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Re: Electricity costs going up

I live in MA and use National Grid for my electricity. They just got approval from Board of Public Utilities to raise there rate to 16.18 per kWh nearly double our current rate. We have gotten letters from another company who will guarantee their rate at 11.99/kWh for 36 months. Is anyone familiar ...
by thewizzer
Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electricity costs going up
Replies: 46
Views: 3197

Re: Seeking recommendations for a new dishwasher

We've had a Bosch for 7 years. No complaints. Cleans well, quiet, and you can put plastic on the bottom rack.
by thewizzer
Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking recommendations for a new dishwasher
Replies: 15
Views: 961

Re: Ebola preparation

My local public health district promoted a 'stock 2 for flu' campaign a few years ago. Essentially, the advised to stock up on two week supplies of food, water, and other necessities in the event of a bird flu pandemic. I suppose the same logic applies for any other type of viral pandemic. For the r...
by thewizzer
Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ebola preparation
Replies: 55
Views: 2285

Re: Schwann's, Tasty Bite?

We get Schwans delivered every other Thursday. Most of their offerings are pretty good. Much better quality than typical frozen foodstuffs from the local grocery store. They are also more expensive than typical grocery store prices, so I'm not sure it would work on a budget. All of it is frozen, so ...
by thewizzer
Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Schwann's, Tasty Bite?
Replies: 4
Views: 736

Re: New hardwood floor

mrpotatoheadsays wrote:Two words: Lumber Liquidators.

Glue; never nail. Nails = squeaks.


I wouldn't glue if I were you. Most hardwood floor is nailed. A competent installer can nail it down so squeaks should not be an issue.
by thewizzer
Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New hardwood floor
Replies: 13
Views: 1600

Re: Garage doors advice

I agree with the above poster. Stay away from polystyrene insulated doors. Also, make sure the doors you buy have steel cladding on both the inside and outside. Some cheaper steel doors don't put steel on the interior. This makes the insulation visible and it also makes the door flimsier. I had two ...
by thewizzer
Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage doors advice
Replies: 8
Views: 1000

Re: Selling car with loan.

If you're dealing with a sales company, it'll be super easy. They deal with these types of issues everyday. Haven't you ever gotten a mailer telling you that they are looking for used cars just like yours? Dealerships are always trying to get people to trade in their two year old vehicle for somethi...
by thewizzer
Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling car with loan.
Replies: 8
Views: 537

Re: Selling car with loan.

if there is a loan on the car you cannot sell it, it is not yours, pay off the lean first and then sell the car. This isn't entirely true. You can sell the car even if you still owe money on it. I sold a truck several years ago that I was still making payments on. I don't remember the exact numbers...
by thewizzer
Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling car with loan.
Replies: 8
Views: 537

Re: Any success stories of ppl who never made >$50,000?

So I understand why a lot of people don't stick around, ... I imagine that lots of people come here, get the answers to their questions, and move on. Not everyone needs or wants to spend time hanging out on a message board forum. They probably have lots of better things to do with their time, once ...
by thewizzer
Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any success stories of ppl who never made >$50,000?
Replies: 149
Views: 10299

Re: Gutters

What is a typical cost per foot installed?
by thewizzer
Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gutters
Replies: 10
Views: 1206

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

I wish I could find a card like this with no foreign transaction fee...
by thewizzer
Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 237
Views: 32440

Re: Recalled baby crib - modify to donate to charity?

I ran into the same issue a few years ago.

Just throw it away. I know it stinks to put something in the trash that is completely serviceable, but just throw it away.
by thewizzer
Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recalled baby crib - modify to donate to charity?
Replies: 10
Views: 640

Re: Getting Married, traveling abroad

Well I'm certainly no expert, but if you decide on Germany I would head south. Munich is a beautiful city and the capital of the state of Bavaria. It's also home to the Oktoberfest, so it might be quite expensive during that time of the year. However, if you don't have to pay for airfare or lodging,...
by thewizzer
Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Married, traveling abroad
Replies: 25
Views: 1435

Re: Getting Married, traveling abroad

Congrats on the marriage.

