Search found 183 matches

by taurabora
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ponder this, BH's... is Ben & Jerry's worth it?
Replies: 142
Views: 10581

Re: Ponder this, BH's... is Ben & Jerry's worth it?

No. HEB (Texas) store brand ice cream is much better and much cheaper.
by taurabora
Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switched from Verizon's postpaid plan to prepaid: Saved 38%
Replies: 89
Views: 8829

Re: Switched from Verizon's postpaid plan to prepaid: Saved 38%

I switched to Xfinity Mobile from Verizon. My bill went from ~$90 for 4 GB to ~ $30 for 3 GB. I’m generally always on Wifi, but even if I went over, it is only $12/GB.
by taurabora
Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Xfinity Mobile Questions
Replies: 13
Views: 1246

Re: Xfinity Mobile Questions

I just made the switch from Verizon to Xfinity Mobile. We went from 4 GB per month at $91/month to 3 GB per month for $30 ($12/GB overage) + taxes.

Seemed like a no brainer once I actually looked at it.
by taurabora
Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting more out of Google Home Mini
Replies: 10
Views: 726

Re: Getting more out of Google Home Mini

I know I can set up my own playlists on YouTube and Google Play but I don't think I can play them directly through my Home Mini.
I'm not sure why you think that. You definitely can use the Cast button to send whatever is playing in the Youtube Music or Youtube or Google Play app to the Mini.
by taurabora
Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who cuts your hair? And for how much?
Replies: 153
Views: 9485

Re: Who cuts your hair? And for how much?

I've been shaving my head for 20 years. I would figure about $40 per year for the cost of clippers.
by taurabora
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ReFi home to get 3.5% interest rate?
Replies: 31
Views: 3234

Re: ReFi home to get 3.5% interest rate?

Here's a weird thing:

On mtgprofessor.com, if I enter my current loan details (LTV greater than 80%), I get a rate of 3.625%. But if I enter a LTV of 80% or less, I get a rate of 3.875%. This is mystifying...
by taurabora
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard wire transfers without 'medallion signature guarantee'
Replies: 8
Views: 1269

Re: Vanguard wire transfers without 'medallion signature guarantee'

Could you ACH to an online bank account, then ACH to Transferwise?
by taurabora
Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who does their own taxes?
Replies: 111
Views: 7965

Re: Who does their own taxes?

I use Free Fillable Forms to do my taxes. After I am complete, I check it against TurboTax (without submitting).
by taurabora
Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ours
Replies: 131
Views: 27216

Re: Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ours

2018 Gross Pay 11,083 Pre-Tax Deductions 455 FSA 100 Roth 401(K) 1,552 Income Tax 971 SS Tax 631 Medicare Tax 148 GESPP 582 Life Insurance 20 Net Pay 6,625 Mortgage PITI 2,100 Water 90 Electricity/Gas 250 Netflix/Amazon 20 Comcast 115 Verizon 164 Auto Insurance 143 Groceries 800 Fuel 250 D's Fun Mon...
by taurabora
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Files for Four Fidelity ZERO℠ Funds (0.00% ER)
Replies: 807
Views: 90366

Re: Fidelity Files for two Fidelity ZERO℠ Funds (0.00% ER total stock and total international mutual funds)

Well, I bought $24.92 worth of this fund because that was the leftover cash I had in my account. We'll see how it goes.
by taurabora
Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Every Other Friday Off
Replies: 52
Views: 5879

Re: Every Other Friday Off

I am currently on 9/80, and have been for 6 years. When I was traveling for work, I found it to be great, but now that I work at a plant, I would prefer a traditional schedule or something like 4 10s. The reason for this is that the 9 hour day puts you in heavy rush hour traffic on one or both sides...
by taurabora
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone feel like talking "R"
Replies: 50
Views: 13963

Re: Anyone feel like talking "R"

Not R, but I just finished the Stanford machine learning class on Coursera. It gave me a new appreciation for the joys of MATLAB. I will forever hate MATLAB, as I was scarred by my first CompSci course at university, which used MATLAB. The class was required for every engineering major and the prof...
by taurabora
Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filed 2017 taxes electonically for FREE
Replies: 46
Views: 6222

Re: Filed 2017 taxes electonically for FREE

I just use https://www.freefilefillableforms.com. I check my math with TurboTax, but don't file with them.
by taurabora
Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary History for Chemical Engineer
Replies: 30
Views: 6060

Re: Salary History for Chemical Engineer

My progression was quite similar as a Chemical engineer.

