Search found 143 matches

by shorty313
Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Optimal dish replacement scheme
Replies: 29
Views: 1860

Re: Optimal dish replacement scheme

We have had a set of Noritake Colorwave for a number of years that we use everyday. So far no dings, chips or breakage, they're dishwasher and microwave safe and even the grandkids (or us older kids) haven't broken any. We had thought of buying a few extra individual place settings just in case, bu...
by shorty313
Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oddly Difficult to Find Items During the Pandemic
Replies: 190
Views: 13292

Re: Oddly Difficult to Find Items During the Pandemic

Claussen Whole Garlic Dill Pickles The struggle is real. Cheers My giggle for the day! (They sound delicious!) Glad I could bring a smile to your face. They are delicious. Claussen Pickles are sold in the refrigerated section of stores because they aren't heat treated or pasteurized. I didn't know ...
by shorty313
Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?
Replies: 121
Views: 5622

Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

123 wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:32 pm
BogleTaxPro wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:44 pm
Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine. It's NOT science fiction, it's a wonderful depiction of life in small town america.
+1 My favorites as well.
I remember HATING that book in high school English class. Maybe it’s time for a re-read. That and My Antonia were low on my list.
by shorty313
Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Remodel or move?
Replies: 33
Views: 2184

Re: Remodel or move?

The value of good neighbors and a content family can not be understated. We have gotten really lucky in our hood and wouldn’t dream of moving up currently. Option 2 seems like the better remodel option, with plenty of time left to enjoy the bigger space.
by shorty313
Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to replace deck?
Replies: 24
Views: 2070

Re: Time to replace deck?

I am curious to hear other’s thoughts on this and brands as well. We will be resurfacing deck with composite/PVC but are struggling with which brand. Trex seemed to be the first to the market and popular choice, but most recent reviews lead me to believe the product has lost some quality. I am curr...
by shorty313
Tue May 26, 2020 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pandemic buys that have improved quality of life?
Replies: 185
Views: 19260

Re: Pandemic buys that have improved quality of life?

We happened to have bought a hot tub in Feb and it makes staying home more bearable. Of course, we are now expanding our deck around it so that's occupying our time.

Also bought an electric kettle since lockdown started, has been a great addition.
by shorty313
Mon May 18, 2020 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income about to be halved - what do we do?
Replies: 62
Views: 7879

Re: Income about to be halved - what do we do?

We are in an area that only gets Verizon service well, and use Total Wireless, a verizon MVNO. Much cheaper - we pay a hair over $100 for 4 lines and unlimited data (throttled after 100 GB shared).
by shorty313
Wed May 06, 2020 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2020 travel plans
Replies: 95
Views: 4622

Re: 2020 travel plans

We have a road trip planned to Maine end of June. We have until June 7 to cancel our airbnb. I doubt we will go, but we shall see as the date approaches. Also have my college roommate's wedding in Oct that is a plane flight away. I have not bought the tickets yet. Would hate to miss that. She hasn't...
by shorty313
Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?
Replies: 99
Views: 6232

Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Calls with upper management suggest that WFH has been more productive than they were expecting. Other than field techs, we are currently 100% remote. Prior to this, I would WFH about 1-2x a month. WFH was at manager's discretion/approval. I manage a team so I tried to come to office daily, but my co...
by shorty313
Sat Apr 25, 2020 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stimulus Check for Person Who Died in 2019
Replies: 27
Views: 3045

Re: Stimulus Check for Person Who Died in 2019

We are in a similar situation. MIL passed in 2018. We have taken over FILs finances. Death indicated on 2018 taxes. I was a little later in filing his taxes for 2019... he got his refund and 2x stimulus auto deposited on the same day. No idea what to do.
by shorty313
Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relocating back east / Fair Lawn, NJ / Are we crazy?
Replies: 104
Views: 6734

Re: Relocating back east / Fair Lawn, NJ / Are we crazy?

I lived in both North Jersey and down in the Middletown / Jersey shore area in the past. It ultimately wasn't right for us, but we loved the Middletown area. I couldn't imagine buying a house in North Jersey though. Used to commute into Manhattan on the Atlantic Highlands ferry, no better way if yo...
by shorty313
Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you ever use cash?
Replies: 228
Views: 13819

Re: Do you ever use cash?

-Soda machine -Daughters piano teacher -When I’m sending tween in to make a purchase -Anything under $5-feels odd to use a card for so small an amount -occasional lunch at work cafeteria -split meal check with friends I usually carry about $40, which lasts me about 2 weeks. I would guess around 5% ...
by shorty313
Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you ever use cash?
Replies: 228
Views: 13819

Re: Do you ever use cash?

