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Re: How do you decide when to buy car?

260K is pretty good. I bought my first car (1994 Civic) with 150K miles and it made it to 200K before I sold it with some nagging brake issues. I picked up a 2005 Prius with 155K miles to replace it. Put about 30K miles on it so far. Going to shoot for 250K before I change vehicles. I am not sure if...
by rayout
Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you decide when to buy car?
Replies: 13
Views: 719

Re: 1098-T Discrepancies?

Did you mark the box that states the child can be claimed as a dependent on another form? This may have something to do with it. TaxAct indicated the issues was that the total qualified education expenses was 0 since the grants/scholarships exceeded the qualified education expenses. My thought is t...
by rayout
Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1098-T Discrepancies?
Replies: 6
Views: 325

Re: 1098-T Discrepancies?

When you write "this year" I take that to mean 2015, so none of that is used for last year's tax return. There are many different kinds of education credits, so see Pub 970. If tuition is $20K per year and he paid only $10K in tuition last year and got $11K in tuition credits, then he did...
by rayout
Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1098-T Discrepancies?
Replies: 6
Views: 325

1098-T Discrepancies?

I am assisting a family member with their income taxes for the first time this year. Tuition for each of his children is ~$20K per year. I understand he has paid ~$10K for each of his two children for college this year. Only ~10K was reported as qualified education expenses in the 1098 T. The 1098 T...
by rayout
Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1098-T Discrepancies?
Replies: 6
Views: 325

Re: Honda fit vs VW GTI

Have you taken a look at a Prius C? Seems like it might be a good fit. Last years or used models seems to be slightly discounted now as sellers are facing reduced demand due to the lower gas prices. I cannot complain about the reliability of my 2005 Prius. I bought with around 150K miles a couple ye...
by rayout
Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda fit vs VW GTI
Replies: 44
Views: 2842

Re: Favorite chocolate candy

Walgreens' house brand makes a very good dark chocolate bar. "Delish" Midnight Dark - 70% cacao. ~$2/3.5 oz bar.
by rayout
Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite chocolate candy
Replies: 41
Views: 2673

Re: Replace or repair dishwasher

Before you go through any effort to replace the machine, first try adding borax to your load to help with the hard water. It's pretty cheap at my local Menards. My dishwasher cleans fine, but I do add it to my laundry: http://www.20muleteamlaundry.com/how-to ... detergent/
by rayout
Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace or repair dishwasher
Replies: 26
Views: 1168

Re: Anyone have one of those standing desks?

I went with this: http://iamnotaprogrammer.com/Ikea-Stand ... llars.html

Same benefits as SwampDonkey noted. Love it.
by rayout
Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have one of those standing desks?
Replies: 23
Views: 1725

Re: What % of your gross income do you spend on mortgage/ren

I guess you could say a little under 20% of gross but in reality my property is cash flow positive and the rental income more than covers the mortgage.
by rayout
Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What % of your gross income do you spend on mortgage/rent?
Replies: 155
Views: 8745

Re: What video games are you currently playing?

Shadowrun: Project Dragonfall is a tactical RPG with a gameplay system similar to the old isometric fallout games. Excellent storytelling and character development. I recommend it for those of you that enjoyed that game or Xcom.
by rayout
Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What video games are you currently playing?
Replies: 166
Views: 9595

Re: How much was your Tax Refund (or amount DUE)

I will owe about $1K each to the feds and IL.
by rayout
Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much was your Tax Refund (or amount DUE)
Replies: 110
Views: 7223

Re: HSA Bank or Health Savings Administrators?

https://www.savedaily.com/partners/acu/funds.asp?Type=30 Alliant's HSA includes Vanguard funds...not sure what other fees are associated with it though. I bank at Alliant but my HSA is at HSAbank. I was not aware that Alliant offered investments as part of their HSA until I read this thread and dug ...
by rayout
Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Bank or Health Savings Administrators?
Replies: 38
Views: 6307

Re: Finding a good realtor

Never found any value in a realtor. When I bought my home, I used a real estate lawyer who acted as my agent and refunded half his commission to me. I scheduled showings through the list agent. I was extremely happy with the experience. My "agent/lawyer" had no conflict of interest as he r...
by rayout
Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding a good realtor
Replies: 12
Views: 753

Re: When/how to invest monthly savings into taxable?

I auto-transfer once a month. I set it up/adjust amounts at the beginning of each year.
by rayout
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When/how to invest monthly savings into taxable?
Replies: 32
Views: 2878

Re: Taxact ultimate version $6

Many thanks!
by rayout
Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxact ultimate version $6 - DEAL OVER
Replies: 46
Views: 3000

Re: Don't Peek [at Your Portfolio Balance]

I automated my investments so I don't have to bother checking. I check periodically still but really only take action at the start of the year once my IRA contribution hits.
by rayout
Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't Peek [at Your Portfolio Balance]
Replies: 33
Views: 3972

Re: Your favorite classic toys for kids

Some fun board games. Not necessarily classics now but I think they will be: Fun for all ages: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/40990/word-street Transitions into a drinking game when the kids are in college (featured in the WSJ today): http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/327/loopin-louie Another f...
by rayout
Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your favorite classic toys for kids
Replies: 89
Views: 5623

Re: Vegas Vacation!

