Search found 64 matches

by smitcat
Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on Student Loan
Replies: 10
Views: 710

Re: Advice on Student Loan

There are a number of situations where student loans can be partially or even fully relieved by taking a specific job or by an employer which has a college costs program such as this. So there are a number if methods where the student loan balance or interest rate may be reduced in certain circumsta...
by smitcat
Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for advice on getting credit cards for my kids
Replies: 22
Views: 910

Re: Looking for advice on getting credit cards for my kids

We assisted our daughter to get her credit card through a local credit union that required a savings account at the same location for her limited credit line. She was able to add to that line by adding funds to the account, making on time payments and by her total time with the card. Over a couple o...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NJ Daycare Costs: What do you pay?
Replies: 10
Views: 1287

Re: NJ Daycare Costs: What do you pay?

"Why do you say NAEYC is mostly a paperwork exercise and that the quality standards are not necessarily maintained?" I said that NAEYC was mostly a paperwork check on standards that mostly should already be in place. They differ slightly with some practices but are comprehensive and overla...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 259
Views: 16031

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

"Those situations are all parallel, in different degrees, to what you're criticizing me for doing with food and 'event' expenses. You're already doing something similar to what I'm doing, you just don't see it. I've chosen to build my budget in a certain way. If you don't like it, then don't do...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quitting Job to Start a Business
Replies: 50
Views: 3758

Re: Quitting Job to Start a Business

"Just wanted to post another update here. The business I started in December is already brining in more than my day job. It's actually bringing in more than I would make with a promotion" That is very good to hear - now that it is larger and growing do you have everything in place that is ...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NJ Daycare Costs: What do you pay?
Replies: 10
Views: 1287

Re: NJ Daycare Costs: What do you pay?

"This is a lot of money though!" Yes - but for a 'legal' Childcare center to operate in North NJ it is costly. All fingerprinted and background checked staff, meet training certs, red cross and MAT certs, and staying in ratio. Then you have a lease that is over $1/4 million with the local ...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NJ Daycare Costs: What do you pay?
Replies: 10
Views: 1287

Re: NJ Daycare Costs: What do you pay?

That depends greatly where in NJ you are looking at.... For a one year old in NJ near the NY line - $1475 a month with lunch and snacks. Average 10% discount for the second child you have based upon the oldest age. Sometimes a free week for your childe when you refer another families child and they ...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 259
Views: 16031

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

"Based on the OP (below), what he/she is trying to figure out is exactly what you (and I) are doing, i.e., maximize the fun while minimizing the expenses (i.e., creative ways of paying for the vacation without impacting the budget)." That may be of great help and have value to fellow bogle...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?
Replies: 19
Views: 1653

Re: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?

Peter Foley - your entire answer is helpful , thank you. Especially this line.... "The Excel spreadsheet is a multiyear tax planning document roughly based on the Turbo Tax 2 year comparison worksheet (I deleted a number of the non applicable rows)." SGM - your answers are helpful as well....
by smitcat
Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 259
Views: 16031

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

"For responses to be useful, the total amount one spends while on vacation during the year should be posted. This includes all expenses incurred, from the time you leave your house, to the time you get home." I agree for it to be useful to anyone else you need the entire picture. Similarly...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 259
Views: 16031

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

'We' is my wife and I and sometimes our one daughter. "As far as using base spending...As I said already, your methods don't make as much sense to me as mine does. Mine actually reflects the 'true' cost of my vacation, it says so right there on my bank statement"' We are going for a week (...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 259
Views: 16031

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

"There are some interesting replies...seeming to disagree with my budgeting methods. I'm curious now how other people in this thread came up with their budget. The past few posters believe everyone is on the same page. How do you know that? And this is a budget, right? How much money you spend ...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: should I scrap my car after this accident
Replies: 23
Views: 1278

Re: should I scrap my car after this accident

"Go shopping.
Be happy no was hurt."

the best advice based on the details above.
by smitcat
Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic question on Hybrid cars
Replies: 64
Views: 3488

