Search found 226 matches

by vveat
Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Missing charge - should I go back and inquire?
Replies: 7
Views: 863

Missing charge - should I go back and inquire?

Three weeks ago I needed to make a photo book for a gift. Time was of essence since we were going abroad within a week (i.e. 2 weeks ago from now) - so I didn't use my usual online photo site, and didn't use Costco either since I had some issues with them last time. I opted to make the book on CVS P...
by vveat
Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Choosing a home from 3 options
Replies: 7
Views: 1073

Re: Choosing a home from 3 options

It's not very clear what is your preference for location - is it walkability or is it proximity to center? For the last one you say it's best location, but then you have a concern about approachable neighbors? Are there other factors - commute to work, driving distance to sports or other activities ...
by vveat
Mon May 22, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Insurance for visiting the US
Replies: 5
Views: 717

Re: Medical Insurance for visiting the US

We have regularly used insubuy.com to purchase visitor insurance for our family that visit US. They offer quotes online that can customized by coverage and limits, need and your pocket book. Thankfully, we have not had to use much and always cover tests and basic doctor visits out of pocket as we c...
by vveat
Mon May 22, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer outdoor parties - party food ideas
Replies: 20
Views: 1793

Re: Summer outdoor parties - party food ideas

You didn't say whether you'll be serving kids/teens or grown ups, for us that would be a leading factor. A few favorites: - tomato/mozzarella or fruit "kebabs" (i.e. on a stick) - gazpacho in plastic cups (if you have good ripe tomatoes, blend them with some cucumber, onions, red pepper, g...
by vveat
Sat May 20, 2017 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What goes in your smoothie?
Replies: 45
Views: 2869

Re: What goes in your smoothie?

We recently got a Ninja, much cheaper than a Vitamix, likely makes a bit less smooth smoothies. One particular one ended as the whole family favorite (otherwise one of us is more into greens, others entirely into fruits) 2 cups of Swiss chard or spinach 2 cups of fresh peaches or bananas (canned or ...
by vveat
Fri May 19, 2017 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: house issue with number of rooms
Replies: 18
Views: 1962

Re: house issue with number of rooms

When we bought our house we realized somebody (not even the previous owner) had built an addition without declaring it. We did the right thing and notified the town. Our taxes went up significantly and it took us an appeal to bring them down in line with comparables. Ours was a big and noticeable di...
by vveat
Fri May 19, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifts - list price vs. what you actually paid
Replies: 3
Views: 519

Gifts - list price vs. what you actually paid

I am for sure overthinking this, but decided to ask. My son is going to a classmate's birthday party tomorrow. In general my rule of thumb for kids gifts for not very close friends is ~$25 (or maybe $20-30). We got him an item with a list price of $25 (printed on the back), but I got it at Costco fo...
by vveat
Wed May 10, 2017 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What newspaper or magazine do you pay for?
Replies: 107
Views: 5129

Re: What newspaper or magazine do you pay for?

Recently subscribed to NYTimes (digital) and Washington Post (digital)
Time (physical)
Cooks Illustrated (digital)
and my husband is subscribed to all sailing magazines there are
by vveat
Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for someone new to Management Consulting
Replies: 6
Views: 965

Re: Advice for someone new to Management Consulting

My 2 cents below. 1) What do you think epitomizes a successful management consultant? If you are in a big firm it will vary (and change) by level. At the analyst or even manager level you'll need strong analytical skills - from quick back of the envelope solutions and sanity checking, to creating an...
by vveat
Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying House with Odor (not cigarette)
Replies: 36
Views: 2989

Re: Buying House with Odor (not cigarette)

When we bought our house one room smelled. We were novices, this was a fixer upper anyway, and we decided the owners cat had peed on the carpet. Well, when we pulled the carpet out we encountered a lot of rotting wood, lack of insulation, etc. Resolvable, no serious mold issue, but this added a coup...
by vveat
Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chores for elementary school age kids?
Replies: 18
Views: 1542

Re: Chores for elementary school age kids?

Thank you all for the ideas - especially ChurchLady and Loik098 for the organized long lists. Some of the suggestions were not applicable to what we do in our household - for example, we don't iron (ok, maybe 2-3 times a year), no rugs to shake (pity, I remember beating the rugs being a fun chore wh...
by vveat
Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chores for elementary school age kids?
Replies: 18
Views: 1542

Chores for elementary school age kids?

