Search found 244 matches

by jasc15
Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport photo DIY - anyone done it easily?
Replies: 53
Views: 2609

Re: Passport photo DIY - anyone done it easily?

I took my own photo and cropped it to the correct size (using the link jpelder posted above), and created a 4x6 image with 6 copies, which i then printed at CVS for something like $0.29, then cut the 6 images from the one sheet and mailed one in with the forms.
by jasc15
Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Excel geniuses
Replies: 12
Views: 1413

Re: Excel geniuses

I've found this video useful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gfgZWy5778

It is a macro that allows you to grab prices from the web, so you can enter the date and the ticker symbol to get the price. It removes a lot of the tedium of updating my tracking spreadsheet.
by jasc15
Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Lost Engineer [Which masters program to pursue?]
Replies: 20
Views: 2749

Re: A Lost Engineer

I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and a Master of Engineering in Mech. Eng. When I began grad school, my advisor explained that the major difference is that the MS requires a thesis which is valuable for students who have no real way to differentiate themselves from their fellow students. Like ...
by jasc15
Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Free Shipping Is Now $50....
Replies: 74
Views: 9802

Re: Amazon Free Shipping Is Now $50....

If it's any consolation, book orders over $25 ship free. But this will certainly (or so i say) reduce my use of Amazon for the same reason: Well, looks like I'll be purchasing less from Amazon. Even at $35, my cart would often sit half full for a month or more until free shipping was achieved, often...
by jasc15
Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco: 6 quarts of Mobil 1 $27.99, normally $37.99
Replies: 20
Views: 1866

Re: Costco: 6 quarts of Mobil 1 $27.99, normally $37.99

Why wouldn't you typically purchase several 5qt jugs at Walmart, instead of a 5qt and a 1qt container? Because one container would have to remain open for extended periods. Maybe this doesn't matter though. Can I go to Walmart or my local Honda dealership and give them the Mobile 1 oil and have the...
by jasc15
Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco: 6 quarts of Mobil 1 $27.99, normally $37.99
Replies: 20
Views: 1866

Re: Costco: 6 quarts of Mobil 1 $27.99, normally $37.99

Yeah, the 5qt jug at walmart is a pretty good price. However, my engine needs 6 quarts, so I normally purchased the 5qt jug and a 1qt bottle at walmart, which is still a few dollars less than costco's normal price.
by jasc15
Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco: 6 quarts of Mobil 1 $27.99, normally $37.99
Replies: 20
Views: 1866

Costco: 6 quarts of Mobil 1 $27.99, normally $37.99

I happen to need an oil change soon, and noticed the $10 manufacturer discount at Costco. I picked up a 6 pack, but will probably pick up 2 or 3 more before the end of the promotion on 2/21/16. Mobil website says the shelf life is 5 years for unopened motor oil. http://www.costco.com/Mobil-1-Advance...
by jasc15
Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Ditching Ameriprise
Replies: 12
Views: 1453

Re: Help Ditching Ameriprise

I did a transfer of shares from ameriprise to fidelity a few months ago. It was only about $20 per account to close. I initiated the transfer from the fidelity side, and they simply asked for the account numbers and that I upload a recent statement from ameriprise. It was really quite easy, except f...
by jasc15
Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone travel without hacking?
Replies: 103
Views: 11604

Re: Anyone travel without hacking?

Once I created my AAdvantage account for american airlines, I was able to browse flights and saw that they were indeed available, but with something like $750 in fees attached. I have recently booked two round trip flights to Europe with miles on American Airlines, one to Madrid and one to Paris. I...
by jasc15
Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone travel without hacking?
Replies: 103
Views: 11604

Re: Anyone travel without hacking?

There was something like a 60k signup bonus in early 2014 if I remember correctly. My wife and I were planning our wedding and honeymoon, and thought it would be a perfect plan to each get a card since we would easily meet the minimum spending for the first 3 months. Flights to Europe were 60k miles...
by jasc15
Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone travel without hacking?
Replies: 103
Views: 11604

Re: Anyone travel without hacking?

I've had an American Express blue card for about 8 years now. It gives $100 of bonus toward travel for every $7500 spent (so 1.33% on all purchases. Still seems rather competitive these days). That credit is worth less for other things like gift cards, etc. I've used it a few times to pay for an air...
by jasc15
Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?
Replies: 54
Views: 3556

Re: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?