-Soda machine -Daughters piano teacher -When I’m sending tween in to make a purchase -Anything under $5-feels odd to use a card for so small an amount -occasional lunch at work cafeteria -split meal check with friends I usually carry about $40, which lasts me about 2 weeks. I would guess around 5% o...
by shorty313
Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 12 x 5 bathroom remodel
Replies: 18
Views: 1747

Re: 12 x 5 bathroom remodel

We were at $275/sqft in NJ 3 years ago. Didn’t move any plumbing and used a “cheap” solo guy. Ours is 5x8. Labor was around 2/3 of the price.
by shorty313
Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)
Replies: 357
Views: 44099

Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Son is studying civil engineering so this thread is very interesting to me! I'm trying to convince him he'll be better off leaving Calif. because the salary differential isn't going to be big enough to make it worth staying. Some of these replies prove that out. I’m surprised there isn’t more diffe...
by shorty313
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)
Replies: 357
Views: 44099

Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Civil engineer, Transportation field. 21 yrs exp, HCOL, about $140k if I worked full time (40hrs). No advanced degrees. I work 32-35hrs/week. I do more planning than design though (dually licensed).
by shorty313
Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?
Replies: 501
Views: 60789

Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

I honestly believe that going into a trade like plumbing will be more lucrative and stable than engineering. It's one of the jobs that can't be outsourced. Civil Engineers will never be outsourced to another country. There are too many local, state, and federal regulations, codes, standards, requir...
by shorty313
Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net Worth Over $1.5M Under Age 45, Have You Paid Off Your Home?
Replies: 19
Views: 2296

Re: Net Worth Over $1.5M Under Age 45, Have You Paid Off Your Home?

We have not paid it off yet, though I'm tired of paying the damned thing (in year 16). Have about another 6 years at our current payoff rate. We are 43/47 years old. Total NW~$1.9M Liquid NW~$1.5M Home equity roughly $350k Remaining $135k, 3.125% Congrats on the great work! Interesting, do you have...
by shorty313
Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net Worth Over $1.5M Under Age 45, Have You Paid Off Your Home?
Replies: 19
Views: 2296

Re: Net Worth Over $1.5M Under Age 45, Have You Paid Off Your Home?

We have not paid it off yet, though I'm tired of paying the damned thing (in year 16). Have about another 6 years at our current payoff rate. We are 43/47 years old.
Total NW~$1.9M
Liquid NW~$1.5M
Home equity roughly $350k

Remaining $135k, 3.125%
by shorty313
Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Electronic Wallets for Teenagers
Replies: 16
Views: 1332

Re: Electronic Wallets for Teenagers

If I don’t have cash, I pay a sitter with a paper check. I haven’t had any of them say no so far. If it’s a college kid I’ll ask if they Venmo, but for the under 18 crowd I always do cash or paper check. As for splitting bills, that’s what cash is for. They can ask the cashier to break bills if they...
by shorty313
Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Spend HSA or save it?
Replies: 60
Views: 5015

Re: Spend HSA or save it?

We spend from it. We are able to save roughly half of our deposits each year.
by shorty313
Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which iPhone would you buy today?
Replies: 102
Views: 7599

Re: Which iPhone would you buy today?

This summer I gave my daughter my SE and bought a 7 for about $300. Just last week my husbands 6 started having screen problems so we got him the 8 for about $350. Neither of us wanted to spend above that price point for a phone. Sometimes I do miss the smaller form of the SE (which my teen loves to...
by shorty313
Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experience with Hyatt Legal Plans?
Replies: 25
Views: 13550

Re: Any experience with Hyatt Legal Plans?

I just signed up in open enrollment for next year as we want to re do estate documents. A trusted friend is in our network. I expect things will go smoothly at a fraction of the regular cost of these things. It costs me roughly $240 for the year.
by shorty313
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Romantic northeast winter weekend getaway?
Replies: 28
Views: 3461

Re: Romantic northeast winter weekend getaway?