1. 50k
2. 58k
3. 62k
4. 68k
5. 87k + 10% (Job change)
6. 96k + 10%
7. 104k + 10%
8. 114k + 10%
9. 128k + 15% (Internal promotion)
by taurabora
Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mike Piper and CDs
Replies: 54
Views: 8395

Re: Mike Piper and CDs

Is that true if interest rates increase at the same time the stock market drops? I expect they behave as any other bond would. I was just responding to earlier comments about CDs not being able to capture gains during stock market drops. The market is not the same, so there is probably some more bi...
by taurabora
Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mike Piper and CDs
Replies: 54
Views: 8395

Re: Mike Piper and CDs

I am slowly converting my bond position into brokered CDs in my Fidelity IRA. The current yield premium is about 0.5% on 10 year treasuries and 0.7% on 5 year. And they can be sold at a gain, should the stock market drop.
by taurabora
Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android Tablet
Replies: 42
Views: 4944

Re: Android Tablet

If it were me, I would wait until the Nexus 10 refresh.
by taurabora
Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon - tracking data usage
Replies: 20
Views: 2045

Re: Verizon - tracking data usage

The Android Data Settings break it down by app. I've never had a need for anything more than the stock functions.

Image
by taurabora
Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cable TV with NO SPORTS Channels... Yep!
Replies: 49
Views: 3926

Re: Cable TV with NO SPORTS Channels... Yep!

Just cut the cord and watch (nearly) everything you want (except sports) via your Internet connection when you want to watch it.
by taurabora
Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What would you do if USPS close down completely?
Replies: 34
Views: 1977

Re: What would you do if USPS close down completely?

I would be happy, because it would force people/businesses who currently mail me things to switch to email/online. All those people out of work wouldn't help the unemployment rate any, though.
by taurabora
Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Texas Real Estate: Rent vs. Buy
Replies: 23
Views: 2975

Re: Texas Real Estate: Rent vs. Buy

I'm in Houston, struggling with this same problem. My rent has been increasing at 10% per year, though, so that is really pushing me towards buying.
by taurabora
Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tailoring Clothes
Replies: 30
Views: 3930

Re: Tailoring Clothes

I had a shirt and suit tailored after I lost weight. It looks great on me, now. My wife took a dress to the same place, and it looks worse than before she took it in. It has been hit or miss.
by taurabora
Thu May 10, 2012 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: EPA MPG Adjustment for Premium Fuel
Replies: 26
Views: 2208

Re: EPA MPG Adjustment for Premium Fuel

The EPA is concerned with reducing usage, not the associated costs. So from this perspective MPG, not MP$ seems to be the appropriate measure. One thing I do wonder though. Is there more waste when refining gas to get higher octanes than refining for lower octanes? If so is there some way to measur...
by taurabora
Thu May 10, 2012 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: EPA MPG Adjustment for Premium Fuel
Replies: 26
Views: 2208

Re: EPA MPG Adjustment for Premium Fuel

amarone wrote:On the other hand, you could have a metric of "cents per mile", which would take into account the cost difference.
This hits the nail on the head for the metric we should be using, as far as financial performance of the car.
by taurabora
Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone on Verizon - how to get best deal
Replies: 8
Views: 1901

Re: iPhone on Verizon - how to get best deal

If your employer has partnered with Verizon to offer discounted phones/plans that may be an option. My employer's site through Beneplace (this seems to be the site that most big companies use) has iPhone 4S for $199, so the store offer is cheaper. However, you can purchase the phone/plan through a s...
by taurabora
Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ford CEO: Battery Is Third of Electric Car Cost
Replies: 51
Views: 4611

Re: Ford CEO: Battery Is Third of Electric Car Cost

Ford CEO: Internal Combustion Engine is Third of Gasoline-Powered Car Cost
by taurabora
Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity and ABB breach 401K fiduciary duties
Replies: 11
Views: 1886

Re: Fidelity and ABB breach 401K fiduciary duties

I did find the ruling on that justicia site. Of course, I can't say if it is the "official" ruling because it didn't come from the court website, but you can see the full document from 3/31, so it is a good bet that it is the official ruling. http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/miss...
by taurabora
Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity and ABB breach 401K fiduciary duties
Replies: 11
Views: 1886

Re: Fidelity and ABB breach 401K fiduciary duties

I reviewed Nanette Laughrey's rulings on http://courtweb.pamd.uscourts.gov/courtweb/QuickFind.aspx, but I didn't see anything regarding ABB or Fidelity in 2010, 2011, or 2012. Article says the trial and ruling were in early 2010. Ah-ha! Edit2: http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/mis...
by taurabora
Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend to get taxes done?
Replies: 86
Views: 6726

Re: How much do you spend to get taxes done?

$0. Free Fillable Forms for Federal and Texas has no income tax.
by taurabora
Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuity Case Chills Insurance Agents
Replies: 30
Views: 2958

Re: Annuity Case Chills Insurance Agents

How about agents who prey on the uninformed?

