Search found 612 matches

by N1CKV
Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: co-worker had a baby, chipping in on gift- how much?
Replies: 57
Views: 2876

Re: co-worker had a baby chipping in on gift- how much?

If you are feeling generous, give what you see fit. In my workplace we have something called the "Flower Fund". This is composed of strictly employee funds, you pay a membership every year (I think ~$20) and in exchange there is a set benefits list that the fund will pay for according to t...
by N1CKV
Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Few questions to those who switched to Ally Checking
Replies: 69
Views: 5382

Re: Few questions to those who switched to Ally Checking

The 0.6% is only available if your balance is over $15k. How much cash do you NEED in checking on a regular basis? I ask because you can get 1.0% in Ally Savings. Transfers between Savings and Checking are instant (or can be scheduled for future dates). You can also set up an automatic overdraft wi...
by N1CKV
Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your personal criteria for deciding whether or not to rent a car?
Replies: 102
Views: 4197

Re: What's your personal criteria for deciding whether or not to rent a car?

I don't even consider renting a car unless my own vehicle is incapacitated.
by N1CKV
Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Few questions to those who switched to Ally Checking
Replies: 69
Views: 5382

Re: Few questions to those who switched to Ally Checking

The 0.6% is only available if your balance is over $15k. How much cash do you NEED in checking on a regular basis? I ask because you can get 1.0% in Ally Savings. Transfers between Savings and Checking are instant (or can be scheduled for future dates). You can also set up an automatic overdraft wit...
by N1CKV
Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommended emergency fund for middle class households: $13,800
Replies: 64
Views: 6768

Re: Recommended emergency fund for middle class households: $13,800

Ok now just curious? Not enough or wrong kind of insurance to put you in that position. By all means, I'm sure your family suffered and I am sympathetic. Just trying to learn from this board from everyone's experiences. I didn't have 6 figures available, but I did have a very adequate cash reserve ...
by N1CKV
Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much in Your Emergency Fund And Is It Used?
Replies: 176
Views: 15330

Re: How Much in Your Emergency Fund And Is It Used?

Back in August of last year I was sitting on 6 months of emergency funds + a sizable amount dedicated to down payment on my next house. August 13th I the water started to rise, literally. I fled my home in my truck with very little, barely escaping an impending flood. My home was built 2' over the b...
by N1CKV
Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Do You Share Expenses?
Replies: 52
Views: 4106

Re: How Do You Share Expenses?

I keep separate finances from my wife also. In my case, she pays me roughly 1/2 of my house note as "rent". I pay regular utilities. She wanted internet and cable so she pays for that. We have a joint credit card that we put all joint expenses on. At the end of every statement cycle I send...
by N1CKV
Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diamond earrings
Replies: 19
Views: 2041

Re: Diamond earrings

Finally, be very careful about buying diamonds in pawn shops, second hand or places you "think you are getting a great deal". If you do, ask if the diamonds come with the GIA certification. That way you know exactly what you are buying. So many customers get bad diamonds (poor clarify, po...
by N1CKV
Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Options
Replies: 41
Views: 2149

Re: Pension Options

The Big 4 used to be the Big 5, I'd take the money and run.
by N1CKV
Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding cash gift
Replies: 68
Views: 4058

Re: Wedding cash gift

Most importantly figure out what your wife really wants. My wife didn't want much so it was easy. We had a small wedding with about 50 people. We spent under $5,000 total on venue, buffet catering, open bar, DJ and photographer. My only regret was not getting a better photographer. We kept it super ...
by N1CKV
Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable
Replies: 101
Views: 7651

Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

beware of the following:
1. The cheapest internet rates are not usually available without a "bundle".
2. Most internet services are NOT unlimited unless you have a bundled TV service. Streaming video uses a decent amount of data.
by N1CKV
Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor grill: gas or electric?
Replies: 55
Views: 3216

Re: Outdoor grill: gas or electric?

