Search found 896 matches

by awval999
Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student loan refi
Replies: 1
Views: 216

Re: Student loan refi

I think 3% fixed is an outstanding rate. Since you pay AMT you must have a high income. Only you can decide if you want to get rid of the monthly payment to increase cash flow and/or be done with the "thorn" in your side. For many people getting rid of debt is "freeing" experienc...
by awval999
Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you tip Uber drivers?
Replies: 49
Views: 5233

Re: Do you tip Uber drivers?

When we know we're going to be using Uber we try to have some 1$ bills to tip them. Usually 2-3$ depending on the fare. I've tipped 5$ for airport routes when they help with baggage and all that.
by awval999
Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to negotiate result of big item home inspection
Replies: 54
Views: 3146

Re: How to negotiate result of big item home inspection

It is not reasonable.

If they work. They work.
by awval999
Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: citi double cash CC, any signup bonuses out there
Replies: 1
Views: 246

Re: citi double cash CC, any signup bonuses out there

There are no public sign up bonuses; only the occasional "direct mail" individual offers.
by awval999
Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where were you financially when you were at 30?
Replies: 218
Views: 21412

Re: Where were you financially when you were at 30?

The hardest thing for new posters to understand; is that this forum is composed of the creme of the crop savers. Literally, the 1% of savers. Just like a bodybuilding forum is composed of the most devout and diligent workout-a-holics, or the gardening forums is composed of gardeners with the nicest ...
by awval999
Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where were you financially when you were at 30?
Replies: 218
Views: 21412

Re: Where were you financially when you were at 30?

me (30): married student loan remaining: $58k car loan remaining: $2k mortgage: $180k (house value ~$215k) income: $115k, stable, will only receive COA adjustments savings: cash ($4k) + roth ($6k) + 403b ($120k) Have dialed back 403b contributions (still getting up to the match) and going crazy on t...
by awval999
Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DirecTV/AT&T Merger - The Kiss of Death of a Once Good Company
Replies: 33
Views: 3203

Re: DirecTV/AT&T Merger - The Kiss of Death of a Once Good Company

There should be a local cable company that has a monopoly on your area.
by awval999
Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College and beyond without a credit card?
Replies: 92
Views: 4196

Re: College and beyond without a credit card?

I didn't have a personal credit card until I came to the USA at age 27. I quickly realized that in the USA a credit score is something that you are going to need and a credit card was the best way to get started. Also credit cards provide better consumer protection than debit cards. Starting off as...
by awval999
Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College and beyond without a credit card?
Replies: 92
Views: 4196

Re: College and beyond without a credit card?

Just add her an authorized user of one of your credit cards. This will help her credit score, which is what I imagine you are worried about. Tell her to use it only in an emergency. Done. I successfully managed to use a credit card in college. It's not that hard. Young adults need to learn personal ...
by awval999
Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair or Replace Vehicle?
Replies: 20
Views: 1484

Re: Repair or Replace Vehicle?

It you replace it then you will be start out almost $5,000 ahead between what you could sell it for and not having to pay for the repairs. A big part of the decision depends on what you could replace it with. It would be good to look to see what your options are for replacing it. If I remember righ...
by awval999
Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Live the Good Life Today vs Save For a Better Life Tomorrow
Replies: 84
Views: 7488

Re: Live the Good Life Today vs Save For a Better Life Tomorrow

I guess what I was trying to say in summary is that financial security is only a small part of life, it ensures that our basic needs are met which is important. But sometimes it seems like to me this becomes our only goal in life and we overlook more important things/experiences that move us toward...
by awval999
Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 356
Views: 32203

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Say he spent $100,000 and had 100,000 SPG points and parlayed those into a stay at a really nice hotel during peak season....sure he could get $6k worth of stays. Whether it's actually worth $6k if you aren't willing to outlay the $6k in cash otherwise is another thing. This is an interesting take,...
by awval999
Fri May 27, 2016 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 356
Views: 32203

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Chase Ink [Plus] - Phone, Internet, office stores This one has peaked my interest. Even with the $95 AF, if I use the card to simply pay our cable/phone/internet bill monthly, the card will more than pay for itself. So I would probably just keep it, set it up to autopay that bill, and occasionally ...
by awval999
Thu May 26, 2016 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on trips/vacations?
Replies: 74
Views: 4964

Re: How much do you spend on trips/vacations?

