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by slbnoob
Tue May 26, 2015 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Found a great LED deal...$2.49 each.
Replies: 12
Views: 1259

Re: Found a great LED deal...$2.49 each.

goodenyou wrote:
slbnoob wrote:4.97 for me, online.
Are we going to become slickdeals? :P


$4.97 for 2 or $2.49 each.

Right. Thanks.
by slbnoob
Tue May 26, 2015 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Found a great LED deal...$2.49 each.
Replies: 12
Views: 1259

Re: Found a great LED deal...$2.49 each.

4.97 for me, online.
Are we going to become slickdeals? :P
by slbnoob
Tue May 26, 2015 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Once in a life time trip.
Replies: 103
Views: 4417

Re: Once in a life time trip.

Iceland.
by slbnoob
Mon May 25, 2015 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to re-key locks on new house?
Replies: 30
Views: 2089

Re: Best way to re-key locks on new house?

I bought the re-key set from HD and re-keyed the 3 entrance locks myself. It took a bit of reading and patience bit it worked and I'm happy I didn't pay anyone to do it. Start slow with a lock you can afford to mess-up and leave it like that for a short while if need be, such as the garage entrance....
by slbnoob
Fri May 22, 2015 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Advice: Follow "Passion" or Follow the Money?
Replies: 73
Views: 4199

Re: Career Advice: Follow "Passion" or Follow the Money?

I myself have been in a similar position as yours, OP. My decision to stick with my current R&D job comes down to a few things. Beware that a lot of generalizations follow but then those are strictly my observations/opinions. I cannot get myself to respect the work done by consultants.I feel mos...
by slbnoob
Mon May 18, 2015 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Performance of VGTSX
Replies: 7
Views: 636

Re: Performance of VGTSX

But still, if an investor wants to add international stocks to their portfolio doesn't it make sense to consider international funds that have a better long-term track record but are still fairly diversified? This is what the international market (index tracking it) has returned. If you look for ot...
by slbnoob
Tue May 05, 2015 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard
Replies: 91
Views: 7933

Re: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard

sk.dolcevita wrote:My bank offers a DEBIT card co-branded with Delta Skymiles. Wondering if that would work even though the CC party is over. Anyone know?

We'll know for sure only tomorrow!
by slbnoob
Tue May 05, 2015 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard
Replies: 91
Views: 7933

Re: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard

Well this party might be coming to an end after all. Seems like no CC loads from tomorrow May 6.
by slbnoob
Fri May 01, 2015 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Optimize trip to China
Replies: 5
Views: 506

Re: Optimize trip to China

Looks like I will have to research more into the Tibet 'passage' issue. I was assuming A PRC visa would be enough. Shanghai seems to be getting more interest lately; the Yellow Mountains seem interesting nearby. I was also recommended to visit Guilin in Guanxi province. But it may be a little out th...
by slbnoob
Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Optimize trip to China
Replies: 5
Views: 506

Optimize trip to China

Once again, I'm calling on the collective wisdom of this forum to help me 'optimize' my upcoming trip to China as I research for myself. I am looking at a 8-10 day trip in August-September and I could arrive at either Beijing, Hong Kong or Shanghai, whichever makes my travel more optimal. I would wa...
by slbnoob
Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I being scammed?
Replies: 13
Views: 2441

Re: Am I being scammed?

Just for my information: What can the 'scammer' do with a copy of the title or even original) with them?
by slbnoob
Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any of you folks pay mortgage with credit card?
Replies: 29
Views: 2699

Re: Any of you folks pay mortgage with credit card?

