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Re: Frugal Fatigue

Eating out is over rated. It's also my experience the more you eat out, the more obese you get. It's much easier to over eat and the portions and nutritional value at most restaurants have a lot to be desired. Well, that just depends. Some of us have self-regulating mentalities, and most restaurant...
by rjbraun
Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal Fatigue
Replies: 96
Views: 9816

Re: OK to Book Vacation Place , Switch Later for Better Deal

Although not exactly the question here, I am thinking of doing VBRO in the next year or two in Florida for a month or so. I understand you make arrangements directly with the owner, pay him or her, and go. What if they are a sham or don't leave the key for you or well, make up any bad thing you wan...
by rjbraun
Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OK to Book Vacation Place , Switch Later for Better Deal?
Replies: 8
Views: 660

Forum for HR / management-type issues

I'm not sure which board to post this on, I guess Personal Consumer is as good as any; the idea is that work management issues affects one's livelihood and thus us as consumers. Can anyone recommend a forum (or more) that would address management issues, stuff like "best practices" for man...
by rjbraun
Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Forum for HR / management-type issues
Replies: 0
Views: 197

Re: google.com/flights

Thank you all for the feedback. I am happy to report that I have finally bought my airplane tickets. :beer I spent days tracking fares on google. I guess one benefit to this was that I stumbled across some carriers / fares that I normally would have overlooked. In the end, I bought on kayak. While I...
by rjbraun
Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: google.com/flights
Replies: 14
Views: 1583

Re: google.com/flights

I just noticed the "Book" feature on google.com/flights. Though you can't actually buy the tickets from the site, it does list different options. You are even shown any additional surcharges. Pretty neat. :)
by rjbraun
Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: google.com/flights
Replies: 14
Views: 1583

google.com/flights

I've been using this site to monitor fares. How accurate and reliable do others find the site? My understanding is that one uses the site to monitor fares, but that one would then need to go elsewhere to actually purchase the ticket. In the handful of instances I've tried, I find the google.com fare...
by rjbraun
Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: google.com/flights
Replies: 14
Views: 1583

Re: how to find an architect

I worked with an architect to renovate (combine two units of) my apartment. I identified a few candidates, primarily work-of-mouth. I met each of them and discussed the project. The decision of whom to select was kind of tough, but I was pleased enough with how everything turned out in the end. I fe...
by rjbraun
Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to find an architect
Replies: 17
Views: 868

Re: Free flights with Credit Card offers

I check "The Points Guy"'s top deals from time to time. I just got my Citi AAdvantage MasterCard in the mail today. :beer The card is good for 50,000 AAdvantage miles after I think $3,000 in purchases in the first three months.

http://thepointsguy.com/top-deals-3/
by rjbraun
Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free flights with Credit Card offers
Replies: 19
Views: 1474

Re: Best Non-Stick Pan or Skillet

Tips to help a non-stick pan last longer: use utensils for nonstick surfaces (plastic with dull edges); don't immerse hot pan in water (let it cool down then wipe it down); and don't put it in the dishwasher. I have some nice Calphalon non-stick pans that have lasted almost 20 years following this ...
by rjbraun
Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Non-Stick Pan or Skillet
Replies: 51
Views: 4096

Re: Any other travel freaks?

Once I bought Business Class tickets and it was not much better than Economy, except that we boarded before other passengers and were getting free coffee. Victoria +1. And you get to watch everyone looking stressed out as they work on their laptops. I don't want a screaming kid next to me, either, ...
by rjbraun
Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any other travel freaks?
Replies: 92
Views: 5639

Re: Magazines that tell good stories

The New Yorker.
by rjbraun
Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Magazines that tell good stories
Replies: 8
Views: 515

Re: Train tickets in Italy [trouble booking with Trenitalia]

My wife and I are having all sorts of difficulty getting train tickets for trips to and from rome as well as Munich for our upcoming trip in May. We have gotten on the Trenitalia website exactly when they come available(120 days) and continue to get a combo error message and no tickets available. W...
by rjbraun
Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Train tickets in Italy [trouble booking with Trenitalia]
Replies: 22
Views: 1888

Re: Train tickets in Italy-Wow!!

But there is very little advantage in buying Italian train tickets far in advance I disagree. If you are confident of your travel itinerary, you can save a "bundle" by purchasing tickets in advance. I think we got tickets from Florence to Venice for EUR 9 each, one-way. There's a limited ...
by rjbraun
Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Train tickets in Italy [trouble booking with Trenitalia]
Replies: 22
Views: 1888

Re: Train tickets in Italy-Wow!!