I was thinking recently that we haven't bothered much with formal chores for my 6 and 9 years old: - they are rather swamped with homework and activities 6 days a week (language school on Sundays) - frankly in the modern household with all appliances and conveniences there are not that many chores. ...
by vveat
Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gross Yearly Income needed in Retirement (Speculation)
Replies: 194
Views: 22375

Re: Gross Yearly Income needed in Retirement (Speculation)

Not retired yet but I've done planning as we are considering early retirement. HCOL area. Travel is the big expense - each 1-2 weeks trip to Europe or similarly remote location is $5-10k, if we take kids out of the equation, probably $5k will do it. Local US trips are cheaper, but I would still budg...
by vveat
Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 218
Views: 20068

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

We've redone the whole house, so practically nothing is gratuitous. It would be easier to point out nice surprises - things we barely noticed or didn't care about that have been surprisingly useful. I could think of only 2 items: Heated towel rack in the master bathroom that we used only in the firs...
by vveat
Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 4244

Re: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?

You didn't address my earlier question. You mentioned that "funding their b-day parties" was their only gift from you. What did their parties consist of and how much did you spend on them? Am I under cross examination? Truth: I don't remember the dollar amounts. Our 4-year old's party was...
by vveat
Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 4244

Re: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?

I completely understand and like the fact that your kids read a lot. But I am really curios why you do not use libraries most of the time? Could it be that you don not have good libraries where you live? Original OP here. I was (am) so fascinated by the birthday gifts discussion that I forgot to re...
by vveat
Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Describe your Reasonable Dream Home
Replies: 51
Views: 3725

Re: Describe your Reasonable Dream Home

We are pretty happy with what we have currently: - 2,300 sqft ranch, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths - big room for large gatherings and small living room for TV watching - cozy library room - open floor, but we can send the kids and their friends to the finished basement and close the door if the noise bothers...
by vveat
Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you discuss finances and spending with your spouse?
Replies: 60
Views: 3818

Re: How often do you discuss finances and spending with your spouse?

Have you done any tracking of the regular spending, or any retirement projections - to serve as a basis for the discussion? I am having difficulty getting to the right conversation if there is no common starting point but different opinions on what is much and what is little. Why don't you put some ...
by vveat
Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 4244

Re: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?

Thanks for the opinions so far. It really surprised me that people were surprised that we don't buy them birthday presents. I guess it may seem odd, but given that they get so many at one time (I even hold them off from opening most, so they open them throughout the year) I find it difficult to come...
by vveat
Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 4244

Re: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?

excluding clothing (for the 8 year old, the younger one is 99% on hand-me-downs:-) I would seriously rethink this. Children especially girls, need their own identity. This really forms in the pre-teen years (8 -12). Hand-me-downs can be a great breeding ground of hidden resentment and you won't dis...
by vveat
Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 4244

How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?

I am looking for a bit of a benchmark what is normal to spend on "stuff" for your kids at elementary school age. I have a 6 and 8 year old, and comparing them to my closest friends with similar age kids we buy much less. But my mom who is visiting from abroad for a couple of months a year ...
by vveat
Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?
Replies: 95
Views: 8237

Re: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?

Frankly for us, if we are able to do it well, and if we don't absolutely hate the activity, we always DYI. That's how we were brought up, and having money hasn't changed the mentality. Not saying it's reasonable, just not easy to overcome. Also my husband is stay-at-home and is very handy, so no exc...
by vveat
Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Caribbean vacation with 3 kids
Replies: 27
Views: 2424

Re: Caribbean vacation with 3 kids

Dominican Republic is a cheaper destination - we've been twice - once to La Romana, last year to Punta Cana, and had very good experience as vacations with kids go. Last year an all inclusive for a week with 2 kids cost us $5k (we booked through Costco Travel). They had a kids club with activities a...
by vveat
Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Utility Bills - How do ours compare?
Replies: 44
Views: 3880

Re: Utility Bills - How do ours compare?

Location: NJ House size: 1,600 sq ft (main) + 800 sq ft basement Occupants: 4 (5 in some months) Average monthly based on full year: Electric: $135 (high: $190, low: $70) Gas: $50 (high: $100, low: $10). Note - we have a wood stove that we use daily in winter months, it effectively heats half of the...
by vveat
Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids in Apartment Sharing Bedroom - Workable?
Replies: 55
Views: 3906

Re: Kids in Apartment Sharing Bedroom - Workable?