The only time I have used an electric was at the beach, on the balcony of a condo where the use of any combustible was forbidden. This was probably my most miserable grilling experience ever. I would never use electric if given a choice. The grill is way too slow and limited to be of much use. The t...
by N1CKV
Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: credit card usage / credit score
Replies: 17
Views: 1196

Re: credit card usage / credit score

You would need to make a payment of what the balance is right before it cuts, or at least close to that amount. ... So, if you anticipate the card cutting with a balance of 5,500.00, then make the early payment of $5,400. That will drop the utilization ratio. ... Some issuers offer the option of pa...
by N1CKV
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: credit card usage / credit score
Replies: 17
Views: 1196

Re: credit card usage / credit score

If you pay your balance before the statement is issued , yes, it will reduce your reported utilization. Once the statement is cut, that's the balance reported. You can pay it before the due date to avoid finance charges, but the balance on the statement will be reported (not zero). As we continue t...
by N1CKV
Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to file income tax
Replies: 12
Views: 1616

Re: When to file income tax

I generally get a refund, so I file as soon as possible. This year I had a massive casualty loss so my refund will be substantial, that motivated me to file before the end of January. If there is any updates to my 1099-XXX forms I can file an amended later, either way it won't be material in nature ...
by N1CKV
Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pet insurance for new puppy
Replies: 54
Views: 3278

Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Skip it. This from a pet owner whose dog has had knee repairs on both back legs. Just about everything that would make the insurance worth while is excluded without the "premium plan" and the cost of that would have at best put me ad dead even. Now something that you should consider is a m...
by N1CKV
Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staying with AT&T but getting unlocked phone
Replies: 8
Views: 702

Re: Staying with AT&T but getting unlocked phone

Link above will assist with getting your phone unlocked, just follow the instructions. AT&T stores will give you the new sim and activate it, just walk in and ask. I bought a 5X that was delivered on release date and had no issue. Sync your contacts, pictures and anything else you want to save t...
by N1CKV
Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refusing to sign or altering hospital billing admission forms?
Replies: 79
Views: 6101

Re: Refusing to sign or altering hospital billing admission forms?

As a physician and a consumer I have ALWAYS advocated voting with your feet. If you don't like the policy take your business elsewhere. BUT what is NOT allowed is to think as the consumer you can alter the flow of a private business. That is NOT your right. Frankly, pretty arrogant of you as well. ...
by N1CKV
Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement floor mats for Infiniti M37
Replies: 18
Views: 1263

Re: Replacement floor mats for Infiniti M37

I lived in the Chicago suburbs and, for years, I heard the weathertek radio commercials and assumed they were just a very small local company. If I ever seen floormats mentioned online, there are a ton of people that mention how they have weathertek mats. Honestly, one of the reasons I assumed they...
by N1CKV
Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Denied Checking Account by Citibank
Replies: 15
Views: 2102

Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Equifax reports are sometimes used to verify identity, whereas chexsystems is used to verify your check writing "credit worthiness".
You likely gave a piece of information that failed their identification verification protocol and it booted you.
by N1CKV
Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of your belly........
Replies: 82
Views: 10512

Re: How to get rid of your belly........

I am not an expert, I am not a doctor, I am just an accountant.... ...but I was told by doctor (orthopedic) to lose the extra weight I was carrying around my waist to improve my lower back issues. I was lean my entire life until after college when I started a desk job. I got this under control doing...
by N1CKV
Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reliable washer/dryer brands
Replies: 42
Views: 3393

Re: Reliable washer/dryer brands

My cheap Hotpoint brand washer and dryer purchased in May 2005 were working great, save for a bearing that was a little noisy on the washer, until my house flooded in August. I had to throw them both out because of 3 ft of water, otherwise I anticipated them lasting a few more years. My replacements...
by N1CKV
Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track your finances?
Replies: 79
Views: 6708

Re: How do you track your finances?

For tracking accounts/ balances along with other things like Payroll and tax calculations I have a large Google Sheets document. It works great and is available from anywhere (and of course all Google Drive items are encrypted). For tracking budgets/ spending I use Mint.com I just really don't care ...
by N1CKV
Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The True Cost of Owning a Dog
Replies: 176
Views: 14399

Re: Cost of dog ownership.

To each his own, though that's more expensive than my dog. You could also add up the cost of a child and make the same claim... I couldn't agree more! My dog costs me more than the OP. He has had both back knees repaired surgically - twice (that's 4 surgeries). He has had a few other issues along t...
by N1CKV
Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap alarm for a garage?
Replies: 11
Views: 1524

Re: Cheap alarm for a garage?

define cheap? I just put a Fortress security system (Total Security WIFI version) on my house. Completely wireless except for power to the main panel. It comes with RFID keytags and remote controls for easy disarming. Add an external wireless siren on the outside of the building for extra umph to th...
by N1CKV
Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Freetaxusa dot com
Replies: 13
Views: 1335