I suggest you try http://www.raileurope.com, which I believe is the agency that handles rail tickets for TrenItaly in the USA. Their website is easy to use, and in addition, they have an 800 number here in the US you can call. I think they're like a "Travelocity" of train travel for Europ...
by rjbraun
Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Train tickets in Italy [trouble booking with Trenitalia]
Replies: 22
Views: 1888

Re: Trip to London

My sense is that apartment rentals usually have more stringent cancellation policies than hotels. I can understand why that is, but you should decide beforehand whether that works for you. We recently rented an apartment in Rome and were pleased with how everything worked out. I deliberately sought ...
by rjbraun
Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trip to London
Replies: 13
Views: 689

Re: Effort and how to search for good flight deals

I use ITA Matrix, which was bought by google no too long ago.It is very useful to analyze the benefit of different dates, times, and combinations of airlines. You can't actually buy flights from them, but it is the system travel agencies use to sort flights and I find significantly better prices fo...
by rjbraun
Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Effort and how to search for good flight deals
Replies: 19
Views: 1032

Re: Effort and how to search for good flight deals

jlawrence01 wrote:I track low fares out of my home airports AND between preferred city pairs using airfarewatchdog.com. They send me several e-mails each week as fares become available.

Thank you! I just signed up to receive price alerts for a couple of destinations we're interested in
by rjbraun
Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Effort and how to search for good flight deals
Replies: 19
Views: 1032

Re: Effort and how to search for good flight deals

Given that you're flexible on destination, I would use http://www.skyscanner.com. Find prices for all destinations (leaving from your home airport) during your dates, check what the weather is that time of year in those destinations and you should have most of the info you need to pull the trigger....
by rjbraun
Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Effort and how to search for good flight deals
Replies: 19
Views: 1032

Re: Effort and how to search for good flight deals

Just like we say AA instead of typing out "Asset Allocation" and VTSAX instead of "Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Admiral Shares", they will make posts like "UA PHL-ORD-IAD-NRT $908 ai 3.2 cpm" and you are supposed to realize this means you can fly from Philly to To...
by rjbraun
Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Effort and how to search for good flight deals
Replies: 19
Views: 1032

Re: Effort and how to search for good flight deals

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I just revisited flyertalk.com and now realize that some of the posts I looked at seem to relate to people "mileage running", where I guess a key motivation for booking a multi-leg yet below market-price fare is to accumulate a lot of points! :greedy That...
by rjbraun
Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Effort and how to search for good flight deals
Replies: 19
Views: 1032

Re: Advice on realtor, as a career...

I'm not a real estate broker, but a friend is. One thing she recently pointed out that she is not very geographically-mobile. After spending the last decade building her business, contacts, etc. it wouldn't be so easy for her to pick up and move to a different (non-local) place. Seemingly a pretty o...
by rjbraun
Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on realtor, as a career...
Replies: 4
Views: 637

Effort and how to search for good flight deals

I'm just wondering how much time and effort it's worth spending to find good if not great flight deals. SO and I have some places we would like to travel to. While we both work full-time, we have some flexibility in the sense that no destination is a near-term must, for the most part, and we have re...
by rjbraun
Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Effort and how to search for good flight deals
Replies: 19
Views: 1032

Re: Cheap Flights to Europe, where do you find them?

Ok here is my deepest darkest travel secret. Put Istanbul on your itinerary (IST) Fares from the USA to IST are incredibly low and allow stopovers where you really want to go. in June $1600 RT Was MUC $1140 if you go to Istanbul and stop in Munich plus Istanbul is great fun I am giving a talk in Vi...
by rjbraun
Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Flights to Europe, where do you find them?
Replies: 43
Views: 3064

Re: Cheap Flights to Europe, where do you find them?

Ok here is my deepest darkest travel secret. Put Istanbul on your itinerary (IST) Fares from the USA to IST are incredibly low and allow stopovers where you really want to go. in June $1600 RT Was MUC $1140 if you go to Istanbul and stop in Munich plus Istanbul is great fun I am giving a talk in Vi...
by rjbraun
Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Flights to Europe, where do you find them?
Replies: 43
Views: 3064

Re: Options for tooth replacement - bridge or implant

I've had an implant (or two). I guess I trust my dentist enough that when he says I need an implant, I do it. Now, I know there was a prior thread recently about untrustworthy dentists, but either I'm an easy target or I know a good dentist when I see one. As background, I've been seeing this dentis...
by rjbraun
Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Options for tooth replacement - bridge or implant
Replies: 4
Views: 520