That's an awfully broad statement. How much is your budget? How long is the trip? Why Western Europe (as opposed to further east)? Where will you be flying out of?
by thewizzer
Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Married, traveling abroad
Replies: 25
Views: 1435

Re: Int'l Train Travel

Took a train a couple of years ago from Copenhagen to Hamburg. Wonderful trip. Clean, fast, well-maintained train. The coolest part was when they hit the coast of Denmark, the train pulled right into the open end of a ferry. The door closed behind it and we went upstairs to enjoy the ferry ride acro...
by thewizzer
Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Int'l Train Travel
Replies: 28
Views: 1775

Re: Whats a Better Lot in a Tract Home Neighborhood?

Based on info provided, I vote for walk-out basement hands down. Plus, isn't there an ability to count the basement in the total square feet since it has an egress route?* I would think that this would help on re-sale. *I have no idea if this is actually true or not; it's just one of those things I'...
by thewizzer
Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whats a Better Lot in a Tract Home Neighborhood?
Replies: 31
Views: 2300

Re: Patio door recommendations

We had a Pella sliding glass door put in several years ago to replace the sliding door that was original to the house. I've been extremely happy with it. Seals well, slides well, overall I think it's a great door. It was definitely more expensive than what you can buy from Lowes or Home Depot, but t...
by thewizzer
Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Patio door recommendations
Replies: 15
Views: 1076

Re: Ditch car and commute to work in 250cc scooter in Raleig

My wife calls them murder-cycles.

It sounds like you would be a great candidate for an elio if they ever start building them.
by thewizzer
Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ditch car and commute to work in 250cc scooter in Raleigh?
Replies: 79
Views: 6912

Re: Cash out pension?

It's gov't., she'll get whatever she has vested/promised. You can't beat a guarantee, and you can't guarantee anything with real returns in the open market. I'd keep it where it is and let it erode over time. At least it'll be there. That's probably true for Federal government, but NOT true for sta...
by thewizzer
Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash out pension?
Replies: 30
Views: 1787

Re: Purchasing Food at Work

Does anyone else struggle with spending money at your job for food? I'm going to take the opposite approach and state that I don't struggle with spending money for food at work. I enjoy going out for lunch at work. I like the group of guys I work with and it's nice to take a break in the middle of ...
by thewizzer
Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing Food at Work
Replies: 41
Views: 4261

Re: In retirement you expect you standard of living to?

recently retired - I'm practicing being less frugal I will officially retire next week and voted "stay the same," but I too am practicing being less frugal. For me that means deciding to buy a bag of cereal when it's not on sale -- because I can. Although I expect to be doing some more tr...
by thewizzer
Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In retirement you expect your standard of living to?
Replies: 55
Views: 4710

Re: Do you tell your kids how much you make?

I'm always surprised by threads like this as I guess my family was pretty open about finances. But to me it seems like my parents didn't have much of a choice with the internet and databases available I was probably going to find out whether they told me or not. You beat me to it. I guess I've been...
by thewizzer
Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you tell your kids how much you make?
Replies: 58
Views: 6489

Re: A day in Dachau?

I remember my parents talking about their visit to Dachau in the late 1950s. Dad was U.S. military and had duty stations is both France and Germany during this time. He, Mom, and older sibs decided to visit Dachau one weekend. Although Dad had a vague idea where it was, there were no signs. More th...
by thewizzer
Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A day in Dachau?
Replies: 38
Views: 2870

Re: A day in Dachau?

I was there about 4 weeks ago. If you are using public transportation, take the S2 (green) train line to the Dachau stop. There will be a bus waiting at the bus stop directly adjacent to the station that goes to the memorial site. If you buy a single day ticket for 11.7 Euros, you can use both the b...
by thewizzer
Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A day in Dachau?
Replies: 38
Views: 2870

Re: Interest-only mortgage & home-equity loan

Forgive me if this comes across as rude, but a couple of things come to mind. First of all, is he even asking for guidance or are you just offering it? Secondly, assuming he is asking for advice, why don't you give him the same advice you are stating here? Tell him to sell the house and get his othe...
by thewizzer
Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Interest-only mortgage & home-equity loan
Replies: 13
Views: 820

Re: Sewer Line Replacement Under Garage

I'd do the whole thing. You have the money saved. And like you said, you don't know how vital it is until it's not working properly. I'd think longer about it if it was going to be a hardship, but it sounds as though you have the money.
by thewizzer
Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sewer Line Replacement Under Garage
Replies: 11
Views: 1218

Re: Anyone been to Budapest?