Has it always been this way for two working parents? Somehow my parents pieced together other ways for my sister and I to be taken care of before school age, and after school, etc. (And it wasn't grandma). There is no way they could have afforded a second mortgage payment each month. Some of us wit...
by jasc15
Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?
Replies: 54
Views: 3556

Re: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?

Has it always been this way for two working parents? Somehow my parents pieced together other ways for my sister and I to be taken care of before school age, and after school, etc. (And it wasn't grandma). There is no way they could have afforded a second mortgage payment each month. Some of us with...
by jasc15
Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What was your biggest unexpected home expense?
Replies: 87
Views: 7834

Re: What was your biggest unexpected home expense?

How did you folks pay for all this? Cash? HELOC?
by jasc15
Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Company stock purchase plan
Replies: 14
Views: 1048

Re: Company stock purchase plan

I am participating the max (10% of gross salary) to my company ESPP. We get a 15% discount on the price at the time of purchase, which is on June 30 and December 31. The stock is down since December 31, but less than 15%. I can sell on January 31 (or the 29th, I suppose).
by jasc15
Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who's buyin' today?
Replies: 127
Views: 11584

Re: Who's buyin' today?

I've been in the process of converting an inheritance from high cost funds into a simple 3 or 4-fund portfolio, so I will likely be buying in the next few days.
by jasc15
Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your company 401k contribution
Replies: 105
Views: 5216

Re: What's your company 401k contribution

100% up to 3% of salary, 50% from 3% to 6%, 0% over 6% for a max of 4.5% of salary. No pension. Major aerospace corporation.

Surprising number of low cost funds, including 4 Vanguard funds.
by jasc15
Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RC Monster Truck recommendations
Replies: 8
Views: 663

Re: RC Monster Truck recommendations

I last messed with rc cars in the late 90's, so I'm not up on what's new. I know Losi is still around and they made top notch products then. Take a look at this:

http://www.losi.com/Products/Default.as ... D=LOS04004

Other brands to look for are traxxas, hpi, tamiya.
by jasc15
Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overtime and taxes clarification
Replies: 13
Views: 1097

Re: Overtime and taxes clarification

This is the same as claims that bonuses are taxed at a higher rate that I hear around the office whenever they are given. The feeling of the higher withholding is not easily remedied by the knowledge that it will all be worked out at tax time.
by jasc15
Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Looking for new family room] Furniture
Replies: 23
Views: 1666

Re: Furniture

La-z-boy? I have a la-z-boy sectional sofa which I bought about 5 years ago. I paid what now seems an absurd $2200. It still looks good after 5 years of daily use by my wife and I, but the build quality is rather poor. The recliners are a bit wobbly, but they have been that way since new. I went wi...
by jasc15
Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with house down payment fund?
Replies: 6
Views: 401

Re: What to do with house down payment fund?

You won't get any recommendations here other than using an FDIC insured account, especially for such a short period of time. I have my home down payment in an FDIC savings account earning 0.4% per year or something. It's been in there for more than 5 yeas as I have continued to add to it. I just cou...
by jasc15
Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 179
Views: 12919

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

My father in law has a 1998 mercury mountaineer with 186,000 miles. He lives in rural Pennsylvania with a steep bumpy gravel driveway. He is one of those self taught diy folks so I'm not sure of the quality of his repairs, but whatever he does the car is still going.
by jasc15
Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacing Quicken with Excel
Replies: 5
Views: 956

Re: Replacing Quicken with Excel

I never used quicken, but I use excel for bullets 3 and 4 of the OP's list using this macro I found which eliminates the manual copying of investment prices I used to do each month. Now I just enter the date for each row, and update shares owned if they change.
by jasc15
Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 179
Views: 12919

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

Bought a 2007 Volvo V50 in March 2014 with ~65,000 miles for $11,400 with tax, etc. Just broke 90,000 miles this week. We've had to do some maintenance, but it was all end of life repairs: tires, brakes & rotors, wheel bearings, spark plugs. That combined with air filters and oil changes cost ~$...
by jasc15
Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just on The Great Courses
Replies: 20
Views: 2143

Re: Just on The Great Courses

I received The Joy of Mathematics several years ago as a christmas gift. The instructor's enthusiasm for the subject is great, and it was a great refresher for some subjects that I was not 100% clear on. I even watched it with a musician friend of mine who has no math education beyond high school an...
by jasc15
Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?
Replies: 70
Views: 4001

Re: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?