My FIL got locked into an Ameriprise Roth IRA with 5.75% Load and a 2% expense ratio. That should be criminal.
by taurabora
Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job, Roth 401k rollover, HSA Contribution
Replies: 7
Views: 696

Re: New job, Roth 401k rollover, HSA Contribution

Why not join your spouse's HDHP plan and bump her HSA contribution to the equivalent of $6250/year for the rest of the year, once you move to the new job? Am I missing something? - Porcupine Believe me, I would love to. Her plan forbids covering spouses if the spouse's employer offers health insura...
by taurabora
Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job, Roth 401k rollover, HSA Contribution
Replies: 7
Views: 696

Re: New job, Roth 401k rollover, HSA Contribution

Thanks very much Alan S. Both Roth accounts have gains at the moment, so my available emergency funds would be Roth IRA Contributions + Roth 401k Contributions. I would also have some Roth IRA earnings + Roth 401k earnings in the account.
by taurabora
Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job, Roth 401k rollover, HSA Contribution
Replies: 7
Views: 696

Re: New job, Roth 401k rollover, HSA Contribution

Thanks for the reply. I suppose I will just send the rollover into an IRA/Roth IRA at Vanguard, then. My spouse is covered by her own HDHP/HSA (which she will max out), so I believe my limit is $3,100. I will probably just keep the money in the current HSA account, and use it when an expense comes u...
by taurabora
Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job, Roth 401k rollover, HSA Contribution
Replies: 7
Views: 696

New job, Roth 401k rollover, HSA Contribution

I will be starting a new job in a few weeks. Some background: Married, 15% tax bracket, 0% State (TX) Current 401k: Traditional: 62% Roth Contributions: 36% Roth Earnings: 2% I currently use the contributions portion of my Roth IRA FDIC Savings account as my emergency fund, since I cannot both max o...
by taurabora
Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for the new ROTH for TSP?
Replies: 14
Views: 1253

Re: Advice for the new ROTH for TSP?

A major disadvantage of the Roth TSP as I see it is the requirement to take Required Minimum Distributions. Unless you are beyond the income limits, I think for most people the Roth IRA would be the more advantageous choice. Nothing stopping you from rolling the Roth TSP into a Roth IRA and having ...
by taurabora
Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New American Dream is renting to get rich - Reuters
Replies: 162
Views: 12538

Re: New American Dream is renting to get rich - Reuters

My rent has gone:

2008: 767
2009: 728
2010: 850
2011: 953
2012: 1200

It really is a crapshoot from year to year.
by taurabora
Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much House (or Home) Do You Need? [Square Footage Poll]
Replies: 10
Views: 1451

Re: How Much House (or Home) Do You Need? [Square Footage Po

1) 2
2) 1500
3) 1.5
4) Townhouse or Bungalow SFH
by taurabora
Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I Bond vs CDs?
Replies: 8
Views: 1065

Re: I Bond vs CDs?

If only you could buy I-bonds in a Roth IRA... Why, though? I Bonds are already tax-deferred. Not saying I wouldn't buy some in addition if the cap were unlimited, but it is the last place I would put I Bonds for tax efficiency. They are better than TIPS, right? Higher yields , no risk of loss, put...
by taurabora
Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I Bond vs CDs?
Replies: 8
Views: 1065

Re: I Bond vs CDs?

If only you could buy I-bonds in a Roth IRA...
by taurabora
Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cell Phone Tax Avoidance
Replies: 8
Views: 1340

Re: Cell Phone Tax Avoidance

My company pays for my cell phone, so I avoid that tax. Directly, at least.
by taurabora
Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sherlock - BBC series on Holmes set in 21st Century
Replies: 67
Views: 6730

Re: Sherlock - BBC series on Holmes set in 21st Century

Saw the first set of episodes on Netflix. I will definitely be watching the second set.
by taurabora
Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Bottom Line: Just sit there.
Replies: 31
Views: 5001

Re: The Bottom Line: Just sit there.

How about: "Get up once per year, otherwise: sit there" ?
by taurabora
Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: That's quite a spread
Replies: 3
Views: 724

That's quite a spread

Image
by taurabora
Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Shopping Club (Sam's Club, BJs, Costco)
Replies: 91
Views: 12949

Re: Best Shopping Club (Sam's Club, BJs, Costco)

I've never been to a BJ's. Costco and Sam's are fairly comparable.

We went with Costco for two reasons.

1. They pay their employees a decent wage.
2. They accept Amex, which syncs well with my Fidelity 2% Retirement Rewards Amex card.
by taurabora
Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Podcasts
Replies: 42
Views: 5450

Re: Favorite Podcasts

Hardcore History

He has a great series called Death Throes of the Republic about the events leading to the downfall of Rome.
by taurabora
Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: You get what you pay for
Replies: 42
Views: 3515

Re: You get what you pay for

You certainly don't get what you pay for when using actively managed mutual funds vs index funds.
by taurabora
Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The best PC free software (safe too)
Replies: 38
Views: 3801

Re: The best PC free software (safe too)

Everyone should know about Ninite: https://ninite.com/

Check off what apps you want. Download the installer. They all get installed.
by taurabora
Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Salary Requirement for Job Opening
Replies: 16
Views: 2160

Re:

Marmot wrote:What about starting at the truth? Put your minimum and be done with it.
Because that's a surefire way to get them to offer your minimum, and nothing more?
by taurabora
Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Redshirting school age children
Replies: 113
Views: 6527

Re: Redshirting school age children

You might also weigh this against the cost of having the kid at home/daycare/loss of one parent's income for another year.