Search found 187 matches

by armeliusc
Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Negotiating for a new car purchase
Replies: 16
Views: 667

Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Last time I bought a new car I used the Fighting Chance method, which basically boils down to: - I called the dealership and asked for the sales manager or "internet sales manager" and tell them that I want to buy a car with specific spec, and am asking quotes from about 10 dealerships. Then I tell ...
by armeliusc
Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't freeze credit at Experian?
Replies: 59
Views: 25612

Re: Can't freeze credit at Experian?

I posted earlier that I couldn't freeze DW's credits on Transunion and Experian (mine worked fine for the big 3, and DW's with Equifax). This morning we tried again online with Transunion and DW's was able to freeze hers. Then we tried Experian again twice and got the same issue: "We were unable to ...
by armeliusc
Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Temporary lift for Equifax freeze was free
Replies: 11
Views: 831

Re: Temporary lift for Equifax freeze was free

Good thing I came across this post. I didn't know that Equifax freeze was free. I froze both mine and DW's with Equifax and got confirmations and pins, but I was wondering if they had really gone through since about one week later I still don't see the fee in my CC. Is there official post about this...
by armeliusc
Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't freeze credit at Experian?
Replies: 59
Views: 25612

Re: Can't freeze credit at Experian?

I was able to freeze mine with the three bureau online, but DW's couldn't do it with / denied by Transunion and Experian although she did the confirmation and put in the CC. Equifax didn't ask for any confirmation, just very basic info. I am going to wait and try again online on Monday. it's very st...
by armeliusc
Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security system
Replies: 12
Views: 1351

Re: Home security system

Hi, I also have SimpliSafe, but not their camera since I have a Nest cam before they have it. 1. Should I put door/window sensors on every single door and window on the first floor, or would the motion sensor be sufficient in rooms with many windows? If we use a motion sensor in rooms with many wind...
by armeliusc
Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fence Boundary Issue
Replies: 24
Views: 1738

Re: Fence Boundary Issue

Thanks for confirming what in some way I suspected I had to do. Lesson learned indeed. I guess in some way we're just as annoyed to ourselves. I am typically a cautious person and tend to overthink anything. I did check the plat map and it said 10-feet from the side of the house to the end of our ya...
by armeliusc
Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fence Boundary Issue
Replies: 24
Views: 1738

Fence Boundary Issue

Dear fellow Bogleheads, I wanted to get some opinions on what I should do here. Earlier this year we bought a new construction home. When we closed and moved in, the neighboring lots were still empty. The builder has put sod in our yard. Because we have little kids that would want to play outside, w...
by armeliusc
Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifetime Tire Alignment
Replies: 35
Views: 2774

Re: Lifetime Tire Alignment

I used to have Firestone's lifetime alignment, but now I know better. Not anymore. First, they would always try to sell you stuff. My car was completely fine and they would have "urgent list" and "suggested list" of things to do worth hundreds of dollars. I never fell for it (I have an independent m...
by armeliusc
Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scripters/Coders - Wanting to Learn
Replies: 17
Views: 1574

Re: Scripters/Coders - Wanting to Learn

I would suggest starting with python. It's pretty much ubiquitous on most platform, and it's a nice, clean, modern language. You can pretty much do anything with it, as starting point. Things like data collection, manipulations, etc are easy to do. If you master it, you'll likely find that people do...
by armeliusc
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?
Replies: 84
Views: 7105

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

I also have the EGO cordless battery lawnmower. No gas, oil, or spark plugs to worry about.
by armeliusc
Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Task management / organizing app
Replies: 52
Views: 2193

Re: Task management / organizing app

Here are just some suggestions: First of all, you'd need to simplify your requirements. Technically all of those are doable / has been done in many different software, but priorities, due dates, etc would not work if you don't follow them. You will eventually ignore the email reminders, etc. Second:...
by armeliusc
Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to wear for job interview - skip the tie?
Replies: 53
Views: 4292

Re: What to wear for job interview - skip the tie?

My rule of thumb is, when in doubt, better to dress up and than dress down. I was going through similar dilemma in for a recent interview (e.g. tie or no tie, suit or no suit). It's not that I hate tie or suit, I just didn't want to look out of place. I knew exactly what the work environment looked ...
by armeliusc
Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Task management / organizing app
Replies: 52
Views: 2193

Re: Task management / organizing app

First of all, you'd need to simplify your requirements. Technically all of those are doable / has been done in many different software, but priorities, due dates, etc would not work if you don't follow them. You will eventually ignore the email reminders, etc. Second: prioritize. Have a list for thi...
by armeliusc
Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't find houses less than 3.3x income. Can we afford it?
Replies: 40
Views: 4641

Re: Can't find houses less than 3.3x income. Can we afford it?