You can also just transfer money from your Redbird to your bank account ... How can you do that electronically? From what I understand, you would have to pay yourself (or someone in the house) with a check using Bill Pay. Same thing as making the check out to the bank and mail it to the bank or to ...
by slbnoob
Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1 day in San Francisco, no car
Replies: 29
Views: 1562

Re: 1 day in San Francisco, no car

Thanks everyone for the great responses. Your responses and some mapping (http://www.aviewoncities.com/maps/sf.htm) helped me plan out my day. I will likely have less than 10 hours without a car. My tentative walking plan is to get down at Powell St BART station. Take the street car towards Lombard ...
by slbnoob
Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1 day in San Francisco, no car
Replies: 29
Views: 1562

1 day in San Francisco, no car

Getting into SFO in the morning. Plan to take BART from SFO to 'downtown'. Spend day walking, taking public transportation to see the sights, etc. till evening when a friend picks us up. Could you suggest any walkable/public transportation friendly day itinerary in SF? Just started researching. Than...
by slbnoob
Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard
Replies: 91
Views: 7933

Re: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard

I just reads your question on FT :) Seems like you liked an answer there. I am hoping to begin using RB once I get it (through ebay perhaps). I had a similar question: How to pay my mortgage bank when it is not listed as a payee directly? I figured I will use the Bill Pay feature to send them a chec...
by slbnoob
Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 210
Views: 117829

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

Does your paycheck DD also show up as 'EFT Load'? Currently, I'm just using an auto transfer from Ally each month. It hasn't been a full month yet, so can't say if I'm going to get the highest rate.
by slbnoob
Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA elections JPMorgan
Replies: 3
Views: 285

Re: HSA elections JPMorgan

I have the same plan at work for my HSA. I invest in the BlackRock International Index Fund – A Shares MDIIX 0.43%.
by slbnoob
Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone had a Credit Card Cancelled for not Using It
Replies: 51
Views: 3923

Re: Has Anyone had a Credit Card Cancelled for not Using It

My wife had the Target CC cancelled after their data breach. This was only following a year or more of inactivity. They didn't even inform us. I logged on to the website and discovered this.
by slbnoob
Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need[ed] to stop an ACH transfer [that once was] tomorrow
Replies: 11
Views: 2569

Re: EMERGENCY! Need to stop an ACH transfer happening tomorr

I'm not sure I understand the OP's situation completely but here is one data point. My loan had been transferred to another bank. I had set up automatic ACH with them to withdraw the monthly payment. Then some other day, I didn't remember this and paid my monthly bill manually. This was my 1st or 2n...
by slbnoob
Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battery or Gas Lawn Mower
Replies: 33
Views: 2269

Re: Battery or Gas Lawn Mower

I had also posted a similar query elsewhere on this forum. I went with the B&D 36V self propelled mower. I have about 5000 sq ft of St. Augustine's grass to mow and it does fine. It gets into difficulty when it encounters longer, wet grass but that's not a deal breaker. If I had to change mine (...
by slbnoob
Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 210
Views: 117829

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

I have an Ally Savings and it allows both ACH Push and Pull for free. The number of transactions are limited to 6 per month though. I am not sure exactly which transactions are counted towards that limit as I am still at 1 in spite of 4 push/pulls transferring from my CU - Ally - Mango and back. I a...
by slbnoob
Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 152066

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

nonnie wrote:
caklim00 wrote:Lots of places to buy Redbirds online safely.

Well yeah for $30 mostly. Not worth it for me. Anyway, seems like they'll be limited to being loaded with an AMEX soon. Thankfully I didn't invest $30 in that.
by slbnoob
Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Concert Goers?
Replies: 64
Views: 3673

Re: Boglehead Concert Goers?

I'm not much of a music guy but I have seen the artists/bands that I could imagine paying to go see: Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits) Joe Satriani U2 The only band remaining I'd gladly pay to see is Poets of the Fall. However, they're Finnish and haven't come to the US in my knowledge so far. Perhaps...
by slbnoob
Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Get rid of PMI or Max out 401K?
Replies: 13
Views: 1342

Re: Get rid of PMI or Max out 401K?