Re: Basic question on Hybrid cars

"We leased this car to try an electric vehicle thing before they become wide spread - I'm not a fan of Tesla's product offerings/price point but the BMW i3 made sense at $200/month including all maintenance and significant fuel costs savings. My wife loves it and she wants another one when we r...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic question on Hybrid cars
Replies: 64
Views: 3488

Re: Basic question on Hybrid cars

"I haven't driven my car in 10 degree weather for any appreciable time, but at 20 degrees I got around 150 miles of range at reasonable speeds (ie, < 75mph), on 19" winter tires, and using Traffic Aware Cruise Control (all of those affect range). In normal summer conditions (on appropriate...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 259
Views: 16031

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

"metrunt wrote: so on a trip, we budget +$10 or $35 a day While staying in hotels, I find this hard to do for myself, much less a family of 5." Per the post they are only counting... 'those costs above their normal daily costs". They use air mileage and perks that are not counted, the...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic question on Hybrid cars
Replies: 64
Views: 3488

Re: Basic question on Hybrid cars

Once again I think these conversations about EV's and hybrids require a fairly local and personal decisions based upon the facts for that potential user. Folks posting here about their usage are likely are very accurate and helpful for those that have the same use and costs but they vary so greatly ...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?
Replies: 19
Views: 1653

Re: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?

"I like the full i-orp (https://www.i-orp.com/ORPparms.html) because: 1. It is fairly simple to use. 2. It includes enough detail to be a realistic guide for withdrawals, while not becoming cumbersome to use. That said, it surely isn't the ONLY thing I use. And the thing I like about it the mos...
by smitcat
Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 259
Views: 16031

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

"As much as possible." I like this answer - I think we will change our plan to "whatever is left". I think one of the worst parts about being a good to great saver is that you may lose the ability to spend and have fun. If you have it and it makes you happy , what else were you s...
by smitcat
Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The wisdom of buying a car that doesn't depreciate (much)
Replies: 24
Views: 2780

Re: The wisdom of buying a car that doesn't depreciate (much)

Well I am a car guy and have been since 1973 and all of this sounds great to me..... After all it is the same way I justified it to myself for most all of those years. But if you are looking at it in a truly financial way it is just a set of smoke and mirrors for yourself. It is a hobby that I/we lo...
by smitcat
Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: truck prices
Replies: 37
Views: 2676

Re: truck prices

Truecar - I just went to the site and plugged in the details and options for my Chevy pickup which is similar although not the same as the last OP's choice. Truecar's mid price was right about $5,500 more than what we paid as detailed above ....FWIW.
by smitcat
Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic question on Hybrid cars
Replies: 64
Views: 3488

Re: Basic question on Hybrid cars

"If you can afford to look into the Tesla model 3 the future is here already"

They will be a serious contender for us when they can run well over 100 miles when the weather is 10 and its snowing.
In the NE here we cant just leave it home when we have those conditions .... maybe soon.
by smitcat
Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic question on Hybrid cars
Replies: 64
Views: 3488

Re: Basic question on Hybrid cars

Check you local electric costs and total costs of ownership including resale if costs are a deciding factor.
Here where we pay $0.25/Kw the payback is much different then when you pay half that price for the charging.
by smitcat
Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic question on Hybrid cars
Replies: 64
Views: 3488

Re: Basic question on Hybrid cars

"Frisco Kid wrote: avalpert...... or we are automotive enthusiasts that pay notice of the exhaust note from an internal combustion engine. I for one will never own a hybrid until I have no other choice. Different strokes for different folks........... BTW, cars do indeed have souls IMHO. I beli...
by smitcat
Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: truck prices
Replies: 37
Views: 2676

Re: truck prices

"Thanks all. A local dealer had GMC crew cab, 4wd, Sierra SLE for $10,000 off MSRP during Holidays and now has dropped back to $5,000 off. MSRP about $45,000. I am considering a double cab instead of crew cab. Older brother says no, not as a good resale--he tries for $10,000 off for truck havin...
by smitcat
Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Theater Projector
Replies: 10
Views: 643

