Search found 64 matches

by SpaethCo
Thu May 10, 2018 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Alternative
Replies: 86
Views: 7949

Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Ebay.

I’ve found that almost everything available from Amazon marketplace sellers is also available on Ebay for less. Most of the “Buy It Now” stuff is brand new merchandise sold by marketplace merchants that ship either USPS Priority 2-day, or actually use Amazon logistics for delivery.
by SpaethCo
Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with CD ladder strategy for emergency fund
Replies: 36
Views: 2731

Re: Help with CD ladder strategy for emergency fund

Please note that Penfed made their early withdrawal penalties more severe. h. Early Withdrawal Penalties. All requests for early withdrawal must be in writing. In the event of early withdrawal, one of the following penalties shall apply: 1) Six-month Money Market Certificates. a) If redeemed within ...
by SpaethCo
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of getting an Apple Watch
Replies: 82
Views: 8409

Re: Thinking of getting an Apple Watch

Everybody else hit most of the key points, so I'm going to just add a couple things. Are there any specific apps / features that you really like, or were really life changing? + Unlocking my Mac with the watch is a killer feature for me. + Strong app for the gym. Step through your workout sets, log ...
by SpaethCo
Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AC/Furnace Questions- 1 stage or 2 stage?
Replies: 45
Views: 2831

Re: AC/Furnace Questions- 1 stage or 2 stage?

As for this: "The Ecobee won't let the house get colder than what it can recover to set point at stage 2 within 30 minutes" --is that a built in function of the ecobee or do you have it set to that? I read through the manual and am a little confused on the two-stage settings. It's a built-in functi...
by SpaethCo
Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AC/Furnace Questions- 1 stage or 2 stage?
Replies: 45
Views: 2831

Re: AC/Furnace Questions- 1 stage or 2 stage?

If you look at the design of 1-stage vs 2-stage, the only real difference is a 2nd gas valve and a 2-speed inducer motor, so that shouldn't matter for reliability. It's not until you get into modulating furnaces with an actuator that adjusts a single gas valve and a full ECM flue exhaust motor where...
by SpaethCo
Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is Costco cash back coupon arriving?
Replies: 23
Views: 2594

Re: When is Costco cash back coupon arriving?

The credit card cash back certificate was delivered as an email a couple weeks ago.

The executive membership reward certificate came this week in the USPS mail.
by SpaethCo
Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Ins. Drop Comprehensive and Collision?
Replies: 13
Views: 1024

Re: Auto Ins. Drop Comprehensive and Collision?

I max out deductibles, I don't drop coverage for 2 reasons: 1) Everything to get the car from the road to its final resting place becomes the insurance company's problem. If I'm in a crash, it's already stressful enough - I don't want to have to worry about making sure the incident tow company gets ...
by SpaethCo
Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Furnace Setting for Vacation
Replies: 23
Views: 1679

Re: Furnace Setting for Vacation

Setting a high efficiency furnace below 60F can cause heat exchanger damage If you have a 80% efficient non-condensing furnace, this doesn't apply to you. Newer 90+% efficient furnace designs have a 2-stage heat exchanger, with a steel radiator that feeds into an aluminum radiator where the exhaust...
by SpaethCo
Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)
Replies: 73
Views: 7279

Re: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)

Would you really find a fraudulent transaction skimming the statement that could be more than a month later? No, I probably wouldn't. That's why the statements aren't my method of identifying fraud; I rely on transaction notifications from all of my financial institutions delivered via email or iPh...
by SpaethCo
Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)
Replies: 73
Views: 7279

Re: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)

After 20 years of Quicken I pitched it a year ago. No regrets. I never write check's anymore. My transactions are all on line. I need not pay some company every year to give me a product that has planned ways to extract more money out of my wallet. Its actually pretty liberating. I literally could ...
by SpaethCo
Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 5GB iCloud storage vs 128GB iPhone
Replies: 16
Views: 1310

Re: 5GB iCloud storage vs 128GB iPhone

Even the photos are backed up by Google, the dates/name/order/size(?) gets messed up when the photos get uploaded or downloaded. Some photos have chronological image name and some ends up with cryptic names. Google preserves the original filename, and pictures will be indexed according to the time/...
by SpaethCo
Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 5GB iCloud storage vs 128GB iPhone
Replies: 16
Views: 1310

Re: 5GB iCloud storage vs 128GB iPhone

This should not be that difficult. I really want to selectively disable iCloud backup by application but any time I have tried to do that, the warnings are dire and I chicken out. Edit: after typing out a reply, I realized balofagus already posted the same thing: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/vi...
by SpaethCo
Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2692
Views: 520404

