Search found 977 matches

by rjbraun
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes vs Home Depot
Replies: 60
Views: 7201

Re: Lowes vs Home Depot

The Lowes in my area gives me a veteran ( not currently in military) discount any time I purchase something in their store. Most times I don't even have to show my DD214. I don't normally ask for a discount on small items I purchase, only on the more expensive ones. If you have a myLowes card(loyal...
by rjbraun
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon "Deal of the Day": Instant Pot 6-qt $69.99 (Mon, Oct 2)
Replies: 22
Views: 2459

Amazon "Deal of the Day": Instant Pot 6-qt $69.99 (Mon, Oct 2)

Instant Pot seems to get rave reviews here, so I figured I would highlight an Amazon Deal of the Day today, in case anyone is interested. There's a companion cookbook offered as a "lightning deal" (looks like it will end around 1:30 p.m. ET today, unless supplies run out first). Personally, I don't ...
by rjbraun
Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes vs Home Depot
Replies: 60
Views: 7201

Re: Lowes vs Home Depot

The Lowes in my area gives me a veteran ( not currently in military) discount any time I purchase something in their store. Most times I don't even have to show my DD214. I don't normally ask for a discount on small items I purchase, only on the more expensive ones. If you have a myLowes card(loyal...
by rjbraun
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel room bookings
Replies: 3
Views: 609

Hotel room bookings

At the same hotel, I have under my name a booking for two nights and another reservation for the second night only. The first booking is using Starwood (SPG) points, the second one was made using Chase UR points. Neither involves special rates or terms involving senior citizen, veterans only, etc. T...
by rjbraun
Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bloomberg: Smart Beta Debate Sparks Identity Crisis at Vanguard
Replies: 15
Views: 2617

Bloomberg: Smart Beta Debate Sparks Identity Crisis at Vanguard

This article appeared this morning, but I don't think I've seen a reference yet on Bogleheads (apologies, if it's old news)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -beta-push
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable
Replies: 15
Views: 934

Re: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable

I don't have any issue booking IHG room with rewards points. Most of the time, I book a room at least 6 weeks out. In some cases I can book through points + cash. In your case, if they have cash / cash + points options, why don't you choose between them to book a room. Points can be used later when...
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable
Replies: 15
Views: 934

Re: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable

If you haven't tried it, I would suggest downloading the IHG app and trying to see if they have a room available for the nights you want. I recently booked a IHG stay and there were no available rooms via the web for the nights I wanted, but when I did the same search in the app, it came up with ro...
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable
Replies: 15
Views: 934

Re: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable

The inventory is the same for reward nights, whether points or certificate. I don't think you "see" reward nights with certificates available unless you have a certificate available. That's correct - certificates can be used for rooms that go for 5k points or 60k points, rooms that can cost $69/nig...
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable
Replies: 15
Views: 934

Re: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable

Having never been in precisely your kind of situation, maybe even my responding to this is likely moot! In your case, I doubt that a room will open up so soon, but why not keep checking back every day (or every other day), up until the last cancellation window on your alternative Plan B reservation...
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable
Replies: 15
Views: 934

Re: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable

I've seen dates open up as it gets close in. Used points at the Holiday Inn Paris Notre Dame that way - was booked up for dates I needed and so booked something else and then it opened so moved. I've been really successful using rewards points and nights at IHG properties. Whenever I have a likely ...
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable
Replies: 15
Views: 934

Re: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable

Over the past year, I have tried to use my IHG points and have hit the dreaded No Reward Nights Available. I've never had availability open up for me. Once it's gone, it's gone. Maybe you'll have better luck. Thank you, that's good to know. In that case, in your experience, have you found the need ...
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable
Replies: 15
Views: 934

Re: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable

Can you book the SPG with a rate that allows no charge cancellations w/24hr notice? I'd book SPG as a backup and if nothing came in through IHG a day before the trip, i'd just go with the SPG. Can't speak for IHG, but with SPG, I've had rooms open up last minute and was able to use points. Its a cr...
by rjbraun
Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable
Replies: 15
Views: 934

IHG hotel booking - Reward Night unavailable

I recently got a Chase IHG credit card. Almost as soon as a received the signup bonus, the Reward Night I had been "banking on" disappeared. :annoyed The hotel told me they only offer a limited number of Reward Nights, once they are booked that's it. The "only" way I can get a Reward Night, for the ...
by rjbraun
Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take Pay cut close to retirement for sanity purposes?
Replies: 17
Views: 1901

Re: Take Pay cut close to retirement for sanity purposes?