It seems the last several responses simply say that gold is harder to reproduce than paper money, thus limiting rates of inflation in a gold standard. This is my original point, that gold is convenient to represent value since it it relatively hard to reproduce, not that it is valuable on its own. I...
by jasc15
Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?
Replies: 70
Views: 4001

Re: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?

This, combined with compelling arguments from folks like Warren Buffett that gold has no intrinsic value, made me wonder why the dollar ever was backed by gold, and what use it was. Do you have a link where Buffet argues that gold has no intrinsic value? Well, I was about to link to the 2011 Berksh...
by jasc15
Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?
Replies: 70
Views: 4001

Re: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?

As tludwig23 says, are these inflationary events because paper money was used rather than gold-backed, or were these a result of other catastrophes? Correlation does not mean causation.
by jasc15
Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?
Replies: 70
Views: 4001

Re: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?

Does that help answer your question? PJW Wow, lots of great information. Benjamin Roth, in his diary, continuously refers to the Panic of 1893 as a roadmap for the depression he is experiencing. I suppose I never picked up on the fact that the "gold standard" did nothing to ease or mitiga...
by jasc15
Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?
Replies: 70
Views: 4001

Re: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?

I see how gold is resistant to some of the weaknesses (it's harder to mint more gold coins than to print paper money) of paper currency, but are there other reasons gold was/is seen as a superior currency?
by jasc15
Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?
Replies: 70
Views: 4001

Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?

Or was there something else valuable about gold? I was thinking about this while reading The Great Depression: A Diary , when the author constantly worried about the US going off the gold standard, and reducing the dollar's gold content. This, combined with compelling arguments from folks like Warre...
by jasc15
Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Received inheritance, but am keeping it for mother's benefit. How should I invest?
Replies: 10
Views: 1828

Re: Received inheritance, but am keeping it for mother's benefit. How should I invest?

Thanks again for the info. Here is an update: The asset transfer has been completed successfully, and I moved all of it to a taxable account at Fidelity with the same allocation as listed above. I won't make any moves before Jan 1, at which time I will sell as many of the mutual funds as I can whose...
by jasc15
Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Espresso Machine Recs
Replies: 67
Views: 5298

Re: Espresso Machine Recs

I have a cheap DeLonghi espresso machine and a cheap burr grinder which was given to me by a friend who upgraded. I think it does a great job for my level of sophistication, and makes a better latte than my local italian pastry shop/cafe. I can't disregard the "free factor" however, since ...
by jasc15
Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Level versus Escalating Term Life Insurance Premium
Replies: 4
Views: 392

Re: Level versus Escalating Term Life Insurance Premium

Just found this thread searching for level vs increasing premium. Independent, thanks for the assessment that total cost for annually increasing premium typically outpaces level premium over various time frames. Can you point to more information on this? I am ready to start calling agents, and want ...
by jasc15
Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GPS App, Android (no data plan)
Replies: 34
Views: 1517

Re: GPS App, Android (no data plan)

I've used MapFactor before: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapfactor.navigator&hl=en You need enough storage in order to download the maps. It's not as fast or precise as it would be with data, because your position reading is normally augmented by wifi and data in addition to...
by jasc15
Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much of your total income are you worth?
Replies: 51
Views: 6832

Re: How much of your total income are you worth?

Are you using half of your net worth in the numerator? I did a back-of-the-envelope estimate and we are in the (low) 40s% as well. And I know exactly why I did not get to the 60% range - did not manage well during the tech crash. I'm using my net worth, and my salary. I didn't include wife's net wo...
by jasc15
Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much of your total income are you worth?
Replies: 51
Views: 6832

Re: How much of your total income are you worth?

Makes you think about what you are working for when thought of in that way. Total income - savings = what do I have to show for this spent money? A rough guesstimate, averaging my current salary and my starting salary multiplied by 9.5 years of working gives me 48%. This doesn't include my wife's sa...
by jasc15
Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy bonds from a private club of which I am a member?
Replies: 2
Views: 367

Buy bonds from a private club of which I am a member?

I belong to a flying club which owns several planes. A member recently suggested that the club consider offering bonds to members in lieu of the bank held loans for some or all of the club's debt. It sounds like a good deal, since you can't get 4 or 5% anywhere these days (5% is approximately the cu...
by jasc15
Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental car insurance - when to buy or not buy what?
Replies: 28
Views: 2122

Re: Rental car insurance - when to buy or not buy what?