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Wanted to report that I spoke with a Discover card customer service rep, and they confirmed that all Costco.com purchases qualify for the 5% wholesale club category this quarter. (It gets tagged as Merchandise on the statement, but still qualifies). Wholesale clubs was also a category for Q2 2017, ...
by SpaethCo
Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Use of 2FA Held My Accounts Hostage
Replies: 28
Views: 2804

Re: Use of 2FA Held My Accounts Hostage

I have accounts at give me a choice of the code being sent by a phone call (not text) or email. ... Is one more secure than the other? It depends. Is that email a Gmail account that you have locked down with Google Prompt + Google Authenticator, with all cell phone references removed? If so, then y...
by SpaethCo
Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Use of 2FA Held My Accounts Hostage
Replies: 28
Views: 2804

Re: Use of 2FA Held My Accounts Hostage

Right now there is an ongoing hack against one of the major national banks and a cell phone company. Indeed. There was just a post of this happening to someone a couple days ago on Reddit. (with Wells Fargo, no less) https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/7mcuag/a_warning_about_the_sim_s...
by SpaethCo
Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple 2FA is saving DEVICE passwords in the cloud
Replies: 21
Views: 2872

Re: Apple 2FA is saving DEVICE passwords in the cloud

Apple does publish a document about how they implement security in iOS and Apple's iCloud/AppleID infrastructure. (although it is still pending an update for iOS 11) https://www.apple.com/business/docs/iOS_Security_Guide.pdf It's a great read for anyone who wants the technical details behind what Ap...
by SpaethCo
Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple 2FA is saving DEVICE passwords in the cloud
Replies: 21
Views: 2872

Re: Apple 2FA is saving DEVICE passwords in the cloud

As called out in later posts, you are not sending your device password to Apple to be validated. You're not sending your password specifically, but you are sending information to Apple to get your decryption key. I debated replying to this thread again because I feel like I'm being a bit pedantic, ...
by SpaethCo
Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple 2FA is saving DEVICE passwords in the cloud
Replies: 21
Views: 2872

Re: Apple 2FA is saving DEVICE passwords in the cloud

It is not "Apple" as in the servers that is verifying your iMac's password, it is your phone that is locally checking if the password you enter successfully decrypts the key that protects the iCloud Keychain. It actually is Hardware Security Modules (servers that destroy themselves if physically ta...
by SpaethCo
Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Insurance -Drop Full Coverage?
Replies: 13
Views: 1630

Re: Auto Insurance -Drop Full Coverage?

Consider more than the cost of the vehicle. If you get into a crash that’s your fault, do you want to handle the logistics of paying for towing to a holding yard, storage fees at the holding yard, and final transportation to a salvage yard? If you get into a crash that’s not your fault, do you want ...
by SpaethCo
Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering a LG 55" OLED TV
Replies: 50
Views: 5508

Re: Considering a LG 55" OLED TV

I wonder if the slight difference in model numbers would be an issue for that? Costco has it as Model OLED55B7 Best Buy has it as Model: OLED55B7A You might actually be better off to use https://shopping.google.com and searching for OLED55B7P, and taking one of those sites for the price match. I ha...
by SpaethCo
Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering a LG 55" OLED TV
Replies: 50
Views: 5508

Re: Considering a LG 55" OLED TV

That's not how the Citi extended warranty works. It does not add years to non-manufacturers warranties, only to manufacturers. They specifically call out this example in the benefits documentation for the Citi Costco card at http://citi.com/Costco https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4484/38164087172_cf5...
by SpaethCo
Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)
Replies: 73
Views: 7279

Re: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)

Equifax ex-CEO: Hacked data wasn't encrypted Okay, that's fair, but this is still the important point: Even if the data were encrypted, however, the application that the hackers exploited would still have had access to it, said Williams. So encryption wouldn't have stopped the hack. Which is the Qu...
by SpaethCo
Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)
Replies: 73
Views: 7279

Re: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)

But they are encrypted. correct? We have no way to verify, but I'm willing to take their word that the credentials are encrypted at rest. The important factor is they also have the decryption key -- Quicken servers actively use your cleartext username and password on a nightly basis to gain access ...
by SpaethCo
Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)
Replies: 73
Views: 7279

Re: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)

I'm not sure there is any more danger having the ID's and PW's on their encrypted servers than there is a danger of my home PC being hacked and certain information getting out, or hackers taking over a cell phone, etc. Even if the passwords are encrypted at rest, Quicken's automated systems have th...
by SpaethCo
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)
Replies: 73
Views: 7279

Re: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)

