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Re: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?

What state do you live in? I just purchased a Volt. I'm in southern california. The Volt gets me access to the HOV/carpool lane, which helps my wife tremendously with her commute to work (100+ miles round trip on the 405 freeway, for those who know orange county/LA). That was the main deciding facto...
by playtothebeat
Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?
Replies: 23
Views: 1554

Re: Vegas Vacation!

This depends entirely on what you like to do with your time on vacation (and in particular in Vegas). are you a gambler? do you golf? do you like the outdoors? etc

My Vegas vacation is always the same - sports book, blackjack tables, and the pool. I usually stay at the Wynn or Venetian.
by playtothebeat
Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vegas Vacation!
Replies: 50
Views: 3824

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

One thing I've noticed is that while Costco is not the cheapest option, the quality is better than a regular grocery store. At least in my opinion. Seafood and red meat especially. Fruits and vegetables also.
by playtothebeat
Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]
Replies: 158
Views: 10925

Re: 401k rollover

I'm not sure I understand this. Presumably you have the 401k invested in something now. You roll it all to an IRA and invest it the same way. There is no lump sum whose asset allocation you are changing. Even if you convert the 401k to cash for the transfer, you could leave it in cash in the IRA an...
by playtothebeat
Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k rollover
Replies: 21
Views: 1148

Re: 401k rollover

This is something that can be done from a legal standpoint however the plan rules might not allow it but why would you want to? dollar cost average. I view it as no different than if i had a lump sum to invest. I wouldn't want to invest it all at once, but would spread it out over time. In the long...
by playtothebeat
Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k rollover
Replies: 21
Views: 1148

Re: 401k rollover

Is it possible to rollover over a period of time, rather than doing it all at once? In other words, can i roll over 10% of the account once a month, for 10 months, rather than doing 100% right away?
by playtothebeat
Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k rollover
Replies: 21
Views: 1148

401k rollover

My wife recently took a new job, and thus we need to figure out with the money that was in her 401k account with the old employer. From what i understand, our options are: 1) Keep with the prior employer 2) Rollover to the new employer's 401k plan 3) Rollover to a Traditional IRA The prior employer'...
by playtothebeat
Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k rollover
Replies: 21
Views: 1148

Re: We have a grocery problem...

I'm in the exact same boat I live in Orange County, and we have a family of 3, including my wife and a near-one month old son. We are spending around $1200/month on all food expenses (groceries, baby food, restaurants, etc). I've tried my hardest to cut it down, but really couldn't shave off more th...
by playtothebeat
Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]
Replies: 158
Views: 10925

Re: Low Gas Prices => Deals on Hybrid/Electric Cars

Part of this answer will depend on where you live and what your tax situation looks like. I just purchased a Chevy Volt, and couldn't be happier. I get access to the carpool lane (I'm in California), and qualify for the full $9k back in tax rebates/credits. This brought the overall cost of the car t...
by playtothebeat
Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Gas Prices => Deals on Hybrid/Electric Cars
Replies: 7
Views: 707

Re: Tennis Role Reversal

I am 28 years old and was regularly playing against guys in their late 40s and early 50s about a year or two ago in a competitve league. I have to say, those guys can really PLACE the ball. If you can hit the ball with consistency and place it, you'll beat any young guy who thinks he can out run you...
by playtothebeat
Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tennis Role Reversal
Replies: 13
Views: 1322

Re: Suggestions for 10 days on Hawaiian Islands

I second the Kauai and VRBO suggestion.
Rent a car and drive the island. It's one of the most beautiful places you'll see. I got married there last year, and hope to go back on a regular basis.
by playtothebeat
Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for 10 days on Hawaiian Islands
Replies: 24
Views: 1465

Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Are you kidding? I'm also in OC. I have a 3300 SF house. I'm on a level pay plan of $37/mo. We don't run the AC until 78. We never run the AC at night. We open all our upstairs windows in the summer. I'm also on a plan with SCE that allows them to cycle off my AC in high use periods (they installed...
by playtothebeat
Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you keep your electricity bill low?
Replies: 123
Views: 9433

Re: 1.99% Unsecured "AnythingLoan"

I wonder if you can get a "virtual" CC and provide it for this purpose. I think Amazon lets you do that, or maybe paypal. I recall doing that a few years ago.

