Search found 202 matches

by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?
Replies: 313
Views: 18389

Re: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?

There's a better way to analyze this. Figure out your hourly wage, by dividing your salary by number of hours worked in a year. Any services significantly under this hourly rate you should outsource, unless you enjoy the task or don't value your free time/leisure. By making your own lunch every day...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?
Replies: 313
Views: 18389

Re: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?

There's a better way to analyze this. Figure out your hourly wage, by dividing your salary by number of hours worked in a year. Any services significantly under this hourly rate you should outsource, unless you enjoy the task or don't value your free time/leisure. By making your own lunch every day ...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Toubleshooting (multiple issues)
Replies: 61
Views: 3202

Re: Vehicle Toubleshooting (multiple issues)

There are forums dedicated to literally every make and model car (see Google). It's more appropriate to ask this type of question on one of those forums.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overextended in Bay Area housing?
Replies: 37
Views: 3889

Re: Overextended in Bay Area housing?

You can afford the house. I'd be more concerned about the amount of time you spend commuting each day, being farther out.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do we consider cash flow from rentals but not our own homes?
Replies: 89
Views: 5878

Re: Why do we consider cash flow from rentals but not our own homes?

Your logic is sound. However, I wouldn't even include principal in your equation because that's just a transfer of money from your bank account to your home (it's not an expense). I would only include expenses in your calculation, and I always use the interest associated with a 100% mortgage for cal...
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you hire an obese nanny?
Replies: 81
Views: 3001

Re: Would you hire an obese nanny?

There's a higher likelihood that she will overfeed your kids, be lazy about her job, or have unexpected days off due to health issues stemming from the morbid obesity.

Not saying that will happen, just that there's a higher chance.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drinking water price craziness
Replies: 79
Views: 7805

Re: Drinking water price craziness

Consider the effect on the environment/nature when buying water bottles. One can always use a reusable water bottle and a kitchen sink filter at home for similar quality water.

If you're concerned about your municipality's water, each is required to publish an annual report with independent tests.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: android auto or carplay?
Replies: 10
Views: 814

Re: android auto or carplay?

Android Auto by far.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How far off are Zillow's estimates?
Replies: 82
Views: 7970

Re: How far off are Zillow's estimates?

Zillow is based on formulas and doesn't account for more qualitative features, which can have a HUGE affect on selling prices.

Best way (other than paying for an appraiser) is to look at recently sold homes you have been inside (eg. open houses) that are comparable to yours.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rust proofing patio furniture and fence
Replies: 5
Views: 610

Re: Rust proofing patio furniture and fence

In the future I'd buy aluminum patio furniture; it won't rust.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Property in Rural Area that is going "chic"
Replies: 19
Views: 2945

Re: Property in Rural Area that is going "chic"

If Upstate NY prices are too high, there's always the Poconos, probably the same distance away.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those Of You In a HCOLA - What's Your Financial Plan
Replies: 68
Views: 7348

Re: Those Of You In a HCOLA - What's Your Financial Plan

Go with a MCOL city (eg. Philadelphia). MCOL cities are the perfect balance of income, costs, and city offerings.

LCOLs don't usually offer much in the way of jobs/wages or cultural things to do (eg. restaurant scene, music scene, etc.).
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dilemma about car dealership service bill error
Replies: 29
Views: 2512

Re: Dilemma about car dealership service bill error

I wouldn't pay more than the quoted price, that was their mistake.

Especially since the quality of the repair is not up to par.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Florida "middle" keys restaurant?
Replies: 17
Views: 1443

Re: Favorite Florida "middle" keys restaurant?

Yelp.com is your friend.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teeth Whitening
Replies: 21
Views: 3061

Re: Teeth Whitening

Have there been any studies performed on whitening products and their effect on tooth enamel?

I'm sure some are better than others.

As for me, I use the Crest whitening mouthwash, which you use after brushing, and it works well.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?
Replies: 170
Views: 13730

Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Since females are the ones that typically prefer an extravagant/expensive wedding, her or her parents should pay all/majority of the cost. If not, the bride needs to get more realistic. I think most grooms would be fine with a low cost/DIY type wedding. And then put the money saved towards a down pa...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon- Why do they treat old customers worse?
Replies: 47
Views: 5582

Re: Verizon- Why do they treat old customers worse?

We've had nothing but issues with our internet despite multiple attempts to resolve. That, plus initial billing issues. Never had this stuff happen with Comcast. Switching back to Comcast as soon as our Verizon contract is up.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive Car Repair, New Engine
Replies: 51
Views: 3991

Re: Expensive Car Repair, New Engine

Modern Fords are reliable cars, and that specific Focus has no known engine issues causing prematurely engine failure.