We have 3 boys. The two oldest shared a room when the oldest was 4 and the middle was just a baby. When three came along, he moved in with middle and oldest got his own room. Youngest two are now 11 and 8 and have always shared a room, despite the fact we have a 5 bedroom house. I'm curious why you...
by vveat
Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy coffee beans?
Replies: 96
Views: 6282

Re: Where do you buy coffee beans?

Starbucks has "blonde" coffees - Veranda and Willow. They do not taste burned at all, I am very sensitive to this and have always gone for medium or light roasts, this is a great choice for us. https://www.starbucks.com/coffee/blonde By the way, on my rare visits to Aldi (out of the way fo...
by vveat
Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Payoneer?
Replies: 2
Views: 379

Re: Experience with Payoneer?

Thank you! The payment came through in 2 days, I was impressed and pleasantly surprised.
by vveat
Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Payoneer?
Replies: 2
Views: 379

Experience with Payoneer?

I got a small compensation payment from United through AirHelp, for a significantly delayed flight. AirHelp offer 3 ways to send me the payment - a bank transfer or check would cost $30, while bank transfer via Payoneer would be free. It's the first time I had heard of Payoneer. Since I will have to...
by vveat
Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?
Replies: 171
Views: 11158

Re: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?

Such a wealth of answers, thank you all. I am already reassured that we are not over the top - it seems quite a few of the respondents spend about the same as us when going out in similar COL areas. You are probably right about the drinks being the culprit. Since I don't drink myself I never look at...
by vveat
Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?
Replies: 171
Views: 11158

How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?

I was recently looking through our restaurant spend data from Mint over the recent few years and something surprised me. A year and a half ago my husband and I decided to go out to eat more often (basically introduced a date night:-). We are real homebodies, heavily into home cooking, preserving, br...
by vveat
Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime shipping to post office for pickup?
Replies: 18
Views: 3629

Re: Amazon Prime shipping to post office for pickup?

I would not have picked it up. I would have contacted Amazon and told them to deliver it to the door or refund the purchase. If I want to drive to get a microwave, I can more easily stop at Walmart and get one. Yes, but dealing with a refund + making a trip to Walmart adds up to more time and hassl...
by vveat
Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime shipping to post office for pickup?
Replies: 18
Views: 3629

Amazon Prime shipping to post office for pickup?

We had a strange occurrence with Amazon Prime. * I had just ordered a microwave (since my first move on January 1st in the morning was to break the door of the old one :oops: ). It was scheduled for delivery on Wednesday. On Wednesday evening it showed "delivered" but we couldn't find a pa...
by vveat
Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Liver
Replies: 43
Views: 5316

Re: Liver

One of my favorite soups is leberknödelsuppe - liver dumpling soup. It may be a bit more trouble than what you are looking for, but is delicious. It takes at most an hour to make a big batch of ground liver meatballs (mixed with some ground veal, since the kids don't appreciate pure liver taste :oop...
by vveat
Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Putting in a Word About Tea - brands, types, etc.
Replies: 72
Views: 6880

Re: Putting in a Word About Tea - brands, types, etc.

I am getting pretty addicted to matcha powder tea - I drink it as a latte to reduce the bitter taste. I've almost gone off coffee since I hit upon it. It's a little bit more work because you need to foam it first, but really worth it. If you want to give it a try I have uses a few brands so far and ...
by vveat
Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for a good political drama?
Replies: 16
Views: 1376

Recommendations for a good political drama?

I am looking for something that really has politics as a focus - not sidelining too much into personal stories, parody, terrorism/violence, etc - and not sacrificing realism for pure drama. The ones I have liked best so far: * West Wing is my personal favorite - I've watched it 4-5 times end-to-end ...
by vveat
Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Direction on a couple of early retirement questions
Replies: 5
Views: 730

Direction on a couple of early retirement questions

I have started thinking of options for early retirement - somewhere between 50 and 55, so I have still a good 10 year horizon for planning. I am looking at some resources (the wiki, the Bogleheads guide to retirement planning, Firecalc, etc), and at this point just exploring the possibility A few qu...
by vveat
Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Raising a reader
Replies: 53
Views: 4138

Re: Raising a reader

I think both my kids are "readers". Older one is 8, reads a chapter book a day, at 5th grade level or so, owns more than 200 books and is active library user. She likes movies, but will often opt out if she is in the midst of an interesting book. The younger one at 5 learned to read recent...
by vveat
Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How best to take little kids sightseeing?
Replies: 37
Views: 2875

Re: How best to take little kids sightseeing?

