Search found 661 matches

by Luke Duke
Thu May 24, 2018 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Three steps forward, two back with saving
Replies: 24
Views: 2804

Re: Three steps forward, two back with saving

Calico wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:10 am
Now I have a notice from my HoA that they want me to clean my roof and repaint the trim (I don't understand why. My roof is okay and I just painted two years ago, it's not faded or chipping).
You might be able to get away with a light pressure wash.
by Luke Duke
Thu May 24, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy to pay off my 30-yr fixed 3.625 mortgage?
Replies: 23
Views: 1350

Re: Am I crazy to pay off my 30-yr fixed 3.625 mortgage?

How confident are you that a paid off mortgage (more disposable income/month) will not lead to lifestyle creep? If you think that it will, that could be an argument toward not paying it off. I know that the second that my house is paid off my wife will want to start remodeling.
by Luke Duke
Thu May 24, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Power in Austin, TX
Replies: 3
Views: 143

Re: Solar Power in Austin, TX

Austin Energy is a municipal owned utility, so they offer many rebates and incentives that a deregulated power provider does not.
by Luke Duke
Wed May 23, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Using Food Sealing Vacuums (eg FoodSaver)?
Replies: 23
Views: 1562

Re: Anyone Using Food Sealing Vacuums (eg FoodSaver)?

I highly recommend the FoodVacBags on Amazon. They're a lot cheaper than the Foodsaver brand and they work great. I've used hundreds of the pre-made bags with no issues.

http://www.amazon.com/l/6705582011
by Luke Duke
Wed May 23, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heater Install $1,800!
Replies: 89
Views: 15569

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

As for tankless, Im not sure if this is a big deal, but we are in the upper midwest, which means the ground is freakn cold. From what I heard tankless water heaters arn't ideal for our weather, but that is from a non-expert friend. The outside temperature, whether it be air or ground - has no effec...
by Luke Duke
Thu May 17, 2018 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed
Replies: 23
Views: 1527

Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

This site will tell you what kind you need and the location of nearby towers
http://www.antennaweb.org/

I bought one from this site about 12 years ago and it has always worked great.
https://www.solidsignal.com/
by Luke Duke
Wed May 16, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brake work estimate
Replies: 45
Views: 2832

Re: Brake work estimate

The last brake job that I did on my Highlander cost me $66.65 plus about $0.05 worth of grease and some paper towels.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00INCDMWU/

It looks like your Explorer could be done for $2 more.
http://www.amazon.com/Max-Brakes-Cerami ... -KT090242/
by Luke Duke
Fri May 11, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online/cloud backup or file storage?
Replies: 38
Views: 2205

Re: Online/cloud backup or file storage?

I'd buy an inexpensive laptop or tablet before I relied on a library computer for all of my computing needs.
by Luke Duke
Fri May 11, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!
Replies: 28
Views: 1909

Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

A U-Haul motorcycle hauler can be rented for $14/day.

Image
by Luke Duke
Wed May 09, 2018 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much car to buy on $250K income, $200K NW, newborn on the way
Replies: 78
Views: 5940

Re: How much car to buy on $250K income, $200K NW, newborn on the way

BanquetBeer wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 6:40 pm
For 40k you can get most mainstream SUV with top/near top trim package.
lol
by Luke Duke
Wed May 09, 2018 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Golf ball] cracked my house window. Do I have any recourse?
Replies: 68
Views: 6946

Re: Gold ball cracked my house window. Do I have any recourse?

When I was a kid one of my best friends lived on a golf course. His dad would collect balls from the back yard and keep them in 5 gal buckets. When we got bored we would go in the back yard and hit/throw a bunch of balls on to the green behind his house. We would hide in the bushes and laugh at the ...
by Luke Duke
Tue May 08, 2018 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Last Car Loan Payment Question
Replies: 6
Views: 527

Re: Last Car Loan Payment Question

Either one will work. If you overpay, you will get a refund check.
by Luke Duke
Mon May 07, 2018 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you pay baby sitters?
Replies: 53
Views: 5031

Re: What do you pay baby sitters?

But also play it by ear as this is a relatively affluent area and some of the moms are probably used to paying more. If you are in a relatively affluent area, her best option may be to avoid talking about money. Don't bring it up, and if asked, be vague. Affluent moms seem to voluntarily pay more t...
by Luke Duke
Fri May 04, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Swollen Emergency Fund....What now?
Replies: 43
Views: 3185

Re: Swollen Emergency Fund....What now?

