Search found 145 matches

by crumbgrabber
Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar - after 1 year the results are in.
Replies: 64
Views: 6872

Re: Solar - after 1 year the results are in.

That assumes you get zero for the solar system when you sell. What do you think is a reasonable way to determine the value of a system if you do sell? I suppose it's highly dependent on the buyer's interest? This has a very large effect on calculations of payback time for solar panels, and I've str...
by crumbgrabber
Sat May 30, 2020 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model Y
Replies: 253
Views: 25180

Re: Tesla Model Y

Saw two at local sales/service location. They looked good overall. Sat in the car, easier to get in and out of. Similar leg room, I think more head room. Bigger frunk and trunk. A better auto option overall but not gonna trade up, need to keep some semblance of being a BH. If you are in the market ...
by crumbgrabber
Wed May 20, 2020 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "With summer camps canceled, IRS relaxes rules on flexible spending accounts"
Replies: 5
Views: 1000

Re: "With summer camps canceled, IRS relaxes rules on flexible spending accounts"

I read this article this morning as well, and I'm a little confused. My understanding is that all the FSA money is available as soon as the year starts, regardless of how much the employee has contributed. With this rule change, it seems like I could halt contributions now and just spend the entire...
by crumbgrabber
Tue May 19, 2020 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of sunglasses?
Replies: 107
Views: 6736

Re: What kind of sunglasses?

While I have a pair of Ray-Bans that I keep in my car (received as a gift), my main go-to for sunglasses are made by Goodr . They're designed/marketed as running sunglasses (they're lightweight and don't slip or bounce) but ultimately, they're just simple and relatively inexpensive (around $25) pol...
by crumbgrabber
Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Third party opinion on Tesla Model 3 purchase or lease
Replies: 33
Views: 3025

Re: Third party opinion on Tesla Model 3 purchase or lease

As a Tesla/EV owner my advice is to make sure you have somewhere to charge it at home. Charging at home is one of the main perks of an EV. Otherwise best car we’ve ever owned. Looking at getting a 2nd one in a few years. Lease didn’t make sense for us; so far the cost of ownership is great with low ...
by crumbgrabber
Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody use a battery-powered snowblower?
Replies: 33
Views: 2102

Re: Anybody use a battery-powered snowblower?

I have the EGO one in Colorado. It can handle up to about 8” of moderately wet snow. More than about 10” goes over the inlet. SUPER wet snow is a struggle if deep. It works great for 90% of our snows (although for less than 3” of powder I simply use a push-style snow shovel). I will never own anothe...
by crumbgrabber
Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good camera system to watch the nanny
Replies: 70
Views: 4966

Re: Good camera system to watch the babysitter

We used Arlo cameras in our kids' bedrooms, mainly pointed at their cribs. Our nanny knew of their presence and in fact also had the Arlo app so she could check on the kids without entering their rooms. We would not record anybody without their consent/knowledge (except our kids!). As many others ha...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 3 kids and 2 working parents - childcare costs
Replies: 17
Views: 1961

Re: 3 kids and 2 working parents - childcare costs

We used both a nanny and daycare for our two children in a MCOL area. Hands down, without a doubt, using a nanny was a great decision. We paid her about $17/hour, and used a payroll service. We would occasionally pay here extra bonuses as well. The level of sickness and overall stress in our house w...
by crumbgrabber
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3
Replies: 921
Views: 82734

Re: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3

I rented a Model 3 this week to see what the hype is about. Wow, that is one fun car to drive! I have some major reservations about Tesla the company (mainly about quality and service/support), and the car has some design/feature decisions that make me nervous about owning one long term (power mirro...
by crumbgrabber
Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a hail-damaged car?
Replies: 42
Views: 2911

Re: Buying a hail-damaged car?

What state are you in? In Colorado, hail damage does NOT require a salvage title for insurance to pay out. I'm happily driving my totaled vehicle with minor hail damage ($6000 payout). My insurer let me continue to carry comprehensive insurance but couldn't give me a good answer about what happens i...
by crumbgrabber
Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quality/speed of Xfinity Mobile hotspots
Replies: 6
Views: 606

Re: Quality/speed of Xfinity Mobile hotspots

I've had xfinity mobile for about a year. I would say the hotspots are almost a negative (although not so much that I've limited my phone from connecting to them). I would say at least 50% of them are very slow or nothing loads (despite strong signal indication). The other, more significant problem,...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold ETFs (IAU, GLD, SGOL) in a taxable account.....dividends and capital gains?
Replies: 35
Views: 5375

Re: Gold ETFs (IAU, GLD, SGOL) in a taxable account.....dividends and capital gains?

