Search found 862 matches

by awval999
Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone travel without hacking?
Replies: 46
Views: 3559

Re: Anyone travel without hacking?

I generally don't like traveling because of the expense and time sunk into planning, but there are some places (internationally) my wife and I would like to visit someday. When I see all the threads and blogs on travel hacking, it's hard not to feel like I'm missing out by not churning credit cards...
by awval999
Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone travel without hacking?
Replies: 46
Views: 3559

Re: Anyone travel without hacking?

OK, so I want to plan an anniversary trip to Europe for my wife and I, in 3 years or so. She has never been over there, so I really want this to happen After joining here, I'm starting to see the possibilities of points, rewards, cash back etc... So I would like to pay for most of this trip through...
by awval999
Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flagship Investor with 700 credit score ?
Replies: 24
Views: 2852

Re: Flagship Investor with 700 credit score ?

Why do you want or need a higher credit score? Do you intend to borrow money at this point?
by awval999
Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone travel without hacking?
Replies: 46
Views: 3559

Re: Anyone travel without hacking?

I churn credit cards but there's ways to travel hack without doing that. Travel hacking is just anything that's a "cheat" or a "secret" to make traveling cheaper. It doesn't have to be with credit cards. Knowing how to use Kayak, knowing how to fly using open-jaws, using Pricelin...
by awval999
Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: At what point would you go from 70/30 to 100(stocks)/0(bonds) if you are in your late twenties
Replies: 48
Views: 3378

Re: At what point would you go from 70/30 to 100(stocks)/0(bonds) if you are in your late twenties

I'm 29 (30 in a week, pity me). I'm 80/20. My IPS says to throw a "bullet" defined as 5% of bonds at a 20% decline and 10% thereafter. So at a 20% drop I would rebalance to 85/15, then 90/10 at 30% down. 95/5 at 40% down. Finally I will rebalance every dime into stocks at 50% down. To answ...
by awval999
Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stats on Americans 'cutting the cable' ?
Replies: 42
Views: 3574

Re: Stats on Americans 'cutting the cable' ?

Count me as one who gets $2/day value from DirecTV. So much easier ways to save money (like buy a smaller house, don't buy gargantuan automobiles) than to cut TV and specifically sports.
by awval999
Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oil Slump ---- VGENX/FSENX? [Vanguard / Fidelity Energy Fund]
Replies: 27
Views: 2213

Re: OIL SLUMP ---- VGENX/FSENX?

I've been waiting for a thread like this. I'm considering taking a position in VDE.

Before blah blah index funds I'm 100% in index funds for retirement I'm talking like a $1000 fun position so no whiny mcwhinersons here.
by awval999
Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Here We Go Again: SWR 2.5% or 5.5%?
Replies: 102
Views: 6970

Re: Here We Go Again: SWR 2.5% or 5.5%?

If one came to the considered opinion that the SWR was 2.5% why would they not annuitize a good portion of their portfolio and lock in something rather greater? Because a small minority on this board literally have a disorder/addictive personality in regards with finances, specifically saving money...
by awval999
Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car tire replacement
Replies: 45
Views: 3219

Re: Car tire replacement

WIAV8TOR wrote:I would do research at tirerack.com. You can list your vehicle, then look over appropriate tires and reviews.


+1 on TireRack for the reviews.

Obviously what type of tire depends if you want to get all seasons, or a winter + summer tire.
by awval999
Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New neighbor turning their house into vacation rental
Replies: 41
Views: 4537

Re: New neighbor turning their house into vacation rental

What are our options? Move? :happy As mentioned, if no zoning/law/rule violations are happening, probably not much you can do. If it's a small semi-rural and quiet area, it will probably attract folks that would want to vacation there and will probably be quiet themselves. You may be worried and up...
by awval999
Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Scottrade wants $17 for VG funds, $75 to leave
Replies: 14
Views: 1266

Re: Scottrade wants $17 for VG funds, $75 to leave

Just buy Vanguard ETFs in your Scottrade account. Done.
by awval999
Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help redeeming frequent flyer points for good value?
Replies: 19
Views: 1175

Re: Help redeeming frequent flyer points for good value?

