Search found 1982 matches

by bungalow10
Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?
Replies: 131
Views: 18274

Re: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?

HomerJ wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:12 pm
Being debt-free gave her the freedom to work an easier, more enjoyable job for less pay.

She can always go back to the more challenging or more stressful job if she chooses to :D :D :D
by bungalow10
Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payroll shenanigans and their implications
Replies: 48
Views: 3472

Re: Payroll shenanigans and their implications

My husband had an employer that did that. He would pay cash, "withholding" taxes, SSI, etc. The wages and withholding paid in cash were never reflected on my husband's tax statements. He never got credit for the SS earnings, and he never had a chance to get a refund on the taxes. Run away. It only g...
by bungalow10
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses
Replies: 35
Views: 2361

Re: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses

I budget based on last month's income. February's budget is based on January's income. If February has an unexpected expense, it comes out of Feb income, which impact's March's budget - or I split it between the two. Every "surprise" is hedged by half this way. Surprises also go down as you really g...
by bungalow10
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reach out to hiring manager directly on LinkedIn?
Replies: 52
Views: 2934

Re: Reach out to hiring manager directly on LinkedIn?

I'm a hiring manager and I say go for it! It would be a +++ going into an interview.
by bungalow10
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Expat in Japan looking for options
Replies: 11
Views: 941

Re: US Expat in Japan looking for options

huh. So I'm an Expat in the Netherlands and I fully intend to keep contributing to my Roth IRA while I'm here. I would check the laws of the country you are in to verify how Roth type accounts are treated. Not every country treats them as tax exempt accounts. You may owe taxes on activity within th...
by bungalow10
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?
Replies: 131
Views: 18274

Re: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?

We paid off all debt except the primary mortgage at the age of 32. We had enough cash to pay off the house at ~35. I'm 38-almost-39 for reference :) Being debt-free at 32 facilitated the decision for my husband become a SAHD when we were 35 (we have three kids, now 10, 7, and 4). This enabled me to ...
by bungalow10
Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Expat in Japan looking for options
Replies: 11
Views: 941

Re: US Expat in Japan looking for options

huh. So I'm an Expat in the Netherlands and I fully intend to keep contributing to my Roth IRA while I'm here.
by bungalow10
Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifestyle Creep
Replies: 142
Views: 11625

Re: Lifestyle Creep

From a lifestyle creep perspective, as I look at our budget the only thing that troubles me is how much we spend on food. We don't eat out much. It's our grocery bill. We spend too much for a family of three. It's something that's gotten progressively worse. I'm working on fixing the problem. The g...
by bungalow10
Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone used Amazon to buy household goods
Replies: 26
Views: 1903

Re: Anyone used Amazon to buy household goods

Have you used Amazon to buy household goods? (We have Prime so we get free shipping.) Do you think you can save money on things like laundry detergent and papers towels, etc? Thanks in advance! When we were in the US we were avid Amazon users, for the convenience. There is not savings anymore, or a...
by bungalow10
Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Invest, or Buy a $25,000 Screened-in Deck?
Replies: 24
Views: 2226

Re: Invest, or Buy a $25,000 Screened-in Deck?

Yes - I too am definitely feeling the tug of the "what's the point of earning money if you don't spend it on things that will bring you happiness" argument. (And to answer your question, yes, we are meeting all of our retirement goals and have a rainy day fund). Go for it. Hold off on the next car ...
by bungalow10
Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips/Steps for selling a car
Replies: 19
Views: 1367

Re: Tips/Steps for selling a car

I just sold our Odyssey when leaving the country. I took it to Carmax and a dealer about two weeks prior to the sale and had both give an estimate. The dealer was slightly higher. On the day of our flight, I drove to the dealer (with DH, three kids,and 15 pieces of luggage in tow) and sold the van. ...
by bungalow10
Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No More Saving???
Replies: 114
Views: 10458

Re: No More Saving???

Just wondering how many BH out there got to a point [in one's working years] where the need to save for retirement stopped? For example, has anyone stopped the accumulation phase before retiring? If so, please describe your situation. I'm strongly considering stopping, or drastically slowing, the a...
by bungalow10
Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gaps in new hardwood flooring
Replies: 52
Views: 3285

Re: Gaps in new hardwood flooring

Can your installer cut off the defective ends and continue installing with the good portions of the planks?
by bungalow10
Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?
Replies: 313
Views: 18284

Re: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?