MP123 wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:12 pm
These transactions and their related capital gains are reported on 1099-B to you (and the IRS) at Fidelity? Or is it just informational?
These are on my 1099-B and are reported. I used Turbotax to download them--can't imagine typing everything in myself...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold ETFs (IAU, GLD, SGOL) in a taxable account.....dividends and capital gains?
Replies: 35
Views: 5375

Re: Gold ETFs (IAU, GLD, SGOL) in a taxable account.....dividends and capital gains?

These aren't dividends, they are sales to cover expenses. I use Fidelity and both IAU and GLD demonstrate this behavior. Perhaps I see these because I don't reinvest dividends automatically? I don't really know...for the amounts I own these are very small dollar amounts annually (~$5 total) so I hav...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold ETFs (IAU, GLD, SGOL) in a taxable account.....dividends and capital gains?
Replies: 35
Views: 5375

Re: Gold ETFs (IAU, GLD, SGOL) in a taxable account.....dividends and capital gains?

These types of funds do indeed result in messy taxes. They cover costs by selling a small amount every month for each lot you own. I own about a half dozen lots of IAU and get 6 x 12 transactions in my 1099. I am not sure how this affects things like tax loss harvesting since these events are only r...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nanny Payroll Services - Who do you use?
Replies: 19
Views: 9329

Re: Nanny Payroll Services - Who do you use?

We use nannychex and are very satisfied. I tried the DIY method (I’m an engineer and comfortable in Excel), but it was simply too much work for the small fees that NannyChex charges. We both work and our time is very limited, which is sort of the whole point behind using a nanny, so this was a bit o...
by crumbgrabber
Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone service
Replies: 38
Views: 4341

Re: Cell phone service

I agree with other posters—Xfinity mobile is a crazy-good deal. Probably the best kept secret in wireless right now. Verizon network and supports all the goodies: WiFi falling, hotspots, visual voicemail.
by crumbgrabber
Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nanny tax for multiple part-time nannies / babysitters
Replies: 8
Views: 1052

Re: Nanny tax for multiple part-time nannies / babysitters

I tried to build my own spreadsheet and track nanny payroll, taxes, unemployment insurance, etc. I eventually realized that my time is very valuable and I didn't want to spend it fiddling around with payroll. We use NannyChex and in the grand scheme of childcare costs it's insignificant (~$12 per pa...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else decided not to finish med school?
Replies: 76
Views: 28243

Re: Anyone else decided not to finish med school?

My brother finished med school but bailed on residency. He is now working for a pharma company, absolutely loves it, and makes very good money. 3 years out and he's already paid off his debt. So there are options for those who finish school but don't want continued pain...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician using Turbotax, owing 30K so far already...
Replies: 65
Views: 9018

Re: Physician using Turbotax, owing 30K so far already...

Yep, unfortunately dual earners tend to not have enough pulled from paychecks. My wife makes about $200k and I make $100k, and even with several kids, maxing out all deferred accounts, and itemizing we still need to withhold an additional sum from each paycheck (something like $200, you will be more...
by crumbgrabber
Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone choose a nanny over daycare?
Replies: 34
Views: 4569

Re: Anyone choose a nanny over daycare?

We used daycare for our first child until our second came along. We were ALWAYS sick. I racked it because it was so ridiculous, I was personally sick about 20 times in two years. My daughter was even worse and needed ear tubes due to 9 ear infections in about 4 months. My wife and I used 80% of our ...
by crumbgrabber
Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to grow grass in hard-to-grow conditions?
Replies: 17
Views: 1750

Re: How to grow grass in hard-to-grow conditions?

I've been told by landscapers here in Colorado (pretty dry area) to water less often and more deeply to promote deep root growth. We water 3 times a week, about 0.5 inches each time (20+ minutes with our sprinkers). It's been working for us.
by crumbgrabber
Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to best afford IVF [In Vitro Fertilization]
Replies: 55
Views: 8536

Re: How to best afford IVF

We used IVF successfully for two kids. It was expensive. There are large differences in success rates between clinics, and our philosophy was to use one of the best (i.e. Not cheapest) clinics because we didn't want to wonder if another clinic might be more successful in the event we needed multiple...
by crumbgrabber
Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physics major question
Replies: 53
Views: 6305

Re: Physics major question

I have a BA (!) in physics and an MS in mechanical engineering. It wasn't a problem getting accepted to MS programs in engineering so I doubt he needs another bachelors degree. I have found the physics degree to be very useful in my 10 year engineering career but I too found little interest from emp...
by crumbgrabber
Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DSLR recommendations for photos of young kids
Replies: 32
Views: 2605