Yes, I took a significant pay cut after separating from my prior job. I thought a prior comment about "grass not always greener" was apt, though fortunately for me it has been a positive step overall. There are always trade-offs, but with the stock market at highs my net worth has gone up nicely as ...
by rjbraun
Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?
Replies: 141
Views: 12849

Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

<snip> The developer had blocked all the street drains with tar paper and chicken wire to keep out construction debris and that caused a bit of flooding -- right up to our door sills. Seems that the developer should have had the foresight and common sense to uncover and clear the drains before an i...
by rjbraun
Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those planning early retirement....
Replies: 67
Views: 8614

Re: For those planning early retirement....

1. Similar activities to now: travel, exercise, read, cultural activities (museums, concerts), play a musical instrument, visit with friends, cook / go out to eat. Expect comparable budget to now. 2. I have had breaks in my career, certainly for longer than the 2-3 weeks or so others have posted abo...
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wedding gift with Being in the Wedding
Replies: 14
Views: 1130

Re: Wedding gift with Being in the Wedding

I think it's a personal decision, you should give what you feel comfortable with. I'll just add that "I feel your pain!" One more thought. I didn't see anything on your list like bachelor party (or bride & groom shower / party) or similar pre-wedding celebration. Maybe you will be spared further wed...
by rjbraun
Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you reverse a lifetime of frugality and learn to spend some money?
Replies: 59
Views: 6410

Re: How do you reverse a lifetime of frugality and learn to spend some money?

Buy experiences not things for greater happiness, however, we humans suffer from hedonic adaptation which is that no matter how good our life is or becomes we tend to get used to it. Say you win seven hundred million dollars: once you get used to that level of money your overall happiness will not ...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hurricane Harvey relief?
Replies: 42
Views: 3199

Re: Hurricane Harvey relief?

This WaPo story is touching. In case it's not available via the link below, it basically reports that some workers at a Houston bakery got stuck at work, after baking for people to stock up with the impending storm / hurricane only to then find the roads impassable for them to return home. With nowh...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you reverse a lifetime of frugality and learn to spend some money?
Replies: 59
Views: 6410

Re: How do you reverse a lifetime of frugality and learn to spend some money?

I was extremely frugal throughout my working years and saved enough money to retire at age 49. I'm now 56 and I have to admit I still worry about spending money on anything but the bare necessities . I have zero debt and my home is paid for. What exactly are you worried about? If we knew more, we c...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone tempered glass...$6 vs $50?
Replies: 17
Views: 1438

Re: iPhone tempered glass...$6 vs $50?

I bought the Verizon version of the glass screen protector on a friend's recommendation, and surprisingly, did find that it worked better (easier to work on the screen) then anything I have ever purchased on my own from Amazon. I bought "The Defender" from Amazon and removed the screen protector th...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast
Replies: 37
Views: 2660

Re: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast

Didn't see Oplontis mentioned in this thread. If you're going to Ercolaneo and Pompeii, it's in the same area. It was a villa belonging to Nero's wife. There's quite a bit of painting remaining on the villa walls if you're interested in getting a sense of how Roman houses were decorated. Earlier th...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast
Replies: 37
Views: 2660

Re: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast

Capsu78 / Raybo: What is the basis for staying in Sorrento over Naples? As the trip will be in January, for now I think traveling the Amalfi Coast will have to wait for another trip, unfortunately (we would basically have to forego or at least severely curtail the Rome segment to make it happen). In...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Every Third Thought" by Robert McCrum
Replies: 0
Views: 400

"Every Third Thought" by Robert McCrum

Would be interested to hear from people familiar with him or his work. His latest book seems to get good reviews (at least from The Economist and The Guardian), but the topic, death, hardly makes for light summer reading. Still, at least one of the reviews seems to suggest that the writer handles th...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Companies/Brands You Love?
Replies: 157
Views: 10128

Re: Companies/Brands You Love?