Eat away from your desk, with other people. If that means buying a lunch, buy a lunch. If you can brown bag and want to brown bag, brown bag. Just don't eat at your desk. I eat my lunch at my desk everyday. Your comment makes no sense. The social aspect of a meal with other people. The break from w...
by bungalow10
Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Cotton Blankets Good For Winter?
Replies: 21
Views: 1586

Re: Are Cotton Blankets Good For Winter?

Wool all the way. Take care to read the care label, but a good wool blanket will last you the rest of your life. I'm partial to Pendletons if you want something that is widely available and nice quality. They have a National Park Series, if that is your thing :) :) :) Alpaca is also fantastic. If yo...
by bungalow10
Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?
Replies: 313
Views: 18284

Re: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?

Eat away from your desk, with other people. If that means buying a lunch, buy a lunch. If you can brown bag and want to brown bag, brown bag.

Just don't eat at your desk.
by bungalow10
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too conservative?
Replies: 9
Views: 1453

Re: Too conservative?

How much do you expect to spend on the house? $350k is a lot of scratch. All depends on where he is planning to live. In some places that'll get you a broom closet and in others a mansion. I think that's intended as a down payment. Different story if paying cash for the house. Could go either way -...
by bungalow10
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too conservative?
Replies: 9
Views: 1453

Re: Too conservative?

I make a good salary right now, we will hopefully be able to enjoy our time overseas and probably won't be building on the nest egg too much while we travel, travel, travel :D :D :D I'm surprised by this part of your post, normally working overseas is a fantastic time to build your nest egg if you ...
by bungalow10
Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card for expat
Replies: 27
Views: 2342

Re: Credit card for expat

I've moved to the Netherlands! I'm having great luck with the Capital One Venture card (no fees) and the Capital One checking account (formerly ING) - again no fees for ATM or foreign transactions. I have an ABN AMRO account here for payroll deposit and local expenses, but I'm going to try to limit ...
by bungalow10
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too conservative?
Replies: 9
Views: 1453

Too conservative?

Help, guys and gals. I am worried I'm being too conservative. Here's some background... We will be renters for the next three years or so while we live overseas. I've recent gone through some job-changes recently... same company, but turmoil, relocations, etc. No idea what comes after my two-three y...
by bungalow10
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?
Replies: 18
Views: 1685

Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Can you wife do a drop-in care for two hours two days a week? In a high COLA, I pay $7/hour/kid for drop-in care at the gym. She could get an hour of exercise, a nice shower without anyone bothering her and time to drink a coffee or smoothie. She could also find a couple friends to do play dates wit...
by bungalow10
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ipad or tablet for hospital?
Replies: 32
Views: 2554

Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

One note on charging - do iPads work on those charging pads? the ones you don't have to plug the device itself in, you just lay it on top of the charger? Setting one of those up on a nightstand would be much simpler than leaving a cord hanging out.
by bungalow10
Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ipad or tablet for hospital?
Replies: 32
Views: 2554

Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

My mom is having back surgery and I just bought her an iPad. The reasons I went with an iPad are below... 1. iPads are easy to learn. She's not currently on the iPad platform, but there is plenty of help out there in the world for her, but she's savvy enough she will figure it out. 2. Heat - I absol...
by bungalow10
Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Acadia National Park: Bar Harbor, Maine
Replies: 28
Views: 2481

Re: Acadia National Park: Bar Harbor, Maine

We were there the week before the July 4th holiday. Bar Harbor was insanely crowded, I believe the part set attendance records. I would personally avoid staying in Bar Harbor if you are looking for quiet and relaxing. We stayed in Winter Harbor and enjoyed it. We were adjacent to the park and took t...
by bungalow10
Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card for expat
Replies: 27
Views: 2342

Re: Credit card for expat

We paired Quicksilver with the Chase Mileage Plus Explorer card on our assignment. If you're reward agnostic, Quicksilver is head and shoulders above Chase MP because every 60-90 days or so, Chase would flag and decline random purchases due to security concerns - and every time "we are expats, we w...
by bungalow10
Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card for expat
Replies: 27
Views: 2342

