Search found 1056 matches

by an_asker
Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Off to Australia - need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 2041

Re: Off to Australia - need advice

[...] Even in the most embellished stories told by Australians, there is always a core of truth that it is unwise to ignore. [...] They think "Woolloomooloo" is a perfectly reasonable name for a place,that "Wagga Wagga" can be abbreviated to "Wagga", but "Woy Woy&...
by an_asker
Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Off to Australia - need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 2041

Re: Off to Australia - need advice

Thanks for the replies, Carl53, gatorman and silentfaith. Tasmania is for a future trip ... maybe. gatorman: I am still confused as to what transportation is covered by which pass. Is the Sydney water taxi you are referring to covered by the Opal card? Yes, we will definitely have (layers of) warm c...
by an_asker
Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Off to Australia - need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 2041

Re: Off to Australia - need advice

Would help to know more about what you're looking to see/do/experience. We did a three-week trip in 2010 to Australia and New Zealand. We did a week in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania) and then two weeks with a rental car in NZ (10 days on the south island and four days on the north island)....
by an_asker
Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Off to Australia - need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 2041

Re: Off to Australia - need advice

In Australia what doesn't kill you takes your money :D And, in addition to food being brought into the country, they take previous criminal records seriously and it would require the appropriate visa instead of ETA. I have heard about that as well. I did spend quite a while watching those videos, y...
by an_asker
Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Off to Australia - need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 2041

Re: Off to Australia - need advice

[...]Well, if you're interested in learning about cane toads check this out...http://www.veoh.com/watch/v15573264ctqJrdRr Those toads are positively slimy and scary! Thanks for sharing, it was very informative. I am starting to remember other tidbits I have watched about Australian wildlife in IMAX...
by an_asker
Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Off to Australia - need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 2041

Re: Off to Australia - need advice

I made over 20 trips to Oz in a little more than 3 years. I much prefer Brisbane to Sydney - Sydney is a great, world class city but it is first and foremost a big city. Brisbane is much smaller and livable. There are free public swimming lagoons on the South Bank. A short walk to Kangaroo Point th...
by an_asker
Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holes in the heels of black dress socks
Replies: 30
Views: 1710

Re: Holes in the heels of black dress socks

Does anyone have experience of black dress socks wearing out very quickly nowadays -holes in the heel area and near the toes? I've bought Gold Toe, Adidas, Puma, Dockers, Costco premium socks, and they all wear out pretty quickly-2-3 months or sooner. They never used to do that 5 years ago, or is i...
by an_asker
Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Off to Australia - need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 2041

Re: Off to Australia - need advice

... is the hook turn similar to the Texas U-turn on frontage roads? Nope. Completely different. You turn right from the far left lane. I think it's only used in the central business district. Here's a couple references to explain it... http://www.onlymelbourne.com.au/hook-turns#.Vx_ArXErLnA https:/...
by an_asker
Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Off to Australia - need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 2041

Re: Off to Australia - need advice

Anyway, it looks like it might not be a good idea to have Cairns in the plans. I was wanting to include something that is unique to Australia. Personally, I'd keep Cairns and strike off Melbourne, if you have to make tradeoffs. Melbourne is very nice but Cairns is more of an "Australian Experi...
by an_asker
Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Off to Australia - need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 2041

Re: Off to Australia - need advice

Learn to look to your right before you step off the curb! And be careful driving. I became too complacent after driving on the left side for awhile, and the American instincts kicked in a couple times putting me one the wrong side of the road. And if you do go to Melbourne be sure to learn the hook...
by an_asker
Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Off to Australia - need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 2041

Re: Off to Australia - need advice

Learn to look to your right before you step off the curb! And that XXXX is Australian for beer (they can't spell) :mrgreen: - Ron I thought that Fosters was Australian for beer ;-) David, I am originally from India. But yes, you are right, I need to warn kids (even though they've spent a significan...
by an_asker
Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Off to Australia - need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 2041

Re: Off to Australia - need advice

Be sure to check that your drivers license does not expire while you are on the road, I have hear of people getting overseas only to find out they forgot to renew their drivers licence. Also double check the expiration date of your passports and credit cards. At don't forget your to take your plug ...
by an_asker
Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Off to Australia - need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 2041

Re: Off to Australia - need advice

Thanks to you and to everyone else who has responded. We will definitely need to rethink our trip plans based on your responses. But what we cannot do is change the trip dates - I got the tickets at a significant discount as a result of a recent price war. I'm a Sydneysider, so my first bit of advic...
by an_asker
Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will Chip + Sign CC work in Europe?
Replies: 27
Views: 1936

Re: Will Chip + Sign CC work in Europe?