Re: Home Theater Projector

"Projectors are fine so long as they're used in an environment where you can control light (sunlight, etc.)." As killjoy pointed out this is the largest drawback even with the higher powered projectors. We combatted this by having two options - 1. The projection screen can drop down giving...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for home paper shredder
Replies: 52
Views: 2087

Re: Recommendations for home paper shredder

"We have a 6-year old Royal HD1400MX 14-page cross-cut shredder we purchased from Costco for $90. It's by far the best shredder of the 3 or 4 we have owed. I would buy another like it if it ever quits." Yes- bay far eth best as it is heavy enough to take 6-8 pages easily and lasts years an...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking to retire at 55 (4 years) - Questions on current direction
Replies: 10
Views: 1649

Re: Looking to retire at 55 (4 years) - Questions on current direction

Congratulations - you are in a very good spot and I cannot really comment overall seeing as how there are too many things about your costs and income that we do not know. We are a bit older than you but within a few years of retirement now and I would add some thoughts that might lead you to some fu...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home heating options
Replies: 63
Views: 2527

Re: Home heating options

"So say I decide to go with geothermal, I would still want propane for the dryer, range, aesthetic fireplace and inline generator, which would only be in place for emergencies (power outages etc). Should I still consider the 1000 gallon tank or do you think I would be ok with a 500 gallon?"...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 259
Views: 16031

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

"2 adults, 3 children. 2 x 1 week driving trips. 1 x 3 week trip by air with rental car. $4,500 budget. 5% of gross income." That is amazing - please teach us more so we can do some of these as well. That looks like 35 days on vacation with 5 people on each trip at $4,500 total - much bett...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home heating options
Replies: 63
Views: 2527

Re: Home heating options

"Wow, tough crowd!"
No - not at all. Just better safe than sorry. In our area the riders make up more than a third of the bill.
by smitcat
Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: social security calculation
Replies: 37
Views: 2482

Re: social security calculation

A very good description thank you.... Question... "This is still low due to inflation, but it would be correct "snapshot" for today (or for your retirement age if there was NO inflation)" Does this mean that inflation is adjusted each year until you file and collect whether you a...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Loan [vs. investing]
Replies: 41
Views: 1921

Re: Auto Loan [vs. investing]

Credit used to your advantage is just another financial tool. While we have not carried a credit card balance for over 20 years the cards have paid us handsomely in benefits for basically free. Similarly whether to finance anything including cars is just a decision on the spread between the rates an...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home heating options
Replies: 63
Views: 2527

Re: Home heating options

"Yup. $0.09357/kWh https://www.duke-energy.com/_/media/pdf ... .pdf?la=en" What about these riders? Look at the total cost per KW on the actual bill, that will tell you what the actual total is. RIDERS The Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS) Rider charge as shown on Leaf No. 68 will...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: social security calculation
Replies: 37
Views: 2482

Re: social security calculation

"My question is: what if you choose to stop working at, say, 58? How do you calculate your expected/presumed SS payment if you are not working for those extra four (or however many) years?" The detailed SS calculator online at that site allows you to lug in zeros for future years as you se...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home heating options
Replies: 63
Views: 2527

Re: Home heating options

Typical whole house genset sizes and consumption rates....

10Kw - 50 gallons per day
13Kw - 53 gallons per day
by smitcat
Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home heating options
Replies: 63
Views: 2527

Re: Home heating options

This link may help some for initial planning....
These charts do not show all of your requirements or allow for a whole house genset.
Please remember that you cannot get close to 1,000 usable gallons of propane in a 1000 gal tank.

https://www.pennvalleygas.com/contracto ... our-usage/
by smitcat
Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home heating options
Replies: 63
Views: 2527

Re: Home heating options

"My family has a ~1100 SF house with a 1000 gallon propane tank (no furnace, Jotul propane stoves for heat). We use about 650 gallons per year for heat, cooking, and hot water.": That makes complete sense but with guessing the OP's extra footage, adding the heat requirement and all the oth...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 259
Views: 16031