Re: Credit card for expat

We would give a very big +1 on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. We use it for everything while on assignment in China. It has no international transaction fees, and we've found the rewards program to work out far better for us (3% on travel and dining expenses) plus those points can be transferred ...
by bungalow10
Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card for expat
Replies: 27
Views: 2342

Re: Credit card for expat

Finally I use the Chase Amazon card since we use Amazon to get things from the US that are significantly more expensive than they are locally or unavailable here, and for purchases in the US for family gifts, etc and this card maximizes the cashback on Amazon purchases, with no annual fee. I'm goin...
by bungalow10
Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card for expat
Replies: 27
Views: 2342

Re: Credit card for expat

Congrats on the posting. Take an umbrella. Why won't you have Dutch banking? Will you be paid in the U.S.? If you stick to your banking strategy, you should investigate fee-free ATM access (Schwab is often mentioned here) and wire-fee issues. And since household startup costs could be pricey, I'd s...
by bungalow10
Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Storing funds for a house
Replies: 10
Views: 1474

Re: Storing funds for a house

The Life Strategy Income fund is interesting, I hadn't considered it. I may divide some of this up and put money there.

Any leads on good CD rates?
by bungalow10
Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card for expat
Replies: 27
Views: 2342

Re: Credit card for expat

Capital One works, and worked, for me. The exchange rate seemed fair and it never rejected a transaction. Really good to know. I was considering this one as I think my primary US bank account over the next few years (I need to simplify US holdings) will be my capital one 360. Edit - it looks like t...
by bungalow10
Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Storing funds for a house
Replies: 10
Views: 1474

Storing funds for a house

i have several hundred thousand dollars I need to set aside for a few years while I take an expat assignment and rent. Any suggestions on where to save/invest it? I needs to be fairly safe, we are single income household with three kids and will likely move back to the US in 3-5 years. Has anyone do...
by bungalow10
Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card for expat
Replies: 27
Views: 2342

Credit card for expat

Having little experience in international travel, I just accepted an expat assignment :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: (Netherlands) and am wondering about credit cards. I'll have a period of several months in transition, where I'm living and traveling between the US and Amsterdam. Since I won't have...
by bungalow10
Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford a 800k house in HCOL area (Boston area) ?
Replies: 42
Views: 4750

Re: Can we afford a 800k house in HCOL area (Boston area) ?

This is a personal finance forum :D There is a huge difference in the total interest paid on a mortgage when a 30 year is done versus a 15. Paying off a house, or having enough set aside to pay the remainder of the mortgage is very freeing. A paid off mortgage can also be a part of a college-fundin...
by bungalow10
Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford a 800k house in HCOL area (Boston area) ?
Replies: 42
Views: 4750

Re: Can we afford a 800k house in HCOL area (Boston area) ?

Yes, you probably can. Will you be doing a 15 year or 30 year? If you do a 30, I suggest coming up with a 1-3 year plan that puts you on a path to refinancing to a 15 year. Set aside all raises, make a pile of money from bonuses, pay down as much as you can to get into a 15 year as soon as possible...
by bungalow10
Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: International *non-expat* assignment
Replies: 8
Views: 819

Re: International *non-expat* assignment

Google "social security totalization agreement US Netherlands" You might want to confirm this with your company...per the agreement: On the other hand, if your employer sends you from one country to work for that employer or an affiliate in the other country for five years or less, you will continu...
by bungalow10
Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford a 800k house in HCOL area (Boston area) ?
Replies: 42
Views: 4750

Re: Can we afford a 800k house in HCOL area (Boston area) ?

Yes, you probably can. Will you be doing a 15 year or 30 year? If you do a 30, I suggest coming up with a 1-3 year plan that puts you on a path to refinancing to a 15 year. Set aside all raises, make a pile of money from bonuses, pay down as much as you can to get into a 15 year as soon as possible...
by bungalow10
Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford a 800k house in HCOL area (Boston area) ?
Replies: 42
Views: 4750

Re: Can we afford a 800k house in HCOL area (Boston area) ?

Yes, you probably can.