Re: Free Stanford Course: Finance of Retirement & Pensions

Are the Final Team Project submissions available online? I couldn't find them. I would be curious to see the proposals. I believe you can see all the team submissions here: https://novoed.com/rauh-finance/highlight The symposium will likely be a webinar open to the public. Thank you. How about the ...
by rjbraun
Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Free Stanford Course: Finance of Retirement & Pensions
Replies: 138
Views: 14603

Re: Giving anonymous gift

Thank you to everyone who provided helpful and constructive feedback. I plan to go the anonymous route and just ask the principal to say that my colleague is benefiting from a gift from an anonymous donor. It doesn't mean that she was the only one; it's conceivable that other students could also be ...
by rjbraun
Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving anonymous gift
Replies: 20
Views: 1128

Re: Giving anonymous gift

island said this: Lunch maybe costs $2, he doesn't eat it, mom is behind paying for it, but she pays for him to buy vending machine snacks? And u want to pay for his lunches? I too thought what you thought but then re-read that OP said this: The school is in a poor neighborhood and, not surprisingl...
by rjbraun
Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving anonymous gift
Replies: 20
Views: 1128

Re: Giving anonymous gift

Is the family eligible for school lunches free or subsidized? It seems a bit odd if there is such a financial hardship that the child is needing to pay for the lunches (whether or not the food is actually eaten - which is a different issue). Something seems a bit off here. What kind of snacks are i...
by rjbraun
Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving anonymous gift
Replies: 20
Views: 1128

Re: Giving anonymous gift

OP, honesty is the best policy. The mother should be told that it is an anonymous gift given for her child and teh donor will remain anonymous. I think most of us wonder how this individual was selected. And despite everything I said above, your secret remains dependent on at least one and likely s...
by rjbraun
Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving anonymous gift
Replies: 20
Views: 1128

Re: Giving anonymous gift

rjbraum While I applaud your altruistic nature I have to admit to being more than a bit creeped out by this. You say you've only met the child once and from that determined he's quiet and maybe a bit insecure? That's presumptuous don't you think? AND after meeting him only once you decided to conta...
by rjbraun
Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving anonymous gift
Replies: 20
Views: 1128

Re: Giving anonymous gift

Have the school tell the mother that her son's needs have been provided for through a private scholarship. +1 .. although I like the use of the wording "one time" in that. Thank you both. I think it may be better to distance myself from the gift. My tentative plan had been to single out h...
by rjbraun
Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving anonymous gift
Replies: 20
Views: 1128

Re: Giving anonymous gift

I would not represent it as a school scholarship because it isn't & the school won't repeat your kind gesture in future years. You may plan to continue this gesture annually, but if events conspire to interfere with that, you don't want it to be seen as a negative in the future (like why didn't...
by rjbraun
Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving anonymous gift
Replies: 20
Views: 1128

Re: Free Stanford Course: Finance of Retirement & Pensions

The course is complete and 5 active Bogleheads formed a team for the Final Team Project. There were over 200 teams that submitted projects. The Boglehead Team got "6th place" or 1st runner-up. Unfortunately, only the top 5 teams are invited to present their projects at the Stanford Busine...
by rjbraun
Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Free Stanford Course: Finance of Retirement & Pensions
Replies: 138
Views: 14603

Giving anonymous gift

After some research I figured out a way to provide some financial support to a single mother I know. I've established contact with her son's school principal and feel as confident as one can feel about these things that the money will go to cover her son's expenses. I plan to cover his public transp...
by rjbraun
Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving anonymous gift
Replies: 20
Views: 1128

Re: Wine gift delivery

I think wineshopper has free shipping for any order ovet $99. Is that more than you wanted to spend? I'm prepared to spend over $99 and I now see wineshopper's free shipping promo, but the hitch is they seem to only offer about 5-6 wines. And I don't really want to get multiple bottles of the same ...
by rjbraun
Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wine gift delivery
Replies: 13
Views: 798

Re: Wine gift delivery

I have ordered twice recently from wine.com and wineshopper.com. Both run frequent "free shipping" promotions. The wine was delivered by UPS in about a week, requiring a signature by someone over 21. The UPS guy never even asked who was signing, and he could see that we were well over 21....
by rjbraun
Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wine gift delivery
Replies: 13
Views: 798

Re: Wine gift delivery

Robert44 wrote:Try Wineoutlet.com.
They deliver for free to certain states. Also, someone over 21 has to be home to accept and sign for the wine.