By far travelling is our largest discretionary expense (myself 30, DW 28).
by awval999
Sat May 21, 2016 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying our 1st House. What do you do when you can only put down 15% instead of 20%?
Replies: 56
Views: 4034

Re: Buying our 1st House. What do you do when you can only put down 15% instead of 20%?

I'm sorry. I just completely disagree with the majority of this board. 20% is just as arbitrary as 10% or as 50%. Making sure the monthly payment is reasonable an you're not overbuying the house is more important that what you put down. I bought my house with 5% down (from a 403b loan no less). Equi...
by awval999
Fri May 13, 2016 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Picture...too many?
Replies: 15
Views: 2127

Re: Credit Card Picture...too many?

And the entire premise of the OP is hilarious to myself and many of the CC reward chasers on the forum.

I mean, like I have 13 credit cards, my wife 10. And I'll keep applying until they cut me off.
by awval999
Thu May 12, 2016 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Picture...too many?
Replies: 15
Views: 2127

Re: Credit Card Picture...too many?

You can product convert a Slate to a Freedom Unlimited. You won't get the bonus.
by awval999
Sat May 07, 2016 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frequent Flyer Miles - taxable?
Replies: 21
Views: 2434

Re: Frequent Flyer Miles - taxable?

It's my understanding that, when it comes to potential tax consequences of frequent flyer miles, there's a difference between miles that are simply given in exchange for opening an account/credit card...and those that are awarded as a result of miles flown or purchases made. My question: If you rec...
by awval999
Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing with the "waiting game"
Replies: 32
Views: 4754

Re: Dealing with the "waiting game"

Money shouldn't be your purpose in life. It's just a part of being responsible to plan for being financially independent when you may be unable to work. If you get your financial plan set and are depressed because you can't press the fast forward button so that you're instantly old but have no need...
by awval999
Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Down payment or paydown student loan?
Replies: 4
Views: 391

Re: Down payment or paydown student loan?

You can buy a house with less than 20% down. My wife and I bought a house with 5% down (from a 403b loan no less). You can do both. Student loan debt is toxic. It needs to be paid down and quickly. But if you see yourself staying in a place for at least 7-10 years, and the price of a mortgage+taxes+...
by awval999
Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: late 30s, what career or new degree
Replies: 24
Views: 3351

Re: late 30s, what career or new degree

... I've come to realize sales/business is not what I want to do. I can do it, but I don't have any passion for it. I want to start again and do something I can enjoy for the rest of my life.... Great if you can do this without disadvantaging your family. But with a family including two small kids ...
by awval999
Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocating to a tax free state with good weather need advice
Replies: 97
Views: 8737

Re: Relocating to a tax free state with good weather need advice

Getting back to the original question though, I'd still love a suggestion of one town or city in an income tax free state with twelve months of "nice" weather (temperate and sunny) as it would avoid the hassle and expense of two residences. I haven't found it yet. Because it doesn't exist...
by awval999
Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Month in Manhattan
Replies: 87
Views: 5637

Re: A Month in Manhattan

Has anyone done a nice food walking tour in NYC? I'm going in July, and would like to book one. Also, I'll be there over July 4th. Where do New Yorkers see fireworks? Not to hijack the thread... Foods of NY. http://www.foodsofny.com/ It's TripAdvisor #1 We do one every year on our trip to the City....
by awval999
Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stay in city or move out to suburbs?
Replies: 33
Views: 2609

Re: Stay in city or move out to suburbs?

There should be a middle ground. That's what we chose.