If I wasn't using Quicken, I would probably have an email or text sent for each transaction so I wouldn't have to log into each account separately. I think one important callout here is that for credit cards, the transaction alerts for almost every credit card* is when the charge is authorized , bu...
by SpaethCo
Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)
Replies: 73
Views: 7279

Re: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)

Thanks for all the feedback, particularly the callout for tracking chartable donations. That's something I definitely want to export into a spreadsheet for tracking going forward. OP asked what benefit the categorization provides. We don’t have a budget for our daily lives, but I find the categoriza...
by SpaethCo
Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering a LG 55" OLED TV
Replies: 50
Views: 5508

Re: Considering a LG 55" OLED TV

Keep in mind if you have CITI Costco card your warranty jumps to 4 years at no cost to you. Can not go wrong. Think twice about Best Buy, restocking fees and charge for warranties. It’s even better than that. Costco has the register rebate where you can get the 3 year Squaretrade warranty extension...
by SpaethCo
Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)
Replies: 73
Views: 7279

Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)

Any Quicken users out there who have given up on it after years (decades?) of faithful use? If you have, do you regret giving up maintaining that data? I recently setup an account at a new financial institution, and once the account was active I went to download the QFX files to get it all setup in ...
by SpaethCo
Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going First Class
Replies: 42
Views: 3200

Re: Going First Class

The biggest thing that I think most people overlook is time (and stress ) saved at the airport flying first class - it's differentiated service from luggage check, through security, all the way to the plane. - If you're checking bags, you can use the dedicated first class lines and skip often overcr...
by SpaethCo
Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you want your receipt?
Replies: 99
Views: 8926

Re: Do you want your receipt?

I always demand a receipt and check them against the monthly statement. How else can you check for fraud accurately? Exactly! I'm shocked anyone would say no. I guess they just pay whatever the cc statement says or the minimum. I get an SMS instantly from my bank whenever someone makes a credit car...
by SpaethCo
Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone go 100% Ally or another online bank for all banking needs?
Replies: 61
Views: 6542

Re: Anyone go 100% Ally or another online bank for all banking needs?

B & M's are also handy when you need to withdraw a larger amount of cash than an ATM trip. You can do a debit card cash advance with many (most?) banks without being a direct customer, so if that's the only thing you need out of a local branch there are alternative methods you can use. https://www....
by SpaethCo
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone go 100% Ally or another online bank for all banking needs?
Replies: 61
Views: 6542

Re: Anyone go 100% Ally or another online bank for all banking needs?

While you can withdraw at any ATM, you can not make cash deposits at an ATM for an online only bank. It depends. Alliant Credit Union, for instance, has a contract to use US Bank branch ATMs to take deposits. Since US Bank has many "envelope free" ATMs that will take both checks and cash, you can d...
by SpaethCo
Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Full comprehensive or liability only?
Replies: 30
Views: 3138

Re: Full comprehensive or liability only?

One other thing to consider about keeping collision coverage on a car where it might not seem to make financial sense: how willing are you going to be to handle all of the logistics after you're in an accident? If you're in an accident that totals a vehicle, without collision coverage you have to so...
by SpaethCo
Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vue/Sling tv users--what do you miss?
Replies: 43
Views: 4075

Re: Vue/Sling tv users--what do you miss?

- Resolution on the live streams is capped at 720p - Frame rate is capped at 30fps (vs native broadcast 60fps) on Sling and Hulu Live, although it may be changing for Hulu in the near future - Audio is 2 channel stereo only, no 5.1 Dolby Digital - The "cloud DVR" options don't allow for modifying re...
by SpaethCo
Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel Recommendations - Las Vegas
Replies: 20
Views: 2620

Re: Hotel Recommendations - Las Vegas

Top of the list (with pool desires) has to be the Signature at MGM Grand. They are 3 towers behind the MGM Grand casino that were originally built to be condos, and are now a mix of timeshares / hotel rooms. The towers are fully non-smoking, and the balcony suites are very reasonably priced; they in...
by SpaethCo
Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?
Replies: 74
Views: 11437

Re: Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?

