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by bungalow10
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too conservative?
Replies: 7
Views: 913

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: 1541

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: 31
Views: 2058

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: 31
Views: 2058

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: 2354

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: 24
Views: 1688

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,...
by bungalow10
Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card for expat
Replies: 24
Views: 1688

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: 24
Views: 1688

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: 24
Views: 1688

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: 1369

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: 24
Views: 1688

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: 1369

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: 24
Views: 1688

Credit card for expat

Having little experience in international travel, I just accepted an expat assignment (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 Netherlands banking, I need to ...
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: 4535

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

This is a personal finance forum 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-funding p...
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: 4535

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: 757

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 wi...
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: 4535

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: 4535

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: 757

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: 566
Views: 143964

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: 566
Views: 143964

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: 8240

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: 6416

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: 6416

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: 6416

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: 779

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: 6416

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: 84
Views: 14933

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: 84
Views: 14933

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: 3585

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...
by bungalow10
Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The funk - gym clothes
Replies: 46
Views: 4479

Re: The funk - gym clothes

DSInvestor wrote:Maybe try some mirazyme.
https://www.amazon.com/MCNETT-Mirazyme- ... th=1&psc=1


Thanks for that link. I reminded me of something we used to use when my kids wore cloth diapers and we'd occasionally get "the funk" - Bac Out. I might pick some of that up and try that first, but that Mirazyne product looks promising too.
by bungalow10
Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?
Replies: 61
Views: 10376

Re: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?

Just my $.02... I replaced a Highlander with an Odyssey in 2015. I came to hate that Highlander, and my DH hated it from day 1. It had sloppy handling (to be fair, I am comparing it to Hondas and Hondas always have nice suspension and handling), and it was just not a vehicle that I felt like was des...
by bungalow10
Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.
Replies: 70
Views: 4126

Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Does your system have a circulation pump? You might try rewiring the system so the pump runs all the time, not just when the boiler is heating. This circulates the water all the time which tends to transfer heat from hotter areas to colder areas so the overall temperature is more uniform. This is a...
by bungalow10
Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.
Replies: 70
Views: 4126

Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

I love boiler/radiator heat, it is very efficient and comfortable! Our old home had it and our new one is forced air, I'm envious I'd check a few things to help narrow it down. First is just a hand check of radiator temp. Next time your boiler kicks on, walk around feeling your radiators. Are they a...
by bungalow10
Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The funk - gym clothes
Replies: 46
Views: 4479

The funk - gym clothes

I didn't see a thread about this anywhere (and probably for good reason because it is kinda gross), but I have to ask before I throw away a bunch of exercise clothes, both mine and my husband's. Has anyone found a way to remove the funk? We have primarily tanks and shirts, plus a few sports bras and...
by bungalow10
Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 27257

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

I love reading this thread! I thought I'd drop my mom-of-three (ages 9, 7, 4) thoughts here on family vacations... We love road trip + VRBO. They work incredibly well for us, it keeps us all interested and gives us a lot of flexibility in our activities. We typically go with friends that have kids o...
by bungalow10
Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV in the bedroom?
Replies: 82
Views: 6155

Re: TV in the bedroom?

No, prefer reading. If one of us must watch something while in the bedroom, ill or something, we can use a tablet.
by bungalow10
Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bought a house for 560k in 2007
Replies: 73
Views: 9619

Re: Bought a house for 560k in 2007

OP - can I recommend a software that I think will help? It's called YouNeedABudget (or YNAB). I've been using it for years, with a little time, it will help bring clarity to your situation. I've been using it for a few years and it had given us the data needed to make some big decisions (DH leaving ...
by bungalow10
Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of your belly........
Replies: 82
Views: 11218

Re: How to get rid of your belly........

Here's my 30-something, working mom of three approach... I got a Fitbit and started walking. 15,000 steps a day. It seems like a lot at first, but I found my body and mind are happier (less stress, better quality sleep) at that number. Use MyFitnessPal to track calories. I used a target of .5 lbs pe...
by bungalow10
Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy versus rent
Replies: 7
Views: 879

Re: Buy versus rent

1) How much it costs to rent the same house that you plan to buy? - The rental market is really tight - only a handful of four bedrooms and they are in the $3000 (not as nice, but big enough)-$4800 (nicer than the one we would buy) range. Ones that are as close to public transit as this one are hard...
by bungalow10
Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy versus rent
Replies: 7
Views: 879

Re: Buy versus rent

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/buy-rent-calculator.html If I put in $700k house, for 5 years, 30 year morgage and 20%, the result is: better to rent if you can rent for less than $2,816. If 3 years, $3,597. Mind you, there are a lot of other variables you should play with. But the b...
by bungalow10
Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy versus rent
Replies: 7
Views: 879

Buy versus rent

Hello! I recently relocated my family due to a change in my employment. We are renting in our new area (north Chicago suburbs), while I work downtown. I work, DH stays home, we have three kids (3rd grade, 1st grade, 3-almost-4 year old), and love our new area. We had a pretty low cost of living wher...
by bungalow10
Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Ibond variable rate 2.76% on November 1st. Thoughts?
Replies: 87
Views: 15153

Re: New Ibond variable rate 2.76% on November 1st. Thoughts?

Thank you for posting, I have completely stopped watching ibonds due to lackluster interest rates lately.
by bungalow10
Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chicago recommendations
Replies: 40
Views: 2431

Re: Chicago recommendations

As far as the mass transit ticket system goes - I think you can install the Ventra app on your phone and buy all your tickets on there as you need them. I do that for the Metra, I think the El and CTA are on there too. You might find with the fares that it is cheaper to Uber a family of four around...
by bungalow10
Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chicago recommendations
Replies: 40
Views: 2431

Re: Chicago recommendations

I take Uber all the time from downtown (I work at AON, across the street from Millennium Park) to O'hare. I think it's $35? Uber is way better than taxis, very efficient in the city. I also have a 3, 6, and 9 year old. We love Maggie Daley and the Bean. The Children's Museum isn't great for older ki...
by bungalow10
Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen upgrade - granite selection help
Replies: 52
Views: 6451

Re: Kitchen upgrade - granite selection help

We wanted granite a few years back but found it was all WAY too busy and a lot already looked dated. We went with soapstone, which I love the look of, but it hasn't held up well (chips, scratches). It goes with my personal tendency towards things looking natural and having character, but I'm sure if...
by bungalow10
Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 7227

Re: On a budget and Friday night

There are four of you, OP? How old are your kids? If we have four adults (or I think some older kids could play), you could play the best game ever - Settlers of Catan. With my little kiddos, we make homemade popcorn, sometimes watch a movie. Sometimes we just turn on Pandora and dance in our living...
by bungalow10
Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Urgent Care Centers - When should they be used?
Replies: 45
Views: 6622

Re: Urgent Care Centers - When should they be used?

Well I may be having to use them more now that my family practice doctor of over 10 years just announced he is going Concierge (MDVIP). Wants $1800 per person per year just be on his patient list. So $1,800 x 4 = $7,200 yr plus $14,400 yr medical insurance and your ups to $21,600 per year before ev...
by bungalow10
Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Urgent Care Centers - When should they be used?
Replies: 45
Views: 6622

Re: Urgent Care Centers - When should they be used?

We have used urgent care for minor injuries - I stepped on something and needed a tetanus booster, my daughter cut her foot at a water park, kid develops high fever on a road trip... We have a third option with our insurance - Teladoc. Talk to a doctor on the phone, they will even get you a prescrip...