Worth checking out the pinball hall of fame: http://www.pinballmuseum.org/

All earnings are donated!
by rayout
Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vegas Vacation!
Replies: 50
Views: 4362

Re: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking

http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique-for-seasoning-cast-iron/ Interesting take on the matter. She also notes that lard used in the old days was from pastured pork and had higher quantities of ALA omega 3 fatty acids so lard from pastured pigs might be another option if...
by rayout
Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking
Replies: 109
Views: 13254

Re: How can I stop feeling depressed about my finances?

I felt the same way 6 years ago after I graduated making 50% less than my two good friends that went into IT while I instead worked for a small engineering firm. I focused on being the best employee I could be and worked as hard as possible to be better than my peers. I am now transitioning into a n...
by rayout
Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can I stop feeling depressed about my finances?
Replies: 130
Views: 15375

Re: Where to find historical race data for specific zip code

Try city-data.com

Just checked and it had 2000 and 2009 race data for my town.
by rayout
Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to find historical race data for specific zip code?
Replies: 14
Views: 1494

Re: Help! Are we making a huge mistake?

I recently made a similar decision on whether to leave my current firm for another and while the monetary compensation is orders of magnitude lower than your situation, I went with the new firm which offered the most personal and career growth.
by rayout
Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Are we making a huge mistake?
Replies: 40
Views: 5621

Re: We have a grocery problem...

I also live in the Chicago suburbs and recently came to the conclusion that our grocery bills are WAY too high. We primarily shop at Marianos, which I guess would be considered kinda middle of the road in terms of price. As I started to analyze things, I realized that I need to shop a little bit sm...
by rayout
Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]
Replies: 158
Views: 11705

Re: When did you feel "Out of the Woods"?

Bought and moved into a duplex a couple of years ago that has sufficient cashflow that I could pretty much survive frugally (i.e. no eating out) and make the mortgage assuming I had full occupancy (two roommates + 1 tenant). Pretty comfortable after that but that has not stopped me from trying to ac...
by rayout
Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When did you feel "Out of the Woods"?
Replies: 42
Views: 5549

Re: Am I in over my head?

My problem is there is nothing I really enjoy that could translate into a career. Most of my time is spent reading and playing on the computer but things like programming don't interest me. I'd like to answer this question better but I just can't find the right words for it. If you have enough of a...
by rayout
Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I in over my head?
Replies: 51
Views: 4803

Re: Electronic rent payments

Chase quick pay is what I use. Can be annoying to set up for those who do not bank with Chase. I have two roommates, one prefers to use Chase Quick Pay (he banks with a local credit union), the other prefers to pay by check.
by rayout
Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Electronic rent payments
Replies: 15
Views: 1431

Re: Issues with home inspector?

I used an inspector that charged $100 more than typical. He was recommended by a real estate lawyer and was worth every penny. I probably spent close to $2,000 on various inspections of rental properties with him before I made purchase. He was extremely well versed on the construction methods of hom...
by rayout
Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issues with home inspector?
Replies: 24
Views: 1210

Re: Mortgages and financial freedom

My current residence is a duplex. I rent out the other side. I plan on paying off my mortgage at 3.625% as slowly as possible :)
by rayout
Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgages and financial freedom
Replies: 111
Views: 7442

Re: Runners and compression socks

The VP of my company is an avid runner and swears by compression socks. He says they have helped reduce his recovery time by a noticeable margin.

I on the other hand ran barefoot yesterday since I forgot my running shoes at home :)
by rayout
Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Runners and compression socks
Replies: 18
Views: 1726

Re: Chicago Bogleheads Meeting August 18, 2014

Unfortunately I will not be able to attend August 18th as I have another event that would conflict. Should be able to make it to the event in September.
by rayout
Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Chicago Bogleheads Meeting August 18, 2014
Replies: 2
Views: 491

Re: Are utility stocks no longer safe?

I don't purchase the utility sector or any individual utility stocks. Anecdotally, I do have a friend that works for an electric utility and what he tells me about the industry is pretty chilling. Apparently alot of the profit is obtained from trading electricity, especially at peak times. His firm ...
by rayout
Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are utility stocks no longer safe?
Replies: 22
Views: 2226

Re: Options/guidance for a lazy person to be fit

What worked for me (195 lbs with no muscle to 170 lbs with muscle): Diet: I focused on food quality versus quantity. Have not counted calories or restricted intake during my entire fitness journey. Went low-carb for a while but have since increased carb intake but am still below 100 grams per day. I...
by rayout
Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Options/guidance for a lazy person to be fit
Replies: 79
Views: 7233

Re: CD ladder emergency fun

This website has great listings about various accounts and CDs available locally and nationally:

http://www.depositaccounts.com/
by rayout
Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD ladder emergency fun
Replies: 22
Views: 2899

Re: Investing is starting to get boring

Boring it is. Read this forum daily once I got the bug. Automated my investments and now only stop by every few months or so.

