Search found 50 matches

by greenflamingo
Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switching from AT&T to Mint Mobile, any drawbacks?
Replies: 34
Views: 2579

Re: Switching from AT&T to Mint Mobile, any drawbacks?

We made this transition. Definitely experience more network slowness than I used to have on ATT but we picked up WiFi calling in the switch. We save $65 or so a month so it’s a no brainer to me.
by greenflamingo
Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a house now or not???
Replies: 8
Views: 1296

Re: Buy a house now or not???

Yes, you can afford it. Your monthly costs using a 30 year mortgage would be close to a wash with renting. As for now or wait...speculation is hard. No one knows. I’m sure there are some overinflated markets out there. I’d just say, what do you want? Do you want a $700k home? Do you want to be respo...
by greenflamingo
Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tablet for 2 year old for long car trip
Replies: 27
Views: 1537

Re: Tablet for 2 year old for long car trip

One tip: a gallon ziplock and packing tape can make a nice tablet holder on the headrest.


And y’all, chill out. Letting a kid watch some content on a road trip is not going to stunt development. If they’re buying a tablet only now, their kid isn’t a vegetable and the TV is not their babysitter.
by greenflamingo
Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple iPhone iOS 13 Discussion
Replies: 79
Views: 9698

Re: Apple iPhone iOS 13 Discussion

Some lesser features that are worth getting set up: 1. Silence unknown caller is my favorite new feature. If you don't have a contact for the number, it goes straight to voicemail. 2. I think the link preview in Safari and other applications is a nice usability feature. 3, Improved day/night mode is...
by greenflamingo
Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Key Thresholds for Tax Implications as Income Increases
Replies: 7
Views: 1164

Key Thresholds for Tax Implications as Income Increases

I have a unique compensation situation where I receive bonuses work that are linked to company performance (stock price), but are taxed as regular income. Aside from the normal cautions about linking too much of one's earning capability + net worth to a given company or industry , I'm trying to thin...
by greenflamingo
Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Little Rock
Replies: 26
Views: 2358

Re: What to do in Little Rock

Also a vote for some Whole Hog BBQ.
by greenflamingo
Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to create a Lego Inventory
Replies: 19
Views: 1630

Re: Best way to create a Lego Inventory

I’m pretty sure this is the plot to the first LEGO movie.
by greenflamingo
Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chrysler Pacifica - Yes or No
Replies: 29
Views: 2279

Re: Chrysler Pacifica - Yes or No

We love our Pacifica. I know full well I may feel differently in 7 years. For now it’s a comfortable ride with great features, and is relatively zippy and maneuverable for a vehicle of the size.

As others have said, it’s the long term reliability questions.
by greenflamingo
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bandaid that doesn't absorb medicine?
Replies: 9
Views: 798

Re: Bandaid that doesn't absorb medicine?

Maybe Hydro Seal from bandaid? If it dries in a half hour and then is ok, screen time can be an effective tool.
by greenflamingo
Fri May 31, 2019 9:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did you all do in the month of May, 2019
Replies: 126
Views: 11343

Re: How did you all do in the month of May, 2019

Congratulations on your likely membership in the two comma club.
by greenflamingo
Fri May 31, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blinds for Windows - Where is the best value ?
Replies: 30
Views: 2646

Re: Blinds for Windows - Where is the best value ?

Do you know if JC Penny comes out and measure it before I order ? You're going to be on your own to measure in general. It's pretty easy; if you're confident to install them yourself, you can do the measurements. Follow the instructions on the manufacturer website and you'll be fine. I think the tr...
by greenflamingo
Fri May 31, 2019 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blinds for Windows - Where is the best value ?
Replies: 30
Views: 2646

Re: Blinds for Windows - Where is the best value ?