Re: Freetaxusa dot com

I used it last year and was pleased. There is no income limit that I came across. My state offers free filing directly through their Department of Revenue, so I file my state taxes directly for no cost.
by N1CKV
Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on dealing with Amazon customer service
Replies: 28
Views: 2617

Re: Advice on dealing with Amazon customer service

Amazon has terrible customer service. Recently I purchased a fishing reel I had been watching for quite some time. The price dropped as offered by a 3rd party seller. I purchased. I received the item drop shipped through Cabela's. A month later I receive a demand letter from Cabela's stating that th...
by N1CKV
Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2nd cell phone in different area code
Replies: 13
Views: 1623

Re: 2nd cell phone in different area code

absolutely get a Google Voice. I would not want to keep track of a second device. Having two phone numbers is easy.
by N1CKV
Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation spots on Alabama's Gulf coast
Replies: 27
Views: 2628

Re: Vacation spots on Alabama's Gulf coast

Orange Beach, AL has some pretty decent beaches. Pensacola, FL is also around the corner from there with even better beaches and clearer waters. They also have the National Naval Air Museum which is fun to visit.
by N1CKV
Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing run-flat tires on BMW
Replies: 34
Views: 4165

Re: Replacing run-flat tires on BMW

I had a friend who recently had a flat in a remote area and the shop was not able to remove the lug nuts because the key broke off when attempting to remove the lock. Usually there is not a risk of wheels or tires being stolen so I say use standard lug nuts. Sounds like an incompetent shop to me. I...
by N1CKV
Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing a mortgage lender
Replies: 24
Views: 1701

Re: Choosing a mortgage lender

I would just look for the best rate/ terms. It has been my experience with one purchase and one refinance under my belt that the majority of the mortgages are "sold" to you by whomever you go to and then they turn around and sell off the loan to a major mortgage service company. That may n...
by N1CKV
Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: sheltering a monitary gift while separated
Replies: 22
Views: 1587

Re: sheltering a monitary gift while separated

You failed to tell us what state you were in. That can matter for a host of reasons. Either way, even in a community property state, a gift or inheritance is your own separate property and does not belong to your spouse. You can discuss with the closing attorney to be sure that the sale document cle...
by N1CKV
Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Flashlight to keep in home for emergency
Replies: 56
Views: 5099

Re: Best Flashlight to keep in home for emergency

Surefire. http://www.surefire.com/eb2-backup.html I agree with Surefire, but I think different model is better suited for a better price. http://www.surefire.com/illumination/flashlights/g2x-pro.html 123 batteries have a 10 year shelf life, dual mode brightness from general use to defensive blindin...
by N1CKV
Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heart rate monitor options
Replies: 15
Views: 1377

Re: Heart rate monitor options

I have the Garmin Vivosmart HR. It's not the best at anything, but it does do a lot. I really do like their phone app, works very well and syncs to MyFitnessPal for calorie tracking (if desired). Nothing wrist based will be incredibly accurate, it's just the nature of the beast.
by N1CKV
Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer mistakes 100% for 0% contribution to TIAA-CREF
Replies: 24
Views: 2375

Re: Employer mistakes 100% for 0% contribution to TIAA-CREF

Do you have a copy of the change form stating 100% to prove their mistake? If so I would present that in an appeal to the next level up and keep appealing until you reach the top of your organization.
by N1CKV
Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners should consider flood insurance
Replies: 78
Views: 7327

Re: Homeowners should consider flood insurance

I live on a hill in San Francisco. I don't worry about too much rain. I worry about getting enough rain! I thought the same thing, my house is nice and high. My house took on 31" of water last week, my elevation certificate says I am several feet over the 100 year flood plain. The water didn't...
by N1CKV
Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating to Baton Rouge Flood Victims
Replies: 4
Views: 666

Re: Donating to Baton Rouge Flood Victims

I live in Baton Rouge and I flooded (31" of water). I do not know off the top of my head the best organization but I will look in to who is really helping. Red Cross is providing support, but I have heard of a lot of waste. On edit: Habitat for Humanity as suggested above is a wonderful suggest...
by N1CKV
Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: air conditioning filters
Replies: 36
Views: 3063

Re: air conditioning filters

First and foremost: The filter inlet on your A/C unit was initially designed to trap common dust/hair/ fiber particles in a home to protect the fan and coil from contaminants that will clog it. It is NOT designed to trap allergens. The fan in your A/C system is not designed for that much restriction...
by N1CKV
Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: discount cards for prescriptions?
Replies: 27
Views: 1917

Re: discount cards for prescriptions?