Or better yet buy a prepaid Visa card and try to use that as the CC #.
by playtothebeat
Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1.99% Unsecured "AnythingLoan" READ UPDATE 9-10-14
Replies: 56
Views: 8514

Re: 1.99% Unsecured "AnythingLoan"

This is really interesting, and definitely makes you wonder whether we're headed for another bubble. As someone who works in finance, I always get a kick out of this stuff. I'm still grandfathered into a 6.99% credit card, which is just like an unsecured personal loan from Discover, Wells Fargo, etc...
by playtothebeat
Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1.99% Unsecured "AnythingLoan" READ UPDATE 9-10-14
Replies: 56
Views: 8514

Re: Cord Blood Banking

We ended up doing it through ViaCord with our boy when he was born 11 month ago. I haven't thought twice about it since, to be honest. I think the annual cost is about $150 or so, and luckily it's not a huge sum to us. Further, If i'm not mistaken, the annual storage cost is locked in for 25 years, ...
by playtothebeat
Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord Blood Banking
Replies: 17
Views: 1243

Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

A lot of excellent responses here , thanks all! A couple of items worth addressing: - I just got the Volt about 2 weeks ago, so it is not yet part of the latest figure. In fact I've only charged it twice at home (the rest have been at work). - My usage between May and August (4 months) has been betw...
by playtothebeat
Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you keep your electricity bill low?
Replies: 123
Views: 9433

How do you keep your electricity bill low?

I was looking through my electricity bill (Southern California Edison; I live in Irvine, CA), and my most recent monthly billing cycle ended up with a $312.91 charge for a 1600-sf house. Now, we have had a somewhat hot summer, and with a newborn in the house, I'm much more mindful of making sure tha...
by playtothebeat
Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you keep your electricity bill low?
Replies: 123
Views: 9433

Re: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt

She started the job/commute about 6 weeks ago. I trust her when she says the carpool lane would make a difference (albeit not a huge one, but still enough to prefer to be in it). The issue is that there is a limited number of HOV stickers available. I would hate to "miss the opportunity" t...
by playtothebeat
Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2762

Re: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt

Since I haven't purchased a car in close to 8 years.. What's the best way to negotiate? I am of the mindset that I don't mind paying a little extra if it means I get out of the dealership sooner, but I definitely don't want to "overpay".. Any advice on the "car buying experience"...
by playtothebeat
Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2762

Re: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt

My wife does have the ability to plug in and charge at work. I believe it cost saround $0.75/hr. If this is the case you should consider a pure electric ... Since you live in CA, there are a large number of EV vehicles, many sold only in CA. Honda Fit / Accord EV, Ford Focus Electric, etc. Nissan L...
by playtothebeat
Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2762

Re: Considering buying a Prius or a Volt

Lots of great responses here, appreciate it. I plan on looking at both this weekend at some local dealerships. My wife does have the ability to plug in and charge at work. I believe it cost saround $0.75/hr. My concern with the Volt is room in the back - our son's car seat is quite bulky (Recarro), ...
by playtothebeat
Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2762

Re: Robin Williams

Surprisingly, I thought RV was a really funny movie. Definitely didn't expect it to be. By the way, I'm interested to see how his will/estate will play out. For those of you who followed the James Gandolfini's case, it's definitely a case study in making sure you have your financial/estate/trust aff...
by playtothebeat
Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Robin Williams
Replies: 42
Views: 4773

Re: Where do you buy clothes?

Dress shirts and casual shirts - Charles Tyrwhitt (ctshirts.com) - fantastic quality, in my opinion. I buy them for about $40 each. Other dress clothes (slacks etc) - mostly Calvin Klein at Macy's, with a few Hugo Boss sprinkled in from Nordstrom. Shoes - i have a few pair of Allen Edmonds, and the ...
by playtothebeat
Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy clothes?
Replies: 105
Views: 9536

Re: Considering buying a Prius or a Volt

What about a used prius? Seems like they're hard to find with an HOV sticker - I wouldn't buy one that isn't HOV-eligible, as gas savings alone aren't worth the added car payment (which is also why a diesel isn't going to work) Perhaps someone can correct me if i'm wrong, but my understanding is th...
by playtothebeat
Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2762

Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt

My wife and I have been discussing this over the last few days. This is a direct result of the recent position my wife took which now has a 100 mile roundtrip commute four days a week (Irvine to Century City, for those who are familiar with OC/LA area - yep, it's brutal). She's an attorney - her gro...
by playtothebeat
Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2762

Help me choose a new tv

The TV in my living room finally went out. It was a Sony DLP, and while the quality was great, it took up quite a bit of space. I can probably get a new bulb for it for abotu $200-$250, but frankly don't think it's worth doing any more; plus, I would like to get a TV mounted to create some more floo...
by playtothebeat
Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me choose a new tv
Replies: 31
Views: 1973

Re: Cost to appraise a real estate LP

What kind of property(ies) are you talking about? Single family houses? Apartments? Industrial?
by playtothebeat
Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost to appraise a real estate LP
Replies: 5
Views: 344

Re: Breastfeeding and baby formula

I have a 9 month old now. 1) sign up for their mailing lists. you'll get coupons ($5 off, usually) in the mail. use them. look for sales at Babies R Us - i've found that Enfamil formula is about the same price everywhere, but BRU will have deals about once a month or so where you get $10 off if you ...
by playtothebeat
Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Breastfeeding and baby formula
Replies: 24
Views: 1305

Re: Buying Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles

Thanks for the replies. After doing some research, I found a lot of complaints with Sonatas not getting the advertised gas mileage. I'll probably spend about $14k more and get a new loaded Outback instead If you are worried about MPG, Outback certainly ain't your vehicle :? That. Also, unless they'...
by playtothebeat
Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles
Replies: 23
Views: 2451

Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Keep in mind that once you cross certain "thresholds" the price seems to go up just because of the threshold. I.e. a 1.50 will be significantly more expensive than a 1.48 carat diamond, even though you'll never be able to tell the difference. I spent about that much (before the setting) an...
by playtothebeat
Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help
Replies: 61
Views: 4578

Re: What Do You Eat For Snacks?

Almonds
Apples dipped in peanut butter (use simple organic peanut butter - look at the list of ingredients - if it has more than "peanuts" and maybe salt, don't buy it)
Bananas
Figs
Dark chocolate
Sprats
Full fat cheese
by playtothebeat
Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Eat For Snacks? [for exercise-induced hunger]
Replies: 129
Views: 9131

Re: Car for a long daily commute

So try it, but if the job works out, your priority should be to move. Go ahead and plan on moving back in 5 years when he gets to kindergarten. A lot of things can change in that much time. Great point. We'll give this a try - we know it won't be easy, and won't love it. We know it will make things...
by playtothebeat
Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 6383

Re: Car for a long daily commute

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Really appreciate all the input. I haven't considered the idea of doing extended stay or anything like that once or twice a week; that might not be a bad idea. We have a lot of friends in the LA area, so she could probably stay with one of them once or twice a week...
by playtothebeat
Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 6383

Re: Car for a long daily commute

No argument that moving would solve the issue, but OC is far superior to LA county (in my opinion) for quality of life and raising a child (especially in the area we are in). So moving is not really an option at this point for us (plus, given that our house is probably still underwater, it'd be toug...
by playtothebeat
Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 6383

Re: Car for a long daily commute

I'm not picking on you, but this brings up a general question. How many people factor in all of the costs when making a job decision? Based on the current IRS standard mileage rate and California tax rates, this commute will eat up almost $20,000 of gross salary (the actual cost is lower, but so is...
by playtothebeat
Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 6383

Re: Car for a long daily commute

Thanks for the responces, everyone. Unfortunately, we know just how bad that commute will be. The new job does come with a significant pay bump and title promotion, so there are some positives. She'll have some flexibility with her hours, and will likely need to do something like 6am-3pm to make thi...
by playtothebeat
Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 6383

Car for a long daily commute

My wife will be starting a new position in a few weeks which will require a daily commute of about 110 miles round trip (from Irvine to Century City, for those of you who live in or are familiar with the Orange County/LA County area). We currently have two cars: a 2010 bmw 528 and a 2007 mazda 6. Th...
by playtothebeat
Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 6383

Re: UCLA vs USC Decision [Which college to attend]

I went to SC for undergrad, and wouldn't trade it for anything. I had some grants/scholarships, but still came out with about $70k of total debt (undergrad). And I would do it again. it lead me directly to my career (commercial real estate finance). and i was there during the golden Pete Carrol year...
by playtothebeat
Sat May 17, 2014 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UCLA vs USC Decision [Which college to attend]
Replies: 62
Views: 3898

Re: Son moving to LA - neighborhood/town recommendations?