Rented first in the center city. Then rented in the exurbs. Ended up choosing in an inner-ring suburb with great walkability. Fast commute to work. Great schools. Again we paid a premium in price per sq ft. But it is what it is.
by awval999
Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: starter home vs. final home
Replies: 37
Views: 3973

Re: starter home vs. final home

There is a point to be made to not buy a "starter" home and just buy what you think you'll need. But, there's a big difference between buying 4000 sq ft McMansion to "grow into" and a 900 sq ft 2 bed 1 bath condo/bungalow. We ended up buying a ~1300 sq ft (plus basement) 3 bed 2 ...
by awval999
Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Urge to Splurge with Plastic NYT article
Replies: 30
Views: 2872

Re: The Urge to Splurge with Plastic NYT article

I think this is generational. If I have paper cash I think of it as "free money" and spend it frivolously. I typically only have currency on vacations. While when I swipe my credit card I think of it as real money because I excel spreadsheet my bills and update them constantly. If you ask ...
by awval999
Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For Parents Who Have Given a Child Money For Home Down Payment
Replies: 158
Views: 12027

Re: For Parents Who Have "Lent" a Child Money For Home Down Payment

I wouldn't accept a check for $200k from my parents.

Of course they don't have it to give, but I want to live my life. If there's inheritance at the end, then fine, I won't reject it, but I would never want to "borrow" from my parents (unless it was truly dire).
by awval999
Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possibly Dumb Question - Student Loan Refinancing
Replies: 2
Views: 309

Re: Possibly Dumb Question - Student Loan Refinancing

You should be able to get lower rates with SoFi and other companies by doing variable rates (since you want to pay off so quickly anyway)
by awval999
Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does everyone really need to save $1 million for retirement?
Replies: 225
Views: 30749

Re: Does everyone really need to save $1 million for retirement?

Every calculation I've ever done shows Social Security ALONE would be enough for me and my wife (we're only 28/30) Since I near-max Social Security every year: For example, if you retire at full retirement age in 2016, your maximum benefit would be $2,639 My spouse would be entitled to half (will be...
by awval999
Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most Important Financial Decision: Where to Live?
Replies: 38
Views: 3594

Re: Most Important Financial Decision: Where to Live?

Wow that blog post was a pretty big whine. I live in Ohio. Probably the only city many have heard of from Ohio. I like it cause it's cheap. And it still big enough that it gets all the hipster stuff. Oh I can walk to bars and restaurants and Whole Foods. My house cost $195,000. And it's probably in ...
by awval999
Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there a risk of having too much equity in home?
Replies: 25
Views: 3926

Re: Is there a risk of having too much equity in home?

I cannot imagine the homeowner letting a house with 50% equity in it to be foreclosed. It makes no sense. It would be better off to sell the house on the open market and not let it go to an auction where the owner could lose significant value. I just cannot imagine a scenario like that occurring. Th...
by awval999
Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flyer miles worth it?
Replies: 40
Views: 3287

Re: Flyer miles worth it?

Jags4186 wrote:I personally have found points to get me a better value than cash back. I also spend an inordinate amount of time reading blogs and posting on forums about miles.


^This.

The hobby is great. But travelling has to be your passion. And you have to be OK with jumping through lots of hoops.
by awval999
Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sibling's destination wedding?
Replies: 110
Views: 7436

Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Never been in this situation with a sibling, but was in it with a good friend of my ex-wife's. My ex ended up going without me, but I wasn't too happy about it. IMO, it is unbelievably selfish on the part of the bride and groom - if you want an expensive destination wedding, don't expect others to ...
by awval999
Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone travel without hacking?
Replies: 103
Views: 12676

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: 103
Views: 12676

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: 52
Views: 7461

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: 103
Views: 12676

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: 3852

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: 4079

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: 2693

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: 106
Views: 9096

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: 3672

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: 4965

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: 1573

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: 1439

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: 1080

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: 8847

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: 2358

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...

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