Does NJ count? I love the Woolverton Inn. Near Lambertville and New Hope for something to do. Breakfast at the inn is amazing. https://www.woolvertoninn.com/inn/
by shorty313
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Spend It All vs. Leave $$ for the Kids
Replies: 192
Views: 16496

Re: Spend It All vs. Leave $$ for the Kids

This is a topic I think a lot about. We are in our mid thirties with two children. One has special needs. He is young so how much extra help he will need isn't completely clear, but our guess is he will need some ongoing assistance. So we're saving for two retirements. We save as much as we can in ...
by shorty313
Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should I structure this trust? (special needs child)
Replies: 7
Views: 652

Re: How should I structure this trust? (special needs child)

A follow up question - if my son is determined to be truly disabled as an adult and unable to hold down work, is he eligible to receive our death benefits for life? That $48k would make me feel way better about things. Would that supersede SSI or SSDI benefits he may be eligible for? I"m making a li...
by shorty313
Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should I structure this trust? (special needs child)
Replies: 7
Views: 652

Re: How should I structure this trust? (special needs child)

.... New guardian is 49, single with no children. He is also our sons godfather. He has committed to us that he will live with/support our son as long as necessary (assuming he is in good health). Questions: How do we structure this so that both guardian and kids are taken care of? Can the guardian...
by shorty313
Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should I structure this trust? (special needs child)
Replies: 7
Views: 652

Re: How should I structure this trust? (special needs child)

I would also not burden your daughter to act as trustee or guardian. This role can be very time consuming and emotionally draining and may cause friction between the siblings. I speak from experience. I know, but at the same time can't fathom leaving his welfare to strangers. I feel like we are in ...
by shorty313
Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should I structure this trust? (special needs child)
Replies: 7
Views: 652

How should I structure this trust? (special needs child)

I’m hoping some wise minds here can help. I read Beyond the Grave and still unsure how to set things up. Background: we have decided to change guardians for our children should something happen to us, so we are rewriting our wills. We realize our assets have grown considerably since we first did the...
by shorty313
Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home energy/electricity monitoring?
Replies: 56
Views: 3538

Re: Home energy/electricity monitoring?

So just for comparison sake we used about 890 KW in August in NJ. We have a gas (stove, hot water heater and dryer) and all LED lights and LED TVs. Our house is only 2200 square foot. So to me your usage seems fine. Wall AC units aren't that efficient and it's been pretty warm recently so your usag...
by shorty313
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Oh geeze. How should I pay for this? Walk me off the ledge
Replies: 52
Views: 6699

Re: Oh geeze. How should I pay for this? Walk me off the ledge

For a similar cost, I did #2 for braces for my eldest. I had been socking it away in the HSA for a year prior and reimbursed myself from that.
by shorty313
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Childcare expenses as children get older
Replies: 14
Views: 1221

Re: Childcare expenses as children get older

Now that we are going to first grade, price will go down 30% (550) however will all be eaten up by the fact that we have to hire someone to pick first grader up daily and take him to daycare, because his pickup time doesnt work with the daycare nap schedule. If we could get him into after school ca...
by shorty313
Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your Uber passenger rating?
Replies: 118
Views: 7550

Re: What's your Uber passenger rating?

When coming back from Newark airport and wanting to get on the parkway traveling north, the Uber app tells the driver to get off in Irvington and cut through the streets. It probably saves .5 miles. It also takes you through an unsafe neighborhood that is full of traffic lights and takes maybe 10-2...
by shorty313
Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Childcare expenses as children get older
Replies: 14
Views: 1221

Re: Childcare expenses as children get older

When ours went to K it got cut down about half, between after care and summer camp. We live near two colleges so I usually used a sitter i found on care.com for aftercare. Fortunately my parents have started taking the kids a few weeks in summer now that they are older. This year with my oldest in 6...
by shorty313
Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Three or four-day Fall Getaways (Northeast US)
Replies: 19
Views: 1729

Re: Three or four-day Fall Getaways (Northeast US)

curious where some of your favorite getaways are in ~October? we've done southern Vermont the last few years and are looking to switch it up. Lake George? The Hamptons/Montauk? Maine (maybe too far)? not opposed to flying either. thanks! The Finger Lakes region of NY state. Perhaps Niagara Falls ar...
by shorty313
Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil to natural gas conversion anyone?
Replies: 43
Views: 2506

Re: Oil to natural gas conversion anyone?

I would do the conversion. Skip the extra zone for now if cost is a concern. You may not need it. We partially finished our basement (incl insulation) and it is comfortable all year round. We installed a few electric in wall heaters just in case but rarely use them.
by shorty313
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much life insurance should I get? (baby on the way)
Replies: 44
Views: 2886

Re: How much life insurance should I get? (baby on the way)

For reference, we don't have life insurance outside of the employer paid insurance (2x salary for me, 0x salary for spouse). We have enough financial assets that we can each go a year or two without each other without big consequences. Then we'd either change lifestyle, re-marry, or find another wa...
by shorty313
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Things to do in Maine
Replies: 72
Views: 7475

Re: Things to do in Maine

Timely post as we are planning a trip to Maine for next summer. I'm eyeing two different times to go - last 10 days in June or last 10 days in Aug/Labor day weekend. Which is a better bet for crowds and/or weather? Assuming you want to be near a beach... Weather will be better near Labor Day weeken...
by shorty313
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil to natural gas conversion anyone?
Replies: 43
Views: 2506

Re: Oil to natural gas conversion anyone?