Surprised that no one has yet mentioned Vanguard. ETA: And since Vanguard is owned by its investors, doesn't that mean that, if you are Vanguard investor, you love yourself? I had a similar thought. I am not sure how I feel about Vanguard's significant growth of late (basis for a new thread) but wa...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Companies/Brands You Love?
Replies: 157
Views: 10128

Re: Companies/Brands You Love?

I'm kind of surprised no one has mentioned Apple. While I may not *love* them, I do like their products and, in general, find their service & support superior to many other companies (in general, not exclusive to tech). Not to say that I haven't had issues with the company, and at the risk of jinxin...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Companies/Brands You Love?
Replies: 157
Views: 10128

Re: Companies/Brands You Love?

I saw a similar question posted on Twitter yesterday. What companies do you love/trust and will always have your business? There seems to be a lot of love for Costco on here. What else? Any smaller companies? Patagonia has had my business for 25 years and have always done right by me. I also like t...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Companies/Brands You Love?
Replies: 157
Views: 10128

Re: Companies/Brands You Love?

I saw a similar question posted on Twitter yesterday. What companies do you love/trust and will always have your business? There seems to be a lot of love for Costco on here. What else? Any smaller companies? Patagonia has had my business for 25 years and have always done right by me. I also like t...
by rjbraun
Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?
Replies: 47
Views: 3196

Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Become completely well-versed with ZTL restricted driving zones. I am not (as I've never driven in Italy) but have read stories of fines, etc. by those who neglected to.

Here's a link with some additional information:

http://www.autoeurope.com/go/italy-ztl-zones/
by rjbraun
Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast
Replies: 37
Views: 2660

Re: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast

I won't repeat a lot of the great insight that others have shared already, but I wanted to weigh in by pointing out that I thoroughly enjoyed Naples and Pompeii in January 2017 with my family. Along with my wife and toddler, we rode out the 2017 US Presidential Inauguration in Italy for about ten d...
by rjbraun
Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast
Replies: 37
Views: 2660

Re: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast

I feel that if we "do Pompeii" I don't want to simply "squeeze it in" as a day trip or so. To me (and to SO who is more into the history) that would mean spending the day prior to visiting at least the archaeological museum (and possibly others) in Naples, and then dedicating a day to Pompeii and H...
by rjbraun
Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2270
Views: 395870

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

... Also to the person asking about the Amex Plat, go incognito to get 75,000 or 100,000. Don't settle for 60,000. Is the 75K/100K offer limited to business? I saw it when incognito but only on small business cards, not personal. The spending requirement for the former is rather high: $20K in 3 mon...
by rjbraun
Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any good resources on how to learn to be a Google Sheets (Excel) expert?
Replies: 28
Views: 2352

Re: Any good resources on how to learn to be a Google Sheets (Excel) expert?

You gotta check out Lynda . com. When I was in school and needed help on my Excel course I used it all the time. They have tutorials for every single function you can think of. Good luck! What is the cost, after the "free, 30-day trial period"? It looks interesting, but I want to avoid going down a...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2270
Views: 395870

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

My husband has a small consulting business since he retired. It's practically dormant. But I have the EIN number, I've applied to a bunch Amex business cards. In short, I don't think it's a problem. Thanks, but I don't have an EIN number. Not sure if that matters and I could perhaps apply for an EI...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2270
Views: 395870

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Most would recommend applying for the 100k Amex Plat offer rather than the 60k offer, but that offer can be hard to get. I got an invitation to apply for the Amex Business Platinum Card. I can't really grasp how attractive the card would be, though on the face of things it looks good: 100k with $5,...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2270
Views: 395870

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Most would recommend applying for the 100k Amex Plat offer rather than the 60k offer, but that offer can be hard to get. I got an invitation to apply for the Amex Business Platinum Card. I can't really grasp how attractive the card would be, though on the face of things it looks good: 100k with $5,...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2270
Views: 395870

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Most would recommend applying for the 100k Amex Plat offer rather than the 60k offer, but that offer can be hard to get. I got an invitation to apply for the Amex Business Platinum Card. I can't really grasp how attractive the card would be, though on the face of things it looks good: 100k with $5,...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast
Replies: 37
Views: 2660