Sounds like a previous owner let the car overheat, run on low/no oil or something else caused by the previous owner's neglect of the car.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to Live on $60K or Less a Year?
Replies: 248
Views: 29727

Re: Where to Live on $60K or Less a Year?

Philadelphia, PA: Big city offerings at a reasonable price. * Abundant outdoor activities such as hiking and bicycling (within 60 miles of mountains would be ideal, but I'll take what I can get) or free cultural activities; Fairmount Park is the country's largest urban park, Wissahickon Creek is als...
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Throttle Body Servicing & Injector Flush: 2017 Equivalent to Strut Scam????
Replies: 10
Views: 1041

Re: Auto Throttle Body Servicing & Injector Flush: 2017 Equivalent to Strut Scam????

Make sure to always use a brand of gas that meets "Top Tier" specifications: http://www.toptiergas.com/licensedbrands/ Non-Top Tier brands have 19x more carbon deposits, and no, it's not a gimmick. This has been independently verified by many sources. Other than that, throw Techron cleaner in the ga...
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is luxury car a smarter purchase?
Replies: 102
Views: 7832

Re: is luxury car a smarter purchase?

The depreciation on European luxury cars (ie. BMW, Mercedes, Audi) is horrid, even if you buy used. Reason being, they are overengineered, unnecessarily complicated and have high maintenance/parts costs. So essentially, you're buying a liability.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 330
Views: 33920

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

Also, I am worried about the battery exploding if the car is involved in a wreck. So you are worried about a battery exploding based on a handful of isolated incidents and a statistically near-zero chance of happening, but aren't worried about a gas-powered car with a fuel tank exploding, with a st...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laundry lifestyle creep
Replies: 84
Views: 14929

Re: Laundry lifestyle creep

ResearchMed wrote: (One could add LOTS of bleach to whites, which would probably do a nice job of keeping them nice and bright... but for how long...!?)
Avoid bleach at all costs...makes clothes brittle/dry and destroys fabrics over time. Oxygen cleaner (you can buy generic) is the replacement for bleach.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to buy another car key?
Replies: 16
Views: 2046

Re: How to buy another car key?

This question is best asked on a forum specific to your car. Search the web for Subaru forums and ask there, in the appropriate category for your specific model. The answer to this question will differ wildly based on what car you have. For example, on my Corvette, I can buy an inexpensive keyfob an...
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station prices and quality
Replies: 43
Views: 3467

Re: Gas station prices and quality

As others have already mentioned, ONLY buy from Top Tier brands if you care about your car. It's usually the same price fuel you just have to know which brands to go to. List of brands that meet Top Tier specs: http://www.toptiergas.com/licensedbrands/ You can buy regular 87 octane gas from a compan...
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed May 17, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use "MyPillow" pillows?
Replies: 50
Views: 7167

Re: Anyone use "MyPillow" pillows?

MyPillow is overpriced. Look on Amazon...we've been very happy with our "shredded memory foam" pillows with "bamboo covers." The shredded memory foam allows you to adjust the position and amount of fill in the pillow, versus a standard memory foam pillow which comes in a predefin...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu May 04, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WOW fantastic Cars in the Wild
Replies: 91
Views: 13924

Re: WOW fantastic Cars in the Wild

I live just off the main route to the Hamptons (Long Island, NY). I see these kind of cars all summer long. The BMWs and Mercedes are the junky cars - lol. I live in the snow belt and you seldom see cars like these in the wild. This spring we were driving on a local interstate (still a lot of grit ...
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed May 03, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a diamond ring
Replies: 57
Views: 4124

Re: Buying a diamond ring

Blue Nile is the way to go, just make sure you rely on the GIA report rather than other certification authorities. GIA is much more stringent with standards. Also Blue Nile will pull the diamond from the vault and verify whether it's "eye clean" (ie. free of any inclusions visible to the e...
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed May 03, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing a tree - expensive!!!
Replies: 85
Views: 8434

Re: Removing a tree - expensive!!!

I found a guy via craigslist that cut a bunch of tall trees the old school way (climbing by rope) for $400 total. He even stacked the wood for me.
by ArmchairArchitect
Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA as Part of Emergency Fund
Replies: 20
Views: 1799

Re: HSA as Part of Emergency Fund

Emergencies can be many things other than medical expenses (eg. layoff), so I wouldn't count an HSA towards an emergency fund. Or maybe weight it, consider a fraction of it as part of the emergency fund.
by ArmchairArchitect
Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?
Replies: 10
Views: 2958

Re: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

I would recommend creating a post in the craigslist "labor gigs" section, for someone to post your items and you pay them. I did this once and had a college kid help me sell items, and I gave him a commission from each sale.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: leaving early from work
Replies: 57
Views: 8086

Re: leaving early from work

Fair question to ask your employer, as long as those that don't have kids/don't have that same obligation are given the same flexibility.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using internet banks for a mortgage?
Replies: 14
Views: 975

Re: Using internet banks for a mortgage?