I am told by my auto insurer that I am covered in a rental car as if it were my own car. Since this isn't some special option I have added, I would imaging this is true for most. Given the response in this thread so far, it seems there may be a large caveat that I am missing. However, I did take the...
by jasc15
Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [All weather car mats]
Replies: 59
Views: 3590

Re: All weather car mats

This thread made me look up rubber mats for my car (2007 Volvo V50). A set of 4 OEM all weather mats for my car is only $60. I might do it. Weathertech is a bit too :moneybag for me.
by jasc15
Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle commuting
Replies: 91
Views: 6818

Re: Bicycle commuting

In addition to the ice, the past few northeast winters have left large amounts of snow on the shoulders of the road putting me too close to cars that are also prone to sliding. I take residential roads when this happens, but I still need to ride on major roads at some dangerous locations.
by jasc15
Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle commuting
Replies: 91
Views: 6818

Re: Bicycle commuting

I've commuted by bike for a bit longer than 3 years, but its only 1.4 miles each way. I miss a few days each year due to snow (northern New Jersey), and I'm close enough to walk then. I don't know if I would do it even as short as 5 miles, but the pain of buying a second car might still be greater. ...
by jasc15
Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for a house; where should I put my money?
Replies: 42
Views: 3078

Re: Saving for a house; where should I put my money?

It seems my home purchase is perpetually 3-5 years in the future. That has been true for the last 6 years, when I have been dumping cash into a specific down payment savings account. It may turn out, by the time I actually buy, that it would not have been such a bad idea to have some invested in equ...
by jasc15
Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Received inheritance, but am keeping it for mother's benefit. How should I invest?
Replies: 10
Views: 1828

Re: Received inheritance, but am keeping it for mother's benefit. How should I invest?

You said your mother is retiring within 10 years. That does not mean <10 year time frame. Depending on her age at retirement, she could easily need the money for another 30 years or more. Agree that 60/40 or 50/50 are fine AA for someone who will retire in ten years. Will she need to use some of th...
by jasc15
Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Received inheritance, but am keeping it for mother's benefit. How should I invest?
Replies: 10
Views: 1828

Received inheritance, but am keeping it for mother's benefit. How should I invest?

Edit: I realize i said maternal grandmother by mistake. It was my paternal grandmother. My sister and I were beneficiaries of my paternal grandmother via my father who died last year. As he was the initial beneficiary, the money was intended to be for my both parent's benefit. My sister and I are ho...
by jasc15
Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Most Important Factor in a College Student’s Success
Replies: 27
Views: 3196

Re: The Most Important Factor in a College Student’s Success

When I was finishing college, I often shared a shift at a part-time job with a guy who was an on-again off-again student. He would ask me how I stuck with it so consistently, and I never really had a good answer. I just told him that I let time do it's thing, and I just kept enrolling each semester ...
by jasc15
Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: can you recommend a good waterproof men's winter boot
Replies: 37
Views: 2429

Re: can you recommend a good waterproof men's winter boot

I've been looking for a do-everything boot for a while now. I need safety toe shoes for work, I want leather, and waterproof for snow/slush, but not necessarily insulated. I've had my eye on these Chippewa boots for a while now. They are also sold at LL Bean under the Katahdin name for a higher pric...
by jasc15
Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 826
Views: 129397

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

I'm fairly certain I have accounted for all my contributions in the first chart, but it seems like I may be underestimating my loss YTD given my AA. Have you included your employer's contributions (if any)? Forgetting to include them inflates the rate of return. I knew I must be missing something. ...
by jasc15
Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 826
Views: 129397

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

-0.15% Thanks to longinvest for this great spreadsheet: http://i.imgur.com/aqdyx1E.png Edit: Here is my AA: http://i.imgur.com/1pQ20aC.png I'm fairly certain I have accounted for all my contributions in the first chart, but it seems like I may be underestimating my loss YTD given my AA.
by jasc15
Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get best deal on a rental car ?
Replies: 29
Views: 2725

Re: How to get best deal on a rental car ?

This is anecdotal, but I was able to find a 6-day rental at Denver Airport on vroomvroomvroom.com for $144 at Alamo. For the several weeks before I booked, the price for the same reservation was around $270.

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