Do U.S. based cards that are Chip+Signature work okay in Europe? We are planning on a trip to Germany, Austria and Switzerland and are in the process of getting a new CC that has 0 foreign transaction fees, but they all appear to the be chip + signature, whereas most of Europe seems to be Chip + Pi...
by an_asker
Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will Chip + Sign CC work in Europe?
Replies: 27
Views: 1936

Re: Will Chip + Sign CC work in Europe?

Do U.S. based cards that are Chip+Signature work okay in Europe? We are planning on a trip to Germany, Austria and Switzerland and are in the process of getting a new CC that has 0 foreign transaction fees, but they all appear to the be chip + signature, whereas most of Europe seems to be Chip + Pi...
by an_asker
Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Off to Australia - need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 2041

Off to Australia - need advice

We are planning a trip to Australia this summer (well, winter Down Under). I am mining for information, and would appreciate any tips/insights you might have :-) Here is what we have planned as of now. - eight day trip (arriving on Sunday and departing next Monday, both to and from Sydney) - current...
by an_asker
Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport photo DIY - anyone done it easily?
Replies: 52
Views: 2432

Re: Passport photo DIY - anyone done it easily?

We did ourselves. We had white color wall, stood in front of it, took the photo. We had printer that could printer photos at home. Then we just use scissors cut to the required size. Just make sure read the photo requirement online, I think passport requires something like no teeth shown or both ea...
by an_asker
Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport photo DIY - anyone done it easily?
Replies: 52
Views: 2432

Re: Passport photo DIY - anyone done it easily?

EagertoLearnMore wrote:Try using epassportphoto.com. http://www.epassportphoto.com/

Follow directions and print yourself or save on flash drive and take to a quick print store for less than 10 cents.

We have used this method several times and never had a problem with getting the passport.

+1!
by an_asker
Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Those four sweetest words ...
Replies: 31
Views: 2752

Re: Those four sweetest words ...

"In before the lock" ;-)
by an_asker
Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruise trip - Money saving tips
Replies: 32
Views: 2537

Re: Cruise trip - Money saving tips

Didn't know that. I just thought it was clever of my friend. I didn't realize they really want people spend money on shore. More likely it is the agricultural import rules. I'm not sure bringing a PB&J on shore would fall afoul of the rules, but certainly you should check. I get the agricultura...
by an_asker
Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruise trip - Money saving tips
Replies: 32
Views: 2537

Re: Cruise trip - Money saving tips

My first tip would be go Carnival not Disney, if you want to save money when cruising. But that ship has already sailed :oops: Seriously though, while the excursions are QUITE expensive, we paid up and enjoyed them during our Carnival Cruise a couple of years ago. We are conservative that way, and c...
by an_asker
Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: starter home vs. final home
Replies: 37
Views: 3535

Re: starter home vs. final home

What is the better strategy? 1) purchase a starter home which is inadequate to meet my long term preferences with plans to save, build equity, and eventually buy a nicer home 2) Save up for a longer period of time and buy a home which would be adequate to suffice for the rest of my life. My current...
by an_asker
Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can employer deposit payroll money into 2015 HSA?
Replies: 6
Views: 703

Re: Can employer deposit payroll money into 2015 HSA?

Spirit Rider wrote:[...]Yes, the personal contributions can go to any other HSA account the eligible individual has.

Spirit Rider:

Thanks for your response - will make the contribution into the older HSA account. We've already crossed that bridge (re: trying to get it done through employer).
by an_asker
Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can employer deposit payroll money into 2015 HSA?
Replies: 6
Views: 703

Re: Can employer deposit payroll money into 2015 HSA?

Apologies for resurrecting an old thread. Quick follow-up question: After some back and forth, it appears that employer can't/won't help with the 2015 HSA contribution. So, we have to it ourselves and be out the FICA (right?) portion of the taxes. Oh well. The question is - does the contribution hav...
by an_asker
Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I considered having an HSA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1316

Re: Am I considered having an HSA?

I am with Spirit Rider.