Use Zillow Mortgage Marketplace...I've used it 3 times so far, with great success. You put in all your specifics, then lenders provide instant quotes/bids. You can then sort by APR, and pick a lender that has good reviews on Zillow. For title insurance, definitely use Title Forward (www.titleforward...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laundry lifestyle creep
Replies: 84
Views: 14929

Re: Laundry lifestyle creep

They sell generic Oxygen Cleaner for $1 at Dollar Tree, just use that.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?
Replies: 10
Views: 2958

Re: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

Their commission was MUCH more reasonable about a year or two ago; then they changed it to increase the commission by a huge percentage. I was looking forward to using the service, now it's out of the question. I'd rather donate the items.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legality of renters posting reviews of a condominium complex?
Replies: 82
Views: 4386

Re: Legality of renters posting reviews of a condominium complex?

People have the right to free speech and warning others of the terrible building/management. OP, fix the issues instead of trying to silence people.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling A Semi-Valuable Vehicle
Replies: 12
Views: 1580

Re: Selling A Semi-Valuable Vehicle

Craigslist is the way to go.

As with any sale of a large amount, only accept a bank certified/cashier's check, then either call or visit the issuing bank to verify the check's authenticity and amount. Simple as that.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to see in Philly?
Replies: 32
Views: 2356

Re: What to see in Philly?

OP, You did not say when you would be in Philly. The Rocky (Art Museum) steps are now closed through the end of April. They are setting up the stage for the NFL Draft. Link to article... Link Hint: You don't go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the "Rocky steps"...it's a world class a...
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to see in Philly?
Replies: 32
Views: 2356

Re: What to see in Philly?

www.visitphilly.com and www.uwishunu.com are the official sites for tourism/events.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to see in Philly?
Replies: 32
Views: 2356

Re: What to see in Philly?

4 hours is not enough. You need at least 1-2 weeks here to see/do all the unique things. Not joking.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone replaced a pickup with an SUV?
Replies: 35
Views: 2731

Re: Anyone replaced a pickup with an SUV?

Don't underestimate the ability of the roof of an SUV to carry things that don't fit inside...just slightly more work to strap it down.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Realtor vs MLS Listing Service
Replies: 13
Views: 999

Re: Realtor vs MLS Listing Service

I would suggest Redfin (www.redfin.com). A newer age disrupter company who is breaking up the realtor cartel. They are still full service just with much less expensive fees.

We've used them and couldn't have been happier with the service and money saved.
by ArmchairArchitect
Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Discount realtor tax consequences
Replies: 3
Views: 721

Re: Discount realtor tax consequences

Been through this myself twice. Once with a traditional realtor who offered me a rebate (found through hungryagents.com), second time with Redfin (redfin.com), whose business model is to offer rebates back to buyers. The rebates are not taxable, they're considered a reduction in the cost basis of th...
by ArmchairArchitect
Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GMC airbag recall - no fix - unable to sell
Replies: 6
Views: 1281

Re: GMC airbag recall - no fix - unable to sell

Simple solution: sell it yourself on craigslist. You always get less by selling it to a dealer anyway.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Older Tupperware Safe
Replies: 48
Views: 11370

Re: Is Older Tupperware Safe

Might want to do a Google search to see if old Tupperware has BPAs that can get into your food.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Incipient Car Rust: DIY Repair?
Replies: 15
Views: 1258

Re: Incipient Car Rust: DIY Repair?

Plenty of youtube videos on how to DIY repair this.

Just make sure you get "exact-match" paint based on your car's color code. Websites such as automotivetouchup.com have exact paint matches.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Think about a whole house generator. Generac 22k
Replies: 31
Views: 3638

Re: Think about a whole house generator. Generac 22k

How about a Tesla Powerwall? Solar panels are not required for it, FYI.

https://www.tesla.com/powerwall

No maintenance, no noise, cleaner/greener, and it will probably even add a little resale value to your home.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Older cars by owner on Craigslist - how long to listings stay?
Replies: 14
Views: 1547

Re: Older cars by owner on Craigslist - how long to listings stay?

Last year, we actually sold our old, inoperable minivan (bad engine) for a few hundred dollars on craigslist. I never followed up to see how long the listing stayed and never got more calls. It actually took two listings to make the sale. Got a few calls on the first, but nobody got back to me. Thi...