I seconded the recommendation to not spend your whole saving for the down payment. Put 20% down, and use the rest for closing costs and just extra liquidity for anything that may happen. And you may find that there are more costs to own a house, at least the first few months, until things settle dow...
by armeliusc
Fri May 26, 2017 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a dual-action polisher for my working car?
Replies: 18
Views: 1602

Re: Should I get a dual-action polisher for my working car?

I used to park my black car outdoor for years living in an apartment, but I have always tried to wash and wax it at least once or twice a year. However, over the years, contaminants do accumulate that washing alone is not enough. So at one point I get a Meguiars DA polisher, the Meguiars "Ultim...
by armeliusc
Wed May 17, 2017 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Work Colleague Wedding Group Gift: How Much ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1090

Re: Work Colleague Wedding Group Gift: How Much ?

Well, it seems that even $20 is high in my case. I gave the person organizing this $20 and they said "most people gives $10 or less, you want a change?" so I took $10 back. At least now I have precedence to go with.

AC
by armeliusc
Tue May 16, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Work Colleague Wedding Group Gift: How Much ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1090

Re: Work Colleague Wedding Group Gift: How Much ?

OK, so it looks like $20 is somewhat a consensus. I also understand the point of those saying $0. In fact, that would also be my first instinct, and what I'd likely do, say, 5 years ago, since I am also naturally introvert; e.g. I would rather sit at my desk eating my own boxed lunch than going out ...
by armeliusc
Mon May 15, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Work Colleague Wedding Group Gift: How Much ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1090

Work Colleague Wedding Group Gift: How Much ?

So a work colleague got married and someone is organizing a group lunch to celebrate in which we will present some type of wedding gift (cake, etc). How much would you contribute to this type of thing? Some facts: 1. I know the person, but not personally (just typical work colleague / acquaintance) ...
by armeliusc
Wed May 10, 2017 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gmail and google
Replies: 9
Views: 1924

Re: gmail and google

If you login to Google with your cox.net google account, then click on "gmail" from Google home page, don't you get to gmail? Then from there you can look up your actual gmail address.

AC
by armeliusc
Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices
Replies: 30
Views: 2828

Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

We also just did this; In fact we just moved in to our new construction home last week and now are still settling in. We're pretty happy with the choices we made. One guiding principle we used: if it is require some kind of construction, and if it is something we'd really want / going to put in anyw...
by armeliusc
Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changed Jobs, Health Insurance Gap
Replies: 1
Views: 331

Changed Jobs, Health Insurance Gap

Hello, I am looking for some advise from folks here. On January 30 I moved to a new job and became eligible for health insurance plan with the new employer (high deductible) and I signed up immediately. With my previous employer, premiums were deducted a month in advance so with my last January payc...
by armeliusc
Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Section 179 Deduction for Bussiness (Taxes)
Replies: 3
Views: 454

Section 179 Deduction for Bussiness (Taxes)

Hello, My spouse does some freelancing work and this year manage to have some business income. We are considering to use it to replace laptop she uses. I have been looking up [url="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p946/ch02.html#en_US_2013_publink1000107395"]section 179[/url] deduction, th...
by armeliusc
Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone still upgrading their PC build? (Not replacing the machine)
Replies: 51
Views: 4408

Re: Anyone still upgrading their PC build? (Not replacing the machine)

I have an old desktop that has been running as our server for a while (email, web, file, backup). I bought it in the year 2000 when I was still a student. It is still running CentOS 6. I've upgraded (added and replaced) the hard drives several times, the power supply, the fans, and the RAM. Only thi...
by armeliusc
Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?
Replies: 55
Views: 4727

Re: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?

AmEx Blue Cash Preferred: the cash back is more than pay the annual fee for us. To figure if it worth the fee for you compared to the blue cash everyday (no fee) card, you can just solve the equation (x*12. * 0.06 = x*12. * 0.03 + fee) where x is the amount you spend on groceries per month. Plugging...
by armeliusc
Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving - Yielding/Right of Way at Uncontrolled 4 Way Intersection
Replies: 34
Views: 2008

Re: Driving - Yielding/Right of Way at Uncontrolled 4 Way Intersection

Technically, the answers should be: 0. Major E-W road always has the right of way 1. Car A has the right of way traveling straight; Car B should wait until Car A clears the intersection, and there is another break in the E-W traffic before making left hand turn. 2. Car A has the right of way turning...
by armeliusc
Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?
Replies: 101
Views: 7499

Re: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?