So OP, how was the trip?

I learned today that my reservation on airbnb was cancelled, so I am in the process of finding another place to stay. I'm thinking (based on all the previous recommendations) that I'll look for something on the Pest side this time.

Any other thoughts?
by thewizzer
Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone been to Budapest?
Replies: 31
Views: 5607

Re: sportsmobile [camper van conversions]

I know that if I have to ask...., but how much does one of these things typically cost? I'm sure it depends on how you outfit it. Just curious.
by thewizzer
Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sportsmobile [camper van conversions]
Replies: 23
Views: 5250

Re: Anyone been to Budapest?

I've never been, but I'm going there on vacation myself this May. Please update this post when you return as I'd love to hear how your trip went (if for nothing more than self-serving purposes :D )
by thewizzer
Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone been to Budapest?
Replies: 31
Views: 5607

Re: water heater purchase from Amazon

Extremely variable based on location. Where I live, I got a water heater installed by Lowes for under $700 total.
by thewizzer
Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: water heater purchase from Amazon
Replies: 12
Views: 1274

Re: Lowes Install Services- anyone use them for a new bathro

I've had Lowes install countertops, carpet, a dishwasher, and a hot water heater. I've been satisfied with all of their services. They do give you plenty of opportunities to voice any concerns, as they always call and check up on how satisfied you are with the job. I wouldn't hesitate to use them ag...
by thewizzer
Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes Install Services- anyone use them for a new bathroom?
Replies: 22
Views: 2379

Re: washing machine - front loader or HE top loader?

I've been very happy with the LG front loaders we purchased 3 or 4 years ago. I bought the matching pedestals on overstock.com (they were substantially cheaper than buying them from Home Depot). We've never had an issue with them. The mold/mildew 'issue' with front loaders is easily dealt with simpl...
by thewizzer
Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: washing machine - front loader or HE top loader?
Replies: 52
Views: 5031

Re: Purchase farmland or sell it?

You don't touch on whether or not you or your wife has any emotional attachment to this land. Is this the old family farm that one of you grew up on? When talking about it from a strictly financial sense, it shouldn't make a difference. But since none of us are robots, maybe it does. Personally, I a...
by thewizzer
Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchase farmland or sell it?
Replies: 34
Views: 2542

Re: Helping an irresponsible dad preserve a financial windfa

I want to echo some fatalistic comments above. I was the executor of my parents' estate and was concerned about a sibling who had zero financial sense or responsibility. We each got just under 1M. I still have all of mine and then some. Theirs is long gone after less than a decade. There was nothin...
by thewizzer
Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping an irresponsible dad preserve a financial windfall
Replies: 29
Views: 2475

Re: Need European travel website advice

update: Just got tickets for the flight! Flying into Budapest and out of Bucharest a week later. Long layovers in Munich on both ends of the flight (almost a full day on the way back). Currently, I'm thinking we spend a couple of days in Budapest, take the train to Oradea, rent a car and drive throu...
by thewizzer
Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need European travel website advice
Replies: 27
Views: 1610

Re: Nice couches are pricey, where I can get them for less?

We've found that the La-Z-Boy furniture gallery in our area carries a very nice selection of all types of furniture. The couch and loveseat we bought several years ago have held up well. Based on the prices you quoted, it might not be much cheaper than Pottery Barn, but maybe a little.
by thewizzer
Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nice couches are pricey, where I can get them for less?
Replies: 43
Views: 4464

Re: How to get in on an IPO

Too funny. Our daughter was in a start-up quite some years ago. We plunked down $5000 in the "friends and family" thing. Lost it all. Thankfully, we can all chuckle about it these days. Yes, but you had an opportunity to sell. Did it open at $0? Most likely, it opened up at a large profit...
by thewizzer
Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to get in on an IPO
Replies: 23
Views: 1748

Re: Russell 3000 vs. SP 500 index; any appreciable differenc

I would with switch to the 3000 index to get a little small cap exposure or else use a small cap fund in conduction with the 500 index fund in order to own the whole market. While your fees are higher than what you can get on the open market, for a work plan they aren't too bad compared to what man...
by thewizzer
Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Russell 3000 vs. SP 500 index; any appreciable difference?
Replies: 10
Views: 2204

Re: Russell 3000 vs. SP 500 index; any appreciable differenc

Thank you all for the insight. As far as the fees go, unfortunately I think I'm stuck for a while. This money is tied up in a 457 plan administered through work, and the only way to contribute pre-tax dollars is through payroll deduction. However, I was successful in lobbying my employer to re-negot...
by thewizzer
Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Russell 3000 vs. SP 500 index; any appreciable difference?
Replies: 10
Views: 2204

Russell 3000 vs. SP 500 index; any appreciable difference?

