Search found 575 matches

by monkey_business
Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.
Replies: 85
Views: 4411

Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Going in and not tipping because you think the waiters are adequately paid as is, is like trying to pay only 80% of the bill because you think the menu is 20% overpriced. No it isn't, because there is no explicit quid pro quo. I tip because I believe waitstaff are underpaid. If they receive an hour...
by monkey_business
Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.
Replies: 85
Views: 4411

Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Should I continue to tip 15% (or 20%) in these situations, or is the acceptable tip now something different (ie, lower)? Please discuss your rationale. I prefer to tip fixed amounts rather then a percentage. It's simpler for me as it fulfills the implied social contract without taking things to an ...
by monkey_business
Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.
Replies: 85
Views: 4411

Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

What does tipping have to do with the wages? I am not tipping because I am responsible for the waiter's wages, I am tipping because it is an implied social contract that I accept by patronizing a restaurant. It's not illegal to not tip, it's simply in poor taste. If you object to tipping, don't go t...
by monkey_business
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Black Friday the Real Deal for computers?
Replies: 22
Views: 1780

Re: Is Black Friday the Real Deal for computers?

I would also recommend checking if the computer you're buying on Black Friday is simply on sale, or a "Black Friday Special" model. Sometimes manufacturers make very cheap version of their products to sell for bottom dollar during Black Friday. So, you might get a laptop that's cheap, but has a low ...
by monkey_business
Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond fixed rate 0.10% [November rate announced]
Replies: 31
Views: 3930

Re: I Bond fixed rate 0.10%

One thing that turns me off regarding Treasury Direct is that they make it clear that if there is fraud in your account, it's your problem. Where are you getting this information from? Treasury Direct has a form for reporting stolen/lost bonds, including I Bonds: https://www.treasurydirect.gov/form...
by monkey_business
Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Index investing is boring
Replies: 63
Views: 5554

Re: Index investing is boring

Running on a treadmill is far more boring than running away from a lion. Alas, the former has some advantages over the latter.
by monkey_business
Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Interest Deduction (Unmarried Couples)
Replies: 10
Views: 683

Re: Mortgage Interest Deduction (Unmarried Couples)

If someone pays 100% of the interest, what's the plan to make it be about 50/50 again... someone pays pay more of the principal and taxes? I'm not sure what you mean here. That person paying the principal technically owns more of the house as time goes on, right? Is that really the case? How would ...
by monkey_business
Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Interest Deduction (Unmarried Couples)
Replies: 10
Views: 683

Re: Mortgage Interest Deduction (Unmarried Couples)

aristotelian wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:32 pm
Are either of you in a higher tax bracket than the other?
No, same tax bracket but one makes about 10% more.
by monkey_business
Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Interest Deduction (Unmarried Couples)
Replies: 10
Views: 683

Re: Mortgage Interest Deduction (Unmarried Couples)

For example when the house gets sold the proceeds should be divided according to the contributions to the equity. If someone "paid" all the interest, as documented on their tax returns, it could well be that they would have little or no share in the equity of any appreciation in the property value....
by monkey_business
Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Interest Deduction (Unmarried Couples)
Replies: 10
Views: 683

Mortgage Interest Deduction (Unmarried Couples)

If an unmarried couple is on a mortgage together, and generally split the total expenses 50/50, what is the best way to approach the mortgage interest deduction? According to the IRS, each person on a mortgage can deduct the interest they actually paid. Given that is the case, it would seem to make ...
by monkey_business
Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone else not liking the new cars?
Replies: 135
Views: 10673

Re: anyone else not liking the new cars?

According to Consumer Reports, Honda's reliability rating has slipped to average. That hasn't been my experience, but I didn't want to test my luck. So far the CR-V has had no problems. I may have wasted about $2,100. Time will tell. I don't really trust Consumer Reports' reliability ratings. They ...
by monkey_business
Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone else not liking the new cars?
Replies: 135
Views: 10673

Re: anyone else not liking the new cars?