You gotta tell us more about your son in order to answer that question. You mentioned he's single - is he 18? 25? 35? there's a difference. What does he like to do? Beach volleyaball? Manhattan Beach is the world capital of beach volleyball. Does he like to surf? Manhattan Beach is great for that to...
by playtothebeat
Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Son moving to LA - neighborhood/town recommendations?
Replies: 43
Views: 3578

Re: Is living without credit cards a dangerous idea?

Frankly, i think it's very impractical in today's society to live without a credit card. For instance, you can't buy a meal or a drink on an airplane with cash anymore - has to be plastic (you can use debit, of course). As someone pointed out, I'd use the CCs for large items (for rewards), and you a...
by playtothebeat
Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is living without credit cards a dangerous idea?
Replies: 66
Views: 3128

Re: Buying/installing a new Washer & Dryer set.

Thanks for the input, all. I'm not sure if simply bleaching it would work for us, if not for the fact that we've been talking for a long time about replacing our washer (it's a top-load agitator; we like the top-load; we don't like the agitator..) I should probably phrase my question/concerns better...
by playtothebeat
Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying/installing a new Washer & Dryer set.
Replies: 10
Views: 905

Buying/installing a new Washer & Dryer set.

Over the past few weeks i've noticed an odd (stale?) smell coming from my washer; i'm worried it might be mold or mildew, and with a newborn in the house, that's not something I want to deal with. As such, I spent the last couple of days looking for a new washer and gas dryer set. My laundry room is...
by playtothebeat
Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying/installing a new Washer & Dryer set.
Replies: 10
Views: 905

Re: HRA or HSA?

To me, the difference between the two in terms of cost (premiums, deductibles, and oop max) is not significant. You say you're in a fairly high tax bracket, so I assume the additional $1000 OOP is not a big deal to you either. I personally like the portability of the HSA, as well as the ability to i...
by playtothebeat
Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HRA or HSA?
Replies: 4
Views: 491

Re: limited FSA with an HSA, help

If i'm not mistaken, it actually depends on your company, rather than IRS or Wageworks. IRS is now permitting the $500 cary-over for FSAs (including limited, I believe), but companies do not have to offer that benefit. Check with your HR. You should also find out whether you have to have funds in th...
by playtothebeat
Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: limited FSA with an HSA, help
Replies: 2
Views: 231

Re: Two separate HSAs for me and wife?

@ThePrune:
Can you clarify (B) for me - If my wife choses not to fund her FSA with any pre-tax dollars (and does not get anything from the employer), does that mean I can contribute to the HSA?
by playtothebeat
Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two separate HSAs for me and wife?
Replies: 5
Views: 531

Two separate HSAs for me and wife?

Like many of us, my wife and I (along with our 1 month old newborn) are going through our health care options for 2014 and have a question I'm hoping someone can help answer, as I've been unable to find an answer online. My employer offers an HSA plan with the following key stats: Rates You + spouse...
by playtothebeat
Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two separate HSAs for me and wife?
Replies: 5
Views: 531

Re: Young Guys [and Gals] Making Good Money

Here's what I suggest you do.. Find a field or fields that interest you. Meet people in those fields and pick their brain about the type of work they do, their lifestyles, etc. Could be something as simple as reaching out to your alma matter and seeing if the career center can set you up for some in...
by playtothebeat
Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young Guys [and Gals] Making Good Money
Replies: 241
Views: 23824

Re: How many big moves have you made in your lifetime?

Moved from Russia to Oregon when I was 12. Spoke some English but not much. That was quite an adjustment.
Then went to college in CA after never having stepped foot in CA. Another cultural adjustment, to say the least..
by playtothebeat
Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many big moves have you made in your lifetime?
Replies: 76
Views: 5700

Re: Can I get the bank to allow me to rent out my place?

Reach out to your bank and ask. If they say no, they have to show that their rationale is "reasonable" (meaning, it is something that other market participants would agree to be a common practice). The bank will also have to give you an answer in a timely manner (i.e. they can't withold th...
by playtothebeat
Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I get the bank to allow me to rent out my place?
Replies: 20
Views: 2050
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