Re: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast

Actually, just of the jet here from two weeks in Italy. Our favorite part of Italy was the Dolomites and the Sud Tyrol. If you have never made your way to the small northern Italian towns like Cortina, Villabassa and Belluno, Grappa -- towns are very clean, picturesque, food great and the people aw...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast
Replies: 37
Views: 2660

Re: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast

I was in Italy 2 years ago in September. Spent most of my time in Tuscany and Rome. While in Rome, I took a day trip to Pompeii and Amalfi coast. It was too much to do in one day but was my only chance to do it. I was somewhat disappointed with Pompeii. I understand that most of artifacts from volc...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2270
Views: 395870

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Most would recommend applying for the 100k Amex Plat offer rather than the 60k offer, but that offer can be hard to get. I got an invitation to apply for the Amex Business Platinum Card. I can't really grasp how attractive the card would be, though on the face of things it looks good: 100k with $5,...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes vs Home Depot
Replies: 60
Views: 7201

Re: Lowes vs Home Depot

Lowes opened near us recently. While I don't go often, I like the convenience. Of note, I needed a particular cleaning spray, just the other day, searched online and was able to buy it online and pick it up on the way home. While it probably saved me no time compared to walking to aisle location to ...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you hire an obese nanny?
Replies: 81
Views: 3002

Re: Would you hire an obese nanny?

If the concerns are ability to properly watch and keep up with the kids and feed them appropriate portion sizes, how about asking the prospective nanny their views on and experience overseeing kids (e.g., discuss how they have handled difficult or emergency-type situations in the past, etc., how to ...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sharing information with insurance agents.
Replies: 18
Views: 1457

Re: Sharing information with insurance agents.

You could contact your state insurance department to inquire what a company is permitted to request and receive as part of the application process.

Edit: Of course, that doesn't mean you must provide the information, but it would presumably make it harder for you to obtain a policy.
by rjbraun
Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast
Replies: 37
Views: 2660

Re: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast

Was in Italy 3 months ago. As part of the tour we were on, we were supposed to go to Naples also. The tour company took us in the bus around the dock area and that was it. They said in Naples the people do not obey the street signs/law and too much crime for us to get off the bus. We didn't even ge...
by rjbraun
Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Returning / Exchanging purchased items ?
Replies: 24
Views: 1657

Re: Returning / Exchanging purchased items ?

Packaged salad greens always look dubious to me. Instead I buy things like whole lettuce, which unfortunately is wrapped up like a mummy so it's a production to get it out, which is another problem. Yeah, and I also don't feel great about buying greens that come in a gigantic plastic, non-biodegrad...
by rjbraun
Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Returning / Exchanging purchased items ?
Replies: 24
Views: 1657

Re: Returning / Exchanging purchased items ?

I basically agree with what previous posters wrote (having skimmed comments). Personally, I feel perfectly fine returning or exchanging unused stuff in resalable condition when it falls within the store's return policy. As for your particular Bose speakers, given the ones you covet are more expensiv...
by rjbraun
Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast
Replies: 37
Views: 2660

Re: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast

Pardon me if you know this already... each of you should have one of these: https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-RFID-Travel-Money-Khaki/dp/B00WTHJ3S2/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1503365991&sr=8-7&keywords=money+belt+rfid or something like it. I'd pay a little extra for comfortable fabric. Your 'day wall...
by rjbraun
Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase hotel credit cards / IHG Anniversary Free Night
Replies: 38
Views: 5097

Re: Chase hotel credit cards / IHG Anniversary Free Night

I used my IHG anniversary night to book a Holiday Inn at the CDG airport. It worked well and the room was adequate for my needs. I also used 15k IHG points to book a night at the Holiday Inn at the Prague airport earlier this year, and will do it again next year. Holiday Inn at the Prague airport i...
by rjbraun
Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase hotel credit cards / IHG Anniversary Free Night
Replies: 38
Views: 5097

Re: Chase hotel credit cards / IHG Anniversary Free Night

I assume the hotel still has rooms available for sale, just not award rooms? I would book the backup room and keep watching availability for the IHG hotel. I think it is quite likely that within the next six weeks someone will cancel their reservation or the hotel will decide to open up additional ...