By hand, but filed it electronically for free via m (link from IRS site). Doing everything by hand forces me to read instruction, which in turn give me some understanding of how the what is in the tax code, which in turn let me know what to watch out for, what to plan for, etc. Not that I have any c...
by armeliusc
Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How To Withdraw Roth IRA Earning for House Downpayment
Replies: 3
Views: 522

How To Withdraw Roth IRA Earning for House Downpayment

Hello, I am considering to withdraw the earnings from our Roth IRAs (DW and mine) for our first home downpayment. Before being chastised here for dipping into retirement account to buy a house, let me make a defense that we started our Roth IRAs in the past with the full knowledge that we may eventu...
by armeliusc
Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes for Resident Aliens
Replies: 11
Views: 803

Re: Taxes for Resident Aliens

I ... I don't see anything about her status as a resident alien that changes the tax process from what it would be if she were a US citizen. You are correct. Resident alien for tax purpose is the same as citizen tax. Note that for tax purposes , it does not matter what their immigration status is. ...
by armeliusc
Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tire rotation
Replies: 59
Views: 7796

Re: Tire rotation

This is my experience. Every other oil change (10K miles) my mechanic check my tires and decide whether or not to rotate based on the thread-depth differences. If it's close 2/32 difference, he rotates. On average I think I ended up rotating every 15K miles and he charges a bit over $10 for all four...
by armeliusc
Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: will wifi android 'phone' work for Google Hangouts Dialer?
Replies: 10
Views: 1183

Re: will wifi android 'phone' work for Google Hangouts Dialer?

Android has a Hangouts Dialer app that allows you to make free US calls via a Google Voice number (also free). Is anyone using this setup to make calls within a strictly wifi service? A $20 smart'phone' with wifi calling seems like a great option for anyone in a mostly wifi situation. Does it work?...
by armeliusc
Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fuel injector cleaning
Replies: 23
Views: 2062

Re: Fuel injector cleaning

My mechanic just pour Techron into the gas tank when I do the 30K service and he charges me $6 for it. He said all gas has enough detergent to keep injector clean, but once in a while there might be some built up. Putting Tehcron is just one of those thing that's not harmful and may help, and for $6...
by armeliusc
Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to start a blog and claim the name?
Replies: 42
Views: 4777

Re: How to start a blog and claim the name?

Now, I want to claim my title before I start actively using it in the blog and elsewhere. How to go about it? 1. Should I get the email address XXX@gmail.com? 2. Should I buy the URL XXX.com? Should I also get .net, etc? 3. Should I claim it in blog domains such as XXX.wordpress.com? How? I am seri...
by armeliusc
Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best way to do extended dual monitors on computer
Replies: 4
Views: 856

Re: best way to do extended dual monitors on computer

HDMI and DVI are both digital, i.e. no conversion needed. So I would get an HDMI-DVI cable. Plug the HDMI-DVI cable to HDMI port and the DVI end to the monitor. Use the VGA cable to for the VGA port with the second monitor. This is the setup I use at work. Here is for example and HDMI-DVI cable: m U...
by armeliusc
Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Nashville during the summer
Replies: 50
Views: 6347

Re: Visiting Nashville during the summer

I enjoyed visiting Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and learned about the history of country music. You can then just walk around broadway. Go to one show at Grand Ole Opry; even my wife who's not necessarily country music fan enjoyed the show. You can also go to the backstage tour i...
by armeliusc
Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maxed 457 & Roth IRA...Traditional or Roth 401k Next?
Replies: 15
Views: 1450

Re: Maxed 457 & Roth IRA...Traditional or Roth 401k Next?

I am also in the 15% tax bracket and have access to 457, and both Trad and Roth 401K. I've read the articles you cited in the past and had become convinced to just use Trad 401K, for the 15% tax saving now. I am not sure if there is a real clear answer to this, but I found that the arguments for tra...
by armeliusc
Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Automobile protectants
Replies: 15
Views: 1398

Re: Automobile protectants

I would not buy such product, or any add on product like that. First, one does it do ? protect it from what ? how ? The best "protection" is for you to take care of the car. Regular - semi regular washing and waxing (e.g. twice a year) should do a really good job maintaining the exterior p...
by armeliusc
Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Save More or Travel More ?
Replies: 17
Views: 2264

Re: Save More or Travel More ?

Thanks for all the replies. Looks like pretty conclusive that I should not be "feeling guilty" with more travel spending. And in fact in general we take vacation to travel at least once a year (and arrange it to go together with my work travel), and have always enjoyed them tremendously. I...
by armeliusc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Save More or Travel More ?
Replies: 17
Views: 2264

Save More or Travel More ?