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

if you have been disciplined and fortunate enough to save up for a decent retirement the only real choice is to stay local or travel with your time and money. Neither is wrong or right nor would I even tray to say one is better than the other. For those that enjoy traveling vacations can mean anythi...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home heating options
Replies: 63
Views: 2527

Re: Home heating options

Your near NY but do not know exactly where so please contact your local utility company and see what rebates are available for the various options. This would include all newly installed appliances, HVAC units lighting etc. We are on Long Island and the rebates can be serous enough to defray a lot o...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New SUV, $50G, Pilot/Highlander/Other
Replies: 121
Views: 14385

Re: New SUV, $50G, Pilot/Highlander/Other

"Tow package / ability to add tow package"

You added this requirement in a later post.
How much weight will be towed for how many miles and how often will it happen?

This requirement may greatly affect the field of choices that are suitable.
by smitcat
Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of getting tires from Costco
Replies: 68
Views: 4753

Re: Thinking of getting tires from Costco

simplesimon wrote: This thread got me thinking about my own tires and while I don't mean to hijack the thread, I hope to get some advice. My car is a 2008 Outback, which I purchased used in 2013 with about 45k miles on it. The treads look fine and I currently have about 78k on it but I've read thing...
by smitcat
Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping kitchen knives sharp
Replies: 54
Views: 3965

Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

A two sided stone with a 'rougher' and 'finishing' side will put a much better than average edge on a decent quality blade. With that said it does take a bit or practice and 'knack' until you get good at using a sharpening stone and so practicing with less than 'valuable' knives is a good start. The...
by smitcat
Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: truck prices
Replies: 37
Views: 2676

Re: truck prices

"Well, there's a good 2:1 price ratio between high end and base model pickups, at least with Ford, the Platinum/Limited vs the XL. So it depends on what you need and want..." Exactly true - We got over 28K on a trade-n value for our 2013 Chevy with almost 60,000 miles on it. Another consid...
by smitcat
Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: truck prices
Replies: 37
Views: 2676

Re: truck prices

"This is harder if you don't know exactly what you want, or are looking at a few different makes and models. I would test drive a couple to find out what you want and proceed accordingly." It is also impossible to do if you have a trade in option and also need to see the vehicle you potent...
by smitcat
Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of getting tires from Costco
Replies: 68
Views: 4753

Re: Thinking of getting tires from Costco

"My last tire purchase was WalMart." Shopping tires is like shopping many items these days as the products are not equal. That is you need to do some research on the quality and attributes of the exact tire you want to buy before you start looking for installed prices. Even with the same m...
by smitcat
Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: truck prices
Replies: 37
Views: 2676

Re: truck prices

"No. The starting reference point is what people actually pay for the car, which is what TrueCar provides." Of course it is - but the MSRP is another data point that allows one to compare trucks/cars from various places as well as with variously equipped options. So you will find that plac...
by smitcat
Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: truck prices
Replies: 37
Views: 2676

Re: truck prices

I just bought a new Chevy pickup and with all the various discounts the price came out to $11K below the MSRP sticker. This was for a truck that we picked out for the features that we wanted. Also - they gave us a great trade-in value for our older Chevy pickup which saved a bunch on the taxes. Some...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me all about snowblowers
Replies: 42
Views: 2434

Re: Tell me all about snowblowers

"Do you get dirty carbs? The use of Ethanol greatly increases the need for service on these new units. My understanding is water droplets form on the needles, and over time leave deposits, and changes how fuel flows." As with any gasoline powered engine that works seasonally - at each seas...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me all about snowblowers
Replies: 42
Views: 2434

Re: Tell me all about snowblowers

In my experience once you get over a foot of snow to clear it is tie to look at more powerful blowers if you need to clear large areas and throw longer distances. When you have a need to throw 12' further that 10 ' or so (20' wide path) the size and power of the engine is much more important than th...

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