Bogleheads, I need advice and maybe a push to action. We are suffering from a swollen Emergency Fund. It has surpassed our 6 months of expenses by approximately 1/3. I am proud of the money we have saved but realize that I am likely missing out on an opportunity to grow my savings. The money is cur...
by Luke Duke
Fri May 04, 2018 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on $5M property sale
Replies: 39
Views: 3988

Re: Need advice on $5M property sale

I know realtors charge 6-7% for sale of houses etc but what happens to that commission on a large deal like this? We have not signed the contract as of yet. Any advice would be appreciated. Why are you even using a realtor? I live in the rural Midwest and when we sell a farm, we simply call up the ...
by Luke Duke
Tue May 01, 2018 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fiber cable on front lawn
Replies: 39
Views: 2590

Re: Fiber cable on front lawn

The telephone poles run down my alley behind my house. Fiber was installed on the poles, but it hung so low that I couldn't move my trailer without snagging it. I moved my trailer like I normally would. The cable broke. I'm sure one of my neighbor's internet went out and they called it in. The next ...
by Luke Duke
Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?
Replies: 87
Views: 5016

Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:25 am
Artful Dodger wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:12 am
I've had them for years, and had two $20K homeowners claims and two smaller auto claims that were handled with exemplary care, and have very competitive rates, so not planning to drop them.
Which company?
The part of the post that you didn't quote.
by Luke Duke
Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing Existing Satellite Systems
Replies: 16
Views: 1958

Re: Removing Existing Satellite Systems

Leave the plate until you reroof. Spray paint it to match your roof if it bothers you.
by Luke Duke
Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?
Replies: 87
Views: 5016

Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

I would spend around $130 and pack the following: Long jumper cables a car battery powered air pump warning triangles a few flashing magnetic beacons a fire extinguisher All of those things except the fire extinguisher came with my car. The kit was an extra cost item my dealer included with the car...
by Luke Duke
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing Existing Satellite Systems
Replies: 16
Views: 1958

Re: Removing Existing Satellite Systems

I would remove the dish and the pole but leave the mounting plate that is screwed into the roof. The reason for that is the mounting plate should have been installed with some form of weatherproofing and the screw holes sealed. If you now remove the plate / screws you risk leaving holes screwed thr...
by Luke Duke
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice re: extension cord to power PA speaker
Replies: 11
Views: 703

Re: Need advice re: extension cord to power PA speaker

VaR wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:19 am
I'd guess that this thing is drawing less than 400 watts, but the backplate is supposed to say that the maximum draw is of the device.
In other words, you'll be fine with your regular orange outdoor extension cord.
My thoughts as well.
by Luke Duke
Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch
Replies: 101
Views: 6051

Re: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch

quantAndHold wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:39 pm
They don’t tell you this, but you can shop around for a better deal on the policy.
In Texas the cost of title insurance is dictated by the state. Your policy would cost a lot more in Texas.
https://www.tdi.texas.gov/title/titlerates2013.html
by Luke Duke
Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: power tool that replaces both allen wrench and screwdriver
Replies: 9
Views: 708

Re: power tool that replaces both allen wrench and screwdriver

The Milwaukee line of M12 power tools is pretty compact.
by Luke Duke
Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How would you rotate these tires?
Replies: 20
Views: 1703

Re: How would you rotate these tires?

Front wheel drive. Have tires with identical size (i.e., mileage/age) on the front wheels. Don’t rotate until you replace all four tires. Risk tranny damage with unequal tires on the fronts. Show me where someone sustained transmission damage with a 4/32" tread difference on the drive axle. Some li...
by Luke Duke
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How would you rotate these tires?
Replies: 20
Views: 1703

Re: How would you rotate these tires?

Y.A.Tittle wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:24 pm
Front wheel drive. Have tires with identical size (i.e., mileage/age) on the front wheels. Don’t rotate until you replace all four tires.

Risk tranny damage with unequal tires on the fronts.
Show me where someone sustained transmission damage with a 4/32" tread difference on the drive axle.
by Luke Duke
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thank you for the Car Tips!
Replies: 4
Views: 914

Re: Thank you for the Car Tips!

If you plan to change the oil in your car from now on, you might wish to buy a Fumoto valve. You won't make as big of a mess, you don't have to remember what size wrench you need and you have the ability to shut of the oil flow if your container is too full. https://www.google.com/search?sitesearch=...
by Luke Duke
Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tired of gas grills rusting out...
Replies: 54
Views: 4289

Re: Tired of gas grills rusting out...

I bought a ~10yr old Weber Summit on CL for $100 about 10 years ago. It is still going strong.
by Luke Duke
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does the value of my home matter?
Replies: 21
Views: 2786

Re: Does the value of my home matter?

chrischris wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:21 pm
Does the value of my home matter?
It matters to your taxing authority.
by Luke Duke
Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor Blower
Replies: 24
Views: 1359

Re: Outdoor Blower

Ryobi makes a pretty decent cordless blower. Check Home Depot.
by Luke Duke
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV and set up recommendations for above fireplace
Replies: 35
Views: 2440

Re: TV and set up recommendations for above fireplace

Wow, the Bogleheads are sounding quite old here today. Lots of people put their TV over the fireplace! Yes, you are correct. Lots of people do stupid things. The reason it has become more popular is that most newer homes have kitchens that open up to the living room, so there is one less wall than ...
by Luke Duke
Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Priority of payoffs
Replies: 12
Views: 987

Re: Priority of payoffs

You may not be allowed per company policy to make extra payments on the 401k loan. At my old company you either paid it out per the original terms or you paid the balance off in full. You couldn't just throw extra cash at it every once in a while.
by Luke Duke
Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call
Replies: 18
Views: 1392

Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

I had one installed by a handyman. He did a great job. I recommend getting a wide ladder like the one below.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Louisville- ... /205180385
by Luke Duke
Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV and set up recommendations for above fireplace
Replies: 35
Views: 2440

Re: TV and set up recommendations for above fireplace

I'd rather not have a TV in the living room than have one above the fireplace.
by Luke Duke
Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV that is flush to wall
Replies: 17
Views: 2104

Re: TV that is flush to wall

I believe that my Samsung is 1.9" thick. I have a flush mount that leaves about a 0.5" gap between the wall and the back of the TV. Use one of these and you won't see any wires.
by Luke Duke
Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have $800k - What do I do?
Replies: 22
Views: 4316

Re: Have $800k - What do I do?

jehovasfitness wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:06 am
Luke Duke wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:07 pm
How have you managed to only save $130K as a 35 year old engineer?
Very easily for the average person to be even below that.
An engineer is not the average person in regards to income and the ability to save. There were obviously extenuating circumstances involved.
by Luke Duke
Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have $800k - What do I do?
Replies: 22
Views: 4316

Re: Have $800k - What do I do?

How have you managed to only save $130K as a 35 year old engineer? Yes. A lot of my money after college went towards paying medical bills for my father who passed away 3 years ago, since I had to take care of him. Also, 2 of the companies I worked for out of school did not have a 401k. I did not st...
by Luke Duke
Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have $800k - What do I do?
Replies: 22
Views: 4316

Re: Have $800k - What do I do?

How have you managed to only save $130K as a 35 year old engineer?
by Luke Duke
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chain Saw pruner or Pole Saw?
Replies: 24
Views: 1973

Re: Chain Saw pruner or Pole Saw?

I'm 58—with the massive upper body build of a long-distance runner. I have ~200 hardwood trees on the lot. I started out nearly 20 years ago with a big box pole pruner. That worked OK primarily because the trees were smaller. As the trees grew, I picked up a Stihl HT 131 so I could get things done ...
by Luke Duke
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 5982

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Zero also, as a matter of fact, I have never heard of anyone who donates anything to the public school system. I could think of a hundred other places that would be more deserving than that!!! OMG. You should find a better school system for your kids then! ?? The better school systems don't need ex...
by Luke Duke
Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 5982

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

westrichj312 wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:26 pm
Zero also, as a matter of fact, I have never heard of anyone who donates anything to the public school system. I could think of a hundred other places that would be more deserving than that!!! OMG.
You don't see the value in having good schools? Do you have kids?
by Luke Duke
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 5982

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

I really didn't read the original post very carefully...

My wife and I probably spend $1000-1500/yr for the school. The bulk of this is at the annual Dads Club auction and several smaller expenses that I don't bother getting reimbursed for from my treasurer.
by Luke Duke
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 5982

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

If donating directly to the school is a hassle, you could donate to the PTA or Dads Club, if they have one. I'm the president of the Dads Club (501c3) at my kids' elementary school and I could basically guarantee a donor that every cent they donated would be spent on a specific item/program/teacher'...
by Luke Duke
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Harbor Freight fold-able trailer
Replies: 22
Views: 6868

Re: Harbor Freight fold-able trailer

I thought about buying one of these trailers for about 30 seconds until I remembered that I could rent a larger trailer from U-Haul for $14/day. No storage, no registration, no maintenance and probably less money in the long run.
by Luke Duke
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving utilities underground - any experience?
Replies: 11
Views: 1064

Re: Moving utilities underground - any experience?

I spent ~3K to bury my electrical line. While I had a trench dug, I put in PVC conduit for cable and phone. Now there are no longer any overhead lines coming into my house.
by Luke Duke
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best plants to grow to save money for food costs
Replies: 93
Views: 5344

Re: Best plants to grow to save money for food costs

My experience is that raising your own food will cost you 2-3 times what you can buy it for in the local grocery store. It is not possible to beat the economies of scale of commercial agriculture. Of course the quality of home grown food is vastly superior, so it is not apples to apples. There are ...
by Luke Duke
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you wear a wedding band? [at a job interview]
Replies: 157
Views: 10068

Re: Do you wear a wedding band?

MarkBarb wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:39 pm
I'm one of the only Texas Aggies I know that didn't buy a school ring.
I'm surprised that they let you graduate without one.
by Luke Duke
Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why paying off loans would be better than fully funding 401k?
Replies: 97
Views: 7516

Re: Why paying off loans would be better than fully funding 401k?

This thread blows my mind. My wife and I are 10 years younger, make 40% of your household income, have a net worth 3x what you have and I still like I spend too much money on stupid stuff.
by Luke Duke
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?
Replies: 24
Views: 2551

Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

I've been remodeling houses for years and really don't understand why anyone would need to spend money on these sorts of things. I can use my knuckle on my hand to locate any stud. So you can bang on a wall and find the exact center of every stud with a degree of accuracy where you would be comfort...