The major consumer-installed blinds brands (Levolor, Bali) are available through many retailers. They will almost always be 20-40% off somewhere . If you're going that direction, figure out what you want, then check any retailer you don't have an adverse perspective of. I was able to get Levolor at ...
by greenflamingo
Fri May 31, 2019 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a home and renting out the extra bedrooms
Replies: 22
Views: 2544

Re: Buying a home and renting out extra bedrooms

I did this for a year before I was married. A few reflections: 1. You need to consider whether you want the responsibilities of home ownership. 2. Buy a house you can afford without renting out rooms 3. Living with your tenants multiplies your challenge/risks in being a landlord. You need to collec...
by greenflamingo
Thu May 30, 2019 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a home and renting out the extra bedrooms
Replies: 22
Views: 2544

Re: Buying a home and renting out extra bedrooms

I did this for a year before I was married. A few reflections: 1. You need to consider whether you want the responsibilities of home ownership. 2. Buy a house you can afford without renting out rooms 3. Living with your tenants multiplies your challenge/risks in being a landlord. You need to collect...
by greenflamingo
Thu May 30, 2019 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Donor Advised Fund Question
Replies: 9
Views: 635

Re: Donor Advised Fund Question

Here are the reasons I would open a DAF: 1. You want to be able to donate to charities more discretely/anonymously (they're a nice way to handle this) 2. You want to donate appreciated securities, and aren't confident in the charities ability to handle that easily for you 3. You want to simplify and...
by greenflamingo
Thu May 30, 2019 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: The Best High Yield Savings Account
Replies: 46
Views: 5283

Re: The Best High Yield Savings Account

I use AMEX. They're high enough, and have been competitive with the best rates for several years now. I value having my time (compared to chasing rates) and having accounts all linked/verified with one another so I can make a quick transfer more than chasing a few bucks a year.
by greenflamingo
Sat May 25, 2019 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Value of Airlines Miles for Magazine Subscriptions
Replies: 8
Views: 840

Re: Value of Airlines Miles for Magazine Subscriptions

Google “value of airline miles” to get commonly accepted “values” of a given type of mile.

I also only tend to use miles for magazines if I expect them to expire or never accumulate enough to use for flights.
by greenflamingo
Thu May 23, 2019 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?
Replies: 16
Views: 1355

Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Google Forms might be a better tool. You could push out a survey to check on possible dates and locations, maybe design it such you can see whether things are a yes/no/maybe for everyone, then dump it into Google sheets for your analysis. Or you could just have people do the same in columns in Googl...
by greenflamingo
Thu May 09, 2019 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you donate?
Replies: 100
Views: 8198

Re: How much do you donate?

does it just have to be money as if time has no value? I donate my time doing volunteer taxes each year through VITA (United Way) https://www.irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-you-by-volunteers I just received word that the average cost for tax prep that our clients would pay wher...
by greenflamingo
Wed May 08, 2019 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you donate?
Replies: 100
Views: 8198

Re: How much do you donate?

***IF*** you plan to give money to charities, DAF are a goldmine. You can do donation bunching to increase tax deductions, and between donating appreciated shares and tax loss harvesting, really any volatility in the market is something you can leverage to reduce tax liability. Obviously you're sti...
by greenflamingo
Wed May 08, 2019 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you donate?
Replies: 100
Views: 8198

Re: How much do you donate?

I donate what I believe is appropriate to a good cause when I see one come my way. Some years these causes come more than once a year other times not as often. I will likely be starting a DAF soon so that it becomes easier to donate appreciated shares. DAF's are indeed a screaming deal. I regularly...
by greenflamingo
Thu May 02, 2019 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car shopping advice (sanity check)
Replies: 56
Views: 5671

Re: Car shopping advice (sanity check)

OP, I'm in a similar position in some regards. My 2006 is a clunker, but I drive it 10 miles/day total, and rarely at highway speeds. While I could afford a new-to-me car without a loan, I've made the decision (for now) that I'm happier not spending the money. I live in a cold climate where salt is ...
by greenflamingo
Wed May 01, 2019 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Too late to start over with nothing?
Replies: 40
Views: 6641

Re: Too late to start over with nothing?

I don’t know what your home is worth and if this is an option, but if downsizing could lead to less mortgage debt, getting into a smaller house could be a big blessing to you.

My dad did this and is 10x happier.
by greenflamingo
Wed May 01, 2019 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone down-shifted in their career?
Replies: 59
Views: 7815

Re: Has anyone down-shifted in their career?