If you use one of the premium secure services like startmail or 33mail or fastmail , etc., isn't there a chance it could go out of business and you could lose everything (or at least have to go to the awful trouble of manually saving everything)? You don't have to manually save everything. There ar...
by SpaethCo
Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best shows to see while in Vegas
Replies: 28
Views: 3081

Re: Best shows to see while in Vegas

bta15 wrote:If you don't mind crude humor I think Absinthe is the best show going in Vegas right now.
This is such an amazing show - it's easily the best thing I've ever seen in Vegas.
by SpaethCo
Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued
Replies: 154
Views: 21580

Re: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued

Rather than pursuing one (or more) of the alternate cards suggested in this thread, I'm leaning towards switching to using cash/debit card only. In the end we likely spend more when we use these cash back cards (even if it's on necessities like groceries). This makes any cash back "reward" null. Th...
by SpaethCo
Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued
Replies: 154
Views: 21580

Re: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued

[Edit: SM was our primary card for Walmart and Target . We can cover groceries, Amazon, and gas with others.] Why not use the Target Debit card? You can get it with no credit pull, you just link it to a checking account they can ACH against. 5% off everything before it generates your receipt total,...
by SpaethCo
Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What temperature for house for long winter absence?
Replies: 70
Views: 146810

Re: What temperature for house for long winter absence?

If you have a high efficiency furnace, setting your thermostat too low can be a costly mistake. To boost efficiency to 90+% these furnaces have a primary and secondary heat exchanger, and each are usually made of different materials. For many furnaces there is a transition from steel to aluminum bet...
by SpaethCo
Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken Mac 2017 Released
Replies: 16
Views: 3137

Re: Quicken Mac 2017 Released

I've been using the Windows version of Quicken since 1996, but over the last couple years have converted to a Mac as my daily use machine. During the transition period I kept a tower PC that I would boot up and use remote desktop to run any apps that were PC-only if I couldn't find Mac alternatives,...
by SpaethCo
Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Insurance - Add/Remove Options
Replies: 19
Views: 1867

Re: Car Insurance - Add/Remove Options

Generally people drop comp & collision when a car is ~10 (?) years old. I had considered dropping collision based on reading that advice on several forums, and having just lost a 12 year old car in an accident I'm glad we still had collision coverage even with the deductible maxed out. While we cou...
by SpaethCo
Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads for Diet/Nutrition?
Replies: 66
Views: 6004

Re: Bogleheads for Diet/Nutrition?

Is there a Boglehead like site or philosophy for Diet and Nutrition? The three fund portfolio of diet and nutrition? You just described the basis of IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) http://www.iifym.com You have 3 basic macronutrients your body needs: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. You establish a ...
by SpaethCo
Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best online bill payment service.
Replies: 30
Views: 3238

Re: Best online bill payment service.

I'm a recent convert from the church of push-only payments to pull autopay; I always stayed away from pull payments because everyone seems to have a story about a problem that happened with them or someone they know. Pushing payments isn't perfect either, however, because you're inserting yourself i...
by SpaethCo
Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco Visa transition - effect on credit score
Replies: 15
Views: 2040

Re: Costco Visa transition - effect on credit score

What's the source of your FICO score drop? My FAKEO score as reported by CreditKarma dropped when Amex stopped reporting and rebounded when Citi started reporting, but there was no impact to the scores calculated and reported by Discover, Barclays, or Bank of America. When I look on CreditKarma now,...
by SpaethCo
Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is everyone up in arms about Costco's credit transition?
Replies: 65
Views: 6903

Re: Why is everyone up in arms about Costco's credit transition?

On June 20th, Citibank added over 11 million new customer accounts as part of the transition. Even if only 2% of that customer base had a reason to call for assistance, that's going to generate 220,000 calls into Citi call centers on top of their typical call volume. That leads to long hold times, w...
by SpaethCo
Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bicycle recommendations
Replies: 72
Views: 6333

Re: bicycle recommendations

Given that you posted this question on Bogleheads rather than a bicycle forum... This is a perfect time to re-frame N+1 in a Boglehead context! :idea: Why would you invest all of your potential for growth in happiness into a single bicycle? Sure you've had success with the 10-speed road bike so far...
by SpaethCo
Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Costco Visa & Car Rental Insurance
Replies: 25
Views: 27413

Re: New Costco Visa & Car Rental Insurance

The amex add-on car rental insurance is good if you only carry liability on your regular car insurance as some of us do. The "free" coverage provided by the credit card companies is secondary to any existing primary policies that would cover an event, so if you don't carry collision on your standar...
by SpaethCo
Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Costco Visa & Car Rental Insurance
Replies: 25
Views: 27413

Re: New Costco Visa & Car Rental Insurance

None of the credit card options (including Amex's paid add-on which makes it "primary") cover liability, so you're really only covered for the very specific event where you cause enough damage to the car that it's worth going through the claim process but somehow avoid causing bodily injury or prope...
by SpaethCo
Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]
Replies: 289
Views: 48228

Re: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]

ClaycordJCA wrote: I may just cancel and rely on the Costco card since it will be 2% or more everywhere.
Outside of gas, restaurants, and Costco, that card only gets 1% cash back?