Several posters on this board are into this hobby, and I enjoy helping with award travel, but first you need to tell us when and where you want to go and how many MR and AAdvantage miles you have.

Feel free to PM if you prefer.
by awval999
Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Other cities or countries to visit while on a Barcelona trip in April
Replies: 20
Views: 832

Re: Other cities or countries to visit while on a Barcelona trip in April

I proposed to my wife in Madrid. That city will always have a special place in my heart. Definitely Madrid..
by awval999
Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving for the future vs you only live once
Replies: 72
Views: 7837

Re: Saving for the future vs you only live once

There has to be balance.

On this forum you see huge savers, but there is also huge incomes on this forum which make it much easier.

You, do, only live once. Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one.
by awval999
Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young Attending 401k choices / Student Loan decision
Replies: 33
Views: 2010

Re: Young Attending 401k choices / Student Loan decision

I would keep going for PSLF, you will know in late 2017 if they government actually forgives the student loans for the people who started the program in 2007 or if they cap it (which I think they will end up doing). I would probably just put your salary toward the interest and live on you wife's for...
by awval999
Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tough Frugal Decisions
Replies: 80
Views: 11495

Re: Tough Frugal Decisions

I always like these threads, mostly about the stories when people were younger. I fortunately never had to live in a basement with rats. :shock: :shock: I guess I don't make any "tough frugal" decisions, not going to give up starbucks or DirecTV, but that's because I think it's more worthw...
by awval999
Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why plane fares so expensive???
Replies: 53
Views: 5005

Re: Why plane fares so expensive???

I travel from DC to South Bend in March and October. I paid $310 back in October with United. Now prices are over $500. With gas prices low, I expected lower prices. An option has been to fly to Midway and rent a car. Southwest used to have three direct flights a day and now need to go through Atla...
by awval999
Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Include 529 in net worth?
Replies: 32
Views: 2374

Re: Include 529 in net worth?

Of course they are part of your net worth.

Now I wouldn't include them in retirement calculations because the intent is to spend the account BEFORE retirement.
by awval999
Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Premier Rewards Gold
Replies: 6
Views: 475

Re: Premier Rewards Gold

With that large spend on the card they may waive part of the annual fee.

However, you aren't using the card effectively by redeeming for Pottery Barn gift cards (honestly, I cringed).

In your case I recommend the Citi Double Cash. You'll get effectively 2% back. At $61,000 yearly spend that's $1200!
by awval999
Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings % Target 2016?
Replies: 168
Views: 8771

Re: Savings % Target 2016?

There's an option three. Even though it's not mathematically correct you're actually living on $82k / year. So you're saving $36k while living on 82k. Interesting. $36k / $82k = 44%. You'd be saving 44% of your "what". Taxable income? I think that'd be the best term. "Usable salary&q...
by awval999
Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings % Target 2016?
Replies: 168
Views: 8771

Re: Savings % Target 2016?

In regards to counting employer matches: I truly think it makes sense to only include them in the numerator as savings and exclude them in the denominator (ie: do NOT add them to your gross income). Here's an example. Let's say I work at AmazingCorp and make $100k and they truly have an amazing 401k...
by awval999
Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings % Target 2016?
Replies: 168
Views: 8771

Re: Savings % Target 2016?

This is like: Going to the bodybuilding forum and only being able to bench 120 lbs Going to the Lego forum and only getting 3 new sets for Christmas Going to the miles forum and only planning on getting 4 new Airline credit cards and one hotel status run Going to the gardening forum and only plantin...
by awval999
Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ariens Snowblower Conundrum
Replies: 30
Views: 2029

Re: Ariens Snowblower Conundrum

Do I have any recourse against this Ariens dealer for selling me a snowblower and then not delivering on the contract? I have a signed purchase and sales agreement for the model I want and they charged my credit card. In fact, I still haven't gotten a credit yet for the original charge. Yes. The re...
by awval999
Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings % Target 2016?
Replies: 168
Views: 8771

Re: Savings % Target 2016?

