doesn't work. I've tried it twice when I went on two week vacations & both times came back to an overflowing mailbox. Then, a couple of days after I return, I get the automated email from USPS that my mail hold is expiring and my held mail will be del...
by mlipps
Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preparing for 2 months incommunicado
Replies: 142
Views: 7274

Re: Preparing for 2 months incommunicado

USPS mail hold, at least at my post office, doesn't work. I've tried it twice when I went on two week vacations & both times came back to an overflowing mailbox. Then, a couple of days after I return, I get the automated email from USPS that my mail hold is expiring and my held mail will be deli...
by mlipps
Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deleted.
Replies: 24
Views: 3164

Re: Budget for family of 4

One thing to think about when budgeting for college costs is the tax credits available for you. If this is your first college degree, you will be eligible for the American Opportunity Credit. That is up to $2500 back in tax credits ($1000 refundable, $1500 non-refundable) on the first $4k in expense...
by mlipps
Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Return-403b Not vested? W2 Box 13 has nothing checked
Replies: 8
Views: 393

Re: Tax Return-403b Not vested? W2 Box 13 has nothing checke

Did you put money into the 403b or only your employer?
by mlipps
Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switching electric companies--your thoughts?
Replies: 16
Views: 1339

Re: Switching electric companies--your thoughts?

Op, what state do you live in?
by mlipps
Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS warning on falsifying income
Replies: 15
Views: 3056

Re: IRS warning on falsifying income

And where is the line for "falsifying" income as a self-employed person with highly variable income? Nobody at HC.gov's call center seems to know, they just tell you to call the IRS. The IRS doesn't know, they don't have any guidelines. If you put down that your expected income is $30k an...
by mlipps
Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day
Replies: 97
Views: 6205

Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

If she's coming to visit you soon, could you plan some sort of special activity to do together while she is there? Couple's massage, nice dinner, cool excursion, cooking class etc? Then maybe write some kind of "clue" about what this surprise will be & have them put that on the card of...
by mlipps
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Interview question...salary
Replies: 30
Views: 3874

Re: Interview question...salary

Usually, the company broaches the topic of salary first - so I think they will think it's odd you are pushing it. If you don't think you will like the job - I'd view the second interview day as a networking opportunity. While the current job may or may not workout - it can't hurt to make some new c...
by mlipps
Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 40 years of IRA and 401k Contributions
Replies: 18
Views: 2380

Re: 40 years of IRA and 401k Contributions

My parents have been investing just $75/week in my dad's 401k since 1991. They have about $175k now. Small compared to many of your portfolios, but more than enough for their very modest lifestyle. I love to tell people that (I don't tell them it's my parents, just someone I know if I talk about it ...
by mlipps
Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig-cup coffee makers - why?
Replies: 139
Views: 13380

Re: Keurig-cup coffee makers - why?

This was the "glass contraption" I was thinking about: http://www.casa.com/p/yama-northwest-glass-32-oz-cold-brew-drip-coffee-tea-maker-275359?site=CA&sku=YPC-002&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc_C&utm_campaign=GooglePLA&utm_content=pla_with_promotion&ca_sku=YPC-00...
by mlipps
Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Book To Learn R Programming
Replies: 32
Views: 3588

Re: Best Book To Learn R Programming

You could also take a look at The Art of R Programming... I am not an R user, but it pops up on my recommended book reading list on Amazon all the time and has very good reviews. I have this one and its a bit brief. I also own R for Everyone, I would recommend it much more highly. FWIW, I'm a stude...
by mlipps
Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig-cup coffee makers - why?
Replies: 139
Views: 13380

Re: Keurig-cup coffee makers - why?

Has anyone tried cold brewing? They have these amazing glass contraptions that cold brew a concentrate and you add hot water. Many coffee shops use this method for iced coffee. it is supposed to be less acidic. Glass contraptions?? You mean a jar?? You can just put water & coffee in a jar overn...
by mlipps
Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income
Replies: 13
Views: 2197

Re: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income

it all depends on his "life experience". He should have no problem doing 1040EZ returns and maybe a 1040A. 1040 is where the rubber meets the road and if he's familiar with Sched D, Education credits, Child care credits, the various filing statii, rules for dependency, etc. he'll be ok. I...
by mlipps
Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When your spouse isn't quite as frugal as you
Replies: 94
Views: 9156

Re: When your spouse isn't quite as frugal as you

I mostly agree with other posters but this might be a pick your battles type of situation. However, I do love my breakfast sandwich maker, so I thought I would share it with you! Maybe your husband could muster the energy to make one in the morning? Or you could make one for him? They are so fast &...
by mlipps
Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When your spouse isn't quite as frugal as you
Replies: 94
Views: 9156

Re: When your spouse isn't quite as frugal as you

I mostly agree with other posters but this might be a pick your battles type of situation. However, I do love my breakfast sandwich maker, so I thought I would share it with you! Maybe your husband could muster the energy to make one in the morning? Or you could make one for him? They are so fast &a...
by mlipps
Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best place for new car loan - DCU?
Replies: 8
Views: 1209

Re: Best place for new car loan - DCU?

May I know do they require you to deposit your whole paycheck or any amount is ok to get 1.49% and do they require you to have $500 deductible on your auto insurance? How about GAP insurance requirement? Thanks. We went through DCU recently & I was very happy with the process. But keep in mind ...

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