I am always conflicted about this, and can use some advise. Part of my work is to travel to conferences about 1-2 times a year, and 1-2 day meetings every quarters. When the conference / meeting happens in somewhat interesting places we never been, I'd love to take my wife and kid. Often time this o...
by armeliusc
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Childcare and Taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 1048

Re: Childcare and Taxes

dsmil wrote:Your benefits should be a $3k tax credit ...

I don't think this is correct, there is no such thing as $3K tax credit for child-related care. Child Tax Credit is $1000 at most.
by armeliusc
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Childcare and Taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 1048

Re: Childcare and Taxes

First, congrats on having the little one, take the time to enjoy the moments! We just had our first recently so I looked into the tax issue a little bit. Here's what I know: 1. You get to claim one more exemptions for dependence, basically it reduces your taxable income by $3950 (for 2014, may be a ...
by armeliusc
Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Nanny Tax" Questions (Part-time babysitter)
Replies: 13
Views: 2514

Re: "Nanny Tax" Questions (Part-time babysitter)

Hello, I am the OP. Thanks for the responses, and the suggestions for the payroll service. But, maybe I am just a glutton for punishment, I think I'll do this "by hand" since my case should be simple enough, and we don't plan to have the babysitter for the whole year. I've checked about Wo...
by armeliusc
Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Nanny Tax" Questions (Part-time babysitter)
Replies: 13
Views: 2514

"Nanny Tax" Questions (Part-time babysitter)

Hello, We are thinking about hiring a babysitter since we're still in the waiting list for a more permanent childcare (daycare) so that my wife can go back to school and finish her degree. I am looking into this issue of "Nanny Tax", and I guess just have some questions that I hope some me...
by armeliusc
Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you keep manuals/packaging for products you buy?
Replies: 34
Views: 2940

Re: Do you keep manuals/packaging for products you buy?

I generally throw away all the manuals and packaging. For manuals, I usually download the PDF version and save it locally on my hard drive, or failing that, scan the manual as PDF, then throw away the original (paper) manual. For expensive or larger purchases, I keep the original packaging (and ever...
by armeliusc
Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you change your car's oil?
Replies: 168
Views: 20680

Re: How often do you change your car's oil?

Although we are 4 pages into it, I still don't have the right answer. Let me ask another question: A car is driven 3,500 miles a year, the trips are of short duration (less than 20 minutes of continuous driving) with occasional long distance highway driving, the motor is filled with synthetic oil t...
by armeliusc
Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.
Replies: 89
Views: 13770

Re: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar. 86% of rental cost

It looks like many places are moving to electronic toll systems only. In California, there is usually at least one toll booth and lane that accepts cash, while the other are Fastrak only. However, there are exceptions. The San Francisco Golden Gate bridge is one. m Apparently, the cash rates were a...
by armeliusc
Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family Car Insurance Review Requested
Replies: 20
Views: 1595

Re: Family Car Insurance Review Requested

Your premium looks rather high to me. I don't understand why you have to pay twice for the liabilities (for two cars). The risk doesn't double just because you have two cars. For example, my wife and I have Geico and two cars (2013 and 2004 Honda Civic) and my total liability coverage cost ~$200 (si...
by armeliusc
Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you wash your car?
Replies: 143
Views: 15578

Re: How do you wash your car?

I wash our cars by hand myself probably about once a month, or sometime a little longer than that. I use liquid spray on Meguiars Quik Wax while drying. Twice a year (spring and fall) I do a more thorough wax job. Once every 1.5 year I do a more thorough detailing job on the car (everything from cla...
by armeliusc
Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it bad to put 23k a yr in retirement if I only make 42k?
Replies: 29
Views: 4429

Re: Is it bad to put 23k a yr in retirement if I only make 4

Hello, Thank you for all the follow-up it has been really helpful and me and my fiancée read over all of these together. If I could just ask an additional question. It seems like we shouldn't necessarily have 60k in our checking account. What are we supposed to do with it? The checking it is in now...
by armeliusc
Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Are we making a huge [career] mistake?
Replies: 46
Views: 8143

Re: Help! Are we making a huge mistake?

After certain point, any additional amount of money you get does not increase your happiness (there are many studies that support this). If you have reached that point financially (and it seems that you have), then pick a career option that makes you happier.
by armeliusc
Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do we plunder our retirement to pay off student debt?
Replies: 30
Views: 3526

Re: Do we plunder our retirement to pay off student debt?

Do you have sufficient emergency fund ? (however you want to define "sufficient"). Assuming that you do, I would do option 1: get rid of the debt as soon as you can, then redirect the freed-up cash flow to the retirement saving. Or you can choose to "purchase child-rearing time" ...