I did this at age 32. It’s been fantastic for my happiness, family well-being, and doing non-work things that matter to me. My experience of higher management was similar to yours. I would add I was burnt out on management. I didn’t have the interpersonal energy to continue leading a team to the lev...
by greenflamingo
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant
Replies: 38
Views: 2680

Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

I’ve officiated several weddings. After the first I’ve chosen to communicate in advance a charity to which they can chose to make a donation in lieu of a tip to me. I’m not vocationally a minister. I think if a vocational minister you should Tip a few hundred. If a lay person I think the right thing...
by greenflamingo
Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Urban Myth on Electronic Car Break-ins?
Replies: 17
Views: 1329

Re: Urban Myth on Electronic Car Break-ins?

It's also worth considering if you:
1. Have a car with a key fob susceptible to this
2. Park your car outside the garage
3. Have a garage door opener in your car
by greenflamingo
Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?
Replies: 802
Views: 83058

Re: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?

Deals are much, much harder to find today compared to even a few years ago. I haven't bought anything since 2015....and have seriously considered selling them all off in coming years, if the market stays strong. I'll likely do more rehab on each of them before retail selling them to max the possibl...
by greenflamingo
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eye glasses - cheaper alternates
Replies: 45
Views: 3566

Re: Eye glasses - cheaper alternates

I've done Warby Parker for several pairs of everyday glasses over the past few years. Free home try on and guaranteed prescription. If you live in a major city you can also visit a store for fitting. There are cheaper options, but I think WP is a good balance - a good product at significantly lower...
by greenflamingo
Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Question on Purchase that Fell Thru
Replies: 25
Views: 1969

Re: Real Estate Question on Purchase that Fell Thru

I’m sorry to hear that Steven. You didn’t do anything wrong.
by greenflamingo
Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frequent flyers: quality of airline onboard wifi?
Replies: 9
Views: 663

Re: Frequent flyers: quality of airline onboard wifi?

Seatguru.com is your best bet for figuring out if you will have outlets. Most larger delta planes do.

GoGo is pretty good. Worse if there are a lot on business travelers. You can browse and do email.
by greenflamingo
Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ireland & Scotland Do I Need Cash?
Replies: 24
Views: 2086

Re: Ireland & Scotland Do I Need Cash?

You can circumvent some of the problems of not having a contactless chip and pin card by using Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay on your phone. It works quite well for contactless payments and avoids the whole hunt for pens at restaurants. Yes. Do this. You’ll thank yourself and avoid a lot of ...
by greenflamingo
Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to increase house size with a growing family?
Replies: 43
Views: 2967

Re: When to increase house size with a growing family?

We live in a smaller 3 bedroom. Certainly doesn’t have everything we want. We have started becoming more strategic in how we use our space. Built a Murphy bed into a bookshelf in the basement, where there is a bathroom. That’s our guest room. We are getting rid of “stuff” to feel less cluttered. We ...
by greenflamingo
Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A 23% increase from ATT Wireless
Replies: 84
Views: 6971

Re: A 23% increase from ATT Wireless

Seems like in general, prepaid type things are better if: 1. You don't have as many devices 2. You can live with your data being de-prioritized Traditional carriers may come out ahead if: 1. You have more devices (per-device rates improve with more devices) 2. You must have reliable data (use for wo...
by greenflamingo
Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:51 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Wisconsin - Madison Meetings - Master Thread
Replies: 152
Views: 64854

Re: Wisconsin - Madison Meetings - Master Thread

Love swaggat. Hope to make it in May.
by greenflamingo
Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement vinyl windows
Replies: 14
Views: 1257

Re: Replacement vinyl windows

Okna and Sunrise are both worth considering and will have the model where finger pointing is eliminated.
by greenflamingo
Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Personal Capital
Replies: 20
Views: 1485

Re: Personal Capital

Yes. Their advising services are one of the ways they make money. I got calls probably monthly while I had an active account there (since closed because I didn’t deem the information available ultimately impactful to the investing decisions I would make, which are mostly “spend little, save much, th...
by greenflamingo
Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the Bonvoy Boundless card worth the $95 annual fee?
Replies: 20
Views: 1871

Re: Is the Bonvoy Boundless card worth the $95 annual fee?