I think the new cars available today are incredible. What's not incredible about the fact that you can buy a new Honda Civic today that: - Has creature comforts not found in high end luxury cars just a few decades ago: navigation, keyless entry, remote start, etc. - Gets up to 40mpg while having 174...
by monkey_business
Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choose mortgage 15 vs 30 as well choose larger/smaller down payment
Replies: 7
Views: 920

Re: Choose mortgage 15 vs 30 as well choose larger/smaller down payment

I'm more in the 30 year mortgage camp purely from a risk standpoint. With a 15 year mortgage, you are stuck with the higher payments no matter what. This is something to consider in the event of financial downturns such as job loss, health issues, etc. A 30 year mortgage can be paid off in 15 years ...
by monkey_business
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Honda Accord
Replies: 54
Views: 5532

Re: 2018 Honda Accord

In terms of daily power, keep in mind that the new Honda 2.0L turbo engine in the 2018 Accord makes 272lb-ft of torque at 1500rpm. The previous Accord V6 made 20lb-ft less torque (252lb-ft), and at 4900rpm. While I have not driven the new 2.0L engine, I would imagine it provides a far more useful po...
by monkey_business
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]
Replies: 203
Views: 14986

Re: Hope I'm not unwittingly wading into anything here...

There is a lot of general overlap but MMM is more the 40 year old that retires on a very modest budget, whereas the Boglehead is the 60 year old that retires very comfortably. The two communities have a different tilt in terms of overall goals and lifestyle.
by monkey_business
Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones (again)
Replies: 28
Views: 2396

Re: Edward Jones (again)

What is the reason the Bogleheads so strongly recommend low cost index funds?

If you can answer that question, you can understand why leaving Edward Jones is a good idea.
by monkey_business
Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for a rowing machine
Replies: 26
Views: 1286

Re: Suggestions for a rowing machine

If you have a place to run it outside, consider getting a prowler. You can get one for ~$200, plus some plates for $100-200. One of the best conditioning tools out there.
by monkey_business
Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spray Foam Insulation
Replies: 20
Views: 2139

Re: Spray Foam Insulation

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Regarding the air ventilation, I know the HVAC system comes with a fresh air intake. I've also been reading about the ERV/HRV systems, but this is all fairly new to me. Does anyone know how a fresh air intake compares to the ERV/HRV methods of ventilation? It seems ...
by monkey_business
Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spray Foam Insulation
Replies: 20
Views: 2139

Spray Foam Insulation

We're building a new house and the builder is offering to put in spray foam insulation in the walls for about $2,500. This is walls only, as the roof is already going to be spray foamed. The standard insulation is R19 batt insulation. The house will be in an area with low humidity, very hot summers,...
by monkey_business
Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 33 years old, how am I doing ?
Replies: 54
Views: 8476

Re: 33 years old, how am I doing ?

Only on the Bogleheads forum is a 33 year old with $2MM net worth and $400K salary unsure of his financial health. :oops:
by monkey_business
Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weightlifting Equipment for Home Gym
Replies: 54
Views: 5273

Re: Weightlifting Equipment for Home Gym

I'm shocked no-one has mentioned Kettlebells so far. I'm in love with KBs - they can really hit a nice sweet spot for cardio or work muscles in different ways from the traditional barbell/dumbell combo. I have a gym membership ($21 a month) and it has all the usual gear - barbells, dumbbells, squat...
by monkey_business
Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weightlifting Equipment for Home Gym
Replies: 54
Views: 5273

Re: Weightlifting Equipment for Home Gym

My workouts take longer than an hour because of long rest periods, but the underlying point and analogy to a simple Bogleheads portfolio is a good one. I haven't done anything other than a squat, deadlift, bench press, press, or chin-up in over three years and little by little added weight to the b...
by monkey_business
Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weightlifting Equipment for Home Gym
Replies: 54
Views: 5273

Re: Weightlifting Equipment for Home Gym

Rogue or Titan would be my choices for a rack. You mentioned doing dips, so whatever rack you go with, make sure it has a dip attachment built for it. In terms of bolting it down, I'd recommend building a 8x8 foot plywood/stall mat lifting platform, and simply bolting the rack down to that. Alternat...
by monkey_business
Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How useful is a home security system?
Replies: 82
Views: 7733

Re: How useful is a home security system?