We converted back in 2005, for about $8k st the time (heater and water heater). How much of that was environmentally dismantling the oil tank? Did you dig it up and convert it to a smoker? :mrgreen: That cost is purely the HVAC cost. We had an interesting insurance situation for the tank. At the ti...
by shorty313
Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ohio 529 any experience with this plan?
Replies: 23
Views: 1479

Re: Ohio 529 any experience with this plan?

I’m in NJ and use the Ohio plan. NJ has no tax deduction plus our plan sucks anyway. We have everything in age based vanguard plans as well. I had just started when they had those 5% cds, so I only have like $5k in that. Been very happy so far. Easy to set up contributions, change or suspend at any ...
by shorty313
Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use HSA or pay Out Of Pocket?
Replies: 30
Views: 2164

Re: Use HSA or pay Out Of Pocket?

I've always paid for all of my medical expenses using money I put in my HSA. I guess I am in the minority here for using my account for what is was meant for. I do this, too. I didn't have access to an HSA until a year ago, and I'm still learning the ropes on this. Unfortunately, I've had to have t...
by shorty313
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil to natural gas conversion anyone?
Replies: 43
Views: 2506

Re: Oil to natural gas conversion anyone?

We converted back in 2005, for about $8k st the time (heater and water heater). Oil was almost $4/gal, and our leaking underground tank used a ton! We went from around $3k in annual heating costs to up under $1k. We also did some additional insulation that brought it down more. I am so happy to hav...
by shorty313
Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil to natural gas conversion anyone?
Replies: 43
Views: 2506

Re: Oil to natural gas conversion anyone?

We converted back in 2005, for about $8k st the time (heater and water heater). Oil was almost $4/gal, and our leaking underground tank used a ton! We went from around $3k in annual heating costs to up under $1k. We also did some additional insulation that brought it down more. I am so happy to have...
by shorty313
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Things to do in Maine
Replies: 72
Views: 7475

Re: Things to do in Maine

Timely post as we are planning a trip to Maine for next summer. I'm eyeing two different times to go - last 10 days in June or last 10 days in Aug/Labor day weekend. Which is a better bet for crowds and/or weather?
by shorty313
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Post Daycare Finances
Replies: 25
Views: 2729

Re: Post Daycare Finances

Activities like ballet, swimming, etc are all through the city at a cost of $20 per month each. You are fortunate to have such inexpensive options! Around here even YMCA classes are $80/mo for anything. For us, costs went down by about half in the elementary years. Most of the continued costs are a...
by shorty313
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vaping: Did it work for you?
Replies: 2
Views: 665

Re: Vaping: Did it work for you?

My husband did to stop cigars about 3 years ago. Unfortunately last year his mom passed and he picked up the cigars again. He went back to vaping last month. We will see how it goes. Last time it was like a 5-6 month step down.
by shorty313
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?
Replies: 76
Views: 8996

Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

My mother had trouble with my uncle splitting my grandparents two homes when they passed (more on my uncles end, my mom just wanted to be done with it and not ruin the relationship). Seeing how that went down, my parents have set up their will so that my brother and I can't argue too much when they ...
by shorty313
Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Buffalo,NY / Niagara Falls area - things to see and do?
Replies: 46
Views: 3126

Re: Visiting Buffalo,NY / Niagara Falls area - things to see and do?

We were just at the falls on the canadian side 2 weeks ago. I hadn't been since I was a teen and forgot how amazing they are. Yes, the boat is called Hornblower in Canada. There are passes you can buy that gain entry into several of the sites, available at two levels. https://www.niagaraparks.com/vi...
by shorty313
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to obtain contracted rates for medical procedures?
Replies: 97
Views: 4851

Re: How to obtain contracted rates for medical procedures?

Maybe check the GoodRX price? In my case, since I am a "captive customer" of CVS pharmacies (since Aetna is my insurance, and they literally don't consider any other pharmacy to be "in network for me), GoodRX prices are cheaper than my "negotiated price" for prescriptions in every instance I've che...
by shorty313
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to obtain contracted rates for medical procedures?
Replies: 97
Views: 4851

Re: How to obtain contracted rates for medical procedures?

...2) ... exactly what several posters in this forum have said does not happen with HDHP plans. If I remember correctly , they said that under whatever plan they had, the provider is supposed to bill the insurance company, not the policyholder; the insurance company pays and they accept the negotia...