I met with a financial advisor today. Things went really well, no complaints to speak of. I did have one question for him that I would like to run past the everyone else as well. I currently have 59% of my total portfolio wrapped up in a single SP500 index fund (total plan balance is low six figures...
by thewizzer
Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Russell 3000 vs. SP 500 index; any appreciable difference?
Replies: 10
Views: 2204

Re: My Next Step = Current FireFighter Looking For Advise

Military? Not sure this would help with the problem of being away from home too much.
by thewizzer
Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Next Step = Current FireFighter Looking For Advise
Replies: 15
Views: 1123

Re: Bogleheads and Fast Food

I'm a pretty frequent flier on the McDonald's dollar menu. Portion size is key. A double hamburger (or McChicken with 90% of the mayo scraped off), small french fry, and large unsweetened iced tea is my go to meal in a pinch. They actually have pretty good unsweetened iced tea.
by thewizzer
Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads and Fast Food
Replies: 77
Views: 4901

Re: HVAC units - hard to comparison shop

I think you need to be real careful doing this repair yourself if you are not experienced with electricity. You can get hurt bad dealing with HVAC systems. Did I mention that stands for HIGH VOLTAGE Air Conditioning which in most cases is 240 Volts which can kill you if mishandled. These units have...
by thewizzer
Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC units - hard to comparison shop
Replies: 14
Views: 1275

Re: HVAC units - hard to comparison shop

bogleviewer wrote: My understanding it is that it does both heat and air conditioning.


And yes, you are correct, it does both.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14MmsNPtn6U
by thewizzer
Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC units - hard to comparison shop
Replies: 14
Views: 1275

Re: HVAC units - hard to comparison shop

My first thought is no, this is not a DIY project. That quote might be a bit high, but it's not crazy high. I'm not an HVAC tech, but I have had a furnace replaced and gotten quotes for replacing a central air unit. The best advice would be to shop around and get multiple quotes. For 900 bucks, I'd ...
by thewizzer
Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC units - hard to comparison shop
Replies: 14
Views: 1275

Re: My kids want a treehouse -

The pre-made kits are expensive for what you get so it would be better to just find plans and buy the lumber locally. I would agree with this. You can buy the plans and all the hardware (nuts & bolts, screws, brackets, etc) at any big box store and then buy the lumber separately. I purchased pl...
by thewizzer
Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My kids want a treehouse -
Replies: 36
Views: 2963

Re: My kids want a treehouse -

Tip If you're not a handy carpenter, don't try to do this yourself. Putting your kids 10 feet up in the air (or more) in a rickety contraption that's gonna fall apart is a recipe for disaster. My dad made us one when we were kids, but he knew what he was doing. Even then, looking back now he probabl...
by thewizzer
Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My kids want a treehouse -
Replies: 36
Views: 2963

Re: Floor jacks

I had the same debate with myself and decided against the HF jack. I looked on eBay and found an aluminum Crafstman New In Box for sale with Buy It Now for I think $90. I'd rather buy a bit better quality and not take the chance with the cheapest tool I can find. Not worth it to me for a critical t...
by thewizzer
Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Floor jacks
Replies: 17
Views: 1972

Re: Winter coats:

I should note that I got my LL Bean coats on ebay -- for much reduced prices. Some may find this icky---- but I really hate winter, and I really hate overpaying. I have also gotten my ebay shopping down to a fine art. I've bought clothes on ebay. I go for the stuff with tags still attached, and the...
by thewizzer
Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter coats:
Replies: 53
Views: 4854

Re: Winter coats:

I notice that a large number, perhaps even a majority, of people wear coats from either Columbia or Northface, the former being in somewhat lower numbers. Recently purchasing a winter coat led to these brands only to feel that they were overpriced. Eventually, a coat was purchased that was of neith...
by thewizzer
Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter coats:
Replies: 53
Views: 4854
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