To me, the #1 reason to get a security system is to be notified of a break-in when you are asleep at night. As much as I would hate it, I am not too concerned with getting stuff stolen. However, in the unlikely event of a home invasion, even if you rely on defending yourself with various means, you ...
by monkey_business
Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security system
Replies: 12
Views: 1466

Re: Home security system

Does anyone have thoughts on going with a wired system vs something like Simplisafe? We bought a new construction house, and are still trying to decide if we should get a wired security system. The downsides for me are that it seems there's a lot of innovation these days in home automation and secur...
by monkey_business
Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ATT wireless
Replies: 3
Views: 576

Re: ATT wireless

Have you looked into AT&T prepaid? My plan is $40/month for unlimited talk/text and 6GB of LTE data.
by monkey_business
Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When does renting make sense
Replies: 112
Views: 10005

Re: When does renting make sense

Neither renting nor owning is unequivocally better. The answer is: it depends. Run the numbers for your specific situation, using conservative estimates, and see what ends up being better. I also don't understand when people say "a house is not an investment". According to Merriam-Webster: Investmen...
by monkey_business
Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Buy a New Car?
Replies: 42
Views: 3314

Re: Should I Buy a New Car?

It is financially smarter to just maintain your Camry. You really can't justify not wanting to spend $2,000 (which sounds way high, by the way) on maintenance only to spend $20,000+ instead on a new car. That said, it sounds like you simply want a new car. The answer to whether you should get it boi...
by monkey_business
Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a kamado grill/smoker worth it?
Replies: 28
Views: 3194

Re: Is a kamado grill/smoker worth it?

Reading this thread made me hungry.
by monkey_business
Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your personal savings rate?
Replies: 135
Views: 12314

Re: What's your personal savings rate?

KlangFool wrote:It is very simple but hard.

1) Save 1/3, spend 1/3, and pay 1/3 in tax.
That can be made simpler:

Pay your taxes, save half of the remainder.
by monkey_business
Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Investing well for Retirement can be frustrating
Replies: 52
Views: 4103

Re: Investing well for Retirement can be frustrating

I often noticed the people who don't make much are more likely to want to show off. Maybe it's an insecurity about one's income which manifests itself via expensive, visible purchases. It's the small dog trying to bark the loudest sort of thing. It certainly happens at all income levels, but in my p...
by monkey_business
Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Rates in 3 years?
Replies: 26
Views: 2667

Re: Mortgage Rates in 3 years?

Not to throw cold water on your plans but I would be less concerned with interest rate fluctuations than I would be with buying a house with a girlfriend. It depends on what "girlfriend" really means. If girlfriend means a girl he's been dating for 3 months, then yes, big red flag, do not buy a hou...
by monkey_business
Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Would You Spend on a Blender?
Replies: 43
Views: 2831

Re: How Much Would You Spend on a Blender?

We have a refurbished Vitamix that we got about 6 years ago for $350 or so. If it broke down, I would get another Vitamix, or a Blendtec. Here's the reason why it is worth it for us: - We add various vegetables to smoothies, as well as frozen chunks of fruit and juice. Cheap blenders I've used befor...
by monkey_business
Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Security Alarm Pre-Wire in New Construction
Replies: 25
Views: 1886

Security Alarm Pre-Wire in New Construction

We're in the process of building a house and would like some advice regarding the security system. The house comes with a security system. The system is landline based, and comes with entry door sensors and a motion sensor in the great room. The builder pays for the first year of monitoring. I am no...
by monkey_business
Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Heads I Win, Tails I Win -- A Gem
Replies: 12
Views: 3158

Re: "Heads I Win, Tails I Win -- A Gem

nedsaid wrote:The gems are the equivalent of Campbell's soup, condensed.
What?! Taylor's gems are the equivalent of condensed cheap canned soup?

More like grandma's soup. It's hearty, delicious, and puts a smile on your face. :D
by monkey_business
Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Construction Buying Advice
Replies: 24
Views: 2149

Re: New Construction Buying Advice

Thank you everyone for the advice so far. Allow me to provide you with with some more details: - The new community is going to be relatively small, about 50 houses total. There is a community with almost identical floor plans, houses, and prices, several miles down the road. It started about 1.5 yea...
by monkey_business
Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Construction Buying Advice
Replies: 24
Views: 2149

New Construction Buying Advice

We are looking into buying a house in a new community that is just starting to get built. For those of you that have experience buying new houses, what advice would you offer? I am especially interested in any mistakes you made that would be valuable to know about (in hopes that we can avoid making ...
by monkey_business
Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Article: Compare ROI of college education vs S&P500
Replies: 52
Views: 3516

Re: Article: Compare ROI of college education vs S&P500

I think the answer to this question is: it depends. The pay between various majors and resulting careers can be vastly different. For example, is the ROI on college the same for an electrical engineering major, vs. a women's studies major? The cost of college can be vastly different, depending on th...
by monkey_business
Thu May 18, 2017 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why 20% House Down Payment?
Replies: 14
Views: 2191

Re: Why 20% House Down Payment?