It’s a great signup bonus. If I didn’t have the Marriott card I’d grab that, rack up a few more points, and spend five nights in a Ritz Carlton on my next vacation.

There is better point value in other cards if you don’t pay for Marriott properties occasionally.
by greenflamingo
Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with Apple Pay?
Replies: 71
Views: 7163

Re: Experience with Apple Pay?

It’s very helpful internationally. Recently in the UK, saw most people used contactless cards. Apple/Google pay can make up for American cards not being chip and pin or contactless. Waaay better than the eye rolls you get from the bartender in London if you make them go get a pen for you to sign a r...
by greenflamingo
Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do YOU make coffee?
Replies: 266
Views: 15501

Re: How do YOU make coffee?

bikechuck wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:27 pm
Baratza Virtuoso Burr Grinder, Technivorm Moca Master coffee maker, beans from a local coffee roaster.
This is also how I roll
by greenflamingo
Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?
Replies: 140
Views: 14883

Re: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?

You pay a premium in certain neighborhoods, for lake views, etc. In other parts of town you can buy a 3 BR house for under $250K or condo for 150-175.
by greenflamingo
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 nonurgent plumbing questions
Replies: 5
Views: 892

Re: 2 nonurgent plumbing questions

If it’s a hot water tank, try replacing the anode rod. It’s job is basically to rust instead of the tank. Replacing it can add years to the life of a hot water tank.
by greenflamingo
Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?
Replies: 140
Views: 14883

Re: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?

The upper Monroe Street area is a mixed bag. Maybe a little more college than professional, but does have a lot of families. If you rent in one of the new apartment buildings I would think you’d be fine. If you rent half a house or something, you’ll be annoyed. The windows in those rentals are old a...
by greenflamingo
Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?
Replies: 140
Views: 14883

Re: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?

thank you both for chiming in re: Madison. The college town vibe (not to mention lower cost of living) certainly has a lot going for it. It also makes house hunting quite a bit easier in comparison. Out of curiosity, the trulia map seems to indicate higher crime in the narrow strip of land area by ...
by greenflamingo
Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?
Replies: 140
Views: 14883

Re: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?

Not that I want to scare you from Madison, but also note that our airport is expensive. If you’re flying back to the east coast frequently, it could be a cost of living factor to consider. A $25- $30, 2 hr bus ride takes you from UW Madison campus directly to both Chicago airports and cheap tickets...
by greenflamingo
Sat Feb 23, 2019 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ring Shopping
Replies: 82
Views: 4662

Re: Ring Shopping

Among my professional friends, my wife’s ring is on the smaller side. Among family, community, and church it is on the larger side.
I
Looking around at work, it was easy to be tempted to go very large on the rock; I’m glad I didn’t, not just for cost reasons.
by greenflamingo
Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?
Replies: 140
Views: 14883

Re: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?

Madison is a great smaller city. I’m partial. :happy It certainly doesn’t have as much as a bigger city, but I don’t think most people lack for finding good things to do. Housing prices are definitely on the rise, but there’s a variety to hit price points depending on what amenities you want. Mass t...
by greenflamingo
Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:57 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Wisconsin - Madison Meetings - Master Thread
Replies: 152
Views: 64854

Re: Wisconsin - Madison Meetings - Master Thread

Commenting to make sure I see future meetings. New to the forum and would be interested if there are any meetups planned this winter.
by greenflamingo
Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Battery Prices
Replies: 40
Views: 3980

Re: Auto Battery Prices

Some local stores may offer good value. I’ve always found the best value at a local farm supply store that has an automotive section. Similar to Costco, they sell a store brand manufactured by a reputable company.
by greenflamingo
Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ Letter on Indexing and Bogleheads
Replies: 46
Views: 4992

Re: WSJ Letter on Indexing and Bogleheads

Of course Mr. Hanford picked a timeframe starting in 1976, as though anybody makes a investment at one point in time, holds it for 40 years and never invests again. Are there any good online tools to model comparisons like this? That is, investing X dollars initially on a date in the past, then an ...