20% Pretax (this includes employer matching and 403b loan repayment)

Still got student loans over here!
by awval999
Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Count Company Match Savings %
Replies: 8
Views: 909

Re: Count Company Match Savings %

I want to save 20% of gross income/year.

I count my 403b contribution. My 403b match. My 401a employer contribution. And my 403b loan repayment.
by awval999
Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question re: whether to file large auto insurance claim
Replies: 8
Views: 607

Re: Question re: whether to file large auto insurance claim

If you aren't going to submit a ~$5000 claim you shouldn't have had a $1000 deductible, you should have had a $5000 deductible, or liability only.

I would submit the claim.
by awval999
Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lost student loan?
Replies: 5
Views: 575

Re: Lost student loan?

Annualcreditreport.com

That is the legitimate government website for your once yearly free report from the 3 companies: transunion, experian, and equifax. You don't have to use you're entire 3. Pick one to run, on the credit report it will show there whomever owns it.
by awval999
Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Next credit card for a bonus?
Replies: 99
Views: 7561

Re: Next credit card for a bonus?

^Victoria is right re:Amex SPG

No guarantee Marriott doesn't slash the program late next year. Amex only does the 30k once a year. No guarantee we will ever see it again since it was offered last August. Also who knows what transfer ratio Marriott will offer SPG points.
by awval999
Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Orlando or Hilton Head for spring break
Replies: 6
Views: 470

Re: Orlando or Hilton Head for spring break

Hilton Head may or may not be warm at the end of March.
by awval999
Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Ultimate Rewards - redeeming for Hyatt Hotel stays
Replies: 21
Views: 1405

Re: Chase Ultimate Rewards - redeeming for Hyatt Hotel stays

You confirm with Hyatt before you transfer. You cannot transfer back. A transfer is final.
by awval999
Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Ultimate Rewards - redeeming for Hyatt Hotel stays
Replies: 21
Views: 1405

Re: Chase Ultimate Rewards - redeeming for Hyatt Hotel stays

You have to transfer them to Hyatt. Then you book the free nights using Hyatt points NOT through the UR portal.
by awval999
Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United PQM rule change
Replies: 9
Views: 754

Re: United PQM rule change

IMO for heavy travelers the mileage programs are a bit of a myth. I did a lot of international travel when I was working - the last couple of years I was traveling 100%. After I retired I found that it was hard to use the miles (availability) and I had much less interest in traveling to begin with....
by awval999
Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a Bosch dishwasher on Amazon?
Replies: 25
Views: 1752

Re: Buy a Bosch dishwasher on Amazon?

Amazon sells gift cards to Sears (not Lowes or Home Depot)

Use the Chase Freedom to buy Sears gift cards.

Use Sears gift cards to buy Dishwasher.

You can thank me later.
by awval999
Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small Business Gave me a "Retirement Bonus" Untaxed. What should I do?
Replies: 66
Views: 5396

Re: Small Business Gave me a "Retirement Bonus" Untaxed. What should I do?

If I liked my job, I would just report it myself as other income on Schedule C and let the employer worry about his own tax obligations. Yes, it'll cost you in self-employment taxes, but you'll be covered for your tax obligations. You don't have to disclose the source of the other income. This is t...
by awval999
Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for new teen driver?
Replies: 38
Views: 1538

Re: Car for new teen driver?

The actual model of the car probably makes a lot more difference than the additional safety feature. It is a bit morbid but there are websites where you can look up the actual injury and death rates for different car models. The most recent years statistics are for 2011 but at this link it looks li...
by awval999
Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My estranged brother is dead, and I am next of kin
Replies: 72
Views: 14268

Re: My estranged brother is dead, and I am next of kin

I'll know more firmly tomorrow what happened when I talk to the staff at the VA in person. I'm afraid of touching anything that was my brothers before I find out if: a) there is a will leaving stuff to someone else and b) the estate is solvent My brother had a history of burning through money as a ...
by awval999
Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying property tax with credit card to reach spending bonus
Replies: 19
Views: 2147

Re: Paying property tax with credit card to reach spending bonus

Yes this makes sense. I do something similar with a service to pay student loans/car payment.