Thanks, in Vienna the Lipizzaners are on vacation right now, that was my first thought too. I am hoping they will stand a short walk through the Hofburg Imperial Apartments and then we'll try the Prater. Good points, I probably had too high expectations. They like natural history museums, aquariums ...
by vveat
Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How best to take little kids sightseeing?
Replies: 37
Views: 2875

How best to take little kids sightseeing?

We are in the midst of a trip in Europe and it's not going as easy as expected. The kids are 5 and 8, we are doing a family visit in Europe and I decided that we can get them started with a couple of days in Amsterdam and in Vienna on the way back and forth. We specifically picked what we thought we...
by vveat
Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What TYPE of books do you like to read?
Replies: 48
Views: 3006

Re: What TYPE of books do you like to read?

Non-fiction Social science - recently going through different angles on the influence of class and education in America Cooking - not cookbooks but more techniques, travel-related, memoirs Fiction Fantasy History Recently I have been skimming with pleasure some of my daughter's books - she is 8 but ...
by vveat
Sun May 22, 2016 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice w/ 62YO Mom Moving In - Rent? Resentment? Plans? (Update, Pg 3)
Replies: 123
Views: 14743

Re: Advice w/ 62YO Mom Moving In - Rent? Resentment? Plans?

I would say if there is a way to "test drive" this with her visiting for a few months, it would be a good way to check what works and what doesn't. That's what we did over the winter, and it didn't work too well regretfully. I am from a culture where you take care of your elderly parents a...
by vveat
Sat May 21, 2016 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?
Replies: 64
Views: 7650

Re: Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?

Making a quick update as promised. I have to say again the advice was excellent - it didn't just answer the specific questions I had posed but went well beyond to things I hadn't considered properly, for example - Good fit matters much more than a brand - There are style elements beyond clothes - ma...
by vveat
Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?
Replies: 64
Views: 7650

Re: Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?

I am deeply grateful that never in my life have I devoted as much time, energy, and money as most people posting on this thread have to clothes and makeup, nor has anyone suggested that I should. I would say, one one hundredth of the effort. Why is it that people who don't keep up with the Jones by...
by vveat
Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?
Replies: 64
Views: 7650

Re: Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?

What an overwhelming wave of responses - thank you all for the kind advice!!! So many things I hadn't even thought of. I am already taking a couple of steps and over the weekend need to reread everything carefully and pick more nuggets. - I have booked an appointment at Nordstrom, which should help ...
by vveat
Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kellogg vs. Darden
Replies: 17
Views: 2041

Re: Kellogg vs. Darden

Those are both "top 20" B-schools. As long as she graduates in the top 20% of her class, she will absolutely, positively, have the "world by the tail!" Good luck and many good wishes to her! :sharebeer MBA programs are not like law school. Most recruiters do not care about your ...
by vveat
Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?
Replies: 64
Views: 7650

Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?

I am dreading the type of response I may get to such a question, but I really would like to get the Bogleheads perspective. The original problem is that I don’t know and don’t care much about brands of clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. I don’t enjoy shopping and I don’t really notice what other peo...
by vveat
Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is an interior designer worth it?
Replies: 33
Views: 4360

Re: Is an interior designer worth it?

I have used an online designer already 4 times - from full room design to specific small question about paint color. She has a menu of services. Prices are very reasonable and you can follow up with (many) questions, I typically do. http://www.interiordesignserviceonline.com/ I have been invariably ...
by vveat
Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal property inventory
Replies: 12
Views: 1732

Re: Personal property inventory

so they likely won't care about your book database or how many DVDs you have. They have formulas for such items. What kind of formulas? If they don't care about the count, do they just assume than an average household has X books or X DVDs, even if you have a count? Thanks for reminding me of the t...
by vveat
Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal property inventory
Replies: 12
Views: 1732

Personal property inventory

I was just updating our personal property inventory – I try to go through it once a year or so, keep it current for insurance purposes. We keep a fairly detailed list in Excel with descriptions of items, and when possible the model and purchase cost. The good thing is we usually buy from Amazon and ...
by vveat
Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United vs Lufthansa on taxes and fees
Replies: 7
Views: 1084

United vs Lufthansa on taxes and fees

I have been using Lufthansa Miles and More for years, have Sen status and am happy with service and flight availability. One issue with flying on miles has always been the high taxes and fees - for example a one way business flight to Europe with one transfer in Vienna recently came with $460 fee, i...

Go to advanced search