Probably when the next "crash" hits there will be some more activity...
by rayout
Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing is starting to get boring
Replies: 39
Views: 4414

Re: [Eating] Fish

Recently found out walmart has farmed mussels for a little over $2/lb in my area. Comes in a 2 lb bag, pre-cooked. Just poke some holes in the bag, microwave for 5 minutes and add to a dish or just enjoy with some butter. Great for an easy, nutritious meal: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Fishin-Mussels-2...
by rayout
Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Eating] Fish
Replies: 113
Views: 10204

Re: squirrel question

Stew pot works :)
by rayout
Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: squirrel question
Replies: 13
Views: 1374

Re: Market falling emotions

Maybe switch it over to Friday :)
by rayout
Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market falling emotions
Replies: 31
Views: 2389

Re: What age did you reach 100K networth?

Hit it at the age of 25 in 2012
by rayout
Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you reach 100K networth?
Replies: 264
Views: 36910

Re: insurance for my 8 yr old accord

I'd keep comprehensive coverage. It's cheap and will cover you if your kid hits a deer or something. Definitely something to keep in mind if you are in a rural/suburban area with a large deer population. Also covers vandalism and theft - things that your kid might be slightly more exposed to as a yo...
by rayout
Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: insurance for my 8 yr old accord
Replies: 11
Views: 727

Re: Which Chromebook?

A Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet with full Windows 8 is available at the same price point and is a bit more full featured. Something to think about - I am seriously considering picking up. The only thing I am waiting for is for Intel to upgrade the Atom processor powering these tablets enough to emulate cu...
by rayout
Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Chromebook?
Replies: 51
Views: 5503

Re: Help! I'm so new and need help! [Portfolio help]

I like Mango Money: 6% APY on up to $5,000 (really around 4% after fees): https://www.mangomoney.com/
by rayout
Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help! I'm so new and need help! [Portfolio help]
Replies: 8
Views: 511

Re: The Gecko cost me a lot of $. How often to switch car in

Geico's auto-insurance and umbrella policy rates have been unbeatable for me...literally half of what other companies charge. Now many companies will play games by discounting auto insurance to next to nothing while charging and inflated home owners insurance rate. I found that the lowest cost for m...
by rayout
Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Gecko cost me a lot of $. How often to switch car ins?
Replies: 78
Views: 8162

Re: "If your parents died early, will you die early too?"

wander wrote:Study is no longer true with one word "cancer".


Cancer was unheard of in native populations eating their traditional diets. I'll leave it at that since medical discussion is not allowed but I do plan on living much longer than my parents.
by rayout
Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "If your parents died early, will you die early too?"
Replies: 32
Views: 3573

Re: Why do Bogleheads invest differently?

I do a fairly basic 5 fund strategy (Total market, Total Bond, International with 10% Small cap value and 5% REIT). I just automate my strategy so I never pay attention to the market except once a year when I re-balance and adjust my monthly investments. Could I get a bit more return over time by sl...
by rayout
Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do Bogleheads invest differently?
Replies: 40
Views: 4303

Re: Dental Insurance?

I do a "dental plan" for around $180/year. It covers an exam and cleaning every 6 months and x-rays once a year. However the best insurance for your teeth are to eliminate sugar from your diet since fermentable carbohydrates are what cause cavities: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_cari...
by rayout
Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental Insurance?
Replies: 38
Views: 3278

Re: Its Hard Being A Boglehead!!

Investing is so boring now :P

Oh well, at least I get to bust out the popcorn whenever something like tulips and bitcoins roll around.
by rayout
Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Its Hard Being A Boglehead!!
Replies: 62
Views: 4828

Re: should you invest in BRK?

1 share of BRK.B is all it takes to get a discount on my car insurance through Geico so thats all I hold :)
by rayout
Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: should you invest in BRK?
Replies: 19
Views: 2289

Re: Thoughts on door prizes for a holiday party?

Scratch off-tickets would be fun - you can spend $1-$5 per person and everyone has a bit of entertainment out of it. Careful that it doesn't backfire and you lose a key employee :P Consider a white elephant gift of some sort. My boss's former firm would raffle off the most beat up company car each y...
by rayout
Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on door prizes for a holiday party?
Replies: 40
Views: 3319

Re: Anyone run a remanufactured engine in their car?

My first car was a 1994 Honda which I bought in 2010 for $1600. When I took it for its first oil change the service tech said it had a junk yard engine in it based on the part number scribbled on to it in chalk. I paid $1600 for it, drove it for 3 years without any issues (other than what I caused f...
by rayout
Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone run a remanufactured engine in their car?
Replies: 21
Views: 1341

Re: Halloween Is Coming

Ikea dark chocolate - $1 for 3.5 oz bar....but looks like others got the same idea and they are sold out locally :(
by rayout
Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Halloween Is Coming
Replies: 21
Views: 1226
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