Only do this to meet minimum spends.
by awval999
Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wrongful Death Settlement Planning
Replies: 28
Views: 4310

Re: Wrongful Death Settlement Planning

Could also consider a post-nuptial agreement. Something like you are paying off the mortgage with your inheritance funds, and that the in the case of divorce, before splitting the equity 50/50, the original $337k must be repaid first.
by awval999
Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord broke down last night
Replies: 71
Views: 8789

Re: Honda Accord broke down last night

denovo wrote:3rd transmission?! I would have yelled uncle after number 2 went bust.


^This.

Once the tranny broke for the second time... I'd tell AAA to tow it to the junkyard. Wouldn't even entertain putting in a 3rd.
by awval999
Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [pursuing reimbursement claim against] Delta
Replies: 24
Views: 2544

Re: [pursuing reimbursement claim against] Delta

I think what they offered you was "good enough". If you paid with a premium travel credit card you may have trip interruption insurance there as well. I personally would be satisfied with Deltas offer.
by awval999
Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord broke down last night
Replies: 71
Views: 8789

Re: Honda Accord broke down last night

No way I stick $3-4K into a 2003 car with ~150k miles. It goes on Craigslist for $500.
by awval999
Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need New Carpet to Sell Home
Replies: 38
Views: 2659

Re: Need New Carpet to Sell Home

I disagree with the advice to offer an allowance instead of fixing the flooring. A lot of buyers cannot see beyond stained carpet. They assume that if the carpet was not maintained then there are other things in the house that were not maintained as well. I don't know your real estate market, your ...
by awval999
Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel rewards credit card?
Replies: 100
Views: 9743

Re: Travel rewards credit card?

Just an update (sorry for the late reply). We went with CSP. 55,000 introductory points was too mouth watering to pass. We are unsure if we will be able to spend the required $4k in 3 months... if we are short, we will buy AmEx gift cards while they are waiving the fees :-) I don't think cash equiv...
by awval999
Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving in with GF
Replies: 31
Views: 2703

Re: Moving in with GF

Why would you want a "legal" right to live at a place you're not wanted?

If only her name is on the deed and she calls the police you aren't spending the night there no matter what piece of paper you signed.
by awval999
Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charge cards- when do you have to pay?
Replies: 33
Views: 2544

Re: Charge cards- when do you have to pay?

CuppedUp and awval999, thanks again for your input. For GE it is only supposed to be one. But myself (and others) find that Amex is generous. They refunded my wife's as well. They didn't have to. But they did. Wow that's pretty cool. Did you apply for GE at the same time you did your wife's, or did...
by awval999
Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charge cards- when do you have to pay?
Replies: 33
Views: 2544

Re: Charge cards- when do you have to pay?

Thanks CuppedUp and awval999 for answering my question. I signed up for the card today. 2015 $200 Airline Credit for Amazon gift cards 2015 $100 Global Entry Credit x 2 (self and spouse) How do you use the airline credit to get Amazon gift cards? Also, I thought the Global Entry credit is good for ...
by awval999
Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would you do? (Personal/Family financial situation)
Replies: 55
Views: 4733

Re: What would you do? (Personal/Family financial situation)

I personally wouldn't be charging my brother's escrow account for vacation time.
by awval999
Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charge cards- when do you have to pay?
Replies: 33
Views: 2544

Re: Charge cards- when do you have to pay?

I received the offer for this very card in the mail last week. It promptly went into the shredder. $450/yr for a credit card :confused It's obviously not for everyone. But yes, one can make a substantial profit with that $450 investment. I am one. 2015 -$450 Annual Fee 2015 $200 Airline Credit for ...
by awval999
Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charge cards- when do you have to pay?
Replies: 33
Views: 2544

Re: Charge cards- when do you have to pay?

What does a $450 annual fee buy you? Quoting myself here. I just googled it. Sounds like it is good for international travelers, though it still seems like the point is to just get you to buy more stuff. If money is tight, is this really for you, how easy will it be to break even on the fee? It buy...

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