Re: DSLR recommendations for photos of young kids

I have several small children and use a 6D. I previously had a 60D and couldn't be happier with the upgrade. Think of the 6D as a 60D with a larger sensor; it has the same size and shape body with nearly identical ergonomics. I also use the 50 1.4 and 85 1.8 for shooting the kids, but I've learned a...
by crumbgrabber
Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do Nanny taxes affect pay
Replies: 11
Views: 2109

Re: How much do Nanny taxes affect pay

We started using a nanny this year and my grand plan was to handle all payroll myself. I came to my senses and realized that we're hiring a nanny partially to save time, and it was not a good use of my time to deal with payroll and taxes. We've been using NannyChex and I've been quite happy with the...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I've had it with USAA insurance
Replies: 26
Views: 5274

Re: I've had it with USAA insurance

So I have USAA for all my insurance needs. They are definitely more expensive but I have had 2 claims this year. In fact, after these claims I have noticed my rates increasing. Despite this I am sticking with USAA. Auto claim: Hail storm hit the work parking lot. Everybody in the lot had significant...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What was your biggest unexpected home expense?
Replies: 87
Views: 12774

Re: What was your biggest unexpected home expense?

1) water in basement after heavy rain. Occurred about 3 months after move-in. Previous owner says they never noticed any problems. About $10k to install perimeter drain and repair basement. 2) water in closet under kitchen. A previous homeowner had drilled a hole accidentally in the sink drain--it o...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is Your Plan B if Quicken dies? [Intuit selling Quicken unit]
Replies: 105
Views: 18922

Re: What is Your Plan B if Quicken dies? [Intuit selling Quicken unit]

I ditched Quicken for iBank about 7 years ago and haven't looked back. It has its issues but it's light years ahead of Quicken. My bigger concern is that banks will start killing off transaction downloading in the form of qfx or ofx files--I imagine Quicken was lobbying/negotiating hard for this wit...
by crumbgrabber
Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: "Roth conversions are not eligible for cross platform transactions."
Replies: 17
Views: 3141

Re: "Roth conversions are not eligible for cross platform transactions."

I'm running into the same message. I suspect it's because I upgraded my Roth account last year but not my traditional IRA. I went ahead and upgraded the traditional; when that completes I'll try the Roth conversion again.
by crumbgrabber
Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LLC for nanny?
Replies: 43
Views: 9749

Re: LLC for nanny?

Don't forget about unemployment insurance paid to the state and fed. This isn't much $$ but it is required.
by crumbgrabber
Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What am I missing ? ... Smart Phones $100 vs. $600
Replies: 65
Views: 10951

Re: What am I missing ? ... Smart Phones $100 vs. $600

Keep in mind that the more expensive phones hold their value much better than the cheap ones (assuming you don't drop it in the toilet). I traded in my last $600 smartphone for $300.
by crumbgrabber
Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended Snow Tires
Replies: 42
Views: 4887

Re: Recommended Snow Tires

Blizzaks on on our Subaru Outback make it pretty much unstoppable in Rocky Mountain ice and snow. I've had Michelin X-Ice and Dunlop winter sports on my Acura sedan--the Michelins were actually terrible. So bad that I no longer trust Consumer Reports. All snow tires are mounted on separate wheels. A...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch from Quicken (Windows) to iBank5/Moneydance on Mac?
Replies: 7
Views: 1892

Re: Switch from Quicken (Windows) to iBank5/Moneydance on Mac?

I switched about 6 years ago and that was a fantastic decision. iBank is far more polished and less buggy than PC Quicken. I haven't run into any missing features, and I would consider myself a power user--we probably have 25 accounts tracked in iBank. I will say that the iggsoft's iPhone/iPad apps ...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gross moving from PIMCO to Janus, Monday
Replies: 119
Views: 15866

Re: Bill Gross moving from PIMCO to Janus, Monday

PTTRX is the only "bond" fund option in my 401k aside from a stable value fund. Should I bail on PIMCO or stick with them? Obviously if I had other bond choices this would be an easy decision. I'm currently running 70/30 and very happy with that allocation.
by crumbgrabber
Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Novaform Mattresses at Costco
Replies: 14
Views: 4474

Re: Novaform Mattresses at Costco

I recently bought the Novaform Serafina mattress (about a month ago) based on a great price as well as very positive reviews on costco.com. I am very happy with it so far--it's very firm though, and took me a few nights to get used to it (came from a very soft innerspring pillow top mattress). I hav...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Drastic pay cut-Crack CD (w/penalty) to payoff mortgage?
Replies: 26
Views: 2024

Re: Drastic pay cut-Crack CD (w/penalty) to payoff mortgage?