Once we are made responsible for our medical expenses (we moved from PPO to HSA), we start to learn a lot on the discrepancy of medicine prices. absolutely! My wife quickly dropped Walgreens in favor of Walmart when I pointed out the price difference, from $40 to $4 for her monthly prescription. I ...
by N1CKV
Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with old car?
Replies: 10
Views: 1054

Re: What to do with old car?

back when I first met my wife she owned a car that was mechanically unusable and in need of severe body work (water leaking in to cabin). It was parked at her mother's rented house and her mother was moving, I told her to just call a scrapyard and tell them to come get it. She called, they showed up...
by N1CKV
Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used car - when different model years are the same car?
Replies: 11
Views: 966

Re: Used car - when different model years are the same car?

The car may be the same design, but the features may have been upgraded. A couple of examples: In deed. While my vehicle body is the identical to one 2 model years older (and several years after) it is vastly different. I have a different transmission than previous years (drastic improvement) along...
by N1CKV
Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leaving money as a legacy after death
Replies: 15
Views: 1197

Re: Leaving money as a legacy after death

Why do you have 750K in life insurance if you have no dependents?
by N1CKV
Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How badly did I get ripped off? [Auto lease]
Replies: 21
Views: 3316

Re: How badly did I get ripped off?

I don't think the Envoy has a timing belt. Pretty sure its a chain. Timing chains are pretty durable and generally last longer than the vehicle. Could it have been the serpentine belt that broke? You are correct. It should be a timing chain that is unlikely to have broken, more likely a serpentine ...
by N1CKV
Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding Inheriting Parents' Financial Mess / Debts
Replies: 35
Views: 3351

Re: Avoiding Inheriting Parents' Financial Mess / Debts

I guess one good question might be whether there are any ways to protect the assets of the the deceased -- particularly a home -- so that the children would maybe be able to maintain a home that has been in the family for 50+ years...? Probably a reach but people seem to know their stuff on here as...
by N1CKV
Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Buying Dilemma
Replies: 53
Views: 4997

Re: Car Buying Dilemma

I would ignore the Japanese cars and buy something like a Chevy Malibu brand new. A base model lists for about $23k, you should be able to negotiate the price a decent amount without much trouble to get it close to the used Altima with way better build quality.
by N1CKV
Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much cash to give when invited to a wedding?
Replies: 81
Views: 6970

Re: How much cash to give when invited to a wedding?

From previous threads this seems to vary massively depending on your region/ culture. I married last year. We did not do a big expensive wedding, but we did provide a beer and wine bar at the reception. At no point did we consider the amounts we spent to correlate with the gifts received. It was our...
by N1CKV
Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you have any retiree healthcare benefit from your employer?
Replies: 76
Views: 4568

Re: Do you have any retiree healthcare benefit from your employer?

Yes. I am fully vested in to my employers health benefit: At retirement I am entitled to stay on my employer's health plan for the same price as current employees. When I become medicare eligible I have to sign up for that, with my employer plan acting secondary at that point. I am in the public sec...
by N1CKV
Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car insurance - removing comprehensive and collision
Replies: 19
Views: 1825

Re: Car insurance - removing comprehensive and collision

what about if someone hits you? Uninsured motorist? (which is a very big issue in my home state of California.) That is highly dependent on the state the OP lives in. In my state uninsured motorist does not cover the vehicle and only covers medical of you and your occupants, therefore it is worthle...
by N1CKV
Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best full featured online checking?
Replies: 40
Views: 3697

Re: Best full featured online checking?

Ally hits all of your requirements, except maybe the billpay. They do have a good bill pay feature but they recently "upgraded" the system and the auto-payments quit for several of my accounts (Chase & Wells Fargo). Everything else on your list they do well/ best in class. eCheck depos...
by N1CKV
Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to purchase a SXS/UTV
Replies: 6
Views: 564

Re: Looking to purchase a SXS/UTV

I have a Honda ATV, but I prefer Yamaha. I have friends with both Yamaha and Honda SXS. I prefer the Yamaha by a long shot. I have extensive experience driving a Rhino with the Yamaha Ultramatic (CVT) transmission and I can tell you hands down it is a great transmission. It is VERY annoying to drive...

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