Thank you for the replies so far. I will respond to some of the questions: - The house appreciation/depreciation is not connected to your equity. In other words, the house will be worth what it will be worth, when you sell it, regardless of how much equity you have. Not sure what you mean. This is a...
by monkey_business
Thu May 18, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why 20% House Down Payment?
Replies: 14
Views: 2191

Why 20% House Down Payment?

The standard advice for a down payment on a mortgage is 20%+. In the context of financially responsible individuals, such as Bogleheads, why is this the recommendation? Allow me to explain the various points that are making me question this advice: - The money you have as principal in your house is ...
by monkey_business
Wed May 17, 2017 5:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Convince me to get back into stocks!
Replies: 83
Views: 7220

Re: Convince me to get back into stocks!

The market is good right now - and you're afraid of jumping in. If and when the market becomes bad, then you'll jump in? What if you lose your job during the next recession/market drop? Will you be comfortable putting in all your savings into the crashing stock market? What if the market aggressivel...
by monkey_business
Wed May 17, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)
Replies: 216
Views: 21805

Re: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)

If we had a tasteless paste that provided you with all the macro and micro nutrients your body needs, would you stop eating regular food and just eat the paste? I know the answer is supposed to be "of course not!" But in reality, I get almost all my protein from powdered soy protein. It is a comple...
by monkey_business
Fri May 12, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)
Replies: 216
Views: 21805

Re: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)

Back to hammers. A poorly functioning hammer would be dangerous and ineffective. A well functioning hammer is as good as hammers get. A car that gets me where I want to go safely and reliably has done everything useful a car can do. A Camry, for example, would be not only good enough. It would exac...
by monkey_business
Fri May 12, 2017 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does a new car purchase make sense?
Replies: 40
Views: 3637

Re: Does a new car purchase make sense?

One thing I would check is the IIHS safety ratings, especially the newer categories such as small overlap. Some cars have done surprisingly poorly, such as the 2014-2016 Corolla, which received a Marginal rating in that test. A lot of older cars (even just 5 years old) do really poorly on that test....
by monkey_business
Thu May 04, 2017 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2-3 days around Nice, France. Advice?
Replies: 9
Views: 870

Re: 2-3 days around Nice, France. Advice?

You could also take a day trip to Monaco - it's a short boat trip away.
by monkey_business
Thu May 04, 2017 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)
Replies: 216
Views: 21805

Re: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)

To me a car is a tool for moving about. If it works safely and reliably, it makes no more sense to get a fancy one than to buy a hammer with a gold plated handle. Does it drive nails any better? No? Then don't waste money on it. That's not really a fair analogy. The reason why some people like cars...
by monkey_business
Thu May 04, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Reports
Replies: 41
Views: 3575

Re: Consumer Reports

One thing I would point out regarding vehicle ratings in Consumer Reports is to pay attention to the specific categories that they grade to determine overall vehicle reliability. For example, last year, Consumer Reports rated the new Civic as unreliable. However, if you looked at the rating in depth...
by monkey_business
Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of car compared to Gross Income
Replies: 138
Views: 14070

Re: Cost of car compared to Gross Income

I don't think the percentage matters. If you are living below your means and meeting your financial goals, why does it matter how much you spend on a car, or anything for that matter? If someone makes $50,000 a year and spent $30,000 on a car, is that too much? Well, if they are debt-free, save 30% ...
by monkey_business
Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to expand my vocabulary?
Replies: 102
Views: 7148

Re: Best way to expand my vocabulary?

Something that has helped me is to always look up words I do not know when I am reading. If you have a Kindle, you can tap words and it will bring up the dictionary definition. For online reading, just type in "define <word>" in Google.
by monkey_business
Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the big things to get right?
Replies: 91
Views: 13991

Re: What are the big things to get right?

Number one big thing: your savings rate.

Get that taken care of and the rest will fall into place.