If you can, try to create a PDF of your return and scan through it to see where the contribution is being double reported then try to fix that portion of data entry to address the issue.
by an_asker
Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Miami Open Tennis
Replies: 0
Views: 181

Miami Open Tennis

I plan to attend the Miami Open Tennis tournament on Wednesday. Would someone who is local give me some idea on how much time (rush hour) I need to allow myself to drive down from, say, the West Palm Beach area so I can be parked at Key Biscayne by about 10 am? Barring backups due to accidents, woul...
by an_asker
Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I or should I start my own fund ?
Replies: 45
Views: 3524

Re: How do I or should I start my own fund ?

Let me bite on this one (please bear with me as I don't really know how Buffett began). It seems be earned his first million by getting people to invest in partnerships that he ran. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Buffett L. Thanks - I should've googled :oops: So, I would assume that creating ...
by an_asker
Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I or should I start my own fund ?
Replies: 45
Views: 3524

Re: How do I or should I start my own fund ?

Behave like Warren Buffett! Isn't that what they say here all the time? :) He doesn't manage other people's money. L. Let me bite on this one (please bear with me as I don't really know how Buffett began). What did Buffett have inside of BRK.A in the very beginning? In other words, what was he sell...
by an_asker
Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mint...working less, and less, and less
Replies: 42
Views: 7104

Re: Mint...working less, and less, and less

Just to throw some freefloating negativity into all this... to the folks who've switched or are thinking of switching... ...so you've given some site all your passwords, even though it violates your terms of service with your financial institutions; not to worry, the site says it's secure. (But the...
by an_asker
Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Canada on sale? [Currency exchange rate vs. USD]
Replies: 30
Views: 3158

Re: Is Canada on sale? [Currency exchange rate vs. USD]

For once, I did not take any action when I should've. But it is not too late, I hope! The looney has gained nearly 10% since the start of this thread. How do I best hedge against future rise till the date we actually decide to travel to Canada (if not this summer, maybe next summer)? I don't know if...
by an_asker
Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Best and Worst Funds listed by the Wall Street Journal
Replies: 22
Views: 2907

Re: The Best and Worst Funds listed by the Wall Street Journal

Taylor:

I have only one comment - which one, and WHY/HOW?!!
by an_asker
Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Virginia Tech vs. NC State [choosing a school]
Replies: 52
Views: 2976

Re: Virginia Tech vs. NC State [choosing a school]

Toons wrote:Go Hokies! :sharebeer

+1!
by an_asker
Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Next credit card for a bonus?
Replies: 109
Views: 10658

Re: Next credit card for a bonus?

Finished the Citi Bank Thank You Premiere card and got $500 worth of Wal Mart gift cards. They've lowered the bonus to 40,000 points since I signed up but that's still $400 worth of gift cards that we are working on right now under my wife's name. It's a little funny how the cards came, stuck to a ...
by an_asker
Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Belize City
Replies: 28
Views: 1899

Re: Visiting Belize City

Belize City is a popular cruise ship destination with t-shirt shops, party time restaurants and bars and not much else. Have visited but found little of interest. This is a relatively poor area with tourism as a major part of the local economy. I second this. I was just in Belize City this past Sep...
by an_asker
Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Just lost 4.08% on Forever stamps.
Replies: 63
Views: 6862

Re: Just lost 4.08% on Forever stamps.

I just bought 100 Forever stamps last week and paid $49 for them. And wouldn't you just know. Stamp prices set to go down two cents in April. I paid $49 for stamps that will soon be worth only $47, a 4.08% loss. Thank goodness it's only on a $49 investment. Of course, the stamps I have will still d...
by an_asker
Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FatWallet Cash Back Check Bounced
Replies: 14
Views: 2719

Re: FatWallet Cash Back Check Bounced

I wanted to post an update. I heard back from FatWallet customer service the other day. They reposted my cashback plus the bank fee. They also posted a $5 "Customer Service Bonus" that requires me to use FatWallet again: we have added a $5 promotional bonus in your account as our way of l...
by an_asker
Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard brokerage
Replies: 21
Views: 962

Re: Vanguard brokerage

If you are going to buy one stock, then Vanguard BS is probably fine, since you already have Vanguard mutual funds and do not intend to buy more than one stock. But if you wanted to buy 2 stocks or an ETF and a stock, or 2 ETFs, then I would recommend you start a relationship with a real online dis...
by an_asker
Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard brokerage
Replies: 21
Views: 962