1. Get 401k match. 2. Max Roth IRA. 3. Accumulate 6 months reserves in cash (Roth comes first because it can double as an emergency fund). 4. Pay down mortgage with excess cash until you're rid of PMI. 5. Max out 401k I did a variation of the above except for: 3. Refinance to pay down mortgage to 8...
by slbnoob
Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Opportunity
Replies: 5
Views: 604

Re: Job Opportunity

A close friend of mine is also starting training with World Financial Group (WFG) which is basically the arm of TransAmerica selling financial products. They basically got recruited into a pyramid scheme (MLM). I tried very hard persuading them to not pursue this "opportunity" any more. I ...
by slbnoob
Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 152066

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

VictoriaF, You should definitely call UA and ask them to book this trip. This itinerary seems reasonable to me and should be bookable. From my recent experience (I asked a question here and lots of FT), a stopover and open-jaw at the same place may cause issues. However you don't have that. It shoul...
by slbnoob
Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 210
Views: 117829

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

Okay. So neither me nor my wife can create an account online. CSR says "there is not enough public record. try after 6 months". He seemed like this was a regular complaint. May be it is their way of preventing further sign-ups. Guess I have to move onto NetSpend. Guess I have to move onto...
by slbnoob
Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 as a gift
Replies: 4
Views: 512

529 as a gift

A friend had a child recently. I would like to open a 529 for his child, fund it with a small amount and gift this to him. Is this doable? Basically I have 2 steps: give the child a gift by opening a 529 with the child as beneficiary, then make his father (my friend) the custodian. As I see, it is a...
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 210
Views: 117829

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

Okay. So neither me nor my wife can create an account online. CSR says "there is not enough public record. try after 6 months". He seemed like this was a regular complaint. May be it is their way of preventing further sign-ups. Guess I have to move onto NetSpend. [OT comments removed by ad...
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Robinhood Investing App
Replies: 13
Views: 1609

Re: Robinhood Investing App

I have only installed it on my wife's iOS but have never used it. I'm waiting for 1) Android app, or web interface, 2) Roth IRA access.
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 210
Views: 117829

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

I've been trying to open a mango account for awhile but keeps giving me errors telling me my info is wrong... but i've tried many times. :( are you guys entering social security with straight numbers or with dashes? xxx-xx-xxx? or xxxxxxxx? I don't have an official address right now but i use the o...
by slbnoob
Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 210
Views: 117829

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

Netspend seems interesting too. I also thought one advantage of Mango was that one could open upto 2 accounts ($10k) using different phone numbers. Is that still true? This may allow simplicity in being able to access 2 savings accounts with one login. Is this correct or do I need 2 different logins...
by slbnoob
Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help plan my itinerary with miles
Replies: 4
Views: 547

Re: Please help plan my itinerary with miles

So I asked around on FT, did a bunch of my research and figured out that I cannot book my originally planned itinerary as a single round trip. Long story short, now I am considering buying one way for Houston-Beijing, and then Delhi to Houston, which will cost 35k and 40k miles separately or 80k as ...
by slbnoob
Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 13 PMI payments in a year?
Replies: 3
Views: 578

Re: 13 PMI payments in a year?

I concur with the above. A similar thing happened to me. Although since I kept tracking the escrow account activity closely, I was not surprised.
by slbnoob
Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Quarterly Dividends in March
Replies: 5
Views: 1509

Re: Vanguard Quarterly Dividends in March

The Precious Metal fund VGPMX is declaring a dividend :)
Now that's a surprise since it hasn't done so in a while.
by slbnoob
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BEWARE-Dell Computer Tech Service
Replies: 39
Views: 3695

Re: BEWARE-Dell Computer Tech Service (India)

Go Blue 99 wrote:
bertie wooster wrote:Instead of calling it "Dell tech service (India)" you could just call or Dell tech service.


+1. It's very odd that OP is doing that.