Will you be doing a 15 year or 30 year? If you do a 30, I suggest coming up with a 1-3 year plan that puts you on a path to refinancing to a 15 year. Set aside all raises, make a pile of money from bonuses, pay down as much as you can to get into a 15 year as soon as possible.
by bungalow10
Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: International *non-expat* assignment
Replies: 8
Views: 819

International *non-expat* assignment

I have an opportunity to work abroad, taking my family, on an assignment that is NOT an ex-pat in the traditional sense. I would be an employee of the country-specific affiliate (Netherlands) and I would not have access to US benefits, nor would I have a guaranteed path back to the US. The job sound...
by bungalow10
Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 574
Views: 151047

Re: Share your net worth progression

Year Net worth Growth Milestone Dec-05 121,793 Got married, age 27 Dec-06 220,286 81% Dec-07 229,021 4% First child Dec-08 188,179 -18% Dec-09 249,517 33% Second child Dec-10 347,330 39% Dec-11 410,369 18% Dec-12 475,834 16% Dec-13 621,829 31% Third child Dec-14 698,713 12% DH becomes SAHD Dec-15 72...
by bungalow10
Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 574
Views: 151047

Re: Share your net worth progression

deleted, formatting issues
by bungalow10
Sat May 06, 2017 5:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay home with kids?
Replies: 103
Views: 8672

Re: Stay home with kids?

We make less and no awesome windfall, but DH stays home with kids. Financially you will make it work if you want to. the pace of your life changes when one is home, hopefully for the better. Weekends are more free, household duties divide up quicker and manage to just get done (at least to me). The ...
by bungalow10
Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen cabinets
Replies: 73
Views: 6725

Re: Kitchen cabinets

This!! We close in a month on a house that has a 12 year old kitchen and no ensuite master bath... but it is in the school district want, one block from the park DH likes, and I can walk to the train station. Those were our top priorities, we skipped many, MANY houses with newer kitchens or other am...
by bungalow10
Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen cabinets
Replies: 73
Views: 6725

Re: Kitchen cabinets

Two years ago we went the opposite of white cabinets. We went with painted grey. Paired with white, quartz countertops, white walls and ceiling, white appliances, and grey/whitish tile it looks great. Pretty much all my wife's ideas. I would have went with some current style. Don't be afraid to go ...
by bungalow10
Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen cabinets
Replies: 73
Views: 6725

Re: Kitchen cabinets

I never thought I'd like white cabinets, but the rental we are in has them and I do like them quite a bit. I would consider putting them in if I did a kitchen remodel - they are easier to keep clean than I expected.
by bungalow10
Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Situation changing
Replies: 5
Views: 801

Situation changing

For background, DH and I have three youngish kids (9, 7, 4). I work, DH watches the munchkins. We were living in a low COL area up until last year. We had money in the bank to pay off the house and had started a taxable account and were making automatic monthly transfers. We max out our one 401k and...
by bungalow10
Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen cabinets
Replies: 73
Views: 6725

Re: Kitchen cabinets

Work with a professional to find what you like. We have been in the process of buying a house in a fairly well-to-do area of the North Shore of Chicago. Lots of gray and white kitchens, which are beautiful and trendy, but we went with the house that had the floorplan and space we needed - despite th...
by bungalow10
Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two Comma Club
Replies: 94
Views: 18162

Re: Two Comma Club

DH and I just made it into the two-comma club! At least the junior version... out balance sheet shows just slightly over $1MM, including all asset types (tax advantaged makes up a big chunk, home equity a small chunk, cash, 529, etc). I told DH and he asked how long before the next million shows up...
by bungalow10
Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two Comma Club
Replies: 94
Views: 18162

Re: Two Comma Club

DH and I just made it into the two-comma club! At least the junior version... out balance sheet shows just slightly over $1MM, including all asset types (tax advantaged makes up a big chunk, home equity a small chunk, cash, 529, etc). I told DH and he asked how long before the next million shows up ...
by bungalow10
Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Determining max amount to spend on a house?
Replies: 27
Views: 3660

Re: Determining max amount to spend on a house?

Assuming 40% of your gross income can go to housing is *insane.* I always thought the two rules were 25% of gross or 40% of take home? Either way, it's a lot. I know, we went from having a could-be-paid-off-tomorrow house to buying in a market where we are going to be right at that 25% of gross ran...