Re: Vanguard brokerage

If you are going to buy one stock, then Vanguard BS is probably fine, since you already have Vanguard mutual funds and do not intend to buy more than one stock. But if you wanted to buy 2 stocks or an ETF and a stock, or 2 ETFs, then I would recommend you start a relationship with a real online dis...
by an_asker
Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Belize City
Replies: 28
Views: 1899

Re: Visiting Belize City

I'm looking to visit Belize City in June. Any recommendations for hotels, activities, restaurants, etc.? Any items that are a must see/do, or general tourist traps to avoid? Some of the recent publicity about Belize City isn't flattering (very high murder rate, violent crime, corruption, etc.). How...
by an_asker
Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Watching Oscars with kids
Replies: 34
Views: 2817

Re: Watching Oscars with kids

greg24 wrote:Nowadays, every televised sporting event has a minimum of 200 erectile dysfunction commercials, so I've given up shielding my kids gentle little ears.

Forget sporting events. I dare you to sit through ABC for the hour starting with the World News and leading into Jeopardy.
by an_asker
Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Watching Oscars with kids
Replies: 34
Views: 2817

Re: Watching Oscars with kids

I did not want to watch the Oscars with my family expecting that the language will not be appropriate for my 11 year old daughter. But she insisted to watch saying that everyone in the school tomorrow would be talking about it and she would be left out if she didn't watch. So we had watched for hou...
by an_asker
Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I cancel my credit cards?
Replies: 34
Views: 3150

Re: Should I cancel my credit cards?

Assuming that no one has asked this question - what do you need credit for? Are you really serious when asking that question? I am serious, but let me rephrase the question: If you've lived a clean financial life, i.e., paid your bills on time etc., you should have a good credit history. Cancelling...
by an_asker
Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frustrated wtih how boring personal finance is
Replies: 40
Views: 4203

Re: Frustrated wtih how boring personal finance is

Are there any actionable things that I can do now to better my finances? I've spent the last 13 years trying to better my financial state. I've achieved most of my goals: 1) Set myself up to be an index fund investor, investing in terms of dollar cost averaging to minimize risk and maximize returns...
by an_asker
Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I cancel my credit cards?
Replies: 34
Views: 3150

Re: Should I cancel my credit cards?

AtlantaFamily-2013 wrote:[...]Does it hurt our credit to cancel? [...]

Assuming that no one has asked this question - what do you need credit for?
by an_asker
Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding out about a kid 17 years after the fact
Replies: 59
Views: 9878

Re: Finding out about a kid 17 years after the fact

Some additional facts that I left out of equation: - The country is in South America - The child would attend school in her country (much, much cheaper than U.S., not anywhere close to $10K a year, and can be afforded out of the father's annual income) - The father plans to retire at around age 72,...
by an_asker
Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Photo resolution ...
Replies: 17
Views: 973

Re: Photo resolution ...

I used to wonder what the point of digital zoom is, and why would wouldn't just use full resolution and crop. I figured it out when I finally had a camera. The big service that digital zoom performs is simply to tell the camera to use only the zoom area when automatically focussing and setting expo...
by an_asker
Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Photo resolution ...
Replies: 17
Views: 973

Re: Photo resolution ...

It's (c), more or less. That's what I thought, but wanted to confirm! The optics and image processing on the phone were good enough such that with the amount of zoom used, whatever lighting conditions and subject material, and how you were viewing the image, you didn't notice any degradation in qua...
by an_asker
Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I bother itemizing tax deductions?
Replies: 70
Views: 7230

Re: Should I bother itemizing tax deductions?

I don't understand why you are feeling any pain about it. The standard deduction is higher than your itemized deductions, so you are getting to deduct more from your income than your actual allowable deductions would be. I think my complaint is reasonable. If someone made $2,000 less than me but ha...
by an_asker
Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Photo resolution ...
Replies: 17
Views: 973

Photo resolution ...

When comparing two cameras, I have always favored the camera with the larger optical zoom and never really considered the digital zoom. My understanding is that digital zoom does not offer much to the photo and, on the other hand, it degrades quality of the photo. However, I have seen folks used the...
by an_asker
Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water / Impact Proof Digital Camera Recommendations
Replies: 21
Views: 1399

Re: Water / Impact Proof Digital Camera Recommendations

I am confused why you are bringing your 2-year old into the picture (pun unintended)! If I were you, I would take special precautions not to let kid and camera be close to each other, and I would spend the same :moneybag on a "normal" camera, instead of going for a shockproof/waterproof ca...

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