Huh? I'm confused. Why don't you just use your $140k in savings to cover the budget gap until the CD matures? Looks like you have plenty saved up...
by crumbgrabber
Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Breastfeeding and baby formula
Replies: 24
Views: 2456

Re: Breastfeeding and baby formula

We've found Amazon subscribe and save to be the lowest cost option, if you can manage to get 5 items per month. It really depends on which specific formula you end up with though. We also bought quite a bit at Walmart for awhile. Powdered stuff really isn't that big a deal--and it's much cheaper tha...
by crumbgrabber
Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a grocery app with certain (basic) features iphone/PC
Replies: 7
Views: 587

Re: Need a grocery app with certain (basic) features iphone/

GroceryIQ is great. My wife and I add things to our iPhones, which syncs with the GroceryIQ web app. You can set up multiple store, favorite items. Its free, although I think they make money by suggesting brand name stuff and coupons but it really hasn't been annoying and we haven't used these featu...
by crumbgrabber
Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anti-virus for Mac?
Replies: 80
Views: 6833

Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

I uninstalled Flash and Java on my Mac about a year ago and haven't really run into any websites I can't load. Once in awhile something will need Flash, at which point I simply load the Chrome browser, which has Flash support built in. I've used Macs since about 2000 and have never installed any ant...
by crumbgrabber
Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax 10% Amazon Credit on refund
Replies: 19
Views: 3713

Re: TurboTax 10% Amazon Credit on refund

I wonder if it'd be worth it (for large refunds) to simply sell the Amazon gift cards on eBay/craigslist, etc? For some strange reason Amazon gift cards appear to be selling at face value on eBay. You'd have to recover the eBay fees, of course, which probably are more than the 10% bonus (I haven't s...
by crumbgrabber
Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a new all in one printer
Replies: 55
Views: 6687

Re: Need a new all in one printer

Another vote for Brother. Bought a 7820N (B&W later all-in-one) about 6 years ago, refurbished. It's been great--I've only replaced the toner cartridge once in that time (!) and probably printed about 10 reams. Use it for scanning everything (we're paperless) and it works great connected to my Mac. ...
by crumbgrabber
Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax 10% Amazon Credit on refund
Replies: 19
Views: 3713

Re: TurboTax 10% Amazon Credit on refund

Were there any catches with this? Hidden fees? How long will it take to get the gift cards/refunds (any longer than usual)? I plan on taking advantage of this in a big way this year--we're due a huge refund due to many life events and we do about 50% of our shopping at Amazon.
by crumbgrabber
Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: pay health bill from HSA or from checking?
Replies: 70
Views: 5409

Re: pay health bill from HSA or from checking?

I personally vote for paying from HSA. I really wouldn't want to store receipts for 20+ years. HSA investments will never be as flexible and as good as taxable or IRA. I know as someone that has jumped from HSA to HSA (remember Adirondack?) Yes, you do potentially have some tax cost from taxable in...
by crumbgrabber
Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expenses?
Replies: 84
Views: 8513

Re: POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expen

My wife and I both have HSAs that get some employer match. Mine is at Fidelity and has excellent investment options (basically anything), hers is much more limited (just basic savings account). I keep track of all medical bills paid in a spreadsheet, scan the receipts and also keep them in a folder....
by crumbgrabber
Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco AMEX Rewards Check Error
Replies: 25
Views: 6619

Re: Costco AMEX Rewards Check Error

Can someone post the phone number they received on their letter? I got one last week too but didn't realize there was a check attached to it. I promptly threw mine away so I'm wondering how much mine was and whether I can get a check (if it's worth it). I did as well. I figured the refund would jus...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gmail alternative recommendations?
Replies: 81
Views: 21956

Re: Gmail alternative recommendations?

I too am growing uncomfortable with Gmail. I created a Fastmail account and I have been extremely happy with the service so far. I even configured my iPhone and Mac email clients to use an "archive" folder and corresponding button in Fastmail similar to Gmail's. If you use client software it's easy ...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA to Geico for auto insurance?
Replies: 19
Views: 7195

Re: USAA to Geico for auto insurance?

I switched from USAA to GEICO about 5 years ago because GEICO was about $600/year cheaper for two drivers/two cars. I still have a number of other accounts/services with USAA, but I couldn't justify that much difference to stick with them. I call and have USAA requote every year or so, but they can ...
by crumbgrabber
Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interest rates and home prices
Replies: 9
Views: 1623

Re: Interest rates and home prices

The Calculated Risk blog has had a few articles on this recently, and his conclusion was that there is not much correlation between rates and home prices. This is pretty counter-intuitive to me though.
by crumbgrabber
Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 year vs. 30 year for starter home
Replies: 23
Views: 3268

Re: 15 year vs. 30 year for starter home

With a 30 year loan for 5 years in a starter home, you are effectively renting your house from a bank (ie you will not be building much equity). Why not just keep actually renting and not be on the hook for repairs, transaction costs, etc? Save more money and in 5 years buy a better "permanent" hom...