+2, the '(India)' must be at fault here.
by slbnoob
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 210
Views: 117829

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

My CU does not have free ACH push. Do you think the following automation will work fine for each month using Ally and Mango after establishing 5k: Ally pulls $10 from CU (source of funding) Ally pushes $10 to Mango as 'direct deposit' Ally pulls $10+$25-$5 (monthly 5%interest-fees) from Mango 5 day...
by slbnoob
Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 210
Views: 117829

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

My CU does not have free ACH push. Do you think the following automation will work fine for each month using Ally and Mango after establishing 5k: Ally pulls $10 from CU (source of funding) Ally pushes $10 to Mango as 'direct deposit' Ally pulls $10+$25-$5 (monthly 5%interest-fees) from Mango 5 days...
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 210
Views: 117829

Re: MangoMoney account: 6% APY for Emergency Funds

It's a savings account you can't easily access, though. You can't easily transfer out the money back to your bank. As I understand it, if you want to withdraw the balance, you will have to withdraw the balance in cash, and pay fees. And it appears that there is a $600 per day maximum you can withdr...
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refi to rid myself of PMI
Replies: 6
Views: 507

Re: Refi to rid myself of PMI

I would do it. In fact I refi'd mine last month to get rid of PMI and put up 10k down payment (unexpectedly, since the appraisal came in favorably). Since you're looking to move in 4-5 years, perhaps look at no/low closing costs since that time frame may not be enough to cover closing costs.
by slbnoob
Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone had your home appraised recently?
Replies: 23
Views: 1835

Re: Anyone had your home appraised recently?

When I was buying my house last year, the appraisal came in 33k lower than the final buying price in April. This January, I refinanced and the appraisal came in 3k higher than the buying price. All the while, zillow.com estimated the house to be around the same level at about 20k lower than the buyi...
by slbnoob
Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help plan my itinerary with miles
Replies: 4
Views: 547

Please help plan my itinerary with miles

I am looking to plan a trip for two this summer/fall visiting China, India from Houston. I have sign up bonuses (50k) from United, Southwest, US Airways, and some accumulated ones from Delta. My trip will be as follows: Houston (IAH/HOU) to Beijing (PEK): I could use UA 70k miles PEK to HKG: Not sur...
by slbnoob
Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One share of BRK.B for Geico discount?
Replies: 22
Views: 2881

Re: One share of BRK.B for Geico discount?

I'd called and told them I am a shareholder. They didnt ask for details but I was ready to tell them that I hold it as part of a mutual fund (VTSMX) :)
They did ask me the brokerage I had it at and I said Vanguard. I got the discount, pro-rated.
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 410
Views: 22702

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

I wouldn't really consider it as savings.

However when (and if) renting out, I would want the mortgage interest, property tax and insurance to be covered first under the rent. Anything over that amount is paying for my equity in the house.
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to avoid extra $100/mo. to keep min balance on escrow
Replies: 13
Views: 767

Re: Trying to avoid extra $100/mo. to keep min balance on es

I was in a similar situation 2-3 months ago and I was into my loan about 6 months only. It had angered me to the extent that I started looking for refinancing, if it made sense. Then in January, TNX fell down a lot and I market timed to catch almost the trough of TNX and locked in a rate to refinanc...
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Cellular increases Minutes, Texts, & Data
Replies: 14
Views: 1013

Re: Consumer Cellular increases Minutes, Texts, & Data

The changes are rather marginal so that they won't let me move a tier down and hence save money. However, they do provide me some cushion by increasing the data limit. Welcome change nonetheless.
They're also having a '30 minutes free international till March' thing going on currently.
by slbnoob
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn & gardening tips for noob
Replies: 2
Views: 334

Lawn & gardening tips for noob

I'm in the Houston area. Spring is upon us (almost). I would like to do a few things to make my front yard look as nice as others on the block. But I'd like to do it myself since I don't mind doing it as long as it gets done right. Few things I need to take care of are: 1) Pull out a dead shrub and ...
by slbnoob
Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Chase for everyday banking
Replies: 28
Views: 2158

Re: Thoughts on Chase for everyday banking

If you need a big ATM network, get into a credit union. Likely they will issue cards which can be used anywhere with 'AllPoint'. Even the ATM in Walgreens by Chase is no fee for my credit union issued card. The only time I thought of going with a big bank was when I was considering getting a safe de...
by slbnoob
Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla S
Replies: 680
Views: 88626

Re: Tesla S

Has anyone here bought a used Tesla, or even a Leaf for that matter?

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