Wow, this definitely looks promising for the Tennessee recipient -- thanks! Still need to work on the Maryland address ...
by rjbraun
Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wine gift delivery
Replies: 13
Views: 798

Re: Wine gift delivery

EternalOptimist wrote:Try Amazon, they look like they have shipping deals.

http://www.amazon.com

Oh, I forgot they sell wines! The wine selection didn't look so great, though ...
by rjbraun
Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wine gift delivery
Replies: 13
Views: 798

Re: Wine gift delivery

How about doing it this way: http://www.amazingclubs.com/wine.html You could pick a six month plan shipping 2 bottles a month. I've given this as a gift that last few years and the recipient has been very pleased with the quality and variety of the wines they've gotten. Spreading it out over time s...
by rjbraun
Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wine gift delivery
Replies: 13
Views: 798

Re: Canon S110 Digital Camera - $219

I don't mean to be a "downer", and I have in fact had this camera sitting in my cart for a day now, but the "lens error" negative reviews gave me pause. I decided to pass on the camera, but given the current BH discussion and the still temptingly-attractive price of $219 I figur...
by rjbraun
Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Canon S110 Digital Camera - $219
Replies: 19
Views: 1200

Re: Canon S110 Digital Camera - $219

I can say that my S100 has not ever had a lens error despite weekly use. I have had problems with other cameras with lens retraction. The problem was solved with a freshly charged battery. The reviews suggest a problem during the warranty period, so I suppose those folks got warranty replacements. ...
by rjbraun
Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Canon S110 Digital Camera - $219
Replies: 19
Views: 1200

Re: Canon S110 Digital Camera - $219

I don't mean to be a "downer", and I have in fact had this camera sitting in my cart for a day now, but the "lens error" negative reviews gave me pause. I decided to pass on the camera, but given the current BH discussion and the still temptingly-attractive price of $219 I figure...
by rjbraun
Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Canon S110 Digital Camera - $219
Replies: 19
Views: 1200

Wine gift delivery

I'd like to ship a mixed case of wine for the holidays; one case will go to Maryland, the other Tennessee. Is there an easy way to do this online and without incurring ridiculous shipping costs? I'm looking at budget-priced wines, so I would prefer to avoid spending more on shipping than the actual ...
by rjbraun
Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wine gift delivery
Replies: 13
Views: 798

Re: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals

Barnes and Noble is selling (online, with free shipping) the Nook Simple Touch for $39 and Nook HD for $79. That's crazy cheap! (Neither is a 9-10" tablet, but this seemed like a good place to mention it). I've been thinking about getting an e-reader for a while now. Is it worth springing for ...
by rjbraun
Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals
Replies: 49
Views: 3807

Re: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals

Barnes and Noble is selling (online, with free shipping) the Nook Simple Touch for $39 and Nook HD for $79. That's crazy cheap! (Neither is a 9-10" tablet, but this seemed like a good place to mention it). I've been thinking about getting an e-reader for a while now. Is it worth springing for ...
by rjbraun
Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals
Replies: 49
Views: 3807

Re: Elope to Save Money?

There is nothing wrong with an inexpensive wedding. My son got married a few weeks ago in our back yard. We live in a typical suburban house but luckily we have a huge back yard since the guest list snowballed from the initial 40 to 50 to be about 120! A lot of work went into the wedding by friends...
by rjbraun
Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Elope to Save Money?
Replies: 79
Views: 5206

Re: Experience in public sector management?

Interesting post. I guess all I have to add is that in my case I'm not so sure things were straightforward. I am currently managing a team of about nine or 10. Of those, I would venture to say the number of employees with "issues" outweigh those without. Still, I find it reasonably interes...
by rjbraun
Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience in public sector management?
Replies: 12
Views: 738

Re: Bhutan

No one has mentioned altitude sickness. I realize that it depends on just where in Bhutan one visits, as I guess some popular locations may actually be valleys. But having experienced altitude sickness in Lhasa, Tibet, I guess I'm a little cautious. If we were to go, we probably wouldn't be doing a...
by rjbraun
Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bhutan
Replies: 21
Views: 1934

Re: Bhutan

rjbraun You also need to stay with the Guide and Driver throughout your stay. You cannot do trips within Bhutan on your own unless you hold an Indian Passport. But since you have the guide and driver just for your little group, the tour, sights and activities are very customizable. Does this mean t...
by rjbraun